Women’s Vigil for Peace and Solidarity

In Solidarity with the 7th International Network of Women against Militarism (INWAM) Meeting: Guahan

Hafa Adai, my name is Angela T. Hoppe-Cruz. I am a Chamoru woman born and raised on the island of Guahan, now residing in Makaha. The INWAM formed in the mid 1990’s in response to the rape of a young Okinawan woman by a U.S. Marine. In 2004 women from Hawaii represented DMZ Hawaii Aloha Aina at th 5th INWAM Meeting held in the Phillipies. American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is part of the alliance that makes up DMZ. Hawaii’s participation continued, followed by the 2007 delegation in San Francisco, and this year Guahan. This year Hawaii is represented at the Guahan conference by Auntie Terri and Melanie Medalle. The meeting location is strategically selected based on the current militarism efforts against the people. In 2006 the U.S. military announced the transfer of U.S. Marines stationed in Okinawa to Guahan. The influx will result in 50,000 more people and immense development of the land for military use.

The 7th INWAM Meeting kicked off early this week, as I followed in spirit and prayer our sisters and brothers, there is an ache to be part of such a historic event, especially at this moment in time. Many sisters from the Micronesian region, here on Oahu have expressed that same ache and desire. I was moved and inspired by them to organize a gathering for our sisters living on Oahu, who cannot be in attendance at the INMW. On the final day of the conference there will be a community vigil to “honor the past and heal for the future “Fuetsan I Lina’la’: Famalao’an I Tano’ Strength of Life: Women of the Land”. Detailed information regarding the conference is at this site: http://genuinesecurity.blogspot.com/.

In solidarity with the INWM Guahan conference, we ask that you join us for a community vigil to be held on Oahu, to honor the past and heal for the future. This is a call for solidarity and sisterhood and that our connection brings hopeful collectivity. Militarism and empire building has wrought upon indigenous peoples’ across the globe a deep trauma and loss. The INWM is a collective of women standing up against the continued injustices and desecration of our lands, and communities. This is the thrust of the Gathering, women collectively overcoming militarism and putting forth a new vision of security. We ask for your full participation, this is not a performance. It is a space for us to gather, to re-member. Please call with questions Angela at 366-5777 or e-mail atacruz@gmail.com.

When: Sunday, September 20th at 4:00p.m.

Where: Makua Beach, Ku la`i la`i

  • Hi`uwai (water cleansing ceremony). Procession to Papa Wai Ola cared for by Auntie Leandra.
  • Oli by Auntie Leandra
  • Song from our Sisters’ (open to all)
    • Chamoru, Chuukese, Palauan
  • Resilience and Healing across Oceania
    • Sharing our stories of struggle and hope
  • Potluck and drinks

**Please bring a potluck dish and drink to share. Also, please bring kukui nuts they will be used to represent the hurt you wish to be transformed.

The following is a timeline of military rule and impact in the Micronesian Islands and Hawaii. There are not words to describe the history of oppression and hurt that connects us. Nor are there words to describe our inherent power to heal and move beyond. We take with us not spears, but the power of our voice, love and ancestors collectively to challenge and resist the continued rape of our tano/aina.

The Transgressions: A timeline of militarism in our islands. (this is not a comprehensive list)

  • 1893: The Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown and placed under U.S. rule, annexed as a territory.
  • 1898: The islands of Micronesia, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Isalnds and the Republic of Palau were divvied up as spoils of war after the Spanish American war.
  • Guam was ceded to the United States of America while the rest of the islands were awarded to Germany.
  • 1919: The Japanese through the Treaty of Versailles took control of the islands, except for Guam, which continued to be ruled by the U.S.A.
  • 1920: Guam is forced to follow: English Only Law.
  • 1941: Guam was under U.S. rule, until the Japanese Occupation, which lasted until 1944
  • 1944: Guam was ‘liberated’ from Japanese Occupation by the United States of America.
  • 1944: Following WWII the FSM, RMI, ROP and CNMI became Trust Territories of the Pacific, through the UN administered by the USA.
  • 1950: Through the Organic Act of 1950, Guam became a United States Territory.
  • 1954: In the name of Humanity, Marshall Islands are used as testing site of BRAVO an HBOMB, the equivalent of 10000 Hiroshima bombs.
  • 1959: Hawai`i nei annexed into statehood.
  • 1979: Four of the trust territory islands ratified the constitution to become the Federated States of Micronesia (Chuuk, Ponepei, Kosrae, Yap). RMI, ROP and CNMI chose not to participate.
  • 1986: Compact of Free Association took effect, for the FSM and RMI entities.
  • 1993: President Clinton issued an apology to the Kanaka Maoli for the overthrow of their Kingdom.
  • 1996: Compact of Free Association took effect. The conflict which this contract brought to the people of Palau was devastating. Their first President was assassinated and the 2nd committed suicide as a result of the pressure to get the people to agree to this. From the perspective of an elder, the third President gave in.
  • 1996: Personal Responsibility and Work Reconciliation Act, distinguishes Micronesians as aliens and ineligible for Medquest, based on “alienage” Sect 412, 431.
  • 2006: US announced transfer of Okinawan base to Guam, influx of 50,000 people and development as result. No community consultation.
  • 2009: Linda Lingle attempts to alter healthcare coverage to migrants from Micronesia, possibly endangering lives of individuals in need of chemo and dialysis.

As I write this my heart is heavy…the connections that have severed us are many and have been brutal. I ask you to join us; sisters in solidarity, to relieve ourselves of the cultural historical trauma…if not relieve, to ask for the strength to continue fighting for our people, our land. What we shed will flow out into the ocean and become one with the current.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *