‘No Naval Base’ outcries from the sea, completely soaked

Disclaimer: The following is a unauthoritative personal translation of an article appeared in the online news media <Media Chungcheong> on December 6, 2011, covering the sea surface protest by a group of activists against naval base construction in Gangjung village, Jeju, in the morning of the next day of ‘Peace Plane’ and ‘Peace Bus’ event. The anti-naval base movement that has lasted for over 7 years now is still going on. Miraculously, the activists and Gangjung villagers do not show any hints of backing down. This post will make this clear. All rights regarding this post stay with the author of original article or with <Media Chungcheong> and this post will be scrapped immediately with their request accordingly. Original article of this post (in Koeran) can be found in the link at the bottom.

‘No Naval Base’ outcries from the sea, completely soaked

[Photo news] 18 people set off to the sea on canoes … and I followed them

Reporter Jeong Jae-eun 정재은(cmedia@cmedia.or.kr)

On December 4th, the next day of ‘Peace Plane’ and ‘Peace Bus’ where people from all over the country gathered at Gangjung and outcried the outright cancellation of naval base construction, ‘100 vows for life & peace’ started at Gangjung port at 7AM.Red sun rose from the horizon very fast and dark blue sea gradually appeared.

Those who prayed for the outright cancellation of naval base construction, then, undecked the canoes and sailed to the sea, 2-in-1. It was a calm and rather warm; even women divers were preparing for sea works early.

I followed them who wanted to make to the first buoy of Jeju naval base seaside construction area for about an hour rowing in the sea.

The sun raises its face very fast. Those who wish for ‘life & peace’ hold their hands earnestly and start 100 vows at Gangjung port for complete cancellation of naval base construction. Carefully reciting word after word, calming themselves down, they wish their dream of calling the naval base off come true someday.

People, finishing ‘live & peace’ 100 vows, are warming up before going out to sea in double-hulled canoes. Some learn how to paddle canoes. Sincerely calming their bodies and minds down, they set out to the sea. A land shutoff by navy. Seeing Goorumbi rock, they prepare to embrace it.

Now, time to set sail! They set off the port and immediately all are so busy to get in the same page. Sitting front and back, they try to keep the beat by paddling left and right in turn. Though the police are watching from the port, they are all composed; some even make ‘V’ signs. Kim Dong-won is watching something in the sea. But, see what?

Upon the dark blue sea surface falls rays of light through thick cloud slits. Beautiful sea and sky speak of sorrow in unison. One is the sky and one is the sea; but men split the sea into two. The silt protector that made even freewheeling dolphins lost is meaninglessly floating around on the sea.

Canoes sail off and the coast guards are wandering around. Inside the silt protector is naval base construction agency’s area so they don’t want us to get into the prospective construction site. Coast guard’s surveillance seems to be locked on activists against naval base.

18 sailors set out to the sea. Calm waves help them. Holding paddles firm, faces cheering each other are blossomed with laughter. Paring in twos, they paddle together on full swing. They follow the trails of the one who sails to the first buoy and comes back.

At their destination, the first buoy, they gather and shout “No Naval Base! We Love Gangjung!” Some enjoyed the freedom by raising the paddles; some say they want to swim in the sea. Water drops spatter on glasses; socks and trousers get soaked. Who cares? We were so joyous!

The last team returns to Gangjung port. A pair who paddle with all their might. This last pair paddled along the silt protector. Their words, “Goorumbi rock is calling me!”

About an hour long sea surface protest ends. Yellow flags with “No Naval Base” letters on flutter against dark blue paint-like clear sea in front of Gangjung port. Activity to nullify naval base does not spare the ground or the sea. It will shine still…

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One comment

  1. give a car this post is a keeper- bookmarked!

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