As many of you know, I will be returning to Jeju on August 5th. On August 6th, I will give a presentation to an international gathering of Pacific Islanders at the Gangjeong Peace Camp, a three day affair beginning on August 3rd. They will also screen the Ghosts of Jeju on the second evening of the camp.
Rather than give a talk, I prepared this 22:43 video about US Militarism and its origins. Thought I’d share it in this blog.
The new documentary will focus on the effects of US militarism in the Pacific and the massive, popular uprisings against it. When looked at through a different perspective than the one all Americans have been ingrained with, America no longer looks so beautiful.
I’ve just finished reading a very shocking book by William Blum entitled Rogue State. It is the most detailed and concise record of US military and CIA interventions around the world since 1945 that I have found.
Blum reveals America’s recklessness, abuse, and blackmail on dozens of sovereign states, and of course, the countless bombings and mass killings in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Central America, Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan….literally against any country that would attempt to form a government and society not aligned with America’s interests, and most definitely against any country that might attempt to compete with or impede America’s global hegemony.
This books details America’s abuse and obstruction of the United Nations since its inception. It details dozens and dozens of UN General Assembly votes objected to by the US and Israel, and many others vetoed by only the US. The US has also vetoed and ignored UN calls for human rights in Palestine, on countless occasions, a nuclear test ban treaty, and international criminal courts to name just a few.
Blum says that America equates Democracy with free-market Capitalism, a myth that has only wrecked havoc and poverty throughout the world and right here at home as well.
How does America get away with it? Because America can. Simple as that. As the only superpower in the world, the corporate power structure that controls our government and many other governments in the world is attempting to imposed a new world order on the planet with a one world economy that is enforced by the most powerful and lethal military the world has ever know.
My film will bring much of this out, but will also focus on the more immediate, destructive effects of US militarism in the Pacific such as the destruction and pollution of the environment, abject poverty, prostitution, the forced evacuation of indigenous people, the obliteration of ancient cultures and civilizations, and the egregious violation of human rights on every level, from food, clean water, education, health care and civil liberties.
I find the same things happening here at home quite striking.
Today is Monday, March 24, 2014 and I’m in Tucson, Arizona. It has been many years since I’ve been here. Taught high school at Salpointe from 1975-81. Screening tonight at 6:30.
Tomorrow I go up to Phoenix until Friday. One screening at a library tomorrow evening. Will have a couple of days to rest and visit some old friends.
I’ve been on the road since March 4 when I flew to Chicago for the Peace on Earth Film Festival. Great experience, and Ghosts won a major award. Best Expose Documentary.
Joyakgol from Gangjeong Village joined me in Chicago. When the village heard about the film festival they wanted someone to come to Chicago. Money was raised to send Joyakgol and he has been traveling with me on the entire tour. His English is excellent and he is a charismatic and gifted guitarists, so he has added a great deal of energy to the tour. He’s become a great friend and traveling companion.
The film has been received enthusiastically everywhere: Fresno, Santa Rosa, Santa Barbara, Berkeley, LA (twice) and San Diego. One screening in LA was in Korea Town for over 100 Koreans and the other was at UCLA for the faculty and some grad students in the Korean Studies Department.
Had another great screening in San Diego hosted by the VFP…awesome group and very active.
Everywhere, people thanking me for making the film, especially Koreans. There have been several articles and radio interviews that have helped to spread the word in ways that have not happened before.
Ran out of copies of the film! Having Paul Michaud of Patracompany make another 50 and ship them over night for the remainder of the trip: Phoenix, Albuquerque, Taos, and then Austin, Texas. I’ll have four days in Austin to visit with my daughter Ashley and my grandson, Hayden, and younger son, Tanner. Haven’t seen Ashley and Hayden in two years. I think there will be a screening in Austin on April 3rd. I return home to Maine on April 4.
The only bad news to report is that my left knee (the bad one, surgically repaired twice) “popped” yesterday. Excruciating pain. Got some assistance from a sports trainer and am taking Aleve twice a day and Tylenol just to get me through until I can get home. Afraid the day has arrived that my last orthopedic surgeon said would mean a knee replacement.
The pain has subsided and inflammation going down….ok to walk, but can’t twist or making lifting motions. Joyakgol has been helping with my heavy equipment case and large suitcase. I have trouble even pulling them even though they are both roller types. Damn! Getting old isn’t much fun!
We’ve been having every group pose for pictures with the No Naval Base flags and the Pope Francis banner. Big hit everywhere. The above photo was with part of the large Korean community in LA.
The reaction to the film has been identical everywhere: shame, anger, tears….then thanks and they always ask, “what can we do?” Joyakgol brought a stack of pre-printed and pre-addressed postcards with Pope Francis. We ran out of those several stops ago.
