Lawrence Gray - An American Eye on the Koza Riot
On December 20th, 1970, Koza City erupted into the largest anti-American riot that Okinawa has ever seen.
Over 3000 local residents flooded the streets of the base town, dragging American drivers from their cars, beating them, then setting fire to their vehicles. The crowd stormed the gates of Kadena Air Base and burned down some of its administrative buildings. By the time the riot petered out 6 hours later, more than 60 Americans lay in hospital and over 80 cars smoldered in Koza's roads.
One of the hundreds of US service members sent in the next day to quell further violence was Lawrence Gray, a 23-year old military policeman with the 20th MP Company. As well as a riot shield and baton, Gray carried his camera.
These are the photographs taken during the course of the clean-up operation - a uniquely American eye on the 1970 Koza Riot.
"Condition Green One"
Click speaker for the announcement declaring Koza off limits to US personnel.
All photographs copyright Lawrence Gray - 2011.
Captions by Bruce Lieber.
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