Guam says “No Deal!” to the U.S. Military Buildup

The U.S. military currently is conducting public hearings on its draft environmental impact statement for its military buildup in Guam and the Northern Marianas islands.   At the first hearing, residents overwhelmingly opposed the plan.   Here is a powerful testimony by prophet-poet Melvin Won Pat-Borja, a former mentor with YouthSpeaks Hawai’i who now teaches in Guam.

Description from the YouTube page:

Melvin Won Pat-Borja, representing the community organization “We Are Guahan” presents his official testimony against the U.S. Military’s plans to transfer thousands of marines from Okinawa to Guam. The Department of Defense has published a draft of the Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) detailing their plans. The DEIS is about 11,000 pages long, and the public only has until February 17, 2010 to submit comments on the document.

“We Are Guahan” is a group of community members dedicated to reading and disseminating information in the DEIS to the public, including details of the devastating effects of the military buildup on the island’s culture, water sources, coral reefs and marine habitats, family lands, historical and archeological sites, and social environment. Furthermore, despite common belief that the buildup will benefit Guam’s economy, the DEIS reveals that majority of new jobs and contracts will be given to off-island workers and companies.

Most importantly, the U.S. military’s decision is a blatant violation of human rights for Guam’s residents, who have not been allowed to participate in any aspect of the buildup plans. “We Are Guahan” encourages everyone, in and outside of Guam, to stay informed about the military buildup! Read the EIS and make your voice heard! You can submit comments online, by mail, or in person at public hearings.

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