“Stop the Ramstein Air Base” protests, 24 June – 1 July; German citizens preparing to block U.S. main base at Kaiserslautern

From Fort Russ

By Tom Winter
May 25, 2018

Translated from a German commentary by Klaus Hartmann

Again this year, the campaign “Stop the Ramstein Air Base” aims to expose the threat of war that emanates from this US military base at Kaiserslautern.

The Ramstein Air Base plays the central role in NATO warfare and all the covert and open aggression that the United States has in the Middle East. Whether drones to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen, arms supply for the terrorists in Syria, the threat of war against Iran – nothing works without Ramstein. From here, from German soil, war is going out!

Surely the drone war out of Ramstein as a way station is superficially in the focus of public attention. This is also very justified, because this permanent murder without declaration of war and without court sentences is barbaric and scandalous. However, it should not be forgotten that the overall threat caused by the Air Base is many times greater.

In recent years and months, NATO has stationed a chain of new headquarters and weapons depots, battalions, and “spearheads” along the Russian border. NATO tanks are rolling through Germany to the “Eastern Front,” as the German media write without restraint, without inhibitions or scruples. With the Allied Air Command, the command center of a war against Russia lies in the US Ramstein Air Base.

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Executive orders and airport protests: Trump clashes with the CIA

A person who was at one of these airports when protesters began arriving, interacted with a number of them and asked what they were protesting. They replied, “Immigration”. When further questioned, “What about immigration are you protesting?”, they didn’t know.
The section on the airport protests below is particularly important.
Global Research, February 07, 2017
New Eastern Outlook 6 February 2017

Trump signed an executive order. Airports filled up with protesters. The media screamed about a Muslim ban. Federal Judges intervened. Anger and chaos erupted.

What is actually going on? The answers from both sides of the political spectrum are loaded with emotion and lacking truthful content.

“Trump is trying to protect us from terrorists! He’s keeping the Muslims out of our country!” shout Trump’s defenders. Well, no terrorist attack on US soil has ever been carried out by anyone from the 7 countries restricted. The countries that have been linked to recent terrorist attacks, such as Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, are not included.

“Trump is a racist! He’s banning Muslims! We can’t block people because of their religion!” Scream the liberal protesters. Well, many Muslim majority countries such as Turkey and Indonesia are not included in the ban. Furthermore, the ban applies to all people from these countries, not just Muslims. The Syrian Arab Republic, for example, is home to many Christians, Druze, and even a small Jewish community. The Islamic Republic of Iran has a large population of Armenian Christians, Jews, and many adherents to an ancient faith called Zoroastrianism. All of these non-Muslims are also subject to the ban.

One contributing factor to the outburst of rage is the crass, sudden, “slap in the face” nature of the executive order. Until the administration backed down, even green-card holding permanent residents were being turned away at airports, something that definitely caused anguish and panic among many people.

Calling It A “Muslim Ban” – Good for Trump & the Democrats

Throughout his Presidential election campaign, Trump repeatedly appealed to contempt and distrust of those who practice Islam. He talked about “banning Muslims” from entering the USA. His speech to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee included a lot of pandering to Anti-Islamic sentiments. Millions of working class people in rural and suburban areas voted for Trump, because of these very statements. In the aftermath of 9/11 many Americans have come to see all adherents of the Islamic faith as a single scary, foreign, violent group.

The idea that Trump would enact a “Muslim ban” is something that will increase, not decrease his credibility to millions of the middle aged right-wing working class whites who voted for him in rustbelt and southern states. It plays into Trump’s well crafted image as a bold defender of the common man, who is not politically correct, and unafraid of being scorned by elitist urban liberals.

However, as much as it would please his right-wing, anti-Islamic base, and as much as his opponents proclaim it in condemnation, the reality is that Trump has not enacted a Muslim ban. Donald Trump has temporarily suspended entrance to the United States from seven countries: Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Sudan. Now the US public is having a heated argument about a “Muslim Ban.” Opponents call it bigoted, supporters call it bold, and neither side acknowledges reality.

