De-Militarize Hawaii


Opinion-Editorial by hauMĀNA - originally published in Honolulu Civil Beat

http://www.civilbeat.com/posts/2012/09/28/17257-de-militarize-hawaii/

De-Militarize Hawaii

If you’ve heard the long, blaring commercials, the mountain-rattling roar of fighter jet engines and perhaps even the practice blasts of simulated bombings and the “wall of fire” over the past weeks then you are likely aware that the annual Blue Angels air show is this Saturday at Kāneʻohe Marine Corp Base (KMCB).
Colonel Brian Annicharico, the Commanding Officer at Marine Corps Base Hawaiʻi describes the airshow as “A myriad of professional, civilian and military aerobatic demonstrations as well as military static displays.” But for many of us who call Hawaiʻi home, the upcoming air show is so much more than a “demonstration of aerobatics.”
Rather, it is a stark reminder of how military power in Hawaiʻi has heavily impacted our history, our land, and our people.
For many Kānaka Maoli, this blatant display of U.S. military might triggers the collective memory of our people to recall the landing of U.S. Marines in Honolulu on January 16th, 1893 to assist in the overthrow our beloved Queen, Liliʻuokalani. This military power that suppressed freedom of speech and protest against the overthrow of our Queen, is the same military power that continues to occupy the lands and minds of our people here in Hawaiʻi today.
Hawaiʻi’s value to the U.S. was, and continues to be, measured in its strategic usefulness as a military outpost and training ground. Since the 1893 landing of U.S. Marines in Honolulu, military presence and power in Hawaiʻi has grown exponentially. Currently, the military controls nearly 240,000 acres of land in our islands, upon which 161 military installations are housed. On Oʻahu alone, the military controls over 85,000 acres, or approximately 22 percent of the island’s entire land mass. This has contributed to a multitude of environmental and social justice issues across our ʻāina, including, but not limited to the contamination of our land and water resources with unexploded ordinances and depleted uranium.
For those of us who trace our genealogies back to the land and seas of Hawaiʻi, it is extremely problematic and painful to witness the military’s continued exploitation of these ancestors of ours for their live-fire training exercises. In this sense, the air show on Saturday with all its aerobatic displays, simulated bombings and walls of fire is more than just a reminder of the physical impacts of the military in Hawai’i but is also symbolic of an extreme power divide that renders those who are genealogically connected to this ʻāina, virtually powerless.
But powerless we are not. Throughout history, people whose only weapon in hand is aloha for their ʻāina have united in great numbers, and have indeed made great strides towards global peace and justice. Our own history tells the story of a group of people who united, struggled and succeeded in stopping the U.S. Navy’s bombing of Kahoʻolawe. The fight for land and culture that allows people and places to thrive continues. Merely three weeks ago, 100,000 people in Okinawa and 10,000 people in Japan gathered in protest of the arrival of twelve MV-22 Osprey aircraft, expressing serious concerns over the safety and well-being of their people.  Currently, the U.S. military is proposing to station 24 MV-22 Osprey aircraft to train over the densely populated area of Koʻolaupoko, Oʻahu, and on our sacred Mauna a Wākea at the Pōhakuloa Training Area on Hawaiʻi island. This is double the number of aircraft that Japan is protesting against. Building a movement and strengthened voice focused on love for the land, aloha ʻāina, is absolutely critical to curbing the continuation of military expansion in Hawaiʻi, which will only work to consume the economic, environmental, and social values of this, our home.
This Saturday a group of students and community members will gather at the intersection of Likelike and Kamehameha Highway between 8 and 9am to demonstrate our solidarity with those who envision an independent and de-militarized Hawaiʻi whose lands, traditions, natural resources, people and deities are respected, allowed to flourish, and are protected from exploitation as training grounds for U.S. military activities around the world.
We will give space and voice to a message of Aloha ʻĀina in opposition to one that works to normalize the exploitation of land and people through the glorification of war and violence. We also stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters from Okinawa, Japan, Guam and others from around the great Pacific, who are currently engaged in resistance efforts against military expansion in their own countries.
Ours is a message of peace and it is with a deep and intimate sense of aloha for our ʻāina that we stand here today, steadfast in our opposition to any and all actions that compromise the well-being of our ʻāina and our people - past, present, and future. We invite you to join us in doing the same.
Me ke aloha ʻāina, hauMĀNA Student Movement For Aloha No Ka Aina
Noʻeau Peralto, Hawaiian Studies 
ʻIlima Long, Hawaiian Studies 
Kaiwipuni Lipe, College of Education 
Eric Tong, Oceanography 
David Kealiʻi MacKenzie, Library & Information Science, Center For Pacific Island Studies 
Meghan Leialoha Au, Hawaiian Studies 
Waianuhea Walk, Hawaiian Studies, Hawaiian Language 
Pūlama Long, Hawaiian Language 
Eri Oura, alumni, Political Science 
Ileana Haunani Rueles, Sociology 
Elise Leimomi Davis, Public Health 
Ka'ano'i Walk, Hawaiian Language
About the author: hauMĀNA is the UH student branch of Movement For Aloha No Ka Aina (MANA), a Hawaiian Independence Movement-building organization established to achieve independence and social justice through direct action, political education, economic development, international diplomacy, and public advocacy, with a cultural and spiritual foundation.

Protest in Solidarity with Gangjeong Villagers (Korean Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi)

Yesterday, 6 September 2012, Hawaiʻi Peace & Justice organized a protest in front of the Korean Consulate in Honolulu. This protest was organized in SOLIDARITY with the Gangjeong villagers of Jeju island who are fighting against naval base construction -- read more about this at www.savejejunow.org and read Womenʻs Voices Women Speakʻs request for solidarity at http://wvws808.blogspot.com/2012/09/solidarity-requested-of-hawaii.html

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE
 














Soo Sun (in the black) is talking to the Korean consul general --- NO NAVAL BASE ON JEJU ISLAND!

Korean Consul General 


Soo Sun of Hawaiʻi Peace & Justice made these awesome cardboard costumes -- Steve  rocked the red crab outfit!

Thatʻs a Samsung bulldozer threatening the livelihoods of all of these wonderous creatures of Jeju island


 Iksoo sporting the fish! see the tear drop? naval base construction is destroying the habitats of all these rare marine animals!















Renie letting the Pali Hwy commuters know why we were there!

To the Delegates of the World Conservation Congress (from Hawaiʻi Peace & Justice)

CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO ENLARGE





Solidarity requested of Hawai'i delegates at 2012 World Conservation Congress

(Honolulu).  Delegates from Hawai‘i attending the World Conservation Congress (WCC), organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in Jeju, Republic of Korea 6-15 September 2012 are urged to be aware of the environmental, indigenous and human rights violations occurring in neighboring villages on Jeju, and to stand in solidarity.

We acknowledge the good work that many from within our Hawai‘i delegation are engaged in to protect our ‘āina, unique flora, exquisite creatures, and deep culture of Hawai‘i nei.  We mahalo them for sharing the best of Hawai‘i with others, and for learning what they can from others for the mutual benefit of all our sacred places.

However, not all environmental activists enjoy the same abilities to protect their sacred lands, including villagers just 4 miles away from the congress headquarters.   Home to multiple UNESCO World Heritage sites and biosphere reserves, Jeju has become a strategic location for increased military presence and corporate interests that threaten 4,000-year-old archaeological sites, a rare and fragile marine ecosystem, the livelihoods of traditional farmers and fishers, and fundamental human rights for the villagers of Gangjeong who have been protesting the development.

The IUCN professes “the integrity and diversity of nature” and that the use of natural resources is “equitable and ecologically sustainable,” yet has remained mum on the nearby environmental assaults.  The large military project, proposed for joint use with the U.S. Navy, threatens freshwater springs, magnificent soft coral reefs, and numerous rare and endangered marine species, such as bottle-nosed dolphins, narrow-mouthed toads, red-footed crabs, and freshwater shrimp endemic to Jeju.

The base is expected to accommodate submarines and up to 20 warships, including U.S. Aegis-equipped destroyers, equipped with U.S. anti-ballistic missile and radar systems forever tying Hawai‘i to this missile defense system via the Aegis Ashore test facility at Pacific Missile RangeFacility, Barking Sands, Kaua‘i.

Furthermore, the IUCN has confirmed that Samsung C&T and Hyundai are among sponsors for the 2012 WCC. Samsung is the lead contractor at the base and Hyundai Heavy Industries is working with Lockheed Martin to produce the Aegis Combat System to be deployed on U.S. warships at the Jeju naval base.

In response to acts of resistance to the destruction of ecosystems and traditional practices, the villagers of Gangjeong and their supporters have been met with arrests and physical violence.  Their mayor was attacked.  Their voices have been silenced, and they’ve been banned from sharing information at the WCC.

We urge our Hawai‘i delegation to act in solidarity with others engaged in struggles to protect, preserve and conserve such places as our Hawai‘i nei.  Specifically, we ask you to join in solidarity with the Gangjeong activists against the Naval Base at Jeju. You can do this by supporting the Resolutions by the Emergency Action Committee to Save Jeju Island:

1)      Advocate to the IUCN leadership to use its power to shut the Base in Jeju Island;

2)      Support a new Environmental Impact Statement without government and military control and censorship; there are IUCN scientists already working on this;

3)      Assert to the IUCN leadership your opposition to the Four Rivers Restoration Project that is planned to re-route four wild rivers into straight channels, establish dams, and partially cement the river beds to accommodate corporate use;

4)      Organize within the IUCN for an institutional self-examination that questions the interests behind the IUCN leadership and push this entity to truly advocate for nature and social justice;

5)      Invite activists from Gangjeong Village into the WCC to speak for themselves on what is going on in their island;

6)      Connect with Gangjeong activists, visit the sites of destruction, and experience for yourselves the urgency of the villagers’ demands; and

7)      Learn more at http://savejejunow.org.

We members of Women’s Voices Women Speak visualize an economy of peace, an economy that will support our communities in sustainable ways, with an emphasis on providing for basic human needs, health and wellness, solidarity and respect for the land and all peoples.

Mālama ‘Āina, Aloha ‘Āina.

Women’s Voices Women Speak is a group of Hawai‘i women who organize around Kanaka Maoli sovereignty and demilitarization
in Hawai‘i from women's perspectives.
Women for Genuine Security is the U.S.-based partner in the International Women’s Network Against Militarism.


#   PAU  #

Contact: Terri Keko‘olani 808-227-1621

Eri Oura 808-542-0348 eriola@gmail.com

UPDATE: IUCN OFFICIALLY BLOCKS PARTICIPATION BY JEJU VILLAGERS WHO OPPOSE NAVAL BASE CONSTRUCTION NEAR CONVENTION


OPEN LETTER #3.
TO:   IUCN Leadership, Participants, and Global Environmental Organizations.
FROM:Emergency Action Committee to Save Jeju Island
***********
UPDATE: 
  
IUCN OFFICIALLY BLOCKS PARTICIPATION
BY JEJU VILLAGERS WHO OPPOSE NAVAL
BASE CONSTRUCTION NEAR CONVENTION 
IUCN leadership still refuses to criticize Korea's destructive naval base, though construction work is killing rare soft corals, numerous endangered species (including from IUCN's Red List), and destroying indigenous communities and livelihoods. This stance from IUCN defies its traditional mission, conserving nature and a "just world."
NEW RESOLUTIONS ARE NEEDED FOR EMERGENCY VOTE OF ALL IUCN MEMBERS
********************************
Police crack down on Gangjeong villagers protesting navy base construction a few minutes from the IUCN convention site. 
ABOUT A MONTH AGO, this committee was joined by dozens of co-signers from around the world, in circulating open letters to the leadership of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and its associated members. The statements were remarking on recent actions of IUCN that directly conflict with its important historical mandates.
While continuing to proclaim its devotion to protecting Nature, including the planet’s endangered places and species, IUCN leadership has ignored or whitewashed projects that are assaulting these wonders, and undermining human rights and sustainable livelihoods. For example, the organization inexplicably planned its giant September convention only a few minutes’ bus ride from one of the world’s great current outrages---the construction of a large new naval base near the village of Gangjeong, on Jeju Island, the “jewel” of South Korea.  The naval base project, meant to become home-port for Korean and U.S. missile-carrying warships 300 miles from China, is threatening one of the planet’s last great soft coral reefs, and other coastal treasures, killing numerous endangered species (including one on IUCN’s famous Red List), and destroying centuries-old sustainable communities of local farmers and fishers. The Gangjeong villagers have been protesting the base project for years, and are being met with daily police brutality.  Such activities represent all that IUCN has traditionally opposed.
Then, a few days ago (August 22), an official letter arrived from IUCN leadership informing the indigenous villagers that their application to host a small Information Booth at the convention was denied, though dozens have been granted for corporations and other groups. No explanation was offered. (More details below.) 
In our earlier communiques we referred to public statements from IUCN Director-General, Julia Marton-Lefevre, supporting the Korean government’s environmental policies, including its decisions vis-à-vis the military base and the infamous Four Rivers Project (also discussed below.) 
Navy base construction is destroying habitats of numerous endangered species, including Kaloula borealis, the Boreal Digging Frog. 
Her praise encompassed the government’s seriously flawed “Environmental Impact Assessment” (EIA) for the base project.  This, despite that the EIA ignored three of the most critically endangered species at Gangjeong, the Red-footed Crab, Sesarma intermedium; the Jeju Freshwater Shrimp Caridina denticulata keunbaei), endemic to Jeju Island, and the Boreal Digging Frog pictured here (an IUCN Red-List species.)  It also ignored effects upon Korea's only pod of Indo-Pacific Bottle-nosed Dolphins which swim regularly through the area.  Neither did it explore crucial impacts upon 40 species of soft coral, including nine that are seriously endangered, and five that are already protected by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). This activity takes place only 250 meters from a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Tiger Island.
A vast array of rare, highly threatened corals are being killed to make way for the navy base. Most were ignored by the government's EIA.  
 
(In an upcoming letter we will report on a far more authoritative environmental impact statement now being conducted, secretly, by a team of well-known, non-governmental volunteer scientists from several countries---some with prominent IUCN member organizations. They have already documented a spectacular enormous coral garden, 7.4 hectares large, within a mile of where the destruction is now advancing. The only other place in the world where there may exist a soft-coral forest of this magnitude is in the Red Sea.  (The divers are operating secretly because the government deported several prior researchers.)
On a related matter, the Director General has praised the government’s “Four Rivers Restoration.”  Alas, however, this is not “restoration.”  As the Korean environmental community has made clear, it’s a re-routing of Korea’s four great wild, winding rivers into straight-line channels, partly encased in concrete, combined with extensive dam building, and dredging, to make them more business-friendly. The effects on riparian communities are devastating. In four years the population of Korea’s migratory birds, such as white-naped cranes, has been reduced by two-thirds and in many areas, the rivers have become algae-infested cesspools.  At the recent Ramsar Convention in Bucharest (July, 2012), the World Wetlands Network announced a “Grey Globe Award” to the Four Rivers project, ranking it among the five worst wetlands projects in the world. The IUCN community should publicly denounce it, too.
Throughout the run-up to the Convention, neither Director-General Marton-Lefevre, nor President Ashok Khosla, has expressed any disapproval of the above ongoing assaults on Nature. Neither have they made mention of the police beatings and arrests of the indigenous protestors from Gangjeong village who are trying, every day, to protect Nature’s treasures from being destroyed---activities that the IUCN was actually created to protect.
90% AGREEMENT
The response to our earlier e-mailers was enormous, with at least 90% of respondents supporting our positions---including many from mid-level IUCN leadership.  In a brief burst of democratic openness, the IUCN’s web-page reprinted our letters, while responding with generalities about its great concern for Nature, and democratic process,  and it opened the page for public comments.  But after the first 20 comments appeared, all of them critical of IUCN’s position, the responses were erased off the page. On the other hand, the Korean government's manifesto on its dubious "green" development policies continues to be displayed. So much for democracy. 
IUCN also announced that it will propose that attendees pass a proclamation (“Nature+”) concerning the glories of Nature, but which still does not mention what’s going on ten minutes away, and while also denying permission for the local community to formally state their views in the Congress meetings.  Up to this moment, the leadership of IUCN continues to avoid any expression of concern or even awareness of the impacts on Nature and community, just down the street, though such concerns are central to the organization’s mandate.
Why is IUCN leadership remaining so silent?   For the leadership, it may be more of a financial and political matter than one of conservation or social justice, which is what IUCN was supposed to be about. There is also an underlying reality:  A large percentage of the cost of this WCC convention in Jeju is being covered by the very people building the military base. Those would be the Korean government, and several giant global corporations, notably Samsung. 
Having accepted the funding, it is difficult to criticize the funders.
IUCN’s top leadership has apparently determined its best course now is to avert its gaze while the government kills the shrimps and the frogs, destroys the corals, and jails the protesting local farmers.  Meanwhile, IUCN can freely proceed with its great meeting next door to save Nature. 
But the organization has gone still further.  IUCN has granted the Korean government (the “Korean Organizing Committee of the 2012 WCC,” the chair of which, is Lee Hongkoo, the former Prime Minister of Korea, a supporter of the base) approval-power over any South Korean organizations wanting to present alternative views.  These include whether to grant permission to speak on the issues at the meeting, even when they are invited to do so by bona-fide IUCN member organizations, or merely to host an information table at the event. (See #2 below.) IUCN has also agreed to partner with its Korean financial sponsor in constructing and presenting the formal program of the Convention.  So now, the government, eager to advertise its green initiatives, will be represented on every one of the five “prime-time” plenary panels of the convention, either by government or corporate officials. It is  the only country in the world to be so privileged.  None of those panels will focus on the Gangjeong military base construction, or the Four Rivers fiasco.
Finally, the questions become these: Whose IUCN is this? Does the complicity of IUCN leadership truly represent IUCN membership?  Can anything useful still be achieved at the WCC in Jeju?  On the latter point, we actually think YES, there still is. We call upon the IUCN participants to use the occasion to take stands on the following:
FOUR STEPS TO CHALLENGE MILITARY BASE DESTRUCTION & TO RE-ESTABLISH IUCN'S HISTORIC MISSION TO PROTECT NATURE AND HUMAN RIGHTS
#1.  Assembly Resolutions:  Shut the Base; Make a New EIA; Stop the Four Rivers Project.
Since our prior letters, our committee has become aware of the great work of several independent groups of environmental attorneys, representing IUCN-member organizations.  They are working toward a series of Draft Resolutions to be presented at the WCC Assemblies, including all members.  Among them are these: 
Shut the Base. The first Resolution will demand that Korea end its military base construction, and that all ravaged lands be restored to their former condition. The Resolution will speak in behalf of the endangered species, the rare soft corals, the sacred sites, and the local villagers who are putting their lives on the line to protect these treasures. 
The once-celebrated southern Jeju coastline is now being covered in concrete, thanks to the Korean government, Samsung corporation, and the silence of IUCN.
It will also describe the many IUCN rules and prior decisions that have been violated. These include, for example, the important principles of the Earth Charter passed by the 2004 Congress, as well as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the World Heritage Convention, the UN Declaration on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights, among many others.
New Environmental Impact Assessment.  A second Resolution may demand preparation and acceptance of a new Environmental Impact Assessment of the naval base construction near Gangjeong---free of government control and censorship---that will include a truly accurate assessment of the dredging and other impacts on the soft coral reefs, and the killing of rare species that are all absent from the government’s document. (As indicated above, a new independent EIA is already being prepared by several outraged IUCN scientists.)
End The Four Rivers Project.  A third Resolution will demand that Korea immediately discontinue its notorious Four Rivers Restoration project, and begin to actually restore the great rivers to their prior condition.
There is one potential complication.  Unsurprisingly, the attorneys were told by some IUCN management not to bother with these motions. They will be “too late,” past deadline, they were told. And yet, the historical record of IUCN offers many examples of last minute submissions.  They have always been permitted if they raise new, urgent, unforeseen issues, and if at least ten IUCN members co-sponsor the request. There are already more than ten willing IUCN co-sponsors.  And they certainly qualify as urgent new matters for IUCN. If we don’t stop this destruction now, by the time IUCN meets again in four years, the corals, the Boreal Digging Frogs and other species, and many local people will be dead. We must not let that happen.
#2.  Let the Gangjeong People Speak.  
Information Booth Crisis.  As briefly mentioned above, the Gangjeong villagers, working to save habitats, biodiversity, and the Red-List species from the military’s destruction, applied a few months ago through official IUCN channels for permission to set up one “information booth” among the dozens of others that have been okayed within the convention center throughout the meeting.  That would seem a benign enough request, but a runaround ensued. Instead of routinely okaying the application, the IUCN passed it to the Korean government (the KOC, mentioned above) which is heavily invested in silencing any and all opposition to the base or the Four Rivers project. Korean newspapers have also been silenced on these matters.  Repeated efforts over recent weeks to confirm permission for the information table were ignored. Finally, a few days ago, they received an official letter from the Director of IUCN’s Constituency Support Group, Enrique Lahmann.  He said this:  “Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate your request for an exhibition booth at the WCC.”  That’s it. No reason was given.  And no explanation of how this fullfills official IUCN proclamations of democracy and inclusiveness.
No Protest Allowed Within Two Kilometers.  Meanwhile, the Korean government announced that it would not permit any demonstrations or even picketing within two kilometers of the Convention.  So, no information table inside. No demonstrations outside.  Where are we again?  Isn't South Korea supposed to be a democracy?  
During the upcoming Assemblies, IUCN leaders must at last denounce the government for these appalling moves, and permit the villagers, who are actually doing IUCN’s work, to not only have their information table inside the convention, but if they so choose, to go ahead and demonstrate freely outside, just as if this were a democratic society.
Addressing the Full Assembly.  All of the above is not enough.  The Gangjeong community should be permitted ----no, invited by IUCN leadership---to address the opening and/or closing plenary of the IUCN convention, to provide the full story of this local disaster and what they are going through.  If the government resists, the IUCN leadership should insist.  We all need to hear from the indigenous local farmers and fisher-people, and the custodians of the sacred sites, about what they have seen and experienced.  Everyone needs to hear this. After all, we are meeting on their indigenous soil, on their island, on the coast that has nurtured them for thousands of years.   So, our own group inquired as to the possibility of the villagers speaking at the assembly, but we were told by IUCN officials, as above, that all South Korean presenters have to be approved by the government.  
Here’s some good news.  Several IUCN member groups have already (quietly) invited local leaders to participate in some of the groups’ own scheduled workshop panel time to tell the Gangjeong story. (In our next letter, we will brief you on who is speaking and at what time. By delaying this announcement, we hope to avoid government crackdowns against the groups.) 
#3.  Go Visit the Destruction Sites, and the Sacred Sites.
Members of our committee, and our Korean colleagues, will be arranging tours of Gangjeong village, the sacred sites that are threatened, and the front-lines of the ongoing confrontation between the villagers and the police at the construction site. It is horrifying and inspiring. (If you want to join those outings, please respond to: gangjeongintl@gmail.com.) It’s very easy to get there---ten minutes by local bus.
#4   Institutional Self-Examination.
Finally, we suggest that all IUCN members take this moment to assess what is happening in Jeju, and to initiate a process of institutional self-examination, questioning and re-organization.  None of us can afford to lose the moral and ethical leadership of one of the world’s greatest organizations. We need to do whatever is necessary to assure that IUCN will revive its historical mandate to place Nature first, and to protect social justice. 
Thank you for your attention.
Please let us know if you want to see the proposed resolutions; we will forward you the final texts when they are complete. We can also forward you the new independent Environmental Impact Assessment, when it is completed.  And you can sign up for a visit and tour of Gangjeong Village and the military construction site.  (OUR EMAIL ADDRESS IS BELOW.)
EMERGENCY ACTION TO SAVE JEJU ISLAND

