Newton’s third law of motion reads, “When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.”
VFP member protests in early December, 2015 to oppose President Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” may not have been equal in magnitude, if that’s measured in money and force, but these activists certainly produced strong forces which were opposite in direction.
Protesting U.S. military expansion in South Korea and in Okinawa, Veterans For Peace members joined South Korean and Japanese activists by putting their bodies on the line, blocking construction and entry to two sites.
At Jeju Island in South Korea, the U.S. is building a huge naval installation, destroying ecologically sensitive and sacred coastline in the process. The VFP protests are well documented by Ellen Davidson here and in her photos here, here and here, plus Bruce Gagnon’s writeup here–see his several other stories about Jeju in the left side bar of his blog. Bruce Gagnon, who visited Corvallis a few years ago and is the coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, is also a VFP member traveling with the group to Jeju and Okinawa.
In Okinawa, it took Japanese police, shipped in from the main island, to dislodge VFP and local protesters blocking the gate of an area set for huge expansion of the Marine Corps facility on the island. This despite the years of protests by local citizens. The expansion will, as described by Gagnon, include “building two runways at Henoko that will jut out into pristine Oura Bay likely killing coral reefs and endangered sea mammals.” Bruce Gagnon is with the group there now and filed this excellent report.
We applaud the protestors for shoring up the local protests and drawing international attention to the aggressive military expansion in the Pacific by the Obama administration.