Observers of American politics should be reminded of the healthcare debate in the early years of the Obama administration. The Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare” was not universal healthcare or socialized medicine, and did very little to change the country’s private healthcare system. However, the right-wing rallied against it, proclaiming it was socialism, and the left rallied in its defense, employing socialistic rhetoric. Both sides of the American political spectrum clashed with each other, accepting a similar fictional narrative about the Affordable Care Act.

The Non-Spontaneous Airport Protests

After this sudden action, much like the healthcare debate, “the gloves have come off.” In 2009, Tea Partiers responded to the Affordable Care Act by displaying firearms at townhall meetings and engaging in other acts of protest that are normally considered “out of bounds.” In response to Trump, the Democratic Party apparatus mobilized its supporters to protest inside of airports. The demonstrations were mobilized very rapidly, and got intense with people being arrested, and maced with pepper spray at various locations.

Those who pretend that the protests were completely random, unplanned, or spontaneous are completely delusional. Airports are among the most free speech restricted locations in the country. While decades ago it was permitted to pass out political leaflets or petition at airports, courts long ago forbid such things. Under normal circumstances it is illegal, not only to engage in protest or “public disturbance” at an airport, but even to video record inside one.

Yet, without any widespread public announcement or organizing, thousands of Democratic Party activists flooded into airports for some rather rowdy protests. Under normal circumstances doing such things would result in immediate arrest and perhaps even terrorism charges. Not only did the police not arrest the initial protesters, but they allowed the demonstrations to grow bigger and bigger. Though videotaping is not permitted in airports, live streaming videos found their way on to social media, and TV news cameras conveniently found their way in as well.

In many countries when the elected government is toppled by the military, one of the first actions taken is seizing the airports. One could even read into the sudden mobilizations, clearly supported by some of the most powerful people in Democratic Party, a veiled threat of a military coup d’etat.

The CIA Strikes Back

But why was there such a swift response to Trump’s action? Why did the Democratic Party unleash its forces so rapidly in response to Trump’s move? Are the Democrats like Hillary Clinton, who tweeted in support of the protests, simply humanitarians who hold deep compassion for immigrants?

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100’s of U.S. tanks, heavy equipment flow into Europe to ‘counter Russian aggression’; not enough Americans are protesting

From RT

January 6, 2017

100’s of US tanks, heavy equipment flow into Europe to counter ‘Russian aggression’
Thousands of US and German troops, along with tanks and equipment, are being sent to Poland and countries bordering Russia, purportedly in “defense against Russian aggression,” author and journalist David Swanson told RT.

Europe is preparing to counter a perceived ‘Russian military threat.’ NATO countries in the East of the continent are awaiting the arrival of thousands of American soldiers as a part of a US-led battle group. The troops will be stationed along the Russian border from Estonia to Bulgaria.

However, ships carrying the first batch of troops were greeted in a German port by signs reading “Army Go Home.”

Scores of protesters marched through Bremerhaven, urging an end to the Alliance’s saber rattling…

In an interview with RT aired January 9, author and journalist David Swanson said

“…members of the Department of so-called Defense in Washington DC are almost openly talking to the media about profit being the motive for stirring up hostility with Russia. But this sending of thousands of troops – US and German – to Poland and countries on Russia’s border along with tanks and equipment – this is being done in the name of “defense against Russian aggression.” So unless you’re [the Pentagon] able to pretend there has been Russian aggression, you’re  not  going to be able to continue this; all this aggression has to be ‘defensive’. If Russia says otherwise, then what Russia is saying must be fake news.”

…you have serious protests in Germany by those who want peace [and are] against sending Germans or Americans from Germany eastward, as they should. There are not enough of us in the US similarly protesting.”
Hundreds of American tanks, trucks and other military equipment have arrived at the German port of Bremerhaven to be transferred to Eastern Europe as part of NATO’s buildup near Russia’s borders.