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE:
Christine Ahn
             Global Fund for Women; Korea Policy Institute 
Imok Cha, M.D.
             SaveJejuNow.org
Jerry Mander
            Foundation for Deep Ecology; International Forum on Globalization
Koohan Paik
            Kauai Alliance for Peace and Social Justice
INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT GROUP:
Maude Barlow
              Food and Water Watch, Council of Canadians (Canada)
John Cavanagh
              Institute for Policy Studies (U.S.)
Vandana Shiva, Ph.D.
              Navdanya Research Organization for Science, Technology and
              Ecology (India)
Douglas Tompkins
              Conservation Land Trust, Foundation for Deep Ecology (Chile)
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz
              Tebtebba Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for
              Policy Research and Education (Philippines)
Anuradha Mittal
              Oakland Institute (U.S.)
Meena Raman
              Third World Network (Malaysia)
Walden Bello
              Member, House of Representatives (Philippines)
Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher
              Environmental Protection Authority (Ethiopia)
Lagi Toribau
              Greenpeace-East Asia
Mario Damato, Ph.D.
              Greenpeace-East Asia
Debbie Barker
              Center for Food Safety (U.S.)
Pierre Fidenci
              Endangered Species International (U.S.)
John Knox
             Earth Island Institute (U.S.)
David Phillips
             Int'l Marine Mammal Project, Earth Island Institute (U.S.)
David Suzuki
            The David Suzuki Foundation (Canada)
Robert Redford
            Actor, founder of Sundance Institute (U.S.)
Mary Jo Rice
             Int'l Marine Mammal Project, Earth Island Institute (U.S.)
Bill Twist
             Pachamama Alliance (U.S.)
Jon Osorio, Ph.D.
            Chair, Hawaiian Studies, Univ. of Hawaii (U.S.)
Sue Edwards
            Institute for Sustainable Development (Ethiopia)
Galina Angarova
          Pacific Environment (Russia)
Bruce Gagnon
          Global Network Against
          Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space (Int'l)
Andrew Kimbrell
          Center for Food Safety (U.S.)
Jack Santa Barbara
          Sustainable Scale Project (New Zealand)
Gloria Steinem
          Author, Women’s Media Center (U.S.)  
Medea Benjamin
          Code Pink, Global Exchange (U.S.)
Randy Hayes
          Foundation Earth (U.S.)
Noam Chomsky
          Massachusetts Institute of Technology (U.S.)
Renie Wong
           Hawaii Peace and Justice (Hawaii)
Kyle Kajihiro
           Hawaii Peace and Justice and DMZ-Hawaii (Hawaii)
Terri Keko’olani
          Hawai’i Peace and Justice and International Women's Network Against
          Militarism (Hawaii)
Wayne Tanaka
          Marine Law Fellow, Dept. of Land & Natural Resources (U.S.)
          (signing independently)
Tony Clarke
          Polaris Institute (Canada)
Sara Larrain
          Sustainable Chile Project (Chile)
John Feffer
          Foreign Policy in Focus (U.S.)
Victor Menotti
          International Forum on Globalization (U.S.)
Arnie Saiki
          Moana Nui Action Alliance (U.S.)
Nikhil Aziz
          Grassroots International (U.S.)
Lisa Linda Natividad
          Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice (Guam)
Rebecca Tarbotton
          Rainforest Action Network (U.S.)
Kavita Ramdas
          Visiting Scholar, Stanford U., Global Fund for Women (India)
Raj Patel
          Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First (U.S.)
Alexis Dudden
          Author, Professor of History, Connecticut University (U.S.)
Timothy Mason
          Pastor, Calvary by the Sea, Honolulu (U.S.)
Katherine Muzik, Ph.D.
          Marine Biologist, Kulu Wai, Kauai (U.S.)
Claire Hope Cummings
           Author, Environmental attorney (U.S.)
Ann Wright
           U.S. Army Colonel, Ret., Former U.S. Diplomat (U.S.)
Buffy Sainte-Marie, Ph.D.
            Educator, Singer-Songwriter (U.S.)
Yong Soon Min
           Professor, University of California, Irvine (U.S.)
Eugeni Capella Roca
           Grup d’Estudi I Protecció d’Ecosostemes de Catalunya (Spain)
Jonathan P. Terdiman, M.D.
           University of California, San Francisco (U.S.)
Evelyn Arce
           International Funders for Indigenous Peoples  (U.S.)
Brihananna Morgan
           The Borneo Project (Borneo)
Frank Magnota, Ph.D.
           Physicist (U.S.)
Delia Menozzi, M.D.
           Physician (Italy)
Aaron Berez, M.D.
           Physician (U.S.)
Begoña Caparros
          Foundation in Movement: Art for Social Change (Uganda)
Antonio Sanz
           Photographer (Spain)
Cindy Wiesner
           Grassroots Global Justice (U.S.)
Gregory Elich
            Author, “Strange Liberators" (U.S.)
Joseph Gerson, Ph.D.
            American Friends Service Committee (U.S.)
Piljoo Kim, Ph.D.
            Agglobe Services International (U.S.)
Peter Rasmussen
            He-Shan World Fund (U.S.)
Wei Zhang
            He-Shan World Fund (U.S.)
Harold Sunoo
          Sunoo Korea Peace Foundation (U.S.)
Soo Sun Choe
          National Campaign to End the Korean War (U.S.) 
Angie Zelter
           Trident Ploughshares, (UK)
Ramsay Liem
           Visiting Scholar, Center for Human Rights, Boston College (U.S.)
Kerry Kriger, PhD
          Save The Frogs (U.S.)
Marianne Eguey
           Jade Associates, (France)
Claire Greensfelder
           INOCHI-Plutonium Free Future (U.S.-Japan)
Laura Frost, Ph.D.
          The New School (U.S.)
Chris Bregler, Ph.D.
          New York University (U.S.)
David Vine
          Assistant Professor, American University (U.S.)
Simone Chun
          Assistant Prof., Gov’t Department, Suffolk U., Boston (U.S.)
Matt Rothschild
          Editor, The Progressive magazine (U.S.)
Henry Em
          Professor, East Asian Studies, NYU  (U.S.)
Eric Holt-Gimenez
         Institute for Food and Development Policy (U.S.)
Maivan Clech Lam
          Professor Emerita of Int'l Law, CUNY (U.S.)
Mari Matsuda
          Professor of Law, Richardson Law School, Univ. of Hawaii (U.S.)
Beth Burrows
          The Edmonds Institute (U.S.)
Aileen Mioko Smith
          Green Action (Japan)
Susan George, Ph.D.
          Transnational Institute (The Netherlands)
Marianne Manilov
          The Engage Network (U.S.)
S. Faizi
          Institute for Societal Advancement, Kerala (India)
Syed Ashraf ul Islam 
         Ministry of Food & Disaster Management (Bangladesh)
Manaparambi Koru Prasad 
         Kerala Local Self Government Department (India)
Hernán Torres, Director
         Torres Asociados Ltda. (Chile)
Carlo Modonesi
         Environmental Biologist, Parma University (Italy)
Andrej Kranjc
         Secretary-General, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Slovenia)
Ning Labbish Chao
          Bio-Amazonia Conservation International (U.S.)
Perumal Vivekanandan 
          SEVA  (India)
David Newsome
          Environmental Science and Ecotourism, Murdoch University, Perth (Australia)
And:
Korean Federation for Environmental Movement and
Citizen Institute for Environmental Studies (South Korea)

People's Movement Responses to U.S. Military Activities in the Philippines

Beyond the Fence airs every Friday at noon on Public Radio Guam-KPRG 89.3 FM, immediately following Democracy Now.  This one hour locally produced program features coverage of public events and interviews with diverse individuals that explore the complexities of the US military presence in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands and the challenges of building community 'beyond the fence.'   Info on free audio podcasts available below. 

Ep. 117 “People’s Movement Responses to U.S. Military Activities in the Philippines” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Joy White) was recorded in Manila on 3/17/12 and airs 6/8/12. 

In recognition of the 114th anniversary of Philippines Independence (June 12) and the ongoing struggle for territorial sovereignty against US military intervention,  our program guest is Corazon Valdez Fabros (corafabros [at] gmail.com), a lawyer and organizer who has been centrally involved with the anti-bases, anti-nuclear and peace movements in the Philippines for more than 40 years. She is currently the Lead Convenor of Citizens Peace Watch and the STOP the War! Coalition Philippines, a multi-sectoral coalition of Philippines social movements, trade unions, women’s organizations. non-governmental organizations, political parties, student formations and other concerned organizations and individuals in solidarity with the movement for peace and justice.  She is an an internationally known advocate, researcher, and expert on conflict resolution, democratization process, human rights and security and a regular speaker at international conferences and meetings, particularly in the Asia-Pacific, on peace building, nuclear disarmament, and environmental clean-up of former U.S. bases in the Philippines.
Although Ms. Fabros was issued a multiple entry visa last October, Delta Airlines was instructed by the Immigration and Border Protection to not let her board the flight leaving Manila en route to Puerto Rico on February 17, 2012 to attend the 8th Gathering of the International Women's Network Against Militarism which has been the focus of Beyond the Fence for the past two episodes. This network denounces the U.S.-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement and the deployment of U.S. forces to the Philippines which violates the terms of the Philippines Constitution. 
In this interview Ms. Fabros talks about learning to “go beyond myself”, the anti-bases movement, the “toxic legacy” of the US military, what it takes to organize constituencies, lessons from the struggle, the role and function of her organizations, the denial of her entry to the US, and the importance of  international solidarity and global resistance.  
Music selection is “A Pair of Voices” from the The Essential Gary Granada Collection, Polyeast Records, 2011.  
 
Audio podcasts of all episodes are available for free and may be downloaded within five days of the original broadcast date by going to the Beyond the Fence program link at www.kprgfm.com or directly to http://kprg.podbean.com/

WVWS Presents... Community Report Back 2012


With the support of our community, Women's Voices, Women's Speak and Hawaiʻi Peace & Justice were able to send a delegation of four women from Hawaiʻi to the 8th meeting of the International Women's Network Against Militarism held on the islands of Puerto Rico and Vieques in February. The delegation will be sharing their experiences and the information gathered at this week long meeting. Please join us and be part of the conversation to address the growing issue of militarism through the lens of women in Hawaiʻi. Come prepared to learn and share as this is an open space for dialogue.

2012 Delegates: Terri Kekoʻolani, Elise Davis, Kim Kuʻulei Birnie, & Eri Oura

This event is a pre-event to the Umematsu & Yasu Watada Lecture Series on Peace, Social Justice & the Environment.

For more information, email Eri Oura at eriola808@gmail.com.

Mahalo nui!

COMPLETE PRESS PACKAGE AVAILABLE AT: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B-K0TmHJlFSUU19WaGk2WUZzeWM


Official Press Release for the event.

WOMEN’S VOICES WOMEN SPEAK
C/O HAWAI‘I PEACE & JUSTICE
2426 O‘AHU AVENUE
HONOLULU HI 96822
WVWS808.BLOGSPOT.COM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 21, 2012

Contact: Terri Keko‘olani 808-227-1621
Eri Oura 808-542-0348 eriola@gmail.com

Hawai‘i Women Share Experiences from Puerto Rico (Honolulu, O‘ahu). Four Hawai‘i women returned home recently after meeting with other members of the International Women’s Network Against Militarism (IWNAM) at the organization’s 8th annual meeting in Puerto Rico. They will share their experiences with the community Friday evening, June 1, 6:00 PM at the Church of the Crossroads in Honolulu.

The International Women’s Network Against Militarism (IWNAM) was formed in 1997 when forty women activists, policy-makers, teachers, and students gathered in Okinawa to strategize about the negative effects of the US military on their respective communities. The network—a collaboration among women active in their communities and who share the mission to promote, model and protect genuine security—includes women from the Philippines, South Korea, Okinawa, Japan, Guam, the continental United States, Puerto Rico and Hawai‘i.

“With the increasing militarism in so many of our communities, the opportunity to stand in solidarity with others who face issues similar to ours here in the islands,” said long time activist Terri Keko‘olani, “helps us to put our work into perspective.”

In addition to meeting around organization and strategic planning for the near future, the attendees participated in excursions to several storied places of Puerto Rico, such as El Yunqué Forest and a healing labyrinth in the mountainside village of Barranquitas. They participated in a protest against the building of a natural gas line in the city, met with survivors of domestic violence, former political prisoners, various women’s groups for peace, and others leading their communities in providing health screenings and services.
“Puerto Rico and Hawai‘i have much in common, as island economies that are dependent on importing basic necessities and vulnerable to unsustainable development and military interest,” Elise Davis, a public health educator, was particularly struck by the health concerns brought up by communities that experienced extensive military weapons testing. “Vieques has a 27% higher rate of cancer than mainland Puerto Rico, and no one can say with certainty that it is not related to the weapons testing.”

Communities, such as Ceiba, introduced them to the struggles to reclaim and reuse land no longer being used by the U.S. military. “There are so many similarities between Vieques and Kaho‘olawe,” shares Kim Ku‘ulei Birnie, a member of Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana. “They have Ceiba, Culebra and Vieques; we have Kaho‘olawe, Mākua and Pōhakuloa. We have so much to share with one another.”

The group also made presentations on the status of militarism in their respective countries, held at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, and at the museum on Vieques.

“There’s a strong partnership between the local communities and the university among the network in Puerto Rico. We met Puerto Ricos most involved and passionate activists and scholars who believe in the right to self-determination and actively resist further Americanization of their people and lands,” explained Eri Oura. “We were even greeted by the mayors of Barranquitas and Vieques.”

