Combatting violence with creative vision

All dolls are replicas of real life persons committed to the struggle in Gangjeong.

Some of them  have met, some I have just heard about. Every time they are brought out people seem to pick out the ones they have been touched and inspired by.

If  you look carful you will recognize some of them from this blog.Combatting violence with creation

Advertisements

War resistance by Kayak

In Jeju, it is illegal to kayak near the naval base. There is a fancy wording for that but practically that is what it comes down to.

It is NOT illegal to kayak in the harbor though.

The SOS team and a single diver(wanting to assess the effects the blasting done by the naval base on the rock formation and sea life) took a watery stand against the construction of the naval base yesterday and while they did not make it very far the yellow flags rose out of the water like peaceful water lilies.

What you see in the photos is the resistance they meet from the coast guard, the diver being held in the water  by the water authorities after some pushing and kayaks being prevented from sailing.

IMG_5161

IMG_5165IMG_5166IMG_5178IMG_5181IMG_5192IMG_5195IMG_5203

A village in mourning

IMG_4963Across the road from the army base entrance there is a small tent where the Christian ceremony is held every morning. There is also a smaller artfully decorated tent where activists can hide from the weather, rest, get a cup of something. Maybe a sweet potato, cooked on the top of the tin drum that doubles as an outdoor fire.

Or warm tangerines from the local orchard or a boiled egg and some warm soy milk as was the case for me this afternoon.

It has been five years, going on six. For the villagers and their supporters. The struggle. Lawsuits. Civil disobedience that landed people in jail. The mayor. Clergy. Local villagers. Supporters from the mainland. Harassment. Hard words. Violations. Bringing back memories of the war for some.

And also, peaceful resistance 24/7 outside the gate, aimed at stopping, or at least delaying the construction. More than a few have been beaten up. More than a few have faced trials, deportation(14 at the border already), probation.

The word on the street is that journalists and internationals have been warned that they face deportation if they support the opposition.

People come anyway of course. Noam Chomsky, Angela Zelter are among those who have raised their voices in support. But one gets tired.

And the deep sense of mourning I experience here I wasn’t prepared for. When I had been greeted by the gates by the local activists and handed some food I asked if the man next to me would teach me some korean. Of course. What words did he feel I should know? Well, the ones that are close to his heart. From what I understood, he tried to explain in broken English that the island is a part of him, it is his spiritual foundation and part of his core. There are severe ecological effects trailing in the wake of the construction and human rights have been violated but his choice of words brought me back to the fundament of self-determination, what lies beyond the legal definition – your right to freely define what you are and what is important to you. Therefor I was taught the following words today, my first in korean.

Gangjeong Dolphin — Sha do ri

Water — Dae Wang 

Sea — Ba da 

Sky — Ha nul

Earth — Ddang

New Year 2013 in Gangjeong village

The village is waiting for the final say on the budget for the construction of the American Naval base here in Jeju.

This morning was quite by the gates. The catholic mass went on at 11 with no police trying to interfere. How strange to be happy that a religious service can happen on the boardwalk on the opposite side from the base.

1000 prostration(bows)for peace was underway. Three Buddhist practitioners. Backdrop, the beautiful, huge orange orchards. Snowy fairy tale mountains. Strong winds. Bow down, stand up, hands in namaste.

Violence is not the way.

IMG_4959

IMG_4955