The Resolve cargo ship arrived on Wednesday, while two more vessels – Freedom and Endurance – are expected in Germany on Sunday, Deutsche Welle reported. The unloading of the ships began on Friday, with the heavy equipment to be transported to Poland via rail and road.

The US plans to deliverer a total of 87 Abrams M1A1 tanks, 20 Paladin artillery vehicles and 136 Bradley fighting vehicles to Eastern Europe, according to Reuters.  Four thousand American troops will reportedly be spread across Poland, the Baltic States, Bulgaria and Romania where they’ll remain on rotation basis.

Polish and US troops are scheduled to hold joint “massing” drills in Poland later this month, which NATO says is aimed at reassuring its European allies in the face of what it calls aggressive Russian behavior.

The 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, with 50 Black Hawk helicopters, 10 CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 1,800 personnel, as well as a separate aviation battalion with 400 troops and 24 Apache helicopters are also scheduled for deployment in Eastern Europe.

“The best way to maintain the peace is through preparation,” US Major General Timothy McGuire explained, adding that the deployment is about “just showing the strength and cohesion of the alliance and the US commitment to maintain the peace on the continent.” 

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will host troops from Germany, Canada and the UK, with each nation sending up to 1,000 servicemen.

NATO calls it military buildup near Russia’s borders a defensive measure, claiming it is justified after Moscow’s reunion with Crimea in 2014 and its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis. Russia views the military bloc’s actions aggressive and said the massive military is undermining the security balance on the European continent.

READ MORE: ‘No one in Russia plans to attack NATO’ – US envoy to alliance

In November 2016, the Pentagon shipped more than 600 containers of ammunition for Army and Air Force units in Europe, according military.com, marking the largest single shipment of US ammunition in more than two decades, the website reported.

Moscow has responded by stationing its most modern weaponry and armaments on its western borders, including the enclave region of Kaliningrad, and staging large-scale military drills on its own territory.

READ MORE: Russia not on Trump’s list of Pentagon priorities: Leaked memo worries establishment

Washington opted to speed up the deployment of its troops to Eastern Europe after Donald Trump’s win in the presidential election.

Trump, who is to be inaugurated on January 20, has been calling for improved relations with Russia and has voiced skepticism towards NATO, saying European powers would have to contribute a bigger part of the budget if they wanted to continue relying on US protection.

https://www.rt.com/news/372869-us-tanks-germany-nato/

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/373048-nato-us-europe-russia/

Military-style raid by police ends native prayer gathering against Dakota pipeline (VIDEO)

Please share widely.
Global Research, September 29, 2016
TeleSUR 28 September 2016

North Dakota police with military-style equipment surrounded Native Americans gathered in prayer against the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline on Wednesday, disrupting their plan to cross sacred and treaty-protected land in protest of a project they fear will destroy their livelihood.

“ND authorities deploy armed personnel with shotguns and assault rifles, military vehicles, and aerial spray on peaceful Water Protectors gathered in prayer,” wrote the Sacred Stone Camp, in a Facebook post.

Officers with military-style armored vehicles and shotguns threatened the protesters, who call themselves “water protectors” for defending the Missouri River from imminent pollution, reported Unicorn Riot. Up to 21 were arrested, the channel reported.

Witnesses filmed the crackdown but said their access their Facebook was blocked. One participant, Thomas H. Joseph II, posted a chilling video narrating the mobilization and his getaway. Helicopters are heard as he says that tear gas is being dropped, and an officer loads his gun as protesters, some on horseback, chant, “We have no guns.”

In the video, Joseph said that “one guy’s about ready to blast us” but later added that no fires were shot.

“We gathered in prayer un-armed, prayed, sang songs, and attempted to leave,” he later wrote in a Facebook post. “No threats, No vandalism, No violence was taken on our part.”

Police and private security personnel have been more aggressively cracking down on actions against the pipeline since the governor declared a state of emergency. The state is currently investigating an incident in which contracted private security film Frost Kennels unleashed dogs during a nonviolent direct action, ending with six bitten, including a pregnant woman and a child, according to organizers at the action.

Alternative media outlet Unicorn Riot previously accused Facebook of censoring its livestream of police repression, saying they received a popup security alert when they tried to post the video.

“We will not let them stop our mission to amplify the voices of people who might otherwise go unheard, and broadcast the stories that might otherwise go untold,“ they told RT.

The pipeline, expected to transport over half a million barrels of oil a day through four states, has united over 300 tribes in resistance. Several lawsuits are pending against the company, which has retaliated with restraining orders. The White House halted construction on federal land, which makes up three percent of the pipeline’s path, but has not issued any other statement against the pipeline—motivating Facebook users to demand a response after Wednesday’s crackdown.

President Barack Obama met with tribal representatives on Monday but only made an indirect reference to the historic native gathering: “I know that many of you have come together across tribes and across the country to support the community at Standing Rock,“ he said. “And together, you’re making your voices heard.“

Moldovans protest against joint military exercises; NATO = War and Death

From Sputnik
June 2, 2016

NATO equals war and death, Moldova, Sputnik 6-2-16

Moldovan youngsters hold anti-NATO banners during a protest in the border town of Sculeni, Moldova, Tuesday, May 3, 2016 against the May 3-20 joint US-Moldovan military exercises as less than 20 percent of Moldovans want to join the military alliance

http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160602/1040675105/leave-nato-europeans-petition.html

Operation “Sea Breeze”: How US Marines ‘studied’ Russian in Crimea in 2006

From Fort Russ

May 24, 2016

Blogger Mikhail Sinelnikov-Orishak (@sine-or in Live Journal)

Translated by Kristina Kharlova

In my personal archive I found a photo from the era when Crimea was still Ukrainian:

“From May 27 to June 22 2006 here was held a protest by citizens of Ukraine and Feodosia against the exercises and deployment of NATO forces in Crimea. With gratitude to Feodosians for their civil courage from deputies of 5th City Council”

For those who didn’t know or tried to forget – I will remind: on May 27, 2006 the American ship “Advantage” came into the port of Feodosia where it unloaded several dozen containers with firearms, equipment and construction materials for military exercises “Sea Breeze-2006.”

Immediately began protests of Crimean residents against the presence of NATO troops: rallies, tent cities, peace marches. The tension has boiled to a point when more than 200 US Marines had to be hastily evacuated from the sanatorium of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine near Alushta, where they, as it turns out, have been “studying Russian language”. At least, so said the representatives of the administration of then-President Yushchenko. In the end, the US State Department and the Pentagon have issued a joint statement on suspension of Sea Breeze-2006 due to a crisis … in the Middle East.

It should be noted that such NATO exercises were held in the Black sea 5 (!) times since 1997, and 4 of them in the territorial waters of Ukraine. Why did “Sea Breeze-2006” become a “stumbling block”?

Any military exercise initially has a script according to which further events must unfold. At the time, it went as follows:

Some “Runo peninsula”, formerly part of the country of Sapphire, with a thriving “regime”, hostile to NATO, comes under the jurisdiction of a “democratic state” of Emerald. Thus, the peninsula with all the familiar city names of Evpatoria, Sevastopol, Simferopol gains “political independence”, which Sapphire cannot accept and creates an IRM – “Independent Runo Movement”.
International community for a while ignores sabotage, murders of foreign citizens, committed by IRM. But ‘separatists’ commit a raid on a local university and take hostage a large group of students – citizens of countries-NATO members, and in Simferopol at the same time break out rallies and demonstrations demanding restoration of the previous status of the peninsula as a province of Sapphire. The government of Emerald appeals for help to the United Nations, and the UN gives NATO the permission to conduct the operation to free the hostages, for the establishment of peace and stability “in the Northern part of the Black sea”.

This legend was published in the media which finally infuriated the residents of “Runo Peninsula”. On June 24 2006 all American experts and military equipment finally left the “inhospitable” Crimea aboard a Ukrainian merchant vessel “Anatoly Kolesnichenko”.

P. S. As an expert comment from an interview with ex-NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on the Ukrainian TV channel “Inter” on August 7, 2014: “What a ridiculous accusation, NATO never intended to establish military bases in Ukraine…”

http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/05/operation-sea-breeze-how-us-marines.html

Londoners march on Downing Street to decry UK intervention in Syria (VIDEO)

From RT
December 13, 2015
Protestors in London, Britain December 12, 2015 take part in a demonstration against bombing Syria © Neil Hall

Protestors in London, Britain December 12, 2015 take part in a demonstration against bombing Syria © Neil Hall / Reuters

Thousands of people have marched in London to protest against UK intervention in Syria and the airstrikes which have recently been launched. Anti-war activists also demanded a full stop to other UK military campaigns abroad.

TTIP — Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership — negotiations fall apart following mass protest in EU

Global Research, October 06, 2015
TruePublica 5 October 2015

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron is accusing those who oppose the expansive trade deal with the United States of making up horror stories about the agreement in order to poison the pact.

That agreement is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and critics all along the political spectrum are exposing the enormous dangers of the deal — all without having to invent a single scary story.

Back in January the EU Commission published their response to the consultation on TTIP and it was found that 97% of the 150,000 responses opposed the trade deal. These respondents represented the general public. The biggest petition in the EU’s history was then presented that contained the signatures of 2 million citizens (now nearly 3 million) opposed to TTIP. Both were rejected as were proposals even for a simple hearing of the European Citizens Initiative.

Then in April this year, thousands of protestors took to the streets of cities all over Europe as unelected officials of the EU Commission continue to ignore the concerns of its citizens.

In June, fellow MEPs from many political parties who are also opposed to TTIP joined Ukip in standing, shouting, booing and clapping to show their dissatisfaction with proceedings. MEPs were due to set out their first formal position on TTIP since negotiations started two years ago and the meeting descended into chaos (video). The meeting was then stopped by the commissioners.

Meanwhile David Cameron has persistently attempted to call out those working to derail the deal. Cameron has accused critics of inventing false scare stories whilst urging business chiefs to help make the case to overcome sustained attacks from left-wing opponents and warned Britain would “rue the day if we miss this opportunity” to open up transatlantic markets.

Cameron, who (increasingly) seldom listens to the general public or elected members of parliament representing the electorate will no doubt use all his powers to get this deal though to redeem himself after being called incompetent by his own military generals and by the Obama administration over Syria.

In sharp comparison, both Paris and Berlin want the Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS) of TTIP removed from the transatlantic trade treaty currently being negotiated with Washington. This is a game changer.

Matthias Fekl, the French Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, told EurActiv France that he would “never allow private tribunals in the pay of multinational companies to dictate the policies of sovereign states, particularly in certain domains like health and the environment”.

That was back in January. Nine months later and France has now reinforced that message and gone one big step forward.

In an interview with Sud-Ouest, Matthias Fekl threatened to “call a complete halt” to the TTIP negotiations if things do not change. EurActiv France reports. America has shown no desire to change any of the major issues that have been challenged.

Fekl told the French newspaper that he believes the “total lack of transparency” in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations poses a “democratic problem”.

Fekl, the Minister of State for Foreign Trade called on the United States to show “reciprocity” in the negotiations. “American members of parliament have access to a much higher number of documents than we do in Europe,” he said.

The German people are now taking a stand and now it is being reported in the USA that sentiment is going against the deal – “It is entirely possible that the U.S. could seek to conclude the deal in the next few years only to find that European governments are unwilling to risk the ire of their voters”.

Matthias Fekl, explained that, ever since the negotiations began in 2013, “These negotiations have been and are being conducted in a total lack of transparency,” and that France has, as of yet, received “no serious offer from the Americans.”