Terri Keko‘olani, Eri Oura, Elise Davis and Kim Ku‘ulei Birnie will share their impressions on Friday, June 1st, from 6:00-8:00 PM at the Church of the Crossroads in Honolulu, 1212 University Avenue.

This is a pre-event to the Umematsu & Yasu Watada Lecture Series on Peace, Social Justice & the Environment. The public is invited.

Women’s Voices Women Speak is a group of Hawai‘i women who organize around Kanaka Maoli sovereignty and demilitarization in Hawai‘i from women's perspectives.

www.wvws808.blogspot.com

Women for Genuine Security is the U.S.-based partner in the International Women’s Network Against Militarism.
www.genuinesecurity.org

# PAU #

Philippines International Women's Day Statement

a message from our sisters in the Philippines on International Womenʻs Day 2012....



Philippines International Women's Day Statement:

Unity Statement, March 8, 2012

Filipino Women March against US Military Expansion in the Philippines and the Pacific

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day 2012, we, Filipino women declare in strongest terms possible, our opposition not only to increased presence but to U.S. military presence per se on Philippine soil.

The United States is increasing its military presence in Asia-Pacific, in particular in the Philippines, and the Philippine government is showing no qualms in allowing this to happen.

A news account recently reported of the United States’ plan to increase its military aid to “boost” Philippine defense; the promised aid will amount to US$144 million, reflecting an increase of more than US$20 million on the previous amount. In another earlier news article, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas was quoted as saying his government had spent US$50 million for the upgrading of Philippine military facilities.

The Washington Post in January 2012 also reported that Philippine officials were in the United States to conduct initial talks with representatives of the Obama government “about expanding the American military presence in the island nation…” More high-level and intense discussions will take place this March.

The same Washington Post piece quoted a senior Philippine official as saying “We can point to other countries: Australia, Japan and Singapore. We’re not the only one doing this, and for good reason. We all want to see a peaceful and stable region. Nobody wants to have to face China or confront China.” The US has “about 600 Special Operations troops in the Philippines, where they advise local forces in their fight with rebels sympathetic to al-Qaeda,” the report also confirmed.

But really disturbing news was on the use of U.S. drone in the January bombing in Parang, Jolo, which came out in Hong Kong-based Asia Times Online. “A United States-supported airstrike that destroyed with causalities an Abu Sayyaf hideout on the remote island of Jolo in the southern Philippines represented the first known use of the unmanned aerial assault craft in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) counter-insurgency operations against terrorism-linked rebel groups,” said the article.

We recognize the continuing insecurity in the Asia-Pacific due to the contending claims of Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines and China over the Spratly Islands. But time and again it has been the call of people’s movements and civil society groups throughout the region that this territorial conflict must be resolved by multilateral dialogue among the countries involved and not with the intervention or through the posturing of a military power like the US.

We don’t deny the reality of terrorism that continues to unfold in many parts of the world, even as many of these have been a result of and have been further intensified precisely by U.S. policies, but the Philippines should not be drawn into this US-led war on terror. The Philippine government should instead stand side-by-side with other nations and peoples who call for multi-polar ways of looking at and resolving these conflicts. Without being isolationist and immune to geopolitical realities, the Philippine government must not at all costs surrender our sovereignty.

Why a stand against militarization? Militarization is not only about the presence of warm uniformed bodies, as it spills over other aspects of women’s lives. It exists and persists because of force that turns into violence—which is not anymore just about fighting the enemies using destructive weapons, but about militarization itself as a weapon that creates and supports a culture of violence; the same force underpinning rape, assault on women’s bodies and minds, trafficking and prostitution, domestic abuse, discrimination against those with differing gender orientation.

This is not at all different from another form of violence that also oppresses and ravages Filipino women—economic marginalization resulting from the neo-liberal policy orientation of government.

Neo-liberalization has meant for Filipino women labor contractualization or flexibilization, which hasn’t only further decreased employment opportunities, but has also caused many women to labor in oppressive situations, mainly characterized by depressed wages and insecure working conditions.

Privatization and deregulation, even of basic services and resources considered national patrimony, are also cornerstones of a neo-liberal economy. And it’s not only women in the labor sector and urban areas who are continuously assaulted by these economic policies, which have also opened the agriculture sector to big business, private investments, easing out small and medium-scale landholders and producers. Until now, women in the agriculture sector have remained invisible and their contributions un-quantified in official statistics; yet the more privatization occurs, the more they lose whatever access to lands and land resources they have been able to fight for inch by inch. With privatization and foreign investments becoming the order of the day, the completion of the land and distribution aspect of the agrarian reform program is becoming more and more a distant reality, even as it has been made clear that the current government is no longer prioritizing agrarian reform.

On another level, the persistent intervention of religious fundamentalism in the realm of public policy-making results in depriving women of vital health services, which could cause them their life.

The P-Noy government cannot claim to be on the “straight path” as long as it continues to ignore the economic, social and sexual violence committed against women, while it upholds the primacy of neo-liberalization and militarism. The alignment of the P-Noy regime with the US, as shown by its support for increasing US troop presence in the Philippines, is of deep concern to us and we will continue to struggle against it.

To the powers that be, we say NO to U.S. military expansion in the Philippines and Asia-Pacific! NO to the Philippine government’s support for this expansionism! On March 8, 2012, and beyond, listen to the sounds of our feet marching, to our voices singing protest, to our poetry, stories, testimonies and speeches shouting out our opposition, and watch us transform this opposition into more actions of resistance!

