Action Alert: US Military Expansion v. Marine Mammals
April 2, 2005
Terao Terumi / Greenpeace
The US military wants to build a naval base on a coral reef where endangered dugongs are in residence but, for more than 300 days, scores of protestors have been sitting on drilling platform #4 to block construction workers gathered at the US Marine Corp base at Henoko, Okinawa. The workers want to drill the first of 64 holes into the life-sustaining coral reef.
(March 31, 2005) — It is 8:30am and I, along with 30 activists, have been sitting on drilling platform #4 for an hour and a half. We can see workers gathering at the US Marine Corp base at Henoko, Okinawa. They are about to come out and try to drill the first of 64 holes into the life-sustaining coral reef.
But for the 300th consecutive day, we are not going to let them. http://prefs.greenpeace.org/maillinks/clicks/5956.1486153.287454
Though this is my tenth day on the platform, I still feel like a rookie. Many of the people have been occupying one of the four platforms since the protests moved to the platforms in November. That was when local residents decided that if they did not directly intervene, the reef would be destroyed forever, crushed under the weight of an entire American air base.
With me is an 84-year-old local man who said, "We know for sure, that building the airbase is not the right thing to do. There are plenty of sea creatures that are supporting our life here. Once the base is built, there will be no future for our children."
Although the agreement to construct the airbase was signed in 1996, local opposition has been so strong that construction was not started until late 2004. Approval for the base was forced through despite local people voting overwhelmingly to reject the base in 1997.
We have joined the local protesters in their effort to save Henoko Bay and protect the dugongs' fragile ecosystem. Our ship, Rainbow Warrior, is in Okinawa to shine a spotlight on these courageous activists, who are determined to protect their coral reef, and the creatures that depend on it.
But we cannot save the dugong alone — we need you to take action, and support these courageous local people by sending a green ribbon to the Rainbow Warrior.
• Click the following link to write letters to protest the military bases: