'저는 그들의 땅을 지키기 위하여 싸웠던 인디안들의 이야기를 기억합니다. 백인들이 그들의 신성한 숲에 도로를 만들기 위하여 나무들을 잘랐습니다. 매일밤 인디안들이 나가서 백인들이 만든 그 길을 해체하면 그 다음 날 백인들이 와서 도로를 다시 짓곤 했습니다. 한동안 그 것이 반복되었습니다. 그러던 어느날, 숲에서 가장 큰 나무가 백인들이 일할 동안 그들 머리 위로 떨어져 말과 마차들을 파괴하고 그들 중 몇몇을 죽였습니다. 그러자 백인들은 떠났고 결코 다시 오지 않았습니다….' (브루스 개그논)





EMERGENCY IN GANGJEONG ON SEPT. 2! (See the below blog)

URGENT PLEA: DEAR FRIENDS of JEJU ISLAND, ISLAND OF WORLD PEACE (Click!)

Please check HERE(Click) for continuous updates of emergency in
Gangjeong, Jeju Island since Aug. 24, 2011 and site links on the struggle against Jeju naval base construction !

8월 24일 및 이후 제주도 강정 마을 긴급 관련, 계속되는 영문 업데이트 및 국문 사이트, 링크들은 여기(클릭)를 보세요!

RELEASE Kang Dong-Kyun(Gangjeong village mayor, 54), Kim Jong-Hwan(villager, 54), and Kim Dong-Won(photographer, 25)! (Facebook: Click HERE)

강정 마을회 까페 사이트(클릭) 강정 마을회 웹사이트(클릭)


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Appeal text fwd: [imc-korea] urgent international appeal for 5dead while protesting against an imminent forced eviction in Korea


* Image source: 5 protesters killed by the police in south korea
* The appeal text is in the IMC-KOREA
* The site below was alos loaded on the Nonviolence(Czech Republic) website
* The site below was also thankfully translated in Japanese by Makiko Sato in
http://www.labornetjp.org/news/2009/1233703003276Staff

The http://www.labornetjp.org/ also included
http://tvpot.daum.net/clip/bloader.swf?vid=JpaWTvpwlDM$&borderOff=true&flvPlayerType=tube&emerging=true&secid=05N31&srcid=428757
http://www.labornetjp.org/worldnews/korea/topics/yongsan09



Jan. 27, Tuesday, 2009

Friends,

I forward this forwarded from two of my activist friends (sinojo21@hanmail.net, dopehead.zo@gmail.com) in Korea. The original document came from the Korean activist group, Sarangbang Group for Human Rights (humanrights@sarangbang.or.kr)

The document is appealing to you for your international solidarity with sign and message regarding the 5 dead people while recently protesting against an imminent forced eviction in Korea. For detail, please look at through the document.

For the photos and videos regarding the incident, you may check this Korean website, too.

http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/society/society_general/334235.html

Thanks very much for your concern and solidarity.
Bless for your works.
Sung-Hee

----

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: dopehead zo
Date: Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 12:12 PM
Subject: [imc-korea] urgent appeal
To: imc-korea@lists.indymedia.org

hi happy new year!
please circulate and spread this urgent appeal so that we can get support, props, solidarity actions from every corner of the world.
thanks.

Urgent Appeal for immediate action
Stop forced evictions and further death in South Korea

In South Korea, 5 people died while protesting against an imminent forced eviction

1. Summary of the Incidence

At 6 a.m. on 20th January, people who were asking for solutions to avoid eviction in February in Youngsan-Gu, Seoul lost their lives as a consequence of violent oppression from the police. A 1500 strong police force was dispatched to disperse about 50 protesters.

The police actions taken toward these protesters were similar to those taken in times war. Less than a day after those facing eviction started protesting and without further conversations or an effort to discuss the issues, the government dispatched a special police force and staged an anti-terror operation.

After the police entered the building where the protesters were, a fire broke out and the circumstances became dangerous. However, without taking any safety measures, the police proceeded with the operation which resulted in the death of 5 protesters and 1 police officer.

Dispatching a special police force for an anti-terror operation in less than 24 hours is a rare case even in South Korea. Since the Conservatives took power however, the police have often cracked down on protesters in a violent way. This incidence also happened under this context.

A place to pray for the dead was set up at the spot of the incident. Despite of it being the Korean New Year holiday, visits from people continue. A fact finding committee composed of civilian organizations is carrying out investigations whilst the government is trying to close the case as soon as possible.

2. Background and Characteristics

It is well known that there are many problems coupled to rapid re-development projects in South Korea. Existing solutions (such as compensations, providing temporary place to stay etc) are neither realistic nor properly implemented. It is especially worrisome that forced eviction, which is prohibited under international human rights law, is being pursued under the auspices of the government.

South Korea, who is a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, was requested twice by the Committee on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to provide protection to victims of forced evictions. However, as shown in this case, the South Korea government violated its obligation to respect the right to an adequate housing and to not being forcibly evicted. It also violated its obligation to protect the safety and the life of victims of forced evictions.

For over a year, lodgers in the re-development project area demanded the Yongsan-Gu Office for appropriate protection. The Yongsan-Gu Office provided no opportunity for talk or negotiation. Local lodgers went to the Youngsan-Gu Office to file an appeal but got rejected. During this appeal process, private security officers hired by the construction company threatened the lodgers and sexually harassed them.

However, the police did not take any action against the private security officer's practices. Despite the fact that eviction in the cold season requires the taking of special measures prior to the eviction, the Youngsan-Gu Office approved the construction company's request to initiate the re-development from February. Lodgers faced with forced eviction entered the empty building to stage protests against this process and lost their life due to violent police operation.

Lodgers living in re-development areas are excluded from both the process and results of re-development projects as they do not own a property in the area. Re-development to improve the housing condition causes inequality in housing as many lodgers have to move into a place worse than their previous housing. A serous problem is that in the previously re-developed area, only 10~15 % of local residents will get to stay in that same area.

Lodgers suffer a serious violation of their housing rights during the re-development process. The aim of re-development projects should be in improvement of housing conditions and relieving poverty for the people living there.

The government is obliged to provide necessary information and guarantee participation for people living there regardless of their ownership of the housing. However, these demands are ignored by the government and the construction companies who get benefits from the re-development in South Korea.

On the other hand, the investigation carried out at the government level is criticized for being biased. The police carried out autopsies of the bodies of the victims without the consent of their families. The police report on the incident was revealed to be false in light of a variety of evidence reported by the major media. The police attitude, which is neither democratic nor transparent, creates deeper mistrust.

A fair and impartial system for the investigation is urgently required. Rather than trying to close the case as soon as possible, an effort to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again and a guarantee of democratic participation are required.

3. Demands

- Guarantee participation of civil organizations in the investigation process to secure a fair and thorough investigation.
- Punish those responsible for the incidence.
- Review current re-development projects which do not guarantee the right to housing of the lodgers.
- Guarantee the right to housing as a human right.

4. Action for everyone

We would like to show international support at the second pan-national memorial for the dead. Please email us your supporting messages and let us know whether you would sign our statement by noon of the 30th January. Please also send us a copy of your complaints for those responsible. Sending complaints for those responsible continues until mid February.

Email to Sarangbang Group for Human Rights: humanrights@sarangbang.or.kr

1) Send us your supporting messages.
2) Please sign the statement below.

Statement

We urge the South Korean government to protect victims of forced evictions and to carry out a thorough investigation and punish the responsible for the deaths that occurred during the police action in Youngsan-Gu, Seoul 20th January 2009.

We pray for the repose of the deceased who protested to secure the right to housing. With sorrow and anger about the deaths, we send our warmest regards to the family. We feel devastated with the reality that a demand for a living with dignity turned into a death and send our support to the family and people in South Korea who resist against the government.

We pay attention to the fact that this incidence was rooted in the problems of the re-development process in South Korea and resulted from a unilateral over-use of public power. We regret that the South Korean government has attacked its citizens who protested against forced eviction and tried to protect their right to housing.

Dispatching a special police force is an act of labeling its citizens as a terrorist group, which is contrary to the state's obligation to respect and protect the rights of its citizens. The government further damaged its fairness and trust by trying to close the case as soon as possible and in carrying out autopsies of the bodies without consent of the family's concerned.

We urge the South Korean government to apologize to the families concerned and come up with measures to prevent a similar case happening again in future. We demand the acceptance of responsibility for this incident from Seokgi Kim, the head of the Seoul Police, Sehoon Won, the minister of the Ministry of Public Administration and Security, Jangkyu Park, the head of the Yongsan-Gu Office, Dongsan Baek, the head of Yongsan Police.

We confirm that the aim of re-development projects should lie on improving the right to housing. We are concerned that the re-development process in South Korea has become a means to earn more money for certain groups, such as construction companies, rather than follow an approach based on international human rights law.

Under the international human rights perspective, forced evictions are a clear violation of human rights. Despite the fact that the South Korean government should, as a signatory to the ICESCR, take steps to prevent forced evictions, the government itself used police force against citizens who tried to realize their right to housing, resulting in the death of five citizens and one police officer.

According to human rights organizations in South Korea, for over a year demands by lodgers in the re-development project area for appropriate protection, talks and negotiations were rejected by the Yongsan-Gu Office. They had asked several times to make plans for re-settlement but received no answers back. Out of desperation prior to the forced eviction, these people staged protests that cost them their lives.

We urge the South Korean government to review any re-development projects that do not provide protection to the lodgers and that do not guarantee the participation of citizens.

Sending our support and expressing our solidarity to those in South Korea demanding a thorough investigation and punishment of the responsible, we urge the following:
- Guarantee participation of civil organizations in the investigation process to secure a fair and through investigation.
- Punish those responsible for the incidence.
- Review current re-development projects which do not guarantee the right to housing of the lodgers.
- Recognize housing as a human right and guarantee this right to housing.

3) Please, send any protesting messages to the following addresses:

Myung-bak Lee, the president of South Korea
http://www.bluehouse.go.kr/kr/index.php

1 Sejongno Jonno gu
Seoul Korea(110-820)
Tel +822-730-5800
Fax: +822-770-4943/+822-770-2440

Sehoon Won, the minister of the Ministry of Public Administration and Security
http://www.mopas.go.kr
Tel +822-2100-3000
Fax: +822-2100-4001

Seokgi Kim, the head of the Seoul Police
http://www.smpa.go.kr
Tel +822-720-3993
Fax: +822-754-7000

Sehoon Oh, the Mayor of Seoul (Metropolis)
http://www.seoul.go.kr
Tel: +822-731-6060
Fax +822-737-8688

Jangkyu Park, the head of the Yongsan-Gu Office
http://www.yongsan.seoul.kr
Tel: +822-710-3333
Fax +822-718-0333
__________________________________________
imc-korea mailing list
imc-korea@lists.indymedia.org
http://lists.indymedia.org/mailman/listinfo/imc-korea

Saturday, January 24, 2009

International Conference against the Asia Pacific Missile Defense and for the End of the Arms Race


http://www.space4peace.org

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/39179

http://www.nenasili.cz/en/2863_international-conference-against-the-asia-pacific-missile-defense-and-for-the-end-of-arms-race



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Global Network <globalnet@mindspring.com>
Date: Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 12:00 PM
Subject: Int'l Conference against the Asia Pacific Missile Defense & for the End of Arms Race
To: Peaceworks <peaceworks@lists.riseup.net>


International Conference against the Asia Pacific Missile Defense

and for the End of Arms Race

Seoul, South Korea

April 16-18, 2009

1. Background and Greetings

The 17th annual conference of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space will be held in Seoul, Korea from April 16-18, 2009, under the title of the 2009 International Conference against the Asia Pacific Missile Defense and for the End of Arms Race.

The Korean committee for the conference, lead by the Peace Network http://www.peacekorea.org/index.php (Korean), http://www.peacekorea.org/english/ (English) and Center for Peace and Disarmament, People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) http://blog.peoplepower21.org/Peace/ (Korean),

http://blog.peoplepower21.org/Peace/category/English (English) and is formed by 10 peace organizations is the Co-Sponsor with the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space http://www.space4peace.org for this conference.

The signs of a 'new cold war' are brewing as the U.S. pushes ahead with the missile defense (MD) system installations in Eastern Europe against Russia's strong opposition. There is an urgent need for the international civil society to respond against the current rapid arms race in the Asia Pacific where the US leads the Asia Pacific MD efforts, supported strongly by Japan, Australia and South Korea; against the frontline of opposition formed by China, Russia and North Korea.

The MD issue is becoming the core element of the destabilization of peace
in Northeast Asia, not to mention the Korean peninsula, especially when the U.S. intends to make South Korea its MD outpost and the Lee Myung Bak government promotes stronger US-South Korea alliance and the US-South
Korea-Japan trilateral system formation.

By this great chance, the Korea Committee points out the Korean peace issues within the international peace movement circles, and wants to share international understanding and cooperation about
Korean peninsula's peace and reunification issues.

In light of such concerns, holding an international peace conference in South
Korea on missile defense and arms race issues will provide an important momentum in bringing the issues pertaining to the Korean peninsula-one of the last divided countries by the cold war in the world- and the North East Asia to the international community and in developing international solidarity.

We, the Korea Committee is already excited and grateful by many international participants' enthusiasm to participate. Above all, we, the Korean Committee welcomes everyone in the world, who wants to share the urgent issues in each country regarding the Missile defense, military base, arms race etc. issues and to promote further international solidarity one another.


2. Summary of the International Conference

Official event dates: April 16 to 18, 2009

- Core issues: MD and space weaponization; Arms race and arms reduction; US bases and the peace movement in Northeast Asia; and global meaning of the
peaceful reunification process in Korea etc.

- Main events: International symposium (Seoul), International news conference (Seoul), Visit to Panmunjeom, Peace campaign (Pyeongtaek) and GN
annual strategy and business meeting (Seoul)

- Interpretation: International symposium will be translated in Korean and English simultaneously while the other programs will be done consecutively. The GN annual strategy and business meeting will be done in English. For the effective usage of time, we integrated the whole program rather than having separate

workshops.

3. Daily events and programs of the GN International Conference(Consecutive Interpretation)


(1). April 16, 2009 (Thursday):

09:00(07:00)-15:00(17:30): International participants trip to Panmunjeom(the symbol of Korean division, http://koreadmztour.com/english/tour/tour2.htm) or Visit to the vicinity of the DMZ(Imjingak, Dorasan observatory etc.)/meeting with activists/cultural event etc as a plan B

18:00-21:00: dinner and entertainment(including the speech by 3~4 GN participants)

(2). April 17, 2009 (Friday): International meeting (Simultaneous interpretation)

9:00-10:00 Foreign and domestic press conference (consecutive translation)
9:45-10:00: Registration

10:00-10:10: Welcome speech (Korean dignitary)

10:10-10:20: Greeting speech (GN Chairman )

10:20-10:40: Keynote speech, "Star Wars (space weaponization), Future Warfare, and the Global Peace" (GN)

10:40-12:20: Plenary session I "MD and the World"
10:40-11:00
: The MD policy of the overall and Obama government (USA participant)

11:00-11:20: MD, Europe and the New Cold War including the NATO missile defense(European participant): 11:20-11:40: MD, Arms Race and the Future of the North East Asia(Korean participant):

11:40-12:00: What is the alternative against the MD?: Nuclear Disarmament and Conversion of the Military Industrial Complex(GN participant)
12:00-12:20: Q and A

12:20-
14:00: Lunch and break (There will be short presentation(about 4min.) of the slide projection )


1
4:00-15:20: Plenary session II "Global Anti-War and Peace Movements"
* Each international participant requested to give a ten minute speech on
the MD and No US bases movements; and Q&A. The participants from GN are cordially asked to give a speech.

15:20-15:30: Break

15:30-17:00: Plenary session III " Korea, Japan and the Northeast Asia
Peace
15:30-16:00
: Peace Constitution in Japan and the Northeast Asia Peace (Japanese participant):

16:00-16:30: Korea Peace and Reunification Process and the Northeast Asia Peace (Korean participant): ?
16:30-17:00: Q& A
17:00: Closing the symposium
18:00-21:00
: Dinner and Entertainment: includes three Keynote speeches

(3) April 18, 2009(Saturday)(English)

9:00-12:00: GN Annual Strategy and Business Meeting
12:00-13:00: Lunch
13:00-20:00: visit and rally/ protest in front of
the military base in Pyeongtaek (the emerging hub of US military bases in construction) and dinner meeting with the local peace organizations

(4). Official Conference and Stay site : Seoul Women's Plaza, Seoul, from April 15 to April 19(During the given official dates above, no stay cost by the international participants. The Korean Committee is reserving seven western-style two-bed rooms and seven Korean-style two bed rooms except for the special request. The rooms are the building can best afford. Reservation for the first comers, first. The international participant may pay for other nights at low cost or request for the info. of home stay/ other hotels as alternative. Regarding stay, please contact wooksik@gmail.com, armha5156@gmail.com and globalnet@mindspring.com

Jan. 20, 2009

The Korean Committee for the international conference, Seoul, 2009

Korean Organizations in the Korean Committee (No order, List in formation)

Peace Network

Center for Peace and Disarmament, People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy(PSPD)

National Campaign for Eradication of Crimes by U.S. Troops in Korea

Women Making Peace

Pyeongtaek Peace Center

Civil Committee against the Kunsan U.S. base

Jinbo Korea

Lawyers for a Democratic Society

People's Solidarity for Social Progress

Nonviolent Peaceforce Korea

Arirang International Peace Foundation

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502
http://www.space4peace.org
globalnet@mindspring.com
http://space4peace.blogspot.com (Blog)

Text FW: No to NATO




* Image sources : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO *
Current members Acceding members Promised invitation Intensified Dialogue Membership not goal Undeclared intent

* For more info.
Global Energy War: Washington's New Kissinger's African Plans
(introduced in Space4Peace(Organizaing Note) blog)


[Below was translated by Agatha Haun from German to English]

"NO to NATO"

In solidarity with everyone who will protest on April 2009 in Strasbourg and Kehl against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit meeting, marking the 60th anniversary of the founding of the NATO military alliance, we call for protests as the beginning of a long-term campaign against NATO and militarization of the European Union, and call for the following demands to be made central to the campaign.

Withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan

Withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq - an end to the German support for the occupation

Solidarity with the legitimate resistance of the peoples of the Near East and Middle East against war and occupation

An end to the blockade against the Gaza Strip, demolition of the apartheid wall and the illegally bult Israeli settlements

An end to the threats of war against Iran

NO to NATO and EU interference in the Balkans; withdrawal of their troops; the recognition of "Kosovo" has been null and void from the beginning.

Dissolution of the ad hoc tribunals against Yugoslavia and Rwanda, which violate international law and serve as instruments of NATO propaganda and brainwashing

No to eastward expansion of NATO (Ukraine, Georgia)

Solidarity with the resistance against the USA's plans to install missiles in the Czech Republic and Poland


In nearly all conflicts around the world, the member states of the NATO represent one of the main obstacles to peaceful political solutions. NATO undermines democratic development of nations. It hinders self-determination and thereby destroys the bases for social well-being and ecologically sustainable economies.

After the series of previous wars of aggression against Iraq (1991), Somalia (1992), Yugoslavia (1999), Afghanistan (2001), and Iraq (2003), as well as the series of proxy wars of militias against the DR of Congo (1998), Israel's war against Lebanon (2006), and Georgia's war against Russia (2008), people ask themselves in alarm: What is the next thing we must fear from the USA and its allies? Will the war of occupation in Afghanistan be further intensified? Will Pakistan and India be destabilized? Will Iran be assaulted by terror bombing? Will the independent path chosen by Cuba, Venezuela, and more and more Latin American countries be destroyed by military violence?

In view of the developing global economic crisis, people remember that already during the world economic crisis of the 1930s, imperialism sought a way out by means of armaments and war, which led to the catastrophe of World War II.

The peace movement's answer to NATO policies must correspond to the growing danger. Therefore we appeal to all right-thinking people: let us develop a sustained, comprehensive, determined campaign against NATO. Let us develop coordinated strategies in order to mobilize opposing forces, against NATO policies in all areas and in all spheres.

Let us recognize in good time the acute dangers and let us sound the alarm, in order to win as many people as possible for defensive actions.

Let us expose the purposeful lies about war and let us counteract the brain-washing with information and education.

Let us determinedly promote the goal that individual member nations can withdraw unilaterally from the NATO structures.

Every step that weakens NATO strengthens the forces of peace and progress throughout the whole world. Twenty years after the end of the Warsaw Pact, the disbanding of the NATO pact is long overdue.

***
The EU has been extended in the direction of East and Southest Europe in step with the expansion of NATO. Europe has been split once again by new EU external borders. The EU has been turned into an instrument of a new confrontation with Russia and Belarus. The USA / NATO doctrine of preventive warfare has been taken over within the EU framework. EU "rapid intervention forces" are being built up, in order to intervene militarily anywhere in the world, in coordination with NATO, using the pretext of "humanitarian missions", the "struggle against terrorism", or "crisis management". With the aim of political conquest, control of markets, and the plundering of other countries' natural resources, the collaboration among the EU, the USA, and NATO is being significantly intensified. The EU requires its members to continue their buildup of armaments and militarization. Marching in step with the USA and NATO, and with the mechanisms of the EU, the European governments are pushing through measures in order to restrict democratic rights, eliminate achievements in social welfare, and to expand repressive structures against social movements.

In view of the character of the EU as an imperialist union of European governments, there can be no talk of the EU becoming independent and of freeing itself from the tutelage of the imperialist superpower -- in spite of occasional strong-arm tactics.

Nevertheless, the EU's internal contradictions; the competition of all imperialist powers against each other; setbacks for EU policies; the French, Dutch, and Irish positions of "No to NATO"; objections and disobedience to EU decrees -- all of these factors open up opportunities for the development of new forms of cooperation among the countries of Europe and the former Soviet Union, as well as the Mediterranean, the Arab world, and other continents. Only if the junior partners of the USA and NATO also resist the imperialist EU alliance, and the assumed "European" legitimacy is withdrawn, will the antimilitary struggle against NATO come to full fruition.

***
In the current general crisis, which takes in the spheres of the economy, financial relations, social development, the supply of commodities, and the environment all at the same time, new opportunities emerge alongside new dangers. The politics of neoliberalism has already had to admit that it is fully bankrupt. The USA's hegemony over the planet is being increasingly challenged. The attempt to reorganize the Near and Middle East along neocolonialist lines has come to a dead end, because the forces of national self-determination in the region have fiercely resisted the military machinery of the USA and its allies. In Latin America, new prospects have opened up for socialist national development. New coalitions are being formed among countries such as China, Russia, India, and Brazil, that are pressing toward a new multipolar world. The time is past when capitalism could shout triumphantly about its victory over socialism, about the "end of history". The world has entered upon a period of the upturn of the anti-imperialist struggle for independence, social development, and progress of peoples and nations.

