April 2010

Event Information from AF3IRM/GABNet San Diego


AF3IRM San Diego To Take the Streets on May Day to Demand Genuine Immigration Reform and the Dismantling of Imperialism


On International Workers’ Day, Saturday, May 1st, AF3IRM/GABNet San Diego will take to the streets with a coalition of several San Diego grassroots organizations including Union Del Barrio and Si se Puede coalition calling for legalization for all – without conditions, jobs and livable wages for all, fund education & social services – not war, immigration rights for LGBT partners.

AF3IRM/GABNet San Diego will join thousands in the call for comprehensive immigration reform and stands in solidarity with workers across the globe in the struggle to dismantle US-led imperialism, whose exploitative policies and practices have forced over one billion people worldwide out of their home countries to find work abroad.

AF3IRM/GABNet San Diego will march against the recently-passed Senate Bill 1070 in Arizona, which has further empowered police officers tobe able to stop and interrogate every individual regarding citizenship, legalizing racial profiling.

Also, with San Diego being a hub of the US military and navy forces, the women will march against the imperialist US policies which force poor women into the sex trade. In San Diego alone, the sex trade of poor women of color flourishes around the military bases, where servicemen can easily purchase the exploited women. In the last half century, the Navy and Marine Corps’ presence following World War II helped support prostitution markets in the Gaslamp and Loma Portal along Midway Drive. In the past year, police have recorded the vast majority of 588 arrests around the area of 30th Street and El Cajon Boulevard.

AF3IRM/GABNet San Diego calls our supporters and allies to take part in this call for action THIS Saturday May 1st 2010 11:00am at Chicano Park. Please locate the purple AF3IRM/GABNet San Diego flags.

For more information contact:

Ley Ebrada, AF3IRM San Diego Chapter Coordinator

April 25, 2010

We will continue to seek out reporting on the April 25th Okinawa Protests and present it here on usmvaw.com. If you have a story or photos to share, please email us directly at info@usmvaw.com.

For continuing information on the movement to close down the Okinawan base, be sure to visit CLOSE THE BASE at their web site available here.


To read about the Okinawa Protest in Washington D.C. from the Guam Blog, click here.


Ban the Base

Today Online
April 26, 2010
Nearly 100,000 protesters attended a rally on Okinawa yesterday to demonstrate against a United States air base in a row dominating Japan’s national politics and souring ties with Washington.

‘We will not allow the base to stay here,’ Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima told the cheering crowd. ‘We want the Hatoyama government to keep its promise.’

To read the full report at Today Online, click here.

Okinawa Marine Base Protest Attracts 90,000


Lindsay Whipp and Mure Dickie
Financial Times
April 25 2010

An estimated 90,000 people rallied in Okinawa on Sunday piling fresh pressure on Yukio Hatoyama, Japan’s prime minister, as they demanded the removal from the island prefecture of a US Marine air base.

The demonstration, one of the largest ever held in Okinawa, follows weeks of increasingly desperate efforts by Mr Hatoyama’s administration to come up with a new relocation plan for the Futenma base ahead of a self-imposed May deadline.

To read the full story at the Financial Times web site, click here.


Japan PM support falls as base row heats up


Isabel Reynolds
Reuters (The Washington Post)
April 26, 2010

Two out of three Japanese voters disapprove of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and nearly 60 percent think he should resign if he fails to resolve a feud over a U.S. airbase by an end of May deadline, a media poll showed on Monday.

To read the full story at The Washington Post, click here.


Hatoyama to ‘Ease’ Okinawa Base Burden After 90,000 Demonstrate


Takashi Hirokawa and Sachiko Sakamaki
Bloomberg Businessweek
April 25, 2010

Japan’s Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said he’ll work to “ease the burden” of the people of Okinawa after tens of thousands of residents rallied yesterday against keeping an American military base on the island.

Organizers said more than 90,000 Okinawans took part in the protest to oppose moving the Futenma Marine Corp Air Station to a less populated part of the island as part of a 2006 agreement. U.S. President Barack Obama is pushing Japan to implement the accord, while residents want Hatoyama to fulfill a campaign pledge to transfer the base elsewhere.

To read the full story at Bloomberg Businessweek, click here.


Protests in Okinawa against US air base


April 25, 2010

Tens of thousands of people rallied on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa Sunday to protest a US air base there. The prefecture’s governor as well as most of the mayors took part, asking the Prime Minister to make good on his promise to move the Futema Marine Corps Air Station off the island.

To read the full story on the RFI web site, click here.


CNN iReport


CNN’s iReporter LeahJay posted a video with pictures of today’s protest in Okinawa.

To view it on the CNN iReport site, click here.


90,000 Protest U.S. Base on Okinawa


Martin Fackler
The New York Times
April 25, 2010

More than 90,000 Okinawans rallied Sunday to oppose the relocation of an American air base on their island, adding to the pressure on Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to resolve an issue that has divided Tokyo and Washington.

