April 15, 2020 Ryukyu Shimpo online edition All-Okinawa Coalition temporarily suspends sit-in protests to prevent spread of coronavirus

April 15, 2020 Ryukyu Shimpo online edition
On April 14 the “All-Okinawa Coalition” (All-Okinawa Kaigi), which is made up of political parties and citizens’ groups that oppose relocation of Futenma Air Station to Henoko, Nago City, announced that it is temporarily suspending protest activities such as sit-ins in front of the gate to Camp Schwab in Henoko from April 15 through May 6. Activities are being suspended for the purpose of preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
At approximately 9:00 a.m. on April 15 in front of the gate, about 15 city residents staged a sit-in while spaced out from each other. Although the construction was suddenly suspended, the protest continued. City residents raised their voices to say, “Shouldn’t there be a spacing of 2 meters left on the guarded side?”In order to avoid physical contact, riot police did not forcibly remove protestors, and over the same 20 minutes construction vehicles loaded with raw materials entered the military base.
According to the All-Okinawa Coalition, organized mobilization will not be carried out during the suspension period, but observational activities will continue, such as a few people watching for the number of construction vehicles and the construction status, people will be posted in front of the gate and at Oura Bay, at the Ryukyu Cement Co. Pier in Awa, and Shiokawa at Motobu Port in Motobu Town.
(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

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