Abe Kosuzu

In July 2009 David Graeber came to Okinawa. A group of friends organized the trip, which turned out to be a gift for the students of Ryukyu University, who had just been engaged in an occupation, in synchronicity with the occupations at the New School in New York City and the University of California in Santa Cruz. In Naha, David stayed in the Guest House Kashiwa-ya, which was associated with the anti-US military base movement. July 21st was a long and busy day: he gave a 90-minute talk at Ryukyu University entitled “What Comes After the Twilight of Vanguardism?”, and then participated in a collective talk/party event called “In the Twilight Hour: Lou-Chans Welcome DG to OK” at G-Shelter, a legendary underground space that had previously hosted Gavin McCormack and Cornel West. There David had a long, passionate and joyful conversation with the students exceeding four hours into the summer night, in a convivial atmosphere with potluck food and drinks, as well as a slideshow ethnographically comparing the university occupations, unfolding in two distant places separated by the Pacific Ocean. The next day, David visited two sites of mass direct action against US military bases at Henoko (by the sea) and Takae (in the mountain jungle), both of which are still ongoing. That night, he had an exchange with residents engaged in a sit-in struggle in one of their home bases.

Since his memorable visit, I had been hoping to ask David a couple of questions, if there were a chance to meet again: how he perceived the style of Okinawan people’s long lasting action of anti-militarism based on sit-ins – that is different from the shared experience of university occupation – on the day of his visit and if he was able to employ any of its elements in his own context after the visit. I am very sad that this is no longer possible. At the same time, I am sheerly grateful to David for his having jumped into Okinawa and so powerfully inspired students there. I would like to say: Rest in Peace David, which is equal to Rest in Power in Okinawa, where people’s hope for peace entails their power.

—Abe Kosuzu, Univ. of the Ryukyus, Okinawa

2009年7月、ディヴィッド・グレーバーさんが来沖した。同じ年の春先、ニュースクール、NYUの学生たちに共鳴して大学占拠した琉球大学生たちへの贈り物のように、彼の来沖企画を友人がアレンジしてくれたのだった。那覇では反基地闘争を支援するゲストハウス柏屋に投宿し、7月21日は琉球大学で「前衛主義の後に何が来るのか」What Comes after the Twilight of Vanguardism? をテーマに90分の講義を行った後、当時は宜野湾市にあったスペースG-shelterで、「るー大占拠キャンプ出張編:今宵はグレーバーと」In the Twilight Hour: Lou-Chans Welcome DG to OKと題したゆんたくイベントに登壇していただいた。ガヴァン・マコーマックやコーネル・ウェストを迎えたこともある伝説の地下室G-shelterは、琉大とニュースクールという海を隔てた二つの大学で起こった大学占拠の比較エスノグラフィックなスライドショー大会となり、手作りの食事あり歌ありのコンヴィヴィアルな空間となり、夏の薄闇の時間どころか、延々4時間を超えて、グレーバーさんは、大学生たちと語り合った。

翌7月22日は、反基地座り込み闘争が(今日も)続いている沖縄島北部の辺野古と高江の直接行動の現場を訪問した。夜は高江の座り込みの家で住民の会と交流した。前提となる土台を共有して交歓した前日とは異なり、長期にわたる住民の座り込みという反軍事主義の沖縄の行動スタイルを、この日、かれがどのように受けとめ、その経験は後にどのように活かされたのか、いつか機会があったら尋ねてみたいと思っていた。それが叶わなくなったのはとても残念だ。沖縄に飛び込んできて、学生たちを大いに触発してくれたグレーバーさんには、感謝しかない。Rest in powerという言い換えを見かけるが、軍事主義を拒否する沖縄の私たちの平和が力を欠くことなど一度もなかった。その精神をまとっているRest in peaceの言葉を、心をこめて。