For Immediate Release: April 16, 2013
Contact: Kyle Kajihiro
Islands of Peace – Casualties of War, a Pan-Pacific Discussion
As a new wave of militarization bears down on the Pacific under President Obama’s so-called “Pacific Pivot”, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus and the Honolulu community will have a rare opportunity to hear the voices of those directly affected by these policies.
Islands of Peace – Casualties of War will be held on April 25, 2013, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. at the Hālau o Haumea, Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies.
The event will feature a presentation by Jeong Young-hee, Chairwoman of the Women Villagers’ Committee to Stop the Naval Base, Gangjeong, Jeju Island. Ms. Jeong will share stories of her direct experience in her village’s ongoing nonviolent struggle against the construction of a South Korean naval base and its devastating ecological and cultural impacts.
Jeju Island was designated an “Island of Peace” by the Korean government and is heavily dependent on tourism from the main Korean peninsula. The coral reef near Gangjeong was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. In contrast to protests against the presence of U.S. military bases in South Korea, the villagers are pushing back against the South Korean government, which has argued that Hawaiʻi is a model of how militarism and tourism uses can be mutually beneficial. Some foreign policy analysts believe that the proposed naval base will also be integrated into the U.S. missile defense program, a move seen by China as a provocation. For more information about the campaign to save Jeju see: http://savejejunow.org/
The event also brings together Native Hawaiian and Chamorro scholar-activists who have been active in efforts to confront militarization and its impacts in their home islands. ʻIlima Long, M.A. student in Hawaiian Studies and member of HauMĀNA, a Hawaiian student political organization will discuss the impacts and resistance to the U.S. military “pivot” in Hawaiʻi. Ken Gofigan Kuper, M.A. student in Pacific Island studies and Guam native will discuss the military buildup threatening the Marianas Islands under the military “pivot”. This multi-island dialogue has particular resonance given Hawaii’s use as a strategic outpost for the U.S. military has been the model for Jeju, Guam and Okinawa.
Co-sponsors: Oceania Rising, HauMANA, Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, Center for Korean Studies, US-Japan Committee for Racial Justice, Hawaiʻi Peace and Justice, DMZ-Hawaiʻi /Aloha ʻĀina.