This is the text of my keynote speech at the 34th Chaos Communication Congress in Leipzig, December You can also watch it on YouTube, but it runs to about 45 minutes.
By Elizabeth Murray If someone had told me earlier in that I would be rising daily at 6 a. A non-morning person who knows next to nothing about South Asia? Waves crashing against the rocky coast of Jeju island, south of the South Korean mainland.
We performed our daily deep bows in synch with contemplative meditations broadcast in Korean over a loud-speaker set up in a tree across the road. Among the prayerful thoughts that we knelt and bowed to: And so on, till the hundredth verse.
It is a reverent ritual, the embodiment of prayer in action. At times I seemed to be in an altered state; such was the feeling of the physical act of bowing down to the ground in a deeply spiritual and intellectual enmeshing of love and resistance against the military-industrial machine.
Martin Luther King Jr. Performing these deep bows can be physically taxing yet each time there was an ache or stress in my leg muscles, I thought about the pain and frustration of my Gangjeong village hosts who have been fighting this base for seven long years.
My little discomforts seemed trite and U s and chinas future essay by comparison and they were something I resolved to bear cheerfully for the privilege of being a witness and a co-activist among these courageous resisters, who have seen their beautiful tangerine groves, pristine ocean life, and sacred sites such as Gureombi Rock sacrificed to corporate greed Samsung has the primary corporate contact for the base construction and the evil designs of Empire.
Activists explained that the South Korean Navy, having been firmly rebuffed by two other villages approached as potential sites of the naval base, resorted to stealth, bribery and deception to obtain the consent of a key group of Gangjeong villagers for the construction of the naval base.
As a result, many families have been torn apart over the issue; there are parents and children who no longer speak to each other; longtime friends who turn the other way when they pass each other on the streets.
However, they have been warned that if they speak out publicly against the base, they will be forced to pay back all the money they received a nearly impossible feat for most, who live by simple work such as fishing and farming, and who could never hope to amass such a sum.
In other words, people have been silenced through intimidation. Despite staunch resistance over the past seven years to block construction, the base is roughly 70 to 80 percent complete.
Activists are facing the unpleasant reality that the base is likely to be a fait accompli and have begun to discuss how the resistance will continue in the future.
Already the activists have modified their tactics to be far less confrontational than they were at the beginning of the naval base construction; while thousands participated in vigorous protests when construction began several years ago, those numbers have dropped off, and the relatively small core of remaining resisters, after having endured multiple imprisonments after confrontations with authorities, have concluded that they can be more effective outside of prison than inside a jail cell.
The deepwater port currently under construction at Gangjeong village is being designed to accommodate multiple nuclear-armed Trident sub-marines, the Aegis destroyer combat system, naval carriers, and other massive warships.
The militarization of Jeju will greatly increase the likelihood that the tiny, jewel-like island with crystal clear waters home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a popular destination for nature-lovers and honeymooners will become a pawn in any future conflict between the United States and China.
The population of Jeju Island is especially sensitive to the prospect of a U. Army Military Government in Korea. This little-known atrocity is memorialized in a dramatically beautiful, poignant Peace Park, which our delegation visited.
Many South Koreans still remain unaware of the massacre; a young South Korean woman who accompanied us to the Peace Park expressed shame and anger that she had never heard about the massacre before, and that it was not being taught in the schools.
Just as with the massacre, the truth about the Jeju naval base and its negative social, environmental, and political impacts on the island is still very hard to come by.
Little is mentioned about the military tensions this base is bound to provoke in the region, or the impact that 3, new naval base personnel will have on life in Gangjeong village, whose population numbers only 2, Efforts to construct new housing for navy personnel has been temporarily halted due to a hour protest vigil in front of the site, amid strong local opposition.
Forward-thinking anti-base activists in Jeju have made common cause with fellow activists in Okinawa and Taiwan, as well as with the international community at large.
They have learned about problems with drugs, prostitution, rape, and other ills that accompany the presence of U. They worry about the fate of their traditional community with the impending arrival of foreign military personnel at some point in the future. Pollution from the base construction has already destroyed much of the fish habitat in the immediate vicinity of the base, forcing the haenyo the women sea-divers who bring in the daily catch to the village to take their boats much farther out to sea in order to catch fish.
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Harm to Jeju Several prominent personalities from around the world and from mainland South Korea have drawn attention to the great harm that the naval base will bring to Jeju.
Among these figures is the South Korean film critic Yang Yoon-mo, who permanently relocated to Jeju from the South Korean mainland to in order to draw attention the naval base construction and engage in acts of resistance against the naval base.
Yang, who has since been released, spoke to our delegation about his continued dedication to the resistance and discussed the reasons for his hunger strike read more at www.
Following our morning action of bows, we would breakfast together with the local activists, sharing stories and learning about each other. Later on, we would rejoin them in front of the naval base for the daily outdoor Mass and Rosary, during which we blocked the entrance to the gate for minute intervals; police would then remove us by lifting up our chairs and carrying us to the side in order to let construction trucks pass.
As soon as they moved all of us and departed, we would re-position ourselves in the middle of the road. This sequence repeated itself until the Mass and the Rosary were completed, then the solemnity was broken up with joyful street dancing as we continued to prevent trucks from entering the base.
The dancing is an integral part of the protest, to banish the inevitable frustration and anger that has manifested itself amid the materialization of the naval base.
The lively movements demonstrate the sheer joy that comes with resisting evil and standing up for life, love, and community even in the face of the overwhelming might of Empire.
The strong role of the Catholic Church in the resistance movement is embodied in the person of Bishop Peter Kang, who leads the Jeju diocese; a dedicated number of nuns and priests in the diocese is assigned full-time to the resistance activities.
Their participation in the morning bows and the daily outdoor Mass provides a strong spiritual base to the resistance.A build-to-scrap analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) found that -- even when you consider power plant emissions - U.S.
electric cars produce less than half the global warming emissions of comparable gasoline-powered vehicles. FlightGlobal is the global aviation community’s primary source of news, data, insight, knowledge and expertise.
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The best opinions, comments and analysis from The Telegraph. From to , Dollar was the U.S. Treasury Department’s economic and financial emissary to China. Previously, he worked at the World Bank for more than 20 years, serving as country director for China and Mongolia from to Featured.
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