23 May 2011 — Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
I have decided to begin an open-ended fast today in solidarity with Yang Yoon-Mo and the other eight leaders recently arrested for trying to stop the Navy base construction in the Gangjeong village on Jeju Island. By my calculations, professor Yang is now on his 49th day of his hunger strike.
Having twice visited this beautiful island village, and seeing first-hand how the Navy base construction was at that time already impacting this small farming and fishing community, I feel I must do more to help. In my visit there I was particularly touched by the sad thought of concrete being poured over the rocks to make the piers for the visiting U.S. Navy Aegis destroyers that are built here at Bath Iron Works in Maine.
All I could see in my mind’s eye was the abundant sea and plant life, living amongst the rocks, being completely destroyed as the concrete was poured over them. How could I not feel the sadness of that action? How could I not see that the presence of these warships, outfitted with Raytheon-built missile offense systems, was going to heat up tensions in the Asian-Pacific as the U.S. continues its military encirclement of China? It’s all pure insanity as far as I am concerned.
In the photo above you see these man-made concrete things called “tetra-pods” being placed into the ocean alongside the rocks. It appears that they are being used to help create a larger space that would eventually also be covered with cement to widen the docks for the ships.
I plan to produce a leaflet today that explains the situation on Jeju Island and talks about Yang’s hunger strike and the eight others now in jail. I will also make a large sign that reads “Where do these Aegis go?” and stand at the shipyard when workers come out of work. I plan to do this each weekday from 2:30-3:30 pm as long as Yang continues with his hunger strike or until he dies as he vows to do unless construction is halted.
I have to do something more. This is something I can do, I must do.
Want To Help?
If you’d like to help you can do any of the following:
1) You can write to the South Korean Defense Attaché assigned to Washington DC. at this email and demand an end of the Navy base construction, firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call the South Korean Embassy in Washington at 202-939-5600 to show your solidarity with the Gangjeong villagers on Jeju Island. Or call the South Korean embassy in your own country.
2) You can watch this video interview with Yan Yoon-Mo, who is now on his 49th day of hunger strike, and share it with others. We need more people to know about the situation on Jeju island. http://vimeo.com/24007992
3) You can join me in fasting and invite others to join as well. Fast for a day or several days. Be sure to let me know if you will be fasting and I will post your name on my blog.
Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011