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Showing posts from January, 2017

Mensahi Ginen i Gehilo' #20: Independence Daze

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It is intriguing the way that so many people assume something to be impossible and frightening in a particularly local or familiar context, but then completely miss the way that they accept such things in other contexts without even a hint of fear or apprehension. In Guam, a colony of the US for more than a century, and a colony of Spain for several centuries prior to that, this is frustratingly true and real in terms of the people of the island, both indigenous and non-indigenous, living in terror of Guam becoming independent. For other nations and other locations, independence is something to celebrate, a key moment in terms of a nation's development or evolution, something to look back on pride, even if your country has serious problems past or present. But it is intriguing how for example, Filipinos, Chinese or Koreans and others on Guam can celebrate the nationhood and the independence of their own nations, whether it be from colonialism, from imperialism or from their own s…

Imprisoned Independentistas

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Måkpo' i tiempo-ña si Barack Obama. Gi i hinichom i uttimo na sakkån-ña, meggai na petitions manhuyong put difirentes na taotao ni' mangkinalabobosu, ya kada manggagaggao mina'a'se para un presuneru. Dos na Chamorro ni' mapopongle komo presuneron federåt para u masotta. Mas ki un siento mit na taotao mamfitma petiton para i nina'libre si Leonard Peltier un Natibu na Amerikanu, lao si Obama ti ha ayuda gui'. 

Estague na tinige' siha put i masottå-ña si Oscar Lopez Rivera, un independista ginen Puerto Rico. 

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Obama commute sentence for political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera

López Rivera, whose commutation was announced with 208 others, has been incarcerated for 35 years for his role in fighting for Puerto Rico’s independence
by Sam Levin
The Guardian/UK
January 17, 2017

Barack Obama has commuted the sentence of Oscar López Rivera, a victory for the Puerto Rican independence activist who is considered to be one of the world…

Protect Language Learning at UOG!

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My two PDN columns on the need to protect language learning at UOG. If you aren't familiar with the issue, please head to this website UOG Language Drive, to learn more and sign the petition. If we combine both online and paper signatures, we have collected over 1500 and are still working on getting more!

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Protect Language Learning at UOG
Michael Lujan Bevacqua
Pacific Daily News
December 30, 2016

At present at the University of Guam, each undergraduate student is required to take two language classes (eight credits total) as part of their General Education or GE requirements. UOG offers courses regularly for Chamorro, Japanese, Tagalong, Spanish, Mandarin, French and can also offer courses in Chuukese and other Micronesian languages upon request. UOG is also home to the Chamorro Studies Program, of which I am a faculty member and this program is unique in the world in terms of focusing its courses on the history, language and culture of the Chamorr…

Independent Guåhan January GA

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Independent Guåhan Upcoming General Assembly will Honor Former Bank of Guam President Anthony Leon Guerrero and Discuss Jones Act
For Immediate Release, January 20, 2017 – Independent Guåhan invites the public to its monthly General Assembly on Thursday, January 26 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. at the main pavilion of the Chamorro Village in Hagåtña. For this first General Assembly of the year, the focus will be on the Jones Act and how Guam’s economy has been inhibited by this colonial imposition.
The Merchant Marine Act, more commonly known as the Jones Act, was passed in 1920 and is designed to protect U