Seems like nearly everyone has wanted a copy of the film and all promise to share it widely. I’ve given copies away to folks who can’t afford them and to students who all promise to share them. Along the way, I keep hearing from people that the film has been screened in cities all over the U.S. Amazing how it has taken on a life of its own with grassroots groups and activists.
March 5 Screening at University of Chicago
March 6-9 Chicago Peace on Earth Film Festival – Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater
March 8 – The Ghosts of Jeju screening – Noon –Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater
March 12 – Fresno Center for Nonviolence Noon and 7 pm
March 13 – Sonoma County Art Museum – 7 pm Univ. of San Francisco at Santa Rosa
March 14-16 – Annual Meeting of The Global Network
March 14 Screening – The Ghosts of Jeju 8:00 -9:30 PM
March 18 – 7 PM East Bay Media Center 1939 Addison Street, Berkeley
March 19 – Won Buddhist Temple 400 Shatto Pl, LA, 7 PM
March 20 – 7 PM – San Diego Peace Resource Center of San Diego 3850 Westgate Place
March 21 – 1-3 P – UCLA – UCLA 11379 Bunche Hall
March 24 – Tucson – 6:30 PM Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church – 1300 North Greasewood – Theology Uncorked
March 25 – 6 PM Phoenix Public Library Mesquite Branch 4525 E. Paradise Village Parkway N
March 28 – 6 PM – Taos, New Mexico – Kit Carson Electric Board Room 118 Cruz Alta Road
March 29 – 6 PM – Albuquerque Center For Peace and Justice 202 Harvard St. NE
March 30 – April 3 – Austin, Texas
January 29, 2014
It is somewhat embarrassing for me to ask for financial help to keep the story of Jeju and Gangjeong Village alive, but without your help I will not be able to continue.
Many of you contributed in 2012 which enabled the trip to Jeju and the making of The Ghosts of Jeju. Without your help, the film would never have happened. People around the world and in the U.S. would not know about this important story and the untold history of the U.S. in Korea from WWII to the present day.
Over the past year, I have been able to present the film to various groups and universities from Maine to California where it has been highly acclaimed. I have been able to do this by selling copies of the film and accepting donations along the way just to cover the costs of travel. Many good people have hosted me and passed me on to others. I thank them all for their help and friendship.
Just this week The Ghosts of Jeju was named an official selection of the Peace on Earth Film Festival in Chicago. After four days at the festival (March 6-9), Professor Bruce Cumings will host the film at the University of Chicago.
The exposure of this important story does not end in Chicago. The Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space will screen the film at its annual meeting the following week in Santa Barbara, California.
The day before the meeting in Santa Barbara, the Sonoma County Museum in Santa Rosa has invited me to present the film as part of an exhibit about the April 3rd Massacre on Jeju, though they are not able to defray travel expenses.
I have also been invited to present the film in L.A., San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, Taos, and Austin that I would like to do immediately after the Global Network meeting.
Beginning with the Peace on Earth Film Festival and continuing on to the West Coast, the Untold History of the United States in Korea and the ongoing military march to dominate the planet will receive the greatest exposure to date and significantly amplify the voices of Gangjeong and peace activists all over the world, but without your help I will not be able to go to Chicago or to begin this tour.
Readers of my emails and blog know that Pope Francis will visit South Korea in August. At the request of the people of Gangjeong and Jeju, I wrote a letter to Pope Francis and sent him a copy of The Ghosts of Jeju. Right now, there is no more important place in the world for Pope Francis to go to promote peace on earth than Jeju, The Island of World Peace. A visit by the Pope would galvanize the international peace movement and attract the attention of the international media that up until now have ignored the situation on Jeju and the anti-base movement world-wide.
I have exhausted my savings making the film and presenting it, and must turn to you for help to keep this important story alive. Please do what you can.
You can contribute in one of three ways:
- Checks made out to Regis Tremblay
209 River Rd – Woolwich, Maine 04579
- donations to the Global Network at https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/Space4Peace
In the Special Purpose box for your donation, type in “Ghosts of Jeju.” Your contribution will be tax deductible.
- you can purchase a copy of the film, here:
Your financial contributions will make a significant difference in the world-wide struggle against war, militarism, the desecration of the environment, and the abuse of human rights.
My very deep and sincere thanks for your continuing interest and support,
The Ghosts of Jeju is an “official selection” of the Peace on Earth Film Festival! I am completely overcome….the only festival out of 20 that I applied for that has accepted my film. The Ghosts of Jeju was accepted at the Berkeley Film Festival after a friend in Berkeley recommended it to them.
SIXTH Annual Peace On Earth Film Festival, scheduled for the long weekend of Thursday March 6 – Sunday, March 9, at the Chicago Cultural Center.
Follow the link above to visit the official webpage.
