Wednesday, May 28, 2008


The Struggle of the Chamoru people

Sent around by Hannah Middleton, IWYRAW email, 28.5.08.

The Chamoru people of Guam (indigenous name Guahan) have resisted the take over 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 Political and Decolonisation Committee 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”.

Militarisation of the Pacific U.S. militarisation of the north-west Pacific is anchored around the small island of Guahan east of the Philippines. Guahan is only four hours' flying time from China or North Korea.

In addition to massive upgrading of facilities and increased deployments of planes, submarines and other equipment, the US and Japan have agreed to move 8,000 Marines to Guahan from Okinawa by 2014. The build-up means a total increase in Guahan's current 170,000 population of 35,000.

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 use bombing ranges here. 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/or transit through Guahan during these war games.