Voices from the Heart

Voices from the Heart: Okinawa — People’s Resistance for Life

Saturday, February 29 from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

All Soul’s Episcopal Church – 88 Saint Nicholas Avenue (between 114th and 115th Streets)

Admission: Free (Donations welcome, including food and drink)

A group of New Yorkers concerned about Okinawa is gathering for a soul-searching session with music, art, food, chat, and fun.

The session focuses on the legacy of non-violent farmers’ resistance in Iejima, Okinawa. After the bloody Battle of Okinawa during World War II, while residents were isolated in concentration camps, the U.S. military seized their land to construct a series of bases in Okinawa. That was just the beginning.

In the 1950s, in the midst of the Cold War, more bases were constructed in the “Bayonets and Bulldozers” campaign, in which dispatched U.S. soldiers destroyed houses and flattened fields, forcibly removing farmers. In Iejima, Shoko Ahagon, with his fellow farmers, organized a non-violent and soulful resistance movement against U.S. authorities, who kept training to drop mock nuclear bombs at the Iejima Airfield.

Nuchi du Takara (“Life is a treasure”),” the spirit of Ahagon, is still vividly alive in the people’s current struggle in Okinawa against the construction of a new U.S. base at Henoko/Oura Bay. With music, art, food, and fun, the group would like to think together about how we could find resilient ways to fight against global militarism and injustice locally and globally.

There will be Okinawa sanshin (three-stringed, banjo-like instrument) and singing from Sonny Ochiai, Naomi Mizoguchi, and Aine Nakamura; as well as music from Catholic Worker and Raging Grannies.

“Voices from the Heart” Series

2020 is the 75th anniversary of the atomic bomb’s first use in the United States and Japan.

A series of gatherings titled “Voices from the Heart” will examine the issues of nuclear weapons and power through various issues, including destruction of life, health, peace, and environment as well as violation of democracy, civil and indigenous rights, and environmental and economic injustices.

“Voices from the Heart” is a series of solidarity-building sessions with music, art, food, chat, and fun. By listening to the voices of the hearts gathered there, the organizers’ goal is to connect individuals and communities to learn from the past and present and to hold space to explore the next steps to achieve a nuclear-free and war-free sustainable world.

These gatherings will take place at All Soul’s Episcopal Church in Harlem, blocks away from the former facilities of the Manhattan Project, which first developed nuclear weapons.

Scheduled Events

Take 1: Saturday, February 29 from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Prologue: Okinawa – People’s Resistance for Life

Take 2: Saturday, March 28, Time TBD
Peace Tour: the Manhattan Project Historical Sites

Take 3: Thursday, April 23, Time TBD
Peace Walk Report: The U.S. Nuclear Contamination Sites

Take 4: Friday, April 24, Time TBD
Nuclear Colonialism: Indigenous People Speak Up for Earth

For more information, please visit the group’s Facebook event page.

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