The Great Pacific Shuffle – US Troops to Move from Okinawa to Guam, Hawaii, Australia

June 29, 2012 

Discussing the so-called Pacific ʻpivotʻ of U.S. policy, Cara Flores Mays (We Are Guahan), Terri Kekoʻolani and Kyle Kajihiro (both with Hawaiʻi Peace and Justice and DMZ-Hawaiʻi / Aloha ʻAina) were guests on the Asia Pacific Forum radio program on WBAI (New York) with host Hyun Lee. Listen to the program here:

The Great Pacific Shuffle – US Troops to Move from Okinawa to Guam, Hawaii, Australia

The US military is playing a game of shuffle in Asia Pacific – planning to withdraw 9000 troops from Okinawa and transfer them to Guam, Hawaii, and Australia – according to a deal reached at the US-Japan summit last month. The plan reflects “US’ attempt to save its long-standing alliance with Japan in the face of unrelenting resistance by the Okinawan people” against the presence of US marines there, according to Kyle Kajihiro of DMZ Hawaii. What does this sudden announcement mean for the people of Guam and Hawaii? How much will the move cost US taxpayers, and will the minority but growing voices of concern in Washington about unlimited military spending check the planned troop transfer? APF talks with Kyle Kajihiro, as well as Terri Keko’olani of the Hawaii Peace and Justice Center and Cara Flores-Mays of We are Guahan.


  • Cara Flores-Mays is an indigenous Chamorro small-business owner specializing in creative media. She is an organizer for the grassroots organization “We Are Guåhan”, which has played a significant role in educating the Guam community about the potential impacts of the proposed military buildup. She provides strategy and resource development for the group’s initiatives, including “Prutehi yan Difendi”, a campaign to increase public awareness and support for a lawsuit against the Department of Defense for which We Are Guåhan was a filing party.
  • Kyle Kajihiro is a fourth generation Japanese in Hawaiʻi and was born and raised in Honolulu. He has worked on peace and demilitarization issues since 1996, first as staff with the American Friends Service Committee, and now with its successor organization, Hawaiʻi Peace and Justice. He writes and speaks about the demilitarization movement in Hawaiʻi and has traveled internationally to build solidarity on these issues. In the past, he has been active in anti-racist/anti-fascist issues, immigrant worker organizing, Central America solidarity, and community mural, radio and video projects.
  • Terri Keko’olani is a native Hawaiian and sovereignty activist/community organizer with DMZ Hawai’i Aloha Aina and the Hawaii Peace and Justice Center.

Listen to the program by downloading the MP3:

Demilitarization as Rehumanization

April 19, 2011 

In an article in Left Turn magazine, Clare Bayard has beautifully reframed the issues for the peace / anti-war movement.  Demilitarization is about challenging the infrastructure and ideology that make wars more likely to occur.

Demilitarization as Rehumanization

By: Clare Bayard
March 11, 2011

The antiwar movement never died. The movement has shifted to the work of long-term, community-based organizing to mount a comprehensive challenge to US militarism. This work is growing inside grassroots movements led by veterans, immigrants, queers, and low-income communities of color. Everywhere domestic militarization burns to the bone, people are fighting for a different future. The mass street marches of 2003 sought to preemptively raise the political cost of the Iraq war. We always knew that beyond those marches we would have to confront the real human cost if the wars moved ahead.

For those who have retreated into depression or distraction, her message is as hopeful as it is challenging:

People are organizing on every level, from federal legislation and military policy to survival programs that start with individuals and generate networks of grassroots resources and programs. Current work with the potential to drastically impact US militarism includes war economy and economic conversion campaigns, migrant justice, and GI resistance organizing.

There are many crucial questions about alternatives to military intervention, or the roles of armed struggle in peoples’ movements for self-determination. We take inspiration from people around the world confronting US militarism on their own territory, particularly in the anti-occupation and anti military base movements, currently finding their strongest expressions in North Africa, West Asia, Latin America and the Pacific.

GI resistance, counter recruitment, women in the military resisting sexual violence are some examples she discusses.  She also highlights the need for healing the wounds of war, violence and militarism.  A unique example of the cross-constituency, cross issue organizing involved in demilitarization work took place in the San Francisco bay area between the Ohlone Nation and Veterans for Peace:

Members of the Ohlone Nation—the Bay Area’s original inhabitants, displaced to Southern California—journeyed to San Francisco to hold a joint healing ceremony with the local Veterans For Peace Chapter on Veterans’ Day. The ceremony recognized a young person lost to suicide after returning from combat, and honored these two communities, beginning an explicit long-term partnership on healing the wounds of war.

