Seeds Planted in 2013; Cultivate Dreams for 2014.

Women from Hawaii have been participating in the International Women's Network Against Militarism (IWNAM) meetings for 9 years now.  This network has existed since 1997, or for 16 years.

This past November 2013,Terri Kekoʻolani, Kim Kuʻulei Birnie and Ellen-Rae Cachola, attended the internal meeting of the International Women's Network Against Militarism in Baguio, Philippines.  Women from Puerto Rico, U.S., Hawaiʻi, Guahan, Philippines, Okinawa, and South Korea were in attendance.  We clarified our vision, mission, goals, developed our leadership structure and activated working group committees. 

Some of the issues we discussed were the use of the Pagan Island for live-fire training by the U.S. Department of Defense, and the return of the U.S. Navy to Subic Bay Naval Base, as well as the projected development of a new naval base in Oyster Bay, Palawan, Philippines. 

Women from Hawaii reported on the presence of the military in Hawaii as a continuation of colonization. The expansion of the Pohakuloa Army training base, Ospreys in Mokapu, and Aegis Missile System in Kauai are just some of the facilities that contextualize why there is increasing Hawaiian houselessness, military housing subsidies, military vehicle accidents, violence against women/LGBT and military recruitment in the schools. 

We also talked about how our resistance is based on values of decolonization, or empowering communities to reclaim their culture and their relationship to the land to protect one another from perpetual militarism and violence. We have done this through participation in the AHA Wahine conference, delegation report backs after the 2012 network meeting, submission of a letter of appeal to Hawaiian representatives attending the UNESCO World Conservation in Jeju, production of a Passionista Fashion Show, support for legal and cultural work to reclaim Makua and Kahoolawe, development of the Peace and Justice Crew at Farrington High School, and presentation of our film.

Often, it is easier to talk about security issues happening "over there," but our goal is to continue to talk about security here at home.  On October 26, 2013 and  December 29, 2013 we screened the film, Living Along the Fenceline, on two occasions. First, to educate people on the relationship of militarism to domestic violence. Second, to talk about militarism and colonization.  

This year, we have created ways people can practically participate in the movement for genuine security, through supporting and participating in our international research, education, campaigns, finance and communication committees. But more than just busy work, we use this film as an organizing tool to raise community discussion on how people see militarism pervade their lives, and what they are willing to do to make a change.

Let us know if you’d like to have the film screened in your community, or to collaborate in other ways, by commenting here or on our Facebook page.

We are embarking on a journey to make the topic of ending militarism relevant to the various communities that we come from, so that we can come to meaningful conversation with each another and build relationships; so we can have a stronger reach beyond ourselves. Together we can be that critical mass to let those who govern us know--we are ready for peace and justice. We are not going to wait for someone to give it to us.

Berkeley joins Steinem & Stone in seeking Justice 4 Jeju.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      December 11, 2013
Berkeley joins Steinem & Stone in seeking Justice 4 Jeju.
Paul Liem:  510-414-5575              
KJ Noh:              
Christine Ahn:  
Stephanie Miyashira 524-2624                           
Councilmember Max  Anderson 981-7130                   
Councilmember Kriss Worthington (510) 981-7170

Berkeley made history by becoming the first City in a growing international movement of environmentalists and peace activists to stand up for villagers on Jeju Island in their long struggle to oppose a massive naval base being built on the beautiful island.
Gloria Steinem emailed the Berkeley City Council:  "…There are some actions for which those of us alive today will be judged in centuries to come. The only question will be: What did we know and when did we know it?  I think one judgment-worthy action may be what you and I do about the militarization of Jeju Island, South Korea, in service of the arms race.”
Jeju Island is UNESCO’s only triple honoree: a Global Geological Park, a Biosphere Reserve, and a World Heritage Site.  This environmental jewel was designated an “Absolute Conservation Area” by the Korean Government, was proclaimed an “Island of Peace”, and voted one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World.”
 Affected local villagers have engaged in seven years of principled non-violent struggle, facing endless beatings, arrests, fines, and imprisonment.  Most recently, Sister Stella Soh, the first Catholic Nun in Korean history to be arrested for an act of conscience, was arraigned in a Korean court. 
Stephanie Miyashira, an activist in a wheel chair, broke down in tears as she implored the council to support the cause of peace. She agreed with Oliver Stone, who stated : “I deplore the militarization of Jeju Island.  I deplore the building of the base. This is leading up to a war, and we cannot have another war here.  We have to stop this thing.” 
Christine Ahn, a scholar at the Korea Policy Institute, wrote in a heartfelt and moving letter to Berkeley City Council that she had named her daughter Jeju because of her passion for the cause of the peace activists on the island. 
Berkeley’s Resolution calls on the US Military "to cease supporting the base which will gravely harm the fragile ecology, damage the livelihood of the people of Jeju, and make this Island of Peace a pawn of the great powers and a magnet for military conflict.” 
This historic vote will be celebrated in a press conference at 6:30 PM on December 17 at Berkeley Old City Hall steps, 2134 MLK Jr. Way, Berkeley 94704

Paul Liem:  510-414-5575              
KJ Noh:              
Christine Ahn:  
 Stephanie Miyashira 524-2624                           
Councilmember Max  Anderson 981-7130                   
 Councilmember Kriss Worthington (510) 981-7170

Living Along the Fenceline, filmscreening & dialogue

Womens Voices, Women Speak invites you to a screening of the award-winning documentary "Living Along the Fenceline," as part of DVAC's Domestic Violence Awareness Month programming series.

