Lisa Natividad and Julian Aguon
Chamoru activists from Guahan (Guam) who are campaigning against US military bases will be coming to Melbourne for 2 good gigs.
Friday 13th June
6.30pm @ Old Stables of Earthly Pleasures Café, Belgrave
(enter via back carpark)
Saturday 14th June
12.30-5pm @ 60 Leiscester St, Cartlon
Join us for an afternoon workshop with panels, presentations and action planning on US bases and militarisation in Australia, Japan and the Pacific.
As the US prepares to move thousands of Marines from Okinawa to Guam, find out about the struggle for Indigenous self-determination in the Pacific and Australia’s links to regional militarisation.
US militarisation of the north-west Pacific is anchored around the small island of Guam, east of the Philippines. The island, known as Guahan to its indigenous Chamoru population, is three hours' flying time from Japan, Okinawa, Indonesia and the Philippines. Flying to China or North Korea from Guahan takes four hours. Guahan is currently a US territory, so the Pentagon can act there without seeking permission from allies.
Guahan is strategically located close to several of the world's most important sea lanes through which some 50% of the world's oil passes each year. In addition to the upgrading of facilities and increased deployments of planes, submarines and other equipment, Guahan now faces a doubling of the military troops stationed there. Washington and Tokyo have agreed to move 8,000 Marines to Guahan from Okinawa by 2014. This build-up will add 35,000 people to Guahan's current population of 170,000.
The Struggle of the Chamoru people
The Chamoru people of Guahan have resisted the take over of their land and waters since the arrival of Europeans in 1668. They are not prepared to give up that struggle. In October 2006, a delegation of young Chamoru stood before the United Nations’ Special Committee on Decolonisation and demanded that they “hold the United States accountable, as Guahan’s administering power, to its moral and legal responsibilities to ensure the ... right to self-determination of the native Chamoru people” and put an end to the “massive US military build-up [which] hinders the right of Chamorus to decolonization and violates the human rights of all people from Guahan”.
The link with Australia
Australia’s military alliance with the United States allows US Air Force planes from Guam to fly across our country for exercises and to use bombing ranges. The alliance makes us complicit in the denial of Chamoru indigenous rights and in the threat to regional peace and security posed by the militarisation of Guahan. In addition, the Australian Defence Force participates in various military exercises with US forces based in Guahan and ADF elements visit and transit through Guahan during these war games.