Veterans especially are very aware of the tragic and dangerous situation now happening on Jeju Island in South Korea. The Navy has begun blasting the rocks in Gangjeong village. People have flocked there from all over and more than 100 people occupied the highways, chaining themselves to cars and trucks, in order to obstruct the Navy and Samsung (lead contractor).
It is urgent that more international people go to Jeju ASAP. This is a critical request to help raise funds to send four members from Veterans For Peace in the United States to the village immediately.
Three of the four VFP members who will travel to Jeju are:
- Tarak Kauff (New York), former paratrooper, lifetime member and organizer with Veterans For Peace, who initiated with others the Veterans Peace Team, designed to stand in opposition to state violence alongside nonviolent people exercising their right to address grievances.
“When I read Bruce's Gagnon's account of Gangjelong Village my heart went out to these brave villagers and I felt immediately that this was a place the Veterans Peace Team needed to be. Our statement of purpose says, 'We also stand in solidarity with . . . all peoples worldwide, who are standing up courageously, leading and often dying in the struggle for equality and justice as they are exposed to massive state run police and military violence.' It was important to live up to these words."—Tarak Kauff
- Elliott Adams (New York), past president of Veterans For Peace and a member of Veterans Peace Team. He served in the infantry as a paratrooper in Vietnam, Japan, Korea, and Alaska. He has spent 15 years in local elected public office. Now he is dedicating his life to stopping war.
"The United States has been an occupying force in Korea since WWII and as a U.S. military veteran who served there I feel a special obligation to stand with these brave people resisting a U.S.-imposed doctrine of militarization."—Elliott Adams
In a letter to the South Korean Embassy, S. Brian Willson
, who has been to Korea 8 times, wrote,
"As a former US military officer who participated in our illegal war against the Vietnamese people, I am outraged over the decision of the South Korean government, under relentless pressure from the United States government, to contract with Daelim and Samsung Engineering Construction companies to build a Navy base at Gangjeong Village on Jeju Island (Island of Peace). This decision goes against the expressed wishes of the citizens of Gangjeong. Korea represents itself as a democratic republic that upholds human rights of its citizens. How can this be? The stated purpose is to create a deep water port for additional Korean Aegis Destroyers ($1 billion each), and porting new U.S. Aegis Destroyers. This mentality toward ever more war and militarization creates insecurity, not security! And that you consent to such tyrannical U.S. pressure is shameful!
"I am aware of the horrendous massacre in 1948 of at least 30,000 Jeju villagers by Syngman Rhee's ruthless death squads, under the direction and oversight of U.S. ground advisers and U.S. air support. The continued influence of the U.S. in South Korean affairs, including the obstruction of a permanent peace treaty with North Korea, perpetuates a mentality of hatred, motivated by immense profits for the military industrial complex while threatening peace for both Korean people, and the rest of us."
Sending international peace workers to Jeju Island at this time signals that the global peace movement clearly understands the strategic nature of this local struggle. Obama's announced "pivot" toward the Asia-Pacific means a virtual doubling of U.S. military operations in that region—thus the Navy needs more ports-of-call near China's coast. In this case Gangjeong village is only 300 miles away.
Jeju Island is an early spark in the coming dangerous and expensive super-power confrontation between the ever-expanding U.S.-NATO military empire and China. The intent is to "contain and control" China and fully submerge that nation under corporate globalization. Our coordinated international peace response to these moves on the grand chessboard is timely and crucial. You can make a real-time secure credit card donation online by going to the Global Network's website and using the Green Donate Now
button at www.space4peace.org
Or you can send us a check in the mail at our post office box (see address below). If you send via snail mail please send us an email today letting us know how much you are pledging so we can better make preparations.
We are truly grateful for your support from Veterans For Peace and the Veterans Peace Team. They will represent all of us who so badly wish we could be there as well at this time. Please help make it possible.
Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
Bruce Gagnon (Maine): serves as Secretary/Coordinator of the GN. He has been working on space issues for the past 25 years and helped create the GN in 1992. His book, Come Together Right Now: Organizing Stories from a Fading Empire, was republished in 2008. For 15 years he coordinated the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice. He was trained as an organizer by the United Farmworkers Union and is also a member of Veterans for Peace