Please come out and spread the word to make a statement of solidarity of the peoples of the Pacific against the U.S. military buildup in this region. Mahalo.
IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 20, 2010
Kyle Kajihiro, American Friends Service Committee and DMZ Hawai‘i/Aloha ‘Aina http://www.dmzhawaii.org/ Tel. 808-542-3668, Email: KKajihiro@afsc.org
Kisha Borja-kicho’cho’, Fight for Guahan, Email: email@example.com, Website: We Are Guahan www.weareguahan.com <http://www.weareguahan.com>
Colonel (Ret.) Ann Wright, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 808-741-1141
NO MILITARY BUILDUP IN THE MARIANA ISLANDS
WHEN: 9:30AM, Monday, February 22, 2010
WHERE: Main gate of the U.S. Pacific Command, Camp Smith, Aiea, Oahu
On Monday, February 22, 2010, at the front gate of Pacific Command Headquarters at Camp Smith, ‘Aiea, Oahu, a delegation from Guam and the Northern Marianas, joined by students from Okinawa and members of the Hawai’i community including American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and DMZ Hawai’i / Aloha ‘Aina, will deliver the message to the U.S. Pacific Command that the people of Guam and the Marianas Islands oppose the catastrophic military expansion in their islands.
University of Hawai’i student Kisha Borja-Kicho’cho’, a coordinator for the local organization “Fight for Guahan,” said, “The grassroots voices of our people are being ignored by the military, U.S. politicians and the mainstream media. So, we came to deliver a message directly to the Commander of the U.S. military in the Pacific that we, the peoples of Guahan, the Northern Marianas, Okinawa and Hawai‘i reject any further military build up in the Pacific. Our islands are not weapons to be used in wars against other peoples and countries. We demand peace.”
She said that the media has misrepresented the level of support for the military buildup by Guam residents: “The truth is that most do NOT want their island’s population to increase by 25% with 8,000 U.S. Marines and 34,000 Marine families and contractors moving to Guam from Okinawa.”
Borja-Kicho’cho’ and other Guam citizens will place at the front gate of the Pacific Command dramatic photos of unique and pristine areas of Guam that will be seized and destroyed by live fire training and other military activities should the U.S. military build-up take place on Guam.
Dr. Hope Cristobal, a psychologist from Guam, who is featured in the PBS documentary “The Insular Empire: America in the Mariana Islands,” premiering 4pm, Sunday, February 21, 2010 commented: “The Department of Defense plans to have 40% of Guam and become the largest landowner on an island where its citizens have no right to vote for President or Congress because it is an Unincorporated Territory-an occupied land and the occupiers are taking more land.” Dr. Cristobal has testified before the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization.
Retired U.S. Army Reserve Colonel Ann Wright said, “Across the Pacific – in Okinawa, in Guam, in Hawai‘i – people are saying ‘NO’ to military expansion in our region. We want Admiral Willard to hear this: No Means No. When you force yourself on someone against their will, it’s called rape-rape of the people, the culture and the land. We Americans must stop our government’s military expansion in the Pacific.”
The U.S. wants to move the controversial Futenma military base to a pristine coral reef area of Okinawa and transfer some Marines from Okinawa to Guam. Okinawans nearly unanimously oppose the relocation of the base within Okinawa. The new Japanese administration is also opposed to a base relocation within Okinawa and wants to renegotiate a base relocation agreement negotiated by the previous Japanese administration.
AFSC Hawai‘i Program Director Kyle Kajihiro said, “We’ve been presented with false options. Removing bases and troops from Okinawa, does not require moving them to Guam or Hawai‘i. The military can reduce its overall footprint in the Pacific. Clean up and give back the lands taken from the peoples in Okinawa, Guam and Hawai‘i.”
President Obama will visit Guam in March on his trip to Indonesia and Australia and will be given a petition from tens of thousands of islanders telling the President they do not want more military in the Mariana Islands.
For more information, please see the following websites:
We Are Guahan: http://www.weareguahan.com
Peace and Justice for Guam and the Pacific: http://decolonizeguam.blogspot.com/
DMZ-Hawai‘i/Aloha ‘Aina: www.dmzhawaii.org
US for Okinawa: http://www.us-for-okinawa.blogspot.com/
Insular Empire: www.theinsularempire.com