The demonstrators, in one of the largest protests on the southern Japanese island in years, demanded that Mr. Hatoyama scrap a 2006 agreement with the United States to move the Futenma United States Marine air station to a different site on Okinawa. Many of the protesters wore yellow to signal they were giving Mr. Hatoyama a yellow card, or warning, for appearing to waver on election promises to move the busy base off Okinawa altogether.

To read the full story in The New York Times, click here.


Yahoo News has a photo slideshow on their web site. The slideshow and links to reporting on the April 25th Okinawa Protest can be found here.


CLOSE THE BASE ~ April 25th Protest


CLOSE THE BASE is updating their web site with media reports on a regular basis. To view the CLOSE THE BASE web site, click here.

Official: Japan Nearing Decision on Futenma Site


David Allen
Stars and Stripes
April 25, 2010

Japan’s government may take one step closer during the weekend to choosing an alternate site for relocating Marine air units now on Okinawa.

The proposed relocation site for Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan will be announced to the government’s ministers and leaders of the three-party ruling majority by Sunday, according to Mikio Shimoji, a member of Japan’s Diet from Okinawa who met Thursday with Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano.

Hirano said the government will call for a meeting of ministers by Sunday, Shimoji said on his blog late Thursday.

To read the full story at Stars and Stripes, click here.

Okinawa Rally Could Draw 100,000 People


David Allen
Stars and Stripes
April 23, 2010

The U.S. military on Okinawa is advising Department of Defense personnel and their families to stay away from the village of Yomitan on Sunday, where a large anti-base rally is scheduled.

Organizers said Wednesday they expect 100,000 people to gather at the village sports complex for the 3 p.m. event. Among featured speakers will be elected officials and union leaders.

If the size of the crowd turns out to be as big as predicted, it will be the largest anti-base event on Okinawa since 58,000 people gathered in Ginowan in October 1995 to protest the abduction and gang rape of a 12-year-old schoolgirl by two Marines and a sailor.

To read the full story in  Stars and Stripes, click here.

Japan Moves to Settle Dispute with U.S. over Okinawa Base Relocation


John Pomfret
The Washington Post
April 24, 2010

The Japanese government indicated Friday that it would broadly accept a plan to relocate a U.S. Marine Corps base on Okinawa, a move that could ease months of discord between the two allies, U.S. and Japanese officials said.

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada presented U.S. Ambassador John V. Roos with a proposal to settle the dispute, telling him that Japan was moving toward accepting significant parts of a 2006 deal to move the Futenma air station from the center of a city of 92,000 to a less populated part of Okinawa, the sources said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

To read the full story at The Washington Post, click here.

Join Close The Base for a Rally Against the U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa this Sunday, April 25th!


Okinawans are planning to hold a rally of 100,000 people against the U.S. bases in Okinawa on April 25th. The people of Washington, D.C. will show our solidarity with the Okinawans with our own Earth Day rally, in front of the Japanese embassy on Sunday, April 25 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Other solidarity rallies are also being held in San Francisco, Hawaii, and in elsewhere in Japan (including Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Oita, Nagano, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Osaka, Hiroshima, Nagano, and Ueda).

For more information,visit the Close The Base web site at this link.

This month, Gary Trudeau has returned his comic strip Doonesbury to the storyline of Specialist Melissa “Mel” Wheeler and her experiences of sexual harassment and MST while serving as a mechanic in the U. S. military.

The Doonesbury comic can be viewed at GoComics.com, or at Slate.com. The Slate site is searchable and provides background information on the last 30 years of Doonesbury comics.


On the blog , Innocent A-Blogged,  a Morocco Peace Corps Volunteer shared her view on an earlier part of the storyline in Febuary. To read the blog posting, click here.

Governor General Michaelle Jean arrives with President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Joseph Kabila

(Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

United Nations Gov. Gen. Jean Hails Congo’s Pledge to Tackle Systemic Rape

CTV News
April 19, 2010


Photo: Governor General Michaelle Jean arrives with President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Joseph Kabila to deliver an address on women’s rights to a crowd of more than a thousand at the DRC parliament in Kinshasa on Monday April 19, 2010. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)


United Nations Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean drew a raucous reaction Monday when she devoted an entire speech to women’s rights while addressing lawmakers in a nation dubbed the world capital of rape.

Her reminder that the United Nations dubs the practices in Congo a “crime against humanity” drew standing ovations from women — amid impassive stares from a sea of men — in the 1,000-member audience in the Great Hall of the People.

To read the full story on the CTV News web site, click here.

U.S. President Questions Japanese PM’s Ability to Make Good on Okinawa Base Promise


April 18, 2010

U.S President Barack Obama questioned Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s ability to ” follow through” on resolving the issue of relocating a U.S. Marine base in Okinawa Prefecture, political sources said Sunday.

In discussions between the two leaders held recently in Washington on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit, Obama pointed out to Hatoyama that zero progress has been made on the increasingly thorny issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futemma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture, sources said Sunday, despite Hatoyama’s self-imposed deadline of the end-of-May to settle the issue and pleas to Obama to “trust him.”

To read the full story on the Xinhuanet.com web site, click here.

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