The decisive rejection of the imperialist NATO pact along with its EU auxiliary troops does not signify -- as the financial power elites are spreading the word -- isolation, nationalism, and economic autarchy, but rather winning back full national sovereignty as an elementary prerequisite for a democratic or socialist path to development. A principled "No" to NATO and the EU is indispensable for managing the crisis and creating new forms of international cooperation for the benefit of the majority of working people

FOR A WORLD WITHOUT NATO -- FOR A EUROPE OF THE PEOPLE


Deutscher Freidenker-Verband; Initiativ e.V.; Antiimperialistische Koordination; Vereinigung f?r Internationale Solidarit?t (VIS) e.V.
German Association of Freethinkers; Initiative NGO; Anti-imperialist Coordination; Union for International Solidarity NGO
_____________________________

Video FW: The Children of Palestine: Song of the Magi

Forwarded by Ik-Su Jang



Saturday, January 17, 2009

Video FW: War on Gaza: Surat al-Rahman

'This Friday I have nothing more to say than reading Quran on the innocent souls massacred in Gaza by the terrorist Jewish State:'

Fwd: [nousbases] Open letter to President Obama from concerned citizens in the Japanese archipelago

Fwd: [nousbases] Open letter to President Obama from concerned citizens in the Japanese archipelago

The article fwded by
nousbases, Hikaru Kasahara and Agatha Haun

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
Concerned Japanese citizens send

an open letter to President Obama

"Are you reviewing and changing Bush-Rumsfeld military posture?"


*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
Dear friends of peace in the United States,

January 16, 2009

We, concerned citizens from the Japanese archipelago, are sending an
open letter to Mr. Barak Obama on the occasion of his inauguration as
President of the United States, asking him to clarify whether and how
far he is going to "change" the Bush administration’s military posture
and strategy toward East Asia and the Pacific. More than 100 citizens,
many from peace and other social movement groups, have signed it. More
are signing now. (The open letter is annexed.)

As we state in our letter, we understand that his promise of "change"
is a commitment not only to American citizens but also to people all
over the world who suffered under the Bush administration's destructive
actions. In concrete, we are eager to know whether Mr. Obama will
fundamentally review and retract the Bush-Rumsfeld’s global military
strategy, the so-called Defense Transformation Program, particularly
its East Asia and Pacific version centering on the Japan-U.S. military
alliance.

The U.S. military presence in East Asia and Pacific region has been
drastically reinforced and the Japanese remilitarization accelerated to
serve the purposes of Bush’s global and permanent "war on terror" and
spurring the Japanese rightists' drive to glorify the imperial Japanese
past and revise the pacifist constitution. What has been done in the
past eight years in this respect serves only to destabilize this region
and lead to new arms race among the countries involved. The U.S.-Japan
military buildup program is met by vigorous and sustained protests of
citizens, particularly in areas affected by reinforcement of U.S. bases
such as Okinawa, Iwakuni, Yokosuka, Zama and Yokota. Time is ripe for
the United States to fundamentally review its military posture and
presence in East Asia and the Pacific as well as in the rest of the
world.

We have great respect to the wisdom of U.S. citizens who opted for
change by electing Mr. Obama President. We hope that you will share our
concern, endorse this open letter, and circulate it widely among the
change-aspiring American people who voted for Mr. Obama. Our hope is to
build a bridge of peace and demilitarization across the Pacific so that
a real change will come.

Hikaru Kasahara,


For the steering committee of People's Plan Study Group (PPSG)




:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Contacts for your responses and endorsements


to the open letter to President Obama


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


People’s Plan Study Group (PPSG), Tokyo


Shinseido Bldg.2F, Sekiguchi 1-44-3,


Bunkyoku, Tokyo 112-0014


Tel: +81-3-6424-5748 Fax:+81-3-6424-5749


Email: ppsg@jca.apc.org


URL: http://www.peoples-plan.org/


English Media: http://www.ppjaponesia.org/


.............................................
For details of U.S.-Japan military arrangements made under the Bush
administration,

please refer:

"Japan's Willing Military Annexation by the United States -- 'Alliance
for the Future' and

Grassroots Resistance" (by Muto Ichiyo) http://www.ppjaponesia.org/

"Okinawa Disagree -- A Historic Turning Point in the Struggle for Peace
and Dignity"


(by Yui Akiko) in /Japonesia Review No.2/, December 2006, published by
PPSG

"Okinawa's Resistance Reaches a New Height on Falsification of History
and U.S. Bases"

(by Yui Akiko) in /Japonesia Review No.4/, March 2008, published by
PPSG

"From Okinawa -- Breaking the Imposed Myth: Permanence of U.S. Bases in
Okinawa"

(by Yui Akiko) http://www.ppjaponesia.org/

"People of Yokosuka Resists U.S. Nuclear Carrier" (by Yamaguchi Hibiki)

in /Japonesia Review No.5/, October 2008, published by PPSG

"Rural People Resist U.S. Military Encroachment -- From Takae, Okinawa"

(by Hikaru Kasahara) in /Japonesia Review No.5/, October 2008,
published by PPPSG

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-


An Open Letter to U.S. President Barack Obama


The "Change" You Promised Should Include the Official Dismantling


of the Bush-Rumsfeld Neoconservative Military Strategy


*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

President Barack Obama


The White House

Washington D.C. 20500

January 16, 2009

Dear Mr. President:

First, we would like to extend our congratulations on your election as
President of the United States of America.

The Bush administration, by conducting wars forbidden under
international law, and by taking other unilateralist actions during its
eight years in office, has brought immense suffering to the people of
the world. We welcome your election as President, as you clearly
promised to change what had been done by your predecessor and his
administration. We believe that your call for change won the hearts and
minds of the American people, particularly the young, inspired them
with hope, and rekindled idealism, undoubtedly a great virtue of the
American citizenry, beyond color, gender, class and other differences.
We heartily welcome your victory.

We nevertheless feel it urgent, as residents of the Japanese
archipelago, to remind you, Mr. President, that your promise of
"change" should be a commitment not only to American citizens but also
to people all over the world who suffered under the Bush
administration's destructive unilateralist actions. We, as people who
long to be liberated from the endless war situation created by the Bush
administration, are eager to know how you plan to change the global
military strategy that it formulated and implemented. In particular, we
are carefully watching whether you will dismantle the Bush-Rumsfeld
military strategy, centering on the so-called Defense Transformation
Program, which bears the indelible hallmark of neoconservatism, and
will introduce instead more modest and decent U.S. foreign and defense
policies.

