|On my first trip to Gangjeong village Mayor Kang (just behind me in dark jacket) took me to see the place where the fresh water stream flows into the sea. This was to be one end of the massive Navy base now being built in the village. At that time I was able to see the undisturbed beauty of the coastline.|
I arrived in Berkeley, California last night about 7:30 pm and was able to join a group of conference participants at a Chinese restaurant where they were having dinner together. When Gangjeong village Mayor Kang saw me he rose and gave me a big hug. At that time there was no translator available so we didn't get to have much conversation.
This morning at breakfast Mayor Kang arrived with a Korean professor from the university. The mayor had just come from doing an interview for Democracy Now which is supposed to air on Monday. Koohan Paik (Hawaii) was on the radio with the mayor. Koohan has been a great Jeju supporter and made it possible for the mayor to speak at this event on behalf of the village.
During breakfast the mayor told me that when I first came to visit Gangjeong he remembers me talking about space technology. He told me that he now understands much better what I was saying. He said he believes that the US is bringing the South Korean government into the military space program as a junior partner to help control China. I was happy to hear that he has put all the pieces together.
A translator took the mayor and I for a long stroll through the vast University of California campus. We went to the top of a huge bell tower that enabled us to see the entire San Francisco bay area. While we were looking out over the bay I told the mayor how much their non-violent resistance has inspired people all over the world due to their strong spiritual grounding. He told me that they made a conscious decision to act in that way to help them deal with the obvious depression and sadness that comes from the Navy base construction project. He said that if they were going to resist then they had to find a way to stay connected to what was good in nature and in each other. He offered to teach me the dances.
For those interested in ordering a copy of the fine new documentary about the village struggle the information is just below on this flyer. You'll see them dancing during the film.
|Click on the flyer to get larger image. Ordering information is at the bottom. |