Friday Oct 25, 2013 
The Arts at Marks Garage
1159 Nuʻuanu Ave

Featuring stories of women in Hawai'i, Guam, Philippines, Okinawa, Texas, Vieques and South Korea, this film highlights how the culture of violence in the military infuses daily life around the bases. But in women's resistance to violence, alternative ideas of peace and genuine security continue to emerge.

The film has won Best Feature Documentary, Toronto Female Eye Film Festival 2013, and has been shown at the Guam-USA International Film Festival, and Jeju Women's Film Festival. More information on the film, see

Brandy Nalani McDougall, Native Hawaiian poet and scholar, will open the screening with her powerful poetry, so plan to arrive early!

*Post-film discussion
*Live additions to the Passionista! Real Kine Security Blanket
*Tabling by organizations engaged in local genuine security efforts 

Sponsored by Womens Voices, Women Speak, International Women's Network Against Militarism, Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking, Domestic Violence Action Center, Filipino Law Students Association,Oceania Rising, and Hawai'i Peace and Justice.

Learning together builds movement - please share with your friends and family!

MARSHALL IS: New biography details brave anti-nuclear campaigner's life

Darlene Keju's courageous story of growing up on islands downwind of the 67 US nuclear tests conducted at Bikini and Enewetak, as told by her husband Giff Johnson.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Item: 8340
By a special correspondent

MAJURO (Pacific Media Watch / Marshall Islands Journal): The powerful story of a woman from the Marshall Islands who championed the cause of nuclear weapons test survivors when others were silent, and who implemented innovative community health programmes and services that gave hope to a generation of troubled youth is detailed in a just-released biography, Don’t Ever Whisper - Darlene Keju: Pacific Health Pioneer, Champion for Nuclear Survivors.
Written by Keju’s husband of 14 years Giff Johnson, editor of the Marshall Islands Journal, the weekly newspaper published in Majuro, the 443-page book has been published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing and is available through
The new book on Darlene Keju's life.
“This book is a story of a personal transformation of a young lady who once knew little English to an advocate for her people, the victims of the weapons of war,” writes Fr Francis X. Hezel, SJ, in the foreword to the new book.
“Then the further transformation to educational innovator, whose programme had far-reaching effects throughout her island nation.”
'Courage to dream'
Hezel, who founded the Jesuit think tank known as the Micronesian Seminar in the early 1970s and is now based in Guam, says the book is the “tale of a woman who loved her people, seeing them as so much more than victims of nuclear irradiation and colonial despoilment. 
"For those of us who have cheered on island Micronesia through the years, it is a welcome change to read a tribute to someone who is home grown.
"Although no saint or flag-waver, Darlene shared with Mother Theresa and Greg Mortenson (of Three Cups of Tea fame) the courage to dream daringly along with the commitment and patience to settle for one step — one family, one atoll — at a time.”
The book tells of Keju growing up on islands downwind of the 67 US nuclear tests conducted at Bikini and Enewetak, and then narrates Keju’s struggle as a teenager moving to Hawaii with little English ability.
She ultimately earned a master’s degree in public health, and used her US education first to expose to the world a United States government cover up of its nuclear weapons testing programme in the Marshall Islands, and later to inspire young Marshall Islanders to make changes in their personal behavior to transform the health of their communities.
Global stage
Keju took to a global stage at the World Council of Churches Assembly in Canada in 1983 to tell the world about the health impact of the American nuclear tests, and of the US Army’s discrimination against Marshall Islanders at its missile-testing base at Kwajalein Atoll. 
“Darlene’s speech in Vancouver opened many people’s eyes, particularly in the churches, to the suffering of the people of the Marshall Islands and other parts of the Pacific in the wake of nuclear testing,” said Rev Ekkehard Zipser, an official with the Protestant Church in Germany, who is quoted on the book’s back cover.
“The consciousness of people in Europe concerning the Pacific only really began to awaken after that speech.”
“So that people can watch Darlene’s riveting speech at the World Council of Churches Assembly, I recently posted a video of her talk on YouTube,” said Johnson.
“Thirty years later, it is still one of the most powerful presentations ever delivered by a Marshall Islander about US nuclear testing here.”
Her contention that many more islands than the four acknowledged by the U.S. government were exposed to nuclear test fallout was controversial at the time.
But formerly secret US nuclear test-era documents that have come to light in recent years — and are detailed in this biography — confirm Keju’s contention of widespread fallout contamination in the Marshalls.
Marginalised young
Don’t Ever Whisper also tells the inspiring story of how Keju went to bat for marginalised young people in the Marshall Islands, a largely ignored population with low self-esteem and a penchant for expressing their frustrations by suicide and other anti-social behavior.
She established the non-government group Youth to Youth in Health that empowered young people and their communities to take control of their own health and economic well-being through work that was praised as a model for the Pacific by the US Public Health Service and the United Nations Population Fund.
Keju died of cancer at age 45, but Youth to Youth in Health, now in its 27th year of operations, continues programmes and services for at-risk youth that Keju pioneered.
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Military Sexual Violence: From Frontline to Fenceline

By Annie Isabel Fukushima and Gwyn Kirk, June 17, 2013

As more U.S. military women break the silence about sexual violence committed by their comrades in arms, it is clear that sporadic “scandals”—at the Tailhook Naval Aviators’ Convention (1991), Aberdeen Proving Grounds Ordnance Center (1996), the U.S. Air Force Academy (2003)—are not isolated incidents, but spring from the mycelium of U.S. military culture and ideology. Read more...