We would like to know whether you intend to embark on a fundamental
review of the U.S. military strategy along this line.

Specifically, as peace loving citizens of the Japanese archipelago, we
expect and request you to bring a fundamental change to the U.S.
military strategy in East Asia and the Pacific region.

Under the Bush administration, Japan has been fully integrated into the
U.S. global military strategy which is dedicated to the goal of U.S.
global domination and serves exclusively the military, political, and
economic interests of the United States as defined by the then neocon
rulers. In other words, the strategy that Japan was integrated into has
nothing to do with Japan's defense or peace in Asia. Through a series
of bilateral arrangements signed from 2005 through 2006, Japan's
Self-Defense Forces, a military force which exists in violation of the
Japanese constitution, were placed directly under the U.S. command as
auxiliary units to serve Bush’s wars, under the plausible slogan of a
"mature alliance." Under the new agreements, the Japanese and U.S.
governments are forcing the construction of new military facilities in
Okinawa, and these attempts are being fiercely contested by local
people. U.S. military bases are also being reinforced in Japanese
mainland cities and towns such as Iwakuni, Yokosuka, Zama and Yokota,
but again, local residents are struggling against these moves. By
pressing Japan's rapid militarization and its incorporation into the
U.S. global strategy, and thus forcing Japan to revise its pacifist
constitution, the U.S. government under President Bush has been
blatantly interfering in Japanese domestic affairs. The U.S. has also
attempted to turn Guam into a huge U.S. military complex as a
cornerstone for the U.S. forces' global strategic deployment, using
Japanese tax money.

The military arrangement thus introduced by the Bush administration is
counterproductive, as it not only will fail to bring about peace and
security to Asia and the Pacific region, but may lead to an aggravated
arms race with China and usher in a new Cold War situation in Asia.

We therefore request that you seriously consider and adopt the concrete
proposals articulated below. We believe that the "change" you promised
will not be substantiated unless these are met.

1. Fundamentally review and abolish the bilateral arrangement
contained in the "U.S.-Japan Alliance: Transformation and Realignment
for the Future" agreed on October 29, 2005 and the related subsequent
military arrangements between the U.S. and Japan, and freeze the
ongoing construction of military facilities and the transformation of
military forces based on the arrangements.

2. Review and stop the expansion of military facilities in Okinawa
and review the presence of U.S. forces in Okinawa with a view to
eventually withdrawing them completely.

3. Abandon the plan for the construction of new U.S. military bases
in Guam.

4. Cease to demand or pressure Japan to revise Article 9 of its
constitution. Opt for regional multilateral arrangements for peace in
Northeast Asia in the perspective of the withdrawal of the U.S. forces
and Japan's demilitarization and promote a Northeast Asia Nuclear-Free
Zone as a first step.

We eagerly await your response to the above proposals.

Sincerely,


igned by:

Hokkaido Peace Network

Kansai District Collective Action Network

Study Group on the United Nation and Japanese Constitution

Forum for Human Rights, Justice and Solidarity for Peace

Solidarity with Anti-War Military Personnel

Buddhists No War Group, Fukuoka

Group to Substantiate the Fukuoka Court Ruling on Unconstitutionality
of Prime Ministers' visits to Yasukuni Shrine

Action Committee against US-Japan Security Pact

No! to Nukes and Missile Defense Campaign

EcPeaceClub


SPACE ALLIES


Asian Pace Alliance (APA) Japan

People’s Plan Study Group (PPSG)

Myoukei Nakata, Kentaro Nakata, Tsuneo Takeichi, Megumi Ishibashi,
Kenji Kunitomi, Kitarou Wada, , Kazuhiro Nishii, Hideaki Nishiya,
Hidenori Ao, Hideyuki Kuroda, Makoto Sakai, Sachiko Kunimitsu, Shizue
Hirota, Teramachi Ayumu, Kolin Kobayashi, Shigeki Konno, Yoshikazu
Makishi, Hiroshi Kajino, Mitsumasa Ohta, Naoya Arakawa, Yoko Yamaguchi,
Yumi Honda, Takashi Ozawa, Fumitaka Miyahara, Makiko Sato, Kaori
Suzuki, Koichi Bessho, Asita mo hare - Seiko Ohki, Sachiko Taba, Yukio
Kurihara, Masahide Tsuruta, Shutaro Hosono, Yuuko Nakamura, Akiko
Inari, Hiroko Taguti, Kiyokazu Koshida, Yukinobu Aoyagi, Yuko Inoue,
Mitsue Sugiyama, Hideaki Kuno, Kenji Ago, Kazumasa Igata, Kazuhiro
Katou, Tomoko Miyahara, Takao Watahiki, Yuko Inui, Hisashi Senba,
Mutsuo Usami, Setsuko Usami, Yumi Kikuchi, Kamiya Fusako, Takako
Morimoto, Hiroshi Yoshikawa, Akemi Ishii, Yasuo Kuwano, Kouitirou
Toyosima, Yuuichi Aoki, Kenichi Hanamura, Keiko Tanaka, Marie Nakajima,
Kimio Oda, Takashi Sano, Hatuko Sano, Tetsuo Matumura, Morioka shingo,
Tosiko Kamakura, Toshimasa Sakakura, Keiko Doi, Yasushi Furuya , Keiko
Kimura, Masao Kimura, Rosan Daido, Yuzuru Nakazawa, Mieko Iwasaki,
Toshiaki Ikeo, Shiro Saka, Kiyoshi Owa, Isamu Nagano, Junko Yamaguchi,
Koji Sugihara, Terumi Terao, Noriko Kyogoku, Yasue Tanaka, Ayako
Nakanishi, Shu-ichi Satoh, Hikaru Kanesaki, Seiko Miyake, Junko Okura,
Sojun Taira (as of January 13, 2009)

Video FWd: Two Song Videos for the Gaza

1. Greek Songs for Gaza





2. Requiem for Palestine (from Hungary)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Video Forward: A Soundless Sound

A Soundless Sound: Korean's silent protest against the Israeli Killing of the people in Gaza



'As a protest against the Israeli massacre of the Palestinians in the Gaza, several peace activist groups did a silent protest in front of the Israel embassy, Seoul, Korea on Jan. 16, 2009. The audio was intentionally eased in this video.'