Signatories:

Akbayan–Youth • Amnesty International • Alliance of Progressive Labor • Asian Circle 1325 • Bagong Kamalayan • BATIS • Batis-AWARE • Buklod • Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino – Kababaihan • CATW-AP • Center for Migrants’ Advocacy • Center for Overseas Workers • Development Action for Women Network • Focus on the Global South • Free Burma Coalition • Freedom from Debt Coalition • Initiatives for International Dialogue • Kababaihan-Pilipinas • KAISA-KA • KAMP • LRC-KSK/FOE-Phils. • MATINIK • Medical Action Group • Partido Lakas ng Masa • Partido ng Manggagawa • PAHRA • PEACE • PKKK • Piglas Kababaihan • PREDA • SARILAYA • Transform Asia • WEDPRO • WomanHealth Phils. • Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau • Welga ng Kababaihan • Women’s Crisis Center • YSAGE • World March of Women – Pilipinas

International Women's Network Against Militarism 8th Gathering: "Forging Nets for Demilitarization and Genuine Security”

DECLARATION
International Women's Network Against Militarism
8th Gathering: "Forging Nets for Demilitarization and Genuine Security”
February 19-25, 2012 – Puerto Rico

The 8th Gathering of the International Women's Network Against Militarism, that occurred on February 19-25, 2012, united 26 women representing 8 countries gathered in Puerto Rico.  Delegates from the Philippines, Guahan (Guam), Japan, Okinawa, South Korea, Hawaii, and the United States joined their counterparts in Puerto Rico to evaluate the growing military threat and develop strategies to counter the impact of militarism, military contamination, imperialism and systems of oppression and exploitation based on gender, race, class, nationality and sexual orientation.

First, we express our dissatisfaction and anger at the situation faced by our colleague from the Philippines, Corazón Valdez Fabros, who was denied entry into the U.S. despite the fact that she was issued a valid visa beforehand. No adequate explanation has been given to justify this violation of her freedom of movement.

Ms. Fabros is an internationally known and highly respected advocate, researcher, and expert on conflict resolution, democratization process, human rights and security. She is a regular speaker at international conferences and meetings, particularly in the Asia-Pacific, on peace building, nuclear disarmament, and environmental clean-up of former U.S. bases in the Philippines.

Although Ms. Fabros was issued a multiple entry visa last October, Delta Airlines was instructed by the Immigration and Border Protection to not let her board the flight leaving Manila en route to Puerto Rico on February 17, 2012. We are grateful that a U.S. representative of Puerto Rican descent, Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), is investigating and requesting an explanation.

As a result of the discussion at our meeting we declare the following:
  • The United States must demilitarize the Asia-Pacific region, clean up military environmental contamination, and compensate affected communities. Further, we advocate the creation of economies of peace rather than perpetual preparation for war.
  • We, delegates of the 8th Gathering of the International Women's Network Against Militarism, have visited communities in Puerto Rico and are incensed at what we have learned about the commercial auction of land at the former Roosevelt Roads Navy Base and the exclusion of the people of Ceiba from future use and control of this land. We learned about the lack of cleanup and the ecologically hazardous detonation of unexploded ordnance used by the U.S. Navy on land and water on and surrounding the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. We condemn the recent federal court ruling in Boston that dismissed the lives and health claims of 7,000 Viequenses injured by the Navy presence. Furthermore, we denounce the precarious situation that Viequenses confront. The negligence of the government has caused a maritime crisis that severely affects their health and quality of life.
  • We oppose the repression and incarceration of people who fight for genuine peace and human rights.  By unanimous resolution, we call on President Barak Obama to order the immediate release of Oscar López Rivera who has been unjustly imprisoned for almost 31 years. The U.S. Parole Commission recently denied his application for parole and ordered that he serve an additional 15 years in prison. By that time, he will be 83 years old and will have been incarcerated for 45 years for politically motivated offenses where no one was hurt. We condemn the inequity in his treatment, compared to his co-defendants. He is now the only one of the 1980's pro-independence prisoners still in prison.
  • Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has asserted that the U.S. military plans to remain in the Asia Pacific region as the primary center of its strategic positioning. We denounce the building of any new bases or military installations in the region.  This includes the proposed Navy base at Jeju Island in South Korea that will house U.S. Aegis destroyers built at Bath Ironworks in Bangor (Maine), and will serve as a key component of the U.S. military's ballistic missile defense system. We call for the immediate closure of Futenma Marine Air Corps Station (Okinawa) and adamantly oppose the plan to replace this base with a new heliport facility at Henoko. We denounce the U.S.-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement and the deployment of U.S. forces to the Philippines, which violates the terms of the Philippines constitution. We are against the plans to move 4,700 Marines and their dependents from Okinawa to Guahan. We object to the construction of a “Ballistic Missile Defense System,” berthing docks for nuclear aircraft carriers at Apra Harbor, and “firing range complex” on ancient Chamorro lands.  In Hawai‘i, we oppose the expansion of military bases and activites. In particular, we oppose the use of Stryker Brigade tanks at Schofield Barracks (Lihue, Oʻahu) and the proposed basing of 48 aircraft including the Osprey at Kaneohe Marine Corps Airstation (Mokapu, Oʻahu), that will bring in 1,000 Marines and 1,000 of their dependents.   We also oppose proposed training of these aircraft at Bellows Airforce Station (Waimanalo, Oʻahu), Kalaupapa (Molokaʻi) and Pōhakuloa (Hawai‘i island).  In all these locations, overwhelming numbers of local residents have used all available democratic means to dispute this military expansion that would destroy native cultural sites  and cause contamination, overpopulation, over consumption of the islands' limited resources. 
  • Military training has a devastating impact on the environment and people's health, leading to serious illness and early death. Failure to clean up the hazardous toxics caused by military operations is an environmental justice issue and reflects the racist belief that some people are more valuable than others. It also shows deep disrespect for the earth.

Therefore, we, the participants of the 8th Meeting of the International Women's Network Against Militarism demand the cleanup of closed and current military bases and land used for military purposes in all our countries. This land must be returned to local community control. We demand full compensation to victims of military contamination, including Guahan downwinders of atomic testing in the Pacific, residents of Vieques and other communities of Puerto Rico, communities in the Philippines around former Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base. We also demand that the United States take full responsibility for the negative social impacts caused by the U.S. military presence in the region, in particular gender-based/sexual violence by US military personnel. Sexual crimes by US military personnel have occurred for many decades in the host communities, and they are often go unpunished. For example, Amerasian children born in the Philippines and abandoned by U.S. military fathers lack the support, care, and human rights that all children deserve.
We recognize that the current economic recession created by capitalism has created rising poverty, massive joblessness, and a lack of decent and affordable education and healthcare in the United States and its possessions and territories. We denounce the use of economic resources to further military activity.  We denounce the disproportional recruitment of poor young people and young people of color to sustain senseless wars that only protect the interest of the wealthy.  Instead, we call for an economy of peace, an economy that will support our communities in sustainable ways, with an emphasis on providing for basic human needs, health and wellness, solidarity, and respect for the land and all peoples.

February 25, 2012
San Juan, Puerto Rico