Guahan

You are invited to tune into Beyond the Fence which airs at noon on the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month on Public Radio Guam-KPRG 89.3 FM (89.1 FM in the CNMI), your source for NPR news and music discovery. This one hour locally produced program features interviews and coverage of public events offering analyses and personal perspectives on the impacts of U.S. militarism in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands. We also provide accounts of different forms of resistance, decolonization and sovereignty struggles, and the challenges of building community ‘beyond the fence’ where U.S. military bases and other installations are located.

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Ep. 262 “Guam in the Cross-Hairs: Women Forging Transnational Solidarity for Resistance to Militarism” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames and produced by David Lopez) was recorded August 15 and airs 8/18/17.This episode features interviews with three women activists and scholars engaged in building local and transnational solidarity for resistance to U.S. militarism. They talk about their participation in the International Women’s Network Against Militarism (iwnam.org) meeting held in Okinawa, June 22-27. They also discuss how local actions in response to the looming missile threat from North Korea, like the People for Peace Rally held August 14, are best viewed as part of growing local and transnational solidarity and organizing around decolonization and demilitarization. This, together with artful diplomacy, is their preferred strategy for peace and genuine security.  Absent this, Guam, as a US colony and “tip of the American spear” will remain vulnerable to being caught in the cross-hairs of military conflict, not of our making.

The first segment features a joint interview with Sabina Flores Perez and Rebekah Garrison, who attended the June IWNAM meeting as representatives of  Prutehi Liyekyan; Save Ritidian (https://www.facebook.com/saveritidian/). While global media attention was transfixed on the missile threat this past week, this direct action group was ratcheting up efforts before it is too late to halt the construction of a DoD Live Fire Training Range Complex at Northwest Field (Anderson Air Force Base), located above the Guam National Wildlife Refuge, which DoD officials claim is a linchpin to the military buildup.

Sabina Flores Perez has been an advocate for human rights of her people around various inter-related issues  —- from safeguarding their rights to water, advocating for Chamorro self-determination, to now trying to prevent the destruction of acres of pristine limestone forest which threaten ancestral sites, the island’s northern aquifer, and endangered native species. She helped to organize the 2007 IWNAM meeting in San Francisco and the 7th IWNAM conference hosted by Guam in September 2009, three months before the release of the 10,000 page Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Guam and CNMI Military Relocation.  [For an interview with Sabina following the release of this DEIS, see Ep. 19 (5/28/10) “Fresh Water and island Sustainability”).

Rebekah (‘Becka’) Garrison was born and raised in California and is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. She has conducted extensive field work over the past eight years to learn about indigenous women activists in demilitarization movements in Guåhan, Vieques-Puerto Rico and Hawai’i. Through the lens of what she calls “settler responsibility”, she argues that in creating a network of island relational experience and imagining a future free of U.S. militarism, women in these militarized islands unravel colonial cartographies that insist Pacific and Caribbean “areas” exist in isolation from each other. In this interview, she offers a moving message to her “settler” compatriots in the US states about why she chooses to remain at this time. [For an earlier interview about her research, see Ep. 243 (5/20/16) “Guåhan, Vieques (Puerto Rico), and Hawai’i: Island Relationalities and Feminist Demilitarization Movements”(5/20/16).

Tiara Na’puti (Ph.D. The University of Texas-Austin) is a member of the Chamorro diaspora who was raised in a military family.  She is now an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado-Boulder.  Her interdisciplinary work focuses on rhetoric & indigenous studies to understand processes of colonization and militarization.  Her publications include “Militarization and Resistance from Guåhan: Protecting and Defending Pågat” (American Quarterly, 2015).  She provides comment on the long standing confrontational rhetoric of North Korean Leader Kim-Jon Un, which US President Trump now employs, the counter rhetoric to militarism offered by the IWNAM, and the role of the Chamorro diaspora in the movement for the decolonization and demilitarization of the Marianas. She was a guest host for Beyond the Fence last year for Ep. 248 (7/15/16)  “Decolonizing Oceania and the Festival of the Pacific Arts”.

This episode opens with audio clips from the August 14 People for Peace rally held in Guam’s capital of Hagatna, organized by Independent Guahan and Protehi Litekyan:  Protect Ritidian. We close with a message of solidarity for the people of Guahan from Gwyn Kirk, a founding member of the International Women’s Network Against Militarism and its US partner organization, Women for Genuine Security (www.genuinesecurity.org). To view their latest Call to Action, “Stop Threats of War and Militarization: Women from Guam, US and Asia Pacific Region Call for Peace and Diplomacy”, go to: iwnam.org/country profile (Guåhan).

Suggestions for future topics and guests may be sent to btf.kprg@gmail.com or call 671-734-8930.  You can follow us on Twitter:@BTF_KPRG or like us at https://www.facebook.com/beyondthefencekprg/.  KPRG streams live at www.kprgfm.com/ and has released apps for Iphone/Ipad and Android devices. Podcasts of most episodes are available for free and may be downloaded within five days of the broadcast by going to: http://kprg.podbean.com/.
Thank you for listening to and supporting Public Radio Guam — and for promoting Beyond the Fence, locally and abroad.

Vivian Dames, Ph.D.
Anchor Host and Coordinator,  Beyond the Fence
KPRG -89.3 FM
303 University Drive, UOG Station
Mangilao, GU 96913
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Beyond the Fence studio is located in Mangilao on the campus of the University of Guam, Dean’s Circle #13, next to the Isla Center for the Arts.

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