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Video and article Fwd: Message from Gaza

A Scene Of Devastation: Video Report From Inside Gaza
Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin reports on the public who are struggling to cope under the bombardment in Gaza.
Posted January 12, 2009





Gaza is Sinking in a River of Blood:A Message from a Gazan to the World
By Mohammed Fares Al Majdalawi, January 12, 2009 "
Commondreams"

"I invite you to come to Gaza and see the Holocaust. Because despite the siege, the barriers, the killing of my people and homes, and the total destruction of our lives by the Israeli occupation, they can not and will not kill the will of our people for equality and justice."

Read whole

Monday, January 12, 2009

Video & Article Fwd: More on world protests against massacre on Gaza

1. Jews protest against Israel and Zionism.



Souce from Sabbah blog


2. Ten of Thousands in Istanbul protest against Israel(Istanbul)




3. Palestinians in Damascus protest against Israeli strikes on Gaza(Damascus)





Worldwide protests in solidarity with the Palestinian people: Jan. 1-5, 2009 (From International Action Center Website)

The following is a summary of actions in solidarity with the Palestinian people of Gaza, concentrating on those that took place between Jan. 1 and Jan. 4, 2009. By Jan. 4 this included some emergency protests of the Israeli invasion of the Gaza strip.

: Africa and Asia, Oceania, Latin America, Europe, North America

Read whole:

VideoFWd: "Stop Killing" from Tel Aviv, London, Washington DC, New York

1. Israeli soldiers refuse to serve in Gaza(Tel Aviv)

Video information:
Non Violence, Czech Republic Website(11.1.2009)
VIDEO: Israeli soldiers refuse to serve in Gaza




2. Thousands of Israelis protest against the war in Gaza(Tel Aviv)





3. Denouncement of attack on Palestine(London)





4. Bill Moyers Journal Covers March of the Dead and Peace Protesters Arrested on Capitol Hill (Washington DC)





Related blog:
Space4Peace(Organizaing Notes), CONGRESS GETS THE BALL NOW (Jan. 08, 09)
Space4Peace(Organizaing Notes), REPORTS ON DC PROTEST(Jan. 11, 09)


5. GazaGazaDontuCry(City of New York)




Related web
Many Thousands March for Gaza -- as Invasion Begins:
Largest protest in support of Palestinians ever in NYC

Friday, January 9, 2009

Video FW: More children among Gaza dead


More children among Gaza dead



Al Jazeera Video Report From Gaza - Broadcast January 06, 2009

'Palestinian children are increasingly among the dead as the Gaza death toll continues to rise.

One man has lost his entire family - including children, wife, parents and cousins - after a single attack.

Mohammed Vall reports.'
(Souce: Information Clearing House)


* Related blog *

_Sabbah blog( a Palestinian activist)
_Palestinian Mothers
_Bruce Gagnon' blog(Organizing Notes)

Videos Fwd: Two heroes in the Middle East

I wanted to share these videos. Thanks very much for those who let us know the videos.

1. Israel Soldier-Palestine Girl




"A Korean television broadcast this amazing video of a Palestinian girl confronting some terrorist of the Jewish State.

Huwaida Arraf, a Detroiter married to Adam Shapiro, a University of Michigan Poli Sci graduate, and a founder of International Solidarity Movement, a non-violent activist organization confronting Israeli terrorists. They are trying to fire at demonstrating Palestinian children and youth:" (source from Sabbah blog)


The video was informed in the Sabbah blog, Bruce Gagnon's blog and also forwarded by Wilbert van der Zeijden to No US Bases, and Agatha Haun

2. President George Bush Shoe Toss Thrown by Iraq Journalist Lolz





The video was informed in Oversmilers' blog, a young Korean woman activist in the Center for Peace and Disarmament, People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy(PSPD)

Fwd: Ex-Prostitutes Say South Korea and U.S. Enabled Sex Trade Near Bases



*Image credit/ source and caption*

Jean Chung for the International Herald Tribune, in the article below.
(1)
'Bae at 29. Now 80, she lives on welfare and uses an oxygen machine.'
(2)'Bae worked as a prostitute near an American military base in South Korea, an activity that American and Korean authorities permitted, some Koreans say.'


Now, a group of former prostitutes in South Korea have accused some of their country’s former leaders of a different kind of abuse: encouraging them to have sex with the American soldiers who protected South Korea from North Korea. They also accuse past South Korean governments, and the United States military, of taking a direct hand in the sex trade from the 1960s through the 1980s, working together to build a testing and treatment system to ensure that prostitutes were disease-free for American troops.

While the women have made no claims that they were coerced into prostitution by South Korean or American officials during those years, they accuse successive Korean governments of hypocrisy in calling for reparations from Japan while refusing to take a hard look at South Korea’s own history.

“Our government was one big pimp for the U.S. military,” one of the women, Kim Ae-ran, 58, said in a recent interview.

Scholars on the issue say that the South Korean government was motivated in part by fears that the American military would leave, and that it wanted to do whatever it could to prevent that.

But the women suggest that the government also viewed them as commodities to be used to shore up the country’s struggling economy in the decades after the Korean War. They say the government not only sponsored classes for them in basic English and etiquette — meant to help them sell themselves more effectively — but also sent bureaucrats to praise them for earning dollars when South Korea was desperate for foreign currency.

“They urged us to sell as much as possible to the G.I.’s, praising us as ‘dollar-earning patriots,’ ” Ms. Kim said.

The United States military, the scholars say, became involved in attempts to regulate the trade in so-called camp towns surrounding the bases because of worries about sexually transmitted diseases.

