July 31, 2014 — American and Japanese conservation groups today asked a U.S. federal court to halt construction of a U.S. military airstrip in Okinawa, Japan that would pave over some of the last remaining habitat for endangered Okinawa dugongs, ancient cultural icons for the Okinawan people. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, is the latest in a long-running controversy over the expansion of a U.S. Marine air base at Okinawa’s Henoko Bay. Preliminary construction on the base began earlier this year.
Dugongs are gentle marine mammals related to manatees that have long been revered by native Okinawans, even celebrated as “sirens” that bring friendly warnings of tsunamis. The dugong is listed as an object of national cultural significance under Japan’s Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties, the equivalent of the U.S. National Historic Protection Act. Under this act and international law, the United States must take into account the effect of its actions and avoid or mitigate any harm to places or things of cultural significance to another country.
Fwd: [June 10 to 18] Soft corals seriously damaged in two years in violation of the EIA: The Jeju naval base construction should be immediately stopped!
Lots of things to tell.. but a rough summary translation for now..
On June 18, the widely reported in Korean media was the result of the international workshop to investigate on the impact on Jeju sea soft corals caused by the naval base construction, which was a follow-up of the ‘International Symposium on the Conservation of Soft Corals in Asia-Pacific: Impact of Military Bases on Soft Coral Communities,’ National Assembly seminar hall, Seoul, June 10.
The whole workshop and site investigation (June 11 to 13) was organized by the Gangjeong Village Association, Jeju Pan-Island Committee for Stop of Military Base and for Realization of Peace, National Network of Korean Civil Society for Opposing to the Naval Base in Jeju Island, and Office of Jang Hana, National Assembly Woman .
The task force team on the monitoring of the soft corals in the Jeju naval base construction area included Dr. James E. Maragos, U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, a member of the soft coral expert group, IUCN; Dr. Simon Ellis, Marine and Environmental Research Institute of Pohnpei; Dr. Abe Mariko, The Nature Conservation Society of Japan; Office of Jang Hana; Green Korea United; PSPD (People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy); Gangjeong Village Association; and specialist divers.
The team pointed out above all that the navy’s post-environmental impact assessment has been conducted in the wrong sites.
The ROK navy has assessed in its ‘post environmental impact assessment result report,’ that there is ‘no impact due to naval base [construction] in the numbers of soft coral species, density of floating stuffs, and change of current etc., since the 2009 EIA and its following period of post-EIA (2011 to the current)
The team, however, pointed out that the navy’s ‘post-EIA result report shows the navy has not processed on the monitoring on soft corals and measuring on current & floating material in the areas of the Gangjeong lighthouse and Seogeon Island, which are located within the 4~500 m or there about from the [currently built] naval base breakwaters and within the direct impact zones due to the naval base construction.
The team reported from their own investigation that ‘in the areas directly impacted by the naval base construction, a symptom of the maritime environment change that seriously threatens the soft coral habitats is found.’ According to them, the changed environment is VERY SERIOUSLY WORRISOME, compared to the period in Aug. 2012 when the maritime construction has not been taken in earnest, yet.
Simon Elise who has monitored the same areas, visiting Jeju in 2012, pointed out that ‘the expansion and the increment of the sediments that are filed up on soft corals interrupt their feeding activities. Not only that, it seems that the ROK navy is not properly carrying out its role enough even though management on the sediments is necessary because they are the threatening element for their poison effect.’ (* translation from Korean media)
.According to the team, the current in those areas has weaken like a lake [even though the monitoring was carried out in the period when the current is the strongest] The experts say that the weakened currents bring concern about the coral ecology as soft corals have habits to take feeding activities by expanding themselves when current is strong.
Following the monitoring, Yoon Sang-Hoon, Green Korea United claimed:
“The species that are protected by law is in crisis. We demand the stop of construction(destruction) and accurate investigation above all..
Shin Yong-In, a law professor of the Jeju University reminds that the naval base construction is processed with conditions attached:
“Shouldn’t the construction(destruction) be stopped and re-examined when natural memorial is damaged? Isn’t the reason why the Ministry of Environment and Cultural Heritage of Administration of Korea exist? Just for the pretext that the naval base is a national security project, the rest problem has been indulged. If you look at the current EIA, there should be no damage on soft corals.”
Image 1, 2: Before (2012) and AFTER (2014): Serious damage has occurred in soft corals in the directly impacted areas due to the Jeju naval-base construction. Source provided by people’s team by the result of monitoring from June 11 to 13, 2014
Image 3: The sites that people monitored this time. A is the area of a light house and B is the area of the Seogeon Island.
Image 4: The wrong sites the ROK navy has conducted monitoring. Compare it from Image 3
For the collection of Korean articles, see
The Hulk ain’t never lied.
I can’t even express how much respect I have for Mark Ruffalo. The dude’s on the US terrorism watchlist for fuck’s sake.
Omg, it’s true.
He was put on the terrorist watch list for backing a documentary that shits all over capitalism and corporate greed and is pro environment?? Like this one guy set his fucking WATER on fire - that’s some Jesus stuff but nah son this flammable water is coming out of this guys tap and his family and neighbors drink it and the doccumentary is speaking against fracking but? AND MARK WAS PUT ON THE TERRORIST LIST FOR SUPPORTING THIS DOCUMENTARY I MEAN ‘MURICA tho.
Love u mark.
Nafeez Ahmed: Social science is being militarised to develop ‘operational tools’ to target peaceful activists and protest movements
Last year, the DoD’s Minerva Initiative funded a project to determine 'Who Does Not Become a Terrorist, and Why?' which, however, conflates peaceful activists with “supporters of political violence” who are different from terrorists only in that they do not embark on “armed militancy” themselves. The project explicitly sets out to study non-violent activists:
"In every context we find many individuals who share the demographic, family, cultural, and/or socioeconomic background of those who decided to engage in terrorism, and yet refrained themselves from taking up armed militancy, even though they were sympathetic to the end goals of armed groups. The field of terrorism studies has not, until recently, attempted to look at this control group. This project is not about terrorists, but about supporters of political violence.”
The project’s 14 case studies each “involve extensive interviews with ten or more activists and militants in parties and NGOs who, though sympathetic to radical causes, have chosen a path of non-violence.”
I contacted the project’s principal investigator, Prof Maria Rasmussen of the US Naval Postgraduate School, asking why non-violent activists working for NGOs should be equated to supporters of political violence – and which “parties and NGOs” were being investigated – but received no response.
She went on to criticize the structural flaws in media coverage of US wars, stating:
“One clue to this disjunction lay in the public affairs reports. Near the top of each briefing was the number of embedded journalists attached to American military units in a combat zone. Throughout my deployment, I never saw that tally go above 12. In other words, in all of Iraq, which contained 31 million people and 117,000 United States troops, no more than a dozen American journalists were covering military operations.
The process of limiting press access to a conflict begins when a reporter applies for embed status. All reporters are carefully vetted by military public affairs officials. This system is far from unbiased. Unsurprisingly, reporters who have established relationships with the military are more likely to be granted access.
Less well known is that journalists whom military contractors rate as likely to produce “favorable” coverage, based on their past reporting, also get preference. This outsourced “favorability” rating assigned to each applicant is used to screen out those judged likely to produce critical coverage.
Reporters who succeeded in obtaining embed status in Iraq were then required to sign a media “ground rules” agreement. Army public affairs officials said this was to protect operational security, but it also allowed them to terminate a reporter’s embed without appeal.
There have been numerous cases of reporters’ having their access terminated following controversial reporting. In 2010, the late Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings had his access pulled after reporting criticism of the Obama administration by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and his staff in Afghanistan. A Pentagon spokesman said, “Embeds are a privilege, not a right.”
If a reporter’s embed status is terminated, typically she or he is blacklisted.”
Antiwar activists carry rocks up a hill and pile them in formations to block construction of a U.S. naval base on South Korea’s JeJu Island, only to have them removed again by authorities.
From photo series, “Repeatedly Destroyed, but Continuously Constructed Art” by Emily Wang, Sung-hee Choi
100% wrong, never in doubt.