I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones
-Albert Einstein (contemplating nuclear devastation)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Jeju: "community of peace--fortress of resistance' (reflection from Mira Leslie)

This is a small village-- everywhere I walk there are people I know-- and I haven't been here a week yet. Lunch was delicious today-- and afterward I walked alone down to the port (marina). Women divers were sorting their catch for the day. This is a traditional way of fishing -- they do it without any breathing apparatus - holding their breath, diving down to collect shellfish and seaweed. The younger women don't want to start-- so it is mostly older women. Some of these women were bribed to support the base, so there is a division of in this micro community that is carried into the larger village. The marina is small. The naval base is on one side-- and there is massive obstruction by huge cement pilings making the waterfront mostly inaccessible to shore fishermen .... fish is a staple here.

There is a very good view of the naval base construction from there. Where Gureombi rock once lived and gave life, there is a massive sea wall making an artificial harbor, with a plethora of cement trucks, earthmovers and cranes. One crane in the middle of the harbor lifts a huge weight every 2 minutes or so and then drops it into the water making a bomb-like underwater sound and huge splash. Dredging.

On the way back I stopped and sat with several activists blocking the naval housing site. The site has a barrel fire outside , a bus and tent -- manned day and night with activists communing- talking, laughing, eating, organizing... There is no rush, and people interact with each other rather than their smartphones. Here, and at the peace center and peace café, babies pass from hand to hand, tangerines are piled high to snack on, dogs mingle. Many people have moved here to join the struggle-- --many, many ferociously powerful women.

This is a sacred place and community of peace-- a fortress of resistance. There is no way to describe the intensity of tragedy that is occurring in the environment here as a direct result of our uncontrolled power and greed.

Seeds of peace, solidarity, and love are deeply rooted in this community and throughout the world but the earth and its plants and animals cannot survive ongoing assault indefinitely. We must use every ounce of energy to change course.

Mira Leslie

Please sign the petition (at moveon.org) to Save Jeju Island.

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