It was a thrill to be part of the international delegation to visit North Korea and cross the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ – a serious oxymoron, it’s highly militarized) separating North and South Korea. We were 30 women from 15 nations, together with a film crew directed by Deann Borshay Liem who is making a documentary, Crossings, about this trip.
As I checked in at San Francisco airport an airline worker said, “Pyongyang? That’s in Thailand, right?” When I said, “North Korea,” he frowned and asked, “What d’you want to go there for?” echoing the negative image so many outsiders have of that isolated country, officially called the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK). Read more….
The people of Okinawa are calling on the international community for help to stop the desecration of a sacred ocean site, Oura Bay in Henoko, for a new US Marines base. Oura Bay is the home of the dugong (the Okinawan manatee) and other endangered species, including extensive coral reefs.
The latest poll shows that 80.2% of Okinawans oppose this construction on environmental, ethical, and economic grounds. They are blockading the construction site from land and sea, and holding prefecture-wide rallies comprising all segments of the population. Reflecting this opposition, Okinawan voters elected Takeshi Onaga as their governor who is determined to work toward stopping the construction of the new base. Read more…
They come in kayaks and canoes to protect the bay, maintain a tent city on the beach, and hold candlelight vigils. From posters to marches, songs, and a petition expressing international solidarity, Okinawan residents have left no question about their fierce opposition to construction of a new military base for the U.S. Marines on their island.
Overriding these emphatic voices, the Japanese and United States governments have begun work on a new facility at the Nago City site of Henoko—initiating offshore drilling, tearing down buildings, and bringing in construction supplies. Read more…
We are U.S. voters and taxpayers, teachers, writers, ministers, lawyers, and students who call for genuine security through demilitarization and the creation of sustainable communities. We have watched with horror and anger as the Israeli attacks on Gaza have killed over 1,400 Palestinians (and rising), as well as injuring and displacing thousands more. There is no safe place: even families in United Nations’ designated shelters have fallen victim to Israeli shelling. As these atrocities unfold, we stand in solidarity with Palestinian people in Gaza, throughout the Occupied Territory and in the diaspora, and with allies all over the world who are calling for peace in the region. We denounce this attempted genocide: the intentional killing of Palestinian people as Israeli troops have attacked homes, playgrounds, schools, hospitals, and UN premises, all in violation of international law.
This week President Obama visited Malaysia and the Philippines to promote his military and economic agenda in Asia.In both nations he was met with protests against the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and an increased U.S. military presence through the military Pivot to Asia. Read more
This week, April 25-26, President Obama will travel to South Korea, a key U.S. ally, as part of his current “swing” through four Asian nations.His agenda is to reaffirm and strengthen the military and economic relationship between the United States and South Korea, a thick alliance linked by the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1953, as many as 50 U.S. bases on Korean soil, and the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement, signed in 2007 and broadened in 2011. Read more
On the eve of Obama’s visit to Japan on April 23-25, the Japanese media are reporting that President Obama and Prime Minister Abe plan to issue a joint statement reaffirming the alliance between the two nations.The United States views Japan, which hosts the largest U.S. forces (about 50,000) in Asia, as a key ally in the “Pivot” to Asia (or “rebalance” in U.S. government parlance), and the Abe administration desperately seeks U.S. support in its conflict with China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands while it has taken significant steps to change Japan’s peace constitution so that its “self-defense forces” can engage in combat alongside the U.S. military. “Read more”
Photo: Okinawa Times, April 19, 2014 <http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/photo_detail/?id=67194&pid=103444>
Women for Genuine Security works toward the creation of a society free of militarism, violence, and all forms of exploitation. We affirm the safety, well-being, and long-term sustainability of all peoples. We advocate for nonviolent solutions to the violence in Syria. We believe that violence begets more violence, and that alternatives are urgently needed. Despite the push by the Obama administration to use military force to secure peace in the region as an ultimatum should peace talks not work, we stand with the larger U.S. public who opposes military intervention. We believe that non-violent solutions are not an alternative, but rather, the decisive way to encourage international peace. Read more…