Thanks to all of you who supported me in the making of the film including everyone who purchased a copy and everyone who attended a public screening.
We don’t have a lot of time to get it right!
Christmas in Gangjeong, and still the construction of the massive naval base to accommodate America’s “Pivot to Asia” continues without a break. And, today, as they do everyday, the priests, nuns, villagers and their supporters celebrate mass and pray for peace.
Today, Bishop Peter Kang, the Bishop of Jeju, came to Gangjeong to celebrate Christmas mass at the gate of the base in freezing weather.
Photos by Choe Hye-young and Rom
Grace Kim is a Korean, who went abroad at quite an early age. She went to high school and college in the US and has been living in Berlin for the last 5 years studying Visual and Media Anthropology at Freie University. Grace is in Gangjeong for three months keeping a daily video diary as she conducts her research.
When I went to Gangjeong, I learned that each of us has a voice and that with knowledge comes responsibility. The least we can do is to amplify the voices of Gangjeong and do what we can to bring justice and peace to our world.
I wanted to share this wonderful video Grace posted today, Christmas 2013. It clearly demonstrates the indomitable spirit of the people of Gangjeong in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, and yet the villagers and their supporters who come from Jeju, the mainland, and around the world have found their own voices and are doing their part to amplify the message of Gangjeong: Peace on Earth!
For the first time in the 200 year Korean Catholic history, a Korean nun has been indicted for her role in the peaceful, non-violent protest against the construction of the naval base on Jeju Island that will accommodate the U.S. “pivot to Asia.”
Catholic priests and nuns from Jeju and the mainland have been protesting daily for seven years along with the people of Gangjeong Village and activists from around the world.
I had the privilege and honor to meet Sister Stella while I was there in September of 2012. We had been seated together for dinner on the evening before Sister Stella would return home to Seoul when she asked if I would interview her. With darkness approaching, she positioned herself in front of a fire pit and let it rip without me even asking her a question.
This interview appears in my documentary The Ghosts of Jeju and has been seen now by hundreds of people in the U.S. and in more than a dozen countries around the world. Sister Stella’s sincerity, honesty, and blunt remarks about U.S. imperialism have moved all who have seen the film.
She will undoubtedly be fined a large amount of money as have the more than 600 peace activists who have already been arrested, and quite possibly she will serve time in jail.
Here is that interview again.
Tonight it will be screened at the University of Seattle, a Jesuit University, sponsored by the Asian Studies Department and the Korean Student Union. Tomorrow it will be screened at “Meaningful Movies” in Seattle sponsored by the local chapter of Veterans for Peace.
On Saturday, Paula returns home and I fly to Minneapolis where I will screen it at the University of Minnesota, and on Sunday at a local theater. These final two screenings are being sponsored by the University, the Korean Quarterly Newspaper, The Korean Forum, Mothers Against Military Madness, and the Veterans for Peace.
My hosts in Minneapolis will be two of my best friends from our Carmelite Seminary high school and college years. So, the trip will end on a wonderful note.
I fly back home to Maine on Monday.
This trip which began in San Francisco, continued to Santa Rosa, then Portland and Chehalis Washington has been exceptional in many respects. First and foremost, the film has been widely acclaimed by all. Many have purchased a copy to continue amplifying the “voices of Gangjeong” in churches, libraries, and activist groups.
The response is the same everywhere: anger, shame at what their country has done and is doing around the world, and disillusionment. But always, they are inspired by the indomitable spirit of the people of Gangjeong Village in the face of overwhelming odds. They stand, clap and cheer before engaging in a spirited Q&A and discussion session. Always, people ask what they can do. Some are even planning to go to Gangjeong. But, most purchase a copy of the film and promise to spread the world.
Along the way, Paula and I have met many wonderful activists who have hosted us, shared their lives with us, and inspired us with their commitment to end wars and work for peace.
Finally, it has been a fantastic vacation for Paula and me. This is Paula’s first trip to the West Coast so we have been seeing the sights. Paula has taken hundreds and hundreds of pictures of all the new plants, trees and vegetation. Being a professional gardener, this was a very exciting part of the trip. We had to visit the various botanical gardens, conservatories and the magnificent public parks such as Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
I have learned that there are scores of people everywhere who are working to end war and work for peace and justice in the world and this is reassuring. People “get it,” and are working to abolish the dark forces that are threatening our lives and the planet.
It is also gratifying to know that The Ghosts of Jeju is playing a significant role in the peace movement….and the environmental and human rights movements as well. As a result, I will be planning more tours to other parts of the country in 2014 and am now preparing a study/discussion guide to accompany the film.
Thanks to all of you for your continued support. Without you The Ghosts of Jeju would not have happened.
With deep respect, profound gratitude, and in solidarity,
209 River Rd.
Woolwich, Maine 04579