The reasons for this stunning public rejection had probably already been accurately listed more than a year ago. Jean Arthuis, a member of the European Parliament, and formerly France’s Minister of Economy and Finance, headlined in Le Figaro, on 10 April 2014, “7 good reasons to oppose the transatlantic treaty”. There is no indication that the situation has changed since then, as regards the basic demands that President Obama is making. Arthuis said at that time, that he was opposed to;

  1. Private arbitration of disputes between States and businesses. Such a procedure is strictly contrary to the idea that I have of the      sovereignty of States. …
  2. Any questioning of the European system of appellations of origin. According to the US proposal, there would be a non-binding register, and only for wines and spirits. Such a reform would kill many European local products, whose value is based on their certified origin.
  3. Signing of an agreement with a power that legalizes widespread and systematic spying on my fellow European citizens and European businesses. As long as the agreement does not protect the personal data of European and US citizens, it cannot be signed.
  4. Allowing the United States proposal of a transatlantic common financial space, who adamantly refuse a common regulation of finance, and they refuse to abolish systematic discrimination by the US financial markets against European financial services.
  5. The questioning of European health protections. We do not want our animals treated with growth hormones nor products derived from GMOs, or chemical decontamination of meat, or of genetically modified seeds or non-therapeutic antibiotics in animal feed.
  6. The signing of an agreement if it does not include the end of the US monetary dumping. Since the abolition of the gold convertibility of the dollar and the transition to the system of floating exchange rates, the dollar is both American national currency and the main unit for exchange reserves in the world. The Federal Reserve then continually practices monetary dumping, by influencing the amount of dollars available to facilitate exports from the United States. As things now stand, America’s monetary weapon has the same effect as customs duties against every other nation. [And he will not sign unless it’s removed.]
  7. Allow the emerging digital services in Europe to be swept up by US giants such as Google, Amazon or Netflix. They’re giant absolute masters in tax optimization, which make Europe a “digital colony.”

France is now considering “all options including an outright termination of negotiations” says France’s Trade Minister.

Concern over the impact of TTIP has united disparate groups from French farmers to German constitutional lawyers and politicians on the left and right.

50,000 demonstrators are expected to gather in front of Berlin’s central train station on October 10th to protest both the TTIP and a similar deal between the EU and Canada, known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). That event is part of the week-long International Days of Action against corporate-friendly trade deals. Two thirds of Germans are now opposed to the deal, hence the expected strong turn-out.

The European public, already heavily opposed to TTIP also oppose America’s bombings of Middle Eastern countries, which have forced hundreds of thousands of refugees into Europe. European leaders are being compelled to question their relationship and alliance with the United States.

David Cameron, already in breach of basic democratic principles back in Britain by sending special forces ground troops and RAF bombing missions in Syria is of course used to supporting the dismantling of democracy, no matter whether at home or abroad.

Universally ignored by almost all media outlets in every western country, including Britain, whose governments has called for Assad to go was a respectable YouGov report that concluded some 55% of Syrians wanted Assad to stay.  Cameron had one third less of the electorate supporting him at the last election than Assad had of his people.

The result of America’s constant pressure and bullying of its european ‘allies’ to get involved in the bombing of countries where millions of refugees are expected in the year ahead, is that the european people are, in greater numbers, questioning the rationality of their elected leaders. This has only added to EU citizens suspicions over secret trade deals such as TTIP with America and is not only empowering them but forcing their own leaders to rethink the order of importance.

America seems to have forgotten Europe’s own pressures. Between the economic crisis that has rumbled on since 2008, the threat of a “Grexit” earlier in the summer, security concerns and the rise of terrorism and now the humanitarian crisis unfolding on Europe’s borders with the arrival of so many refugees, the political unity of Europe is at stake. There is a clear inability by politicians to unite on major challenges that may well pull the EU apart, say politicians – TTIP is no longer an imperative on the agenda.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/transatlantic-trade-and-investment-partnership-ttip-negotiations-fall-apart-following-mass-protest-in-the-eu/5479985

Stop Henoko! Okinawans protest against US military base expansion, rape of island women, and ocean destruction

RT, April 29, 2015
Interview with Center for Biological Diversity’s Peter Galvin:

If the US military base in Okinawa is relocated to Henoko, the habitat of the endangered Okinawa dugong sea mammal, will be wiped off the map, said Peter Galvin of the Center for Biological diversity. The species is already down to a few dozen, he added.

RT: What is so wrong about the re-location of the US base from an ecological prospective?

Peter Galvin: The organization I work for, The Center for Biological Diversity focuses on the wildlife environmental protection [of] endangered species. Our focus is to protect wildlife and animals and the environment where they are threatened. And in the case of Okinawa we have a situation where there is an endangered marine mammal, the Okinawa dugong – a very, very rare population of dugongs which is kind of like a sea cow, a little bit like a manatee that they have in the US. And these gentle giants of the ocean… there is between 12 and 15 dugongs remaining in Okinawa… They are a critically endangered population and the site of their habitat in Okinawa, the primary habitat is the site that US and Japanese governments want to fill in to expand a military base in Henoko.

READ MORE: ‘Don’t rape the sea!’ Hundreds protest US military base relocation plan in Japan

The base controversy has a strong environmental component to it, as well as folks in Okinawa that are concerned about peace issues, sovereignty issues, and military threat issues. Our focus is environmental issues. In this situation there is a convergence of a variety of issues including environmental issues, peace, Okinawa sovereignty issues – all playing together in one action. It is a very controversial proposal. The base plan would fill in a very rich area of coral reef in a place called Oura Bay which is on the eastern side of Okinawa, north east Okinawa. And it would be just an enormous landfill project into the ocean which has a huge number of people in Okinawa, in Japan, throughout the world up in arms that in this day and age the US and Japanese governments would pay so little heed to the local population, that they would basically just bulldoze over the local opposition and literally bulldoze over the coral reef and fill it in. So the dugong is a desperately endangered marine mammal that we’ve been working to protect for two decades. Our group along with several other groups launched a lawsuit in US Federal Court, a number of years ago to stop this base expansion project. Our case still continues through the court system. But unfortunately, the project is in the beginning phases now. And as you can see there’s a huge amount of controversy in Okinawa over it that is now manifesting.

RT: Could you give examples of how the re-location of the US base to Henoko is harming flora and fauna? We’ve heard about concrete blocks in the ocean. Any other examples?

PG: Literally, you used the word concrete. And yes, as a matter of fact one of the aspects of any kind of project like this is the contractors bore into the ocean at different places to see the strength of the material at the ocean floor. The sound of the drilling, the construction process, and all the ships out there dumping the concrete pilings into the ocean. … Dugongs are herbivores and they feed on sea grass, they graze like a cow… The huge amount of disturbance in the area is causing the dugongs to change their patterns and that’s a risk enough. But here is the real problem: after these boring surveys and the concrete blocks, if the project continues literally millions and millions of tons of soil are brought in and the ocean itself is filled and land is created from the ocean, the coral reef will be entirely decimated, the sea grass in that entire area will be gone. This is the prime feeding habitat for the endangered Okinawa dugong. These species is down to a few dozen individuals and this is its primary habitat. The impact from the base cannot be understated or overstated and will literally wipe this area of the habitat off the map.
http://rt.com/op-edge/

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2014/okinawa-dugong-12-12-2014.html

‘Don’t rape the sea!’ Hundreds protest US military base relocation plan in Japan
RT, April 28, 2015

About 300 people protested against the planned relocation of a US military base in Japan’s Okinawa prefecture. The rally fell on the 63rd anniversary of the country’s regaining of sovereignty after its defeat in World War II.

The demonstrators gathered on Tuesday, at the gates of the US Marines’ Camp Schwab in the tourist seaside town of Nago, Kyodo news agency reported. The district has been proposed as a relocation site for the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

The participants of the protest chanted slogans such as “we’re opposed to a new base” and “don’t destroy the beautiful sea.”