In one of the most incendiary claims, some women say that the American military police and South Korean officials regularly raided clubs from the 1960s through the 1980s looking for women who were thought to be spreading the diseases. They picked out the women using the number tags the women say the brothels forced them to wear so the soldiers could more easily identify their sex partners.

The Korean police would then detain the prostitutes who were thought to be ill, the women said, locking them up under guard in so-called monkey houses, where the windows had bars. There, the prostitutes were forced to take medications until they were well.

The women, who are seeking compensation and an apology, have compared themselves to the so-called comfort women who have won widespread public sympathy for being forced into prostitution by the Japanese during World War II. Whether prostitutes by choice, need or coercion, the women say, they were all victims of government policies.

“If the question is, was there active government complicity, support of such camp town prostitution, yes, by both the Korean governments and the U.S. military,” said Katharine H. S. Moon, a scholar who wrote about the women in her 1997 book, “Sex Among Allies.”

The South Korean Ministry of Gender Equality, which handles women’s issues, declined to comment on the former prostitutes’ accusations. So did the American military command in Seoul, which responded with a general statement saying that the military “does not condone or support the illegal activities of human trafficking and prostitution.”

The New York Times interviewed eight women who worked in brothels near American bases, and it reviewed South Korean and American documents. The documents do provide some support for many of the women’s claims, though most are snapshots in time. The women maintain that the practices occurred over decades.

In some sense, the women’s allegations are not surprising. It has been clear for decades that South Korea and the United States military tolerated prostitution near bases, even though selling sex is illegal in South Korea. Bars and brothels have long lined the streets of the neighborhoods surrounding American bases in South Korea, as is the case in the areas around military bases around the world.

But the women say few of their fellow citizens know how deeply their government was involved in the trade in the camp towns.

The women received some support for their claims in 2006, from a former government official. In a television interview, the official, Kim Kee-joe, who was identified as having been a high-level liaison to the United States military, said, “Although we did not actively urge them to engage in prostitution, we, especially those from the county offices, did often tell them that it was not something bad for the country either.”

Transcripts of parliamentary hearings also suggest that at least some South Korean leaders viewed prostitution as something of a necessity. In one exchange in 1960, two lawmakers urged the government to train a supply of prostitutes to meet what one called the “natural needs” of allied soldiers and prevent them from spending their dollars in Japan instead of South Korea. The deputy home minister at the time, Lee Sung-woo, replied that the government had made some improvements in the “supply of prostitutes” and the “recreational system” for American troops.

Both Mr. Kim and Ms. Moon back the women’s assertions that the control of venereal disease was a driving factor for the two governments. They say the governments’ coordination became especially pronounced as Korean fears about an American pullout increased after President Richard M. Nixon announced plans in 1969 to reduce the number of American troops in South Korea.

“The idea was to create an environment where the guests were treated well in the camp towns to discourage them from leaving,” Mr. Kim said in the television interview.

Ms. Moon, a Wellesley College professor, said that the minutes of meetings between American military officials and Korean bureaucrats in the 1970s showed the lengths the two countries went to prevent epidemics. The minutes included recommendations to “isolate” women who were sick and ensure that they received treatment, government efforts to register prostitutes and require them to carry medical certification and a 1976 report about joint raids to apprehend prostitutes who were unregistered or failed to attend medical checkups.

These days, camp towns still exist, but as the Korean economy took off, women from the Philippines began replacing them.

Many former prostitutes live in the camp towns, isolated from mainstream society, which shuns them. Most are poor. Some are haunted by the memories of the mixed-race children they put up for adoption overseas.

Jeon, 71, who agreed to talk only if she was identified by just her surname, said she was an 18-year-old war orphan in 1956 when hunger drove her to Dongduchon, a camp town near the border with North Korea. She had a son in the 1960s, but she became convinced that he would have a better future in the United States and gave him up for adoption when he was 13.

About 10 years ago, her son, now an American soldier, returned to visit. She told him to forget her.

“I failed as a mother,” said Ms. Jeon, who lives on welfare checks and the little cash she earns selling items she picks from other people’s trash. “I have no right to depend on him now.”

“The more I think about my life, the more I think women like me were the biggest sacrifice for my country’s alliance with the Americans,” she said. “Looking back, I think my body was not mine, but the government’s and the U.S. military’s.”


* The article was also appeared in the Korea Report blog.

*For more reference regarding the crimes of the USFK*


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Koreans Cry for Palestine









*Image credit/source and caption*

(1) Photo by Lee Jong-geun/The Hankyoreh, Hankyoreh article, Jan.6, 2009
(2) 'Yonhap News’ photo from Nanum Munwha(meaning Sharing Culture) website
(3) Nanum Munwha website
(4) Poster for the Jan.6 Candle light vigil from the Korean Migrant Workers Human Rights Center website
(5) Save Palestine petition from Nanum Munwha website
(6) ‘No Starbucks’ from Save Nature(Green Monkey Blog)


A Follow-Up from the former blog.

Following the Dec. 30 and Jan. 5 protest in front of the Israeli embassy, about 300 citizens and activists from about 20 organizations had again the candle light vigil, solidarity with the Palestine on Jan. 6, 2009. The organizations included All Together, Center for Peace and Disarmament of the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy(PSPD), Civil Solidarity for Human Rights Practice(?), Democratic Labor Party, Friends of Asia, Frontiers, Imagination for International Solidarity(You can see the joint English statement on Dec. 30, 2008, here), International Solidarity for Democracy(?), Intifada Korea, Jinbo Korea, Lawyers for a Democratic Society, Migrant Trade Union, Nanum Munhwa, New Jinbo Party, Palestine Peace Solidarity, Peace Network, Power of Working Class, People’s Solidarity for Social Progress, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, Korean Federation of Medical Groups for Health Rights, and the Socialist Party.



* Protest in the NY


* ONE MUST SEE THESE TWO(International Fwd)

_Sabbah blog(a Palestein activist blog)

_
Cluster bombs, DU, and White Phosphorus being used by Israel in Gaza
( Fwd from Stop Okupacji, Agatha Haun and No US Bases)