My son asked me the other day, “Mommy, what’s Earth Day?” When I explained it to him (“Well, honey, it’s a day when we celebrate the Earth and try to remember to help keep it healthy”), I felt a little bit ashamed. Without the Earth there is nothing – so why do we only give it one day?
On the other hand, Earth Day does give a lot of groups who are fighting for the Earth a platform to get the word out. This past week (Earth Day seems, happily, to be bleeding into Earth Week) there were many actions to draw attention to the US military’s plans for increased presence in the Asia-Pacific region.
Famoksaiyan, in collaboration with several other organizations, held a press conference across the street from the EPA’s Earth Day Festival at Yerba Buena Garden. “The massive build up on Guam directly contradicts efforts to protect our environment from global warming,” said Reverend Deborah Lee, a member of Women for Genuine Security, the local chapter of a global women’s network that works to protect the health and safety of communities around US military bases. “The US military has an enormous carbon footprint which must be addressed for the health of local communities and the security of our entire planet.”
Meanwhile, on Okinawa, nearly 100,000 people turned out to protest the planned relocation of the US military base from Futenma to Henoko (or anywhere else in Okinawa). In South Korea, Catholic fathers held a Peace Missal against proposed construction of a nuclear weapons naval base on Jeju Island. There were also solidarity rallies held in Washington, DC and in Hawaii.