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  • 2000.10.31
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To Demand the Closure of the Bombing Ranges And Reparation for Human Rights Violations and Environmental Damages Stemming from U.S. Military Bases 

Date: August 15, 2000 

To : Organisations of People in Puerto Rico, Okinawa, the Philippines Struggling for the Closure of the U.S. Military Bases and Bombing Ranges 

C.c.: Korea Truth Commission on U.S. Military Massacre of Civilians, International Action Center 

From: National Action Committee for the Closure of the Maehyang-ri U.S. Armed Forces International Bombing Range 

Dear brothers and sisters, 

The coalition of the people of Maehyang-ri and various human rights, civil rights, environment, trade unions, women’s, students, and reunification movement organisations engaged in the common struggle demanding the closure of the Maehyang-ri U.S. Air Force Bombing and Firing Range salutes the people of Vieques, Puerto Rico, Okinawa, Japan, and the Philippines for your courageous struggle. 

We write to propose the organisation of an “International Common Day of Action to Demand the Closure of the U.S. Military Bases and Bombing Ranges and Compensation for Human Rights Violations and Environmental Damage”. 

Our proposal: 

The Name of the Common Day of Action International Day of Action to Demand the Closure of the U.S. Military Bases and Bombing Ranges and Compensation for Human Rights Violations and Environmental Damage 

The Date of the Common Day of Action 
September 23, 2000 (Sat.) 

The Common Demands to be Raised in the Common Day of Action 
Close down the Maehyang-ri and Vieques Bombing Ranges 

Reparation for the human rights and environmental violations and damages arising from the U.S. military bases and bombing ranges in the Korea, Puerto Rico, Okinawa, and the Philippines 

Revise the unjust and unequal status of the forces agreements 

The struggle demanding the closure of the Maehyang-ri U.S. Air Force Kooni International Bombing and Firing Range has become a struggle that challenges the presence of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed in Korea. This struggle has added significance in the context of the rapproachment between south and north Korea occasioned by the inter-Korea Summit meeting, the toxic waste dumping by the U.S. military, and the widening campaign calling for the just amendment of the “Status of Forces Agreement” between the U.S. and Korea. 

The struggle for the closure of the range and the actions of Korean people on various issues arising from the U.S. military presence in Korea all lead to a fundamental issue of national sovereignty and basic human rights. Our struggle is developing into a movement to reject the violence and arrogance of imperialism. Korea is not alone in this struggle. 

Peoples of Puerto Rico, Okinawa, and the Philippines, where U.S. military bases are present have for a long time struggled for human rights and sovereignty against the U.S. arrogance. In Maehyang-ri and Vieques (Puerto Rico), people are faced with great threats to life and livelihood due to the constant bombing and environmental contamination. 

The National Action Committee for the Closure of the Maehyang-ri U.S. Armed Forces International Bombing Range (“Maehyang-ri National Action Committe e”) now join you in recognising the need to develop strong solidarity with people like you who are waging similar struggles, to expand the struggle for the closure of the U.S. bombing ranges and justice concerning U.S. military bases into a strong international campaign. 

The common day of action will become a foundation for an ongoing and greater solidarity and common activities amongst the peoples and organisations who are directly affected and involved in the struggle. Such an international campaign will amplify the ability of our campaigns to inform the world and mobilise people in all countries against the destructive reality of the U.S. military bases and bombing ranges. 

Our proposal calls for the representative umbrella organisations in Korea, Vieques, Okinawa, and the Philippines engaged in the struggle for human rights, environmental reparation, national sovereignty against the U.S. facilities to join each other as four co-sponsors of the international common day of action. On the basis of the common commitment of the four umbrella groups, we can invite other interested and involved organisations to join in the common effort through endorsement, participation, and support.

The details of the proposal and plan can, of course, be refined and fine-tuned or altered once the principle agreement to hold the common day of action is accepted. We will need to remain in close communication to coordinate the organising. In order to facilitate this we will need to identify and inform each other of the contact person and contact address for each responsible umbrella/coordinating organisation in each country. To facilitate our common effort, we shall establish a common mailing list. 

PSPD
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