It is not a totally appropriate title on this blog entry. No Pasarán was one of the battle cries from the guerilla in the Spanish Civil War.
Still, No Passage is one of the messages ringing loud and clear through the movement against the Naval base in Gangjeong.
Yesterday the wind picked up and snow came down over the gureombi rock, the palm trees, orange groves and the press conference where Mayor Kang and other community leaders again raised the issue of the 70 day construction stop that legally is in effect but not respected. The main purpose of the conference though was to voice a strong opinion of distrust regarding the navy’s 3d naval simulation to assess if cruise ships will be able to enter the port safely. This is taking place today and tomorrow but is considered a right out lie.
But consider this. The sales pitch to the villagers to Gangjeong (and Jeju island for that matter) was that the base would be a naval/civil(civilian base)where happy, rich tourists would come on these giant cruise liners.
Have you ever seen a one entry navy port, which main purpose is to protect South Korea and USA from the Red Enemy sitting in China; filled with American Marine soldiers, warships, a well-developed missile defence system mingle with…eh, tourists?
Gangjeong is an amazingly beautiful place. It has been considered as a candidate for the so-called new 7 wonders.
And now the base is moving in. And life becomes harder in so many small and big ways. Fishing use to be easy.
There use to be a beautiful view if one wanted to just hang for a while, be by the sea and look at Tiger island in a distance.
But now war ships are moving in. Tetrapods high and low.
Construction and barbed wire.
Small islands of stubborn active resistance.
Save Our Seas, or the SOS team had their weekly waterday activity on Wednesday(the Chinese symbol for Wednesday is water).
Some folks from the navy security unit decided they needed to come along and sent 14 of their finest divers to make sure no rebellious kayakers would be up to something disobedient.
Then they all sailed for freedom.
Kayaks were observed and followed from both side of the navy base but not harassed. Depending on how you see it.
And made their way in the strong wind around the man-made orange boundary and disappeared in the mist, their tiny yellow flags barely visible.