She concludes that demilitarization must also involve healing and decolonizing ourselves from the violent and oppressive influence of militarism:

Demilitarization means untangling layers, from which institutions shape our society and address our needs, and decolonizing our minds, bodies, and organizing practices. Demilitarization practices are healing and wholeness strategies for our communities and cultures. Affirming everyone’s humanity and centering the importance of healing capsizes the logic of militarism. While we campaign to withdraw troops, defund the military, involve the public  in reparations, and make racist fear and warmongering unacceptable, we must also be practicing individual and community behaviors that support the values we seek to implement as a society.

“Healing justice is being used as a framework that seeks to lift up resiliency and wellness practices as a transformative response to generational violence and trauma in our communities.” This footnote to principles developed at last summer’s US Social Forum, by Cara Page of Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective, explains the power of aligning different antimilitarist threads. We have no choice but to address the violence and trauma carried in so many of our bodies. We must reclaim traditions of wellness that use not the individual but relationships as the fundamental unit. This aligns us with values of community, right relation to the environment, and organizing as a process of building relationships that we set in motion to effect change. Demilitarization means hope for the future.


Join DMZ-Hawai’i/ Aloha ‘Aina at the USSF: ‘American Lake’ or Ka Moana Nui?: Demilitarization movements in the Asia-Pacific

June 4, 2010 

‘American Lake’ or Ka Moana Nui?: Demilitarization movements in the Asia-Pacific

Since the 1890s, the US has treated the Pacific ocean as an ‘American Lake’. Today, it seeks a drastic expansion of military bases in the region, primarily to contain a rising China. But movements against US bases in the Asia-Pacific are rising up and declaring a different vision of Ka Moana Nui (the great ocean) as a zone of peace and security through peoples’ solidarity. The voices of peoples of the Pacific are rarely heard in the US. Find out about demilitarization efforts in the Asia-Pacific and how people in the U.S. can be in solidarity. Participants will gain a better understanding of: 1) the crucial role of Pacific islands to the maintenance and expansion of American Empire; 2) the disastrous impacts this network of bases has on the countries and peoples of the Asia-Pacific; and 3) the movements that are resisting U.S. militarization in the Pacific. This will be a panel discussion with representatives from Asia-Pacific nations who are knowledgeable and active in anti-bases struggles. The format will be a panel discussion with some multimedia aids. Activists working on anti-bases movements in Hawai’i, Guahan/Guam, and Korea will be on a panel.

Thu, 06/24/2010 – 3:30pm5:30pm
Event Location: Cobo Hall: D2-10

CEJE: Film screening and discussion of Demilitarization

February 25, 2010 

Join us for a FREE Film Screening & Discussion on De-militarization!

FRIDAY 2/26 * 4:00-5:45pm


University of Hawai’i at Manoa

TWO GRASSROOTS DOCUMENTARY SHORTS on the U.S. military presence in Korea and Vieques

followed by discussion with KYLE KAJIHIRO


This is an event organized by the Collective for Equality, Justice & Empowerment



Co-sponsors: American Friends Service Committee & DMZ Hawai’i/Aloha ‘Aina

Download the poster here.

“Constancy & Change: The Movement to Demilitarize Okinawa – from the 1950s to the 21st Century”

January 15, 2010 

10.1.21 okinawa constancy_&_change

Download leaflet here

Center for Okinawan Studies Lecture Series

“Constancy & Change: The Movement to Demilitarize Okinawa – from the 1950s to the 21st Century”

Two doctoral students at the University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa will make presentations on sixty-five years of diverse resistance by the movement to demilitarize Okinawa.

Mami Hayashi’s presentation, “Military Bases in Okinawa: A Pressure for Migration,” covers the contrast between pre-war and postwar emigration and how a desire to defuse domestic dissent led the pre-Reversion U.S. military and the U.S.-controlled Ryukyu Government to encourage migration from Okinawa.

Rinda Yamashiro’s presentation, “Women’s Rights Perspective: A New Direction in the Anti-U.S. Base Movement in Okinawa,” draws on empirical research to articulate how the contemporary Okinawan women have engaged in resistance against U.S. military bases.


Mami Hayashi (Ph.D. Student, American Studies)

Rinda Yamashiro (Ph.D. Student, Sociology)


Vincent Pollard (Lecturer, Asian Studies)

Vincent Pollard teaches in the Asian Studies Program and conducts research on anti-bases movements.

Date: January 21, 2010 (Thursday)

Time: 3:00-4:30 pm

Location:  Center for Korean Studies Auditorium

Event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Center for Okinawan Studies, tel. 956‐0902 / 956-5754

For disability access, please contact the Center for Okinawan Studies.

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution