Military bases

Diego Garcia: the Biggest Military Base in Africa

By Lindsey Collen

The Island states of Africa often get forgotten. The word “the continent” somehow leaves them out. And this is a serious conceptual error when it comes to scrutinizing the US military presence in Africa.

Let’s take things step-by-step.

Okinawa: Militarised Islands

By Dr. Masami Kawamura

Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture of Japan, consisting of some 160 islands with a population of approximately 1.4 million, is known as kichi no shima or military base islands. While Okinawa consists of only 0.6% of all the Japanese landmass, 74% of US military bases in Japan are concentrated in the prefecture. At present, further militarisation of Okinawa is taking place and Okinawan people are putting up a stern opposition to it. With a brief background of the militarisation of Okinawa, I would like to highlight two recent developments: the construction of a US military airport in the Henoko/Oura Bay area and the construction of six helipads at Takae in Yanbaru Forest.

Direct Action against Militarism

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based on a piece by Cecil Arndt

In different countries, war and militarisation take on very different meanings and have different effects, depending not only on the presence or absence of direct acts of war but also on country's political, economic, and social circumstances, and its history and traditions. As these factors define not only to the types, levels, and effects of militarisation but also the ways in which it can be effectively resisted, the scope of this article is inevitably limited; it can only provide a Western, European, largely German perspective on the use of direct action to oppose the militarisation of youth, although it explores possibilities in other countries nonetheless.

Militarisation, in whatever form it takes, must be understood as always being directed at young people. The militarisation of youth relies not only on their direct recruitment into the armed forces, but on the widely growing intrusion of the military into the lives and minds of people of all ages. This intrusion influences individual daily routines, preferences and choices, as well as general perceptions. The common theme is the normalising of war and the military.

A Call for Action to the European Peace Movement: Join the International Nonviolent Disarmament Camp at Burghfield

Article written for Friedensforum

In 2016 the UK government will finalise the decision to build a new nuclear weapons system to replace the present Trident system (http://actionawe.org/the-trident-system/). The nuclear submarines that carry Trident are getting old, so the government has pledged to finalise contracts to replace them in 2016 in order to build a new generation of nuclear weapons at an estimated cost of £76–100 billion. This is more than the current planned public spending cuts of £81 billion. If the contracts go ahead, the warheads would be designed and manufactured at AWE (Atomic Weapons Establishment) Aldermaston and Burghfield, in Berkshire, about 50 miles west of London ( http://actionawe.org/awe-burghfield-maps-gates/ ).

Gangjeong Style

Gangjeong Style

Sitting at the gate of the illegal construction site by day

A classy girl who can enjoy the freedom of a cup of coffee

A girl whose heart gets fired up when the police arrive

A girl with that kind of unexpected side

I’m a defender

A defender whose sense of justice is as strong as yours

A defender who blocks that illegal construction before the coffee cools

A defender whose heart explodes when the police arrive

That kind of defender

Antimilitarism South Korean Style

Javier Gárate

During the first two weeks of October (2012), I visited South Korea, invited by the group World Without War to give a training for trainers in nonviolent action and to visit Gangjeong village, on Jeju Island, where people are resisting the construction of a naval base.

It is well known that South Korea is a militarised country, with the protracted conflict with North Korea being a permanent reminder of this militarisation.

For a decade WRI has been cooperating with South Korean antimilitarists. This began in 2001 when South Korean activists asked WRI for support in their work on conscientious objection. At that time there were hundreds of Jehovah's Witness COs in prison for their refusal to military service. In early 2002 political COs started to organise themselves, and WRI played an important role in supporting their work. Initially their CO work came more from a Human Rights perspective but rapidly it took a more antimilitarist approach, with nonviolence being an important identity for them. As nonviolence and antimilitarism took a more prominent role in their work, they started expanding their work beyond CO support. That is how World Without War (2003) came to existence as a group resisting war by nonviolent means.

Peace activists hinder departure of F16 airplanes to NATO nuclear weapons exercise

October 15, 2012 - Press release

As of 7:30 AM peace activists are using non-violent means to try and stop the departure of F16 airplanes from the base in Kleine Brogel. Starting today, Belgian pilots are training for the deployment of nuclear weapons together with their NATO-partners. Small groups of activists are going onto the runway to stop the taking off of the F-16s. Meanwhile, the main gate of the base is being blocked. In this way, Vredesactie and Action pour la Paix hope to prevent the preparation for war crimes.

Combat-exercise ongoing in Norrbotten although civilians inside the testrange

Early this morning, peace-activists from the anti militaristic network Ofog in Sweden walked into the military testrange NEAT to prevent ongoing combat-exercise in the very north of Sweden.
Ofog has informed the Swedish Armed Forces that the activists are inside of the area. Despite this, the combat-exercise proceeds.

Facing discrimination within our struggle

This morning I read an article entitled "Queer young South Koreans getting on the march" published in the Hankyoreh, a daily newspaper in South Korea. The article was about a Korean high school lesbian couple who has been together for almost 100 days (an important milestone in a South Korean relationship). The reporter wrote about how they loved each other but faced difficulties and discrimination as a sexual minority. As usual, some people on the internet responded to the article with hateful and unreasonable comments. I am very much used to such hatred but I was still hurt.

Stop Samsung! Stop destroying Mother Nature in Gangjeong Village, Jeju Island!

Jungmin Choi

On 19 March, massive blasting of the Gureombi rock, the symbol of the campaign against the new naval base in South Korea's Jeju Island, began. There was blasting, of course, before that, but it's different now because while the blasting so far has been of the fields near the Gureombi rock to make the worksite for Caisson, now the blasting is of the Gureombi rock itself. This is the first time the Gureombi rock has been affected since Samsung C&T first pressed ahead with blasting. At the start of this new phase, Gangjeong villagers and peace activists resisted fiercely, but the police had organised protection for Samsung C&T and violently arrested protesters so that Samsung C&T could continue working. The Gangjeong Village Council strongly protested, saying that Samsung is a merchant of death, destroying natural heritage and building a war base, and appealed for various kinds of online and direct action against Samsung. From 17 March, there was a Catholic mass every day to urge the stopping of the blasting, and demanding the release of prisoners, this was in front of the Samsung C&T building and in support of the campaign against the Samsung credit card. In these ways, the nonviolent action aimed at Samsung C&T was designed to make the struggle more of a national issue.

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