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Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi police state: Maidan criminalizes itself

From Unz Review

The following text is translated from Russian. It points to the total lack of support for the Kiev regime, as well as the implementation of an all encompassing Neo-Nazi Police State apparatus, based on fear, intimidation and racism, directed not only against the Russian speaking population: Ukrainians who oppose the government and exercise free speech can be arrested,  journalists are arrested and disappeared.  

by Anatoly Karlin

The following leaflets are being spread in Slavyansk, a once focal point of the Donbass resistance that was recaptured by Ukrainian forces in July last year:

are-you-a-separatist

Translation:

How to recognize your typical separatist?

  • Calls for the entry of Russian troops or suggests surrendering to Russia.
  • Propagandizes Russian symbols and spreads the idea of the “Russian world.”
  • Denigrates the values of the Ukrainian people, expresses doubts about the fact of the existence of the Ukrainian nation, Ukrainian language, etc.
  • Spreads rumors about the non-existent threats to the Russian language or Russian speakers in Ukraine.
  • Denigrates Ukrainian state symbols – the flag, national anthem, coat of arms, etc.
  • Praises the so-called DNR and LNR.
  • Protests against military mobilization.
  • Initiates events in which people call for overthrow of the government and mass riots.
  • Spreads lies and inflames interethnic hatred (racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism).
  • Promotes fear, panic, and defeatist attitudes.

A SEPARATIST IS EVEN SOMEONE WHO AGITATES AGAINST MOBILIZATION OR AWAITS PUTIN’S ARRIVAL! Punishment: 7-12 years imprisonment (Article 110 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code).

If you have encountered a case of separatism, please call the SBU or the government hotline and record the evidence on your phone, video recorder, photo camera.

0 800 507 309 – Government hotline

0 800 501 482 – SBU hotline

Toll free from landline phones.

Useless to argue the morals of this; it is justified or not depending on your particular partisan sympathies and the consistency of any convictions you might have on free speech, etc. So I won’t bother.

I will however make a few wider points:

1) The utter hypocrisy (and hardheaded practicality) of a regime that came to power through an illegal coup on a wave of mass riots now banning the same thing that got them into power in the first place. And of course the incredibly hardline restrictions on free speech implicit in all this, which are and will continue to be abused (Your neighbor’s dog is too loud? Maybe he’s a separatist!).

Lest one think this all just talk, consider the case of Ruslan Kotsaba, a (West Ukrainian!) journalist arrested for making a video in which he came out against mobilization, which is strictly speaking without legal basis during a time in which war has not been declared, i.e. up till now. He faces up to 15 years in prison. This is just what is probably the most visible case; there have been sackings, denunciations, business shakedowns, arrests, and imprisonments for non violent expressions of different opinion (or allegations of such) on a scale that would have saved Yanukovych’s “bloody regime” had he been even a tenth as ruthless.

2) A corrolary is that the results of opinion polls, which generally show drastic declines in attitudes towards Russia, while certainly real at some level, surely overstate the level of the decline. If you live in Kharkov and some unknown person phoned you and asked you for your opinions on Crimea then you’d have to be fairly brave or at least confident that you are dealing with an ethical pollster before voicing any opinion that goes against the Maidan party line.

3) As the Ukrainian economy plummets into the abyss with a helping hand from the IMF, the incidence of repressions (of which witchhunts for separatists is but a part) is ratcheting up and this process will continue further because after all they will have all been organized by Russia. After all, what possible valid reason could a pensioner with skyrocketing heating bills and devalued savings living on $50 a month have for opposing the oligarchs who rule Ukraine? And with the regime having promoted plenty of Neo-Nazis to positions of power, who’ll be happy enough to crack heads while the money continues flowing.

The fact that the regime is driven to such repressive measures is an indication that it does not enjoy firm and overwhelming support from the population. With things likely to get much worse before they get better, it is only a matter of time before the regime will have to drop what remains of its liberal democracy European values facade.

Copyright Anatoly Karlin the Unz Review, 2015

http://www.unz.com/akarlin/maidan-criminalizes-itself/

http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukraines-neo-nazi-police-state-the-maidan-retroactively-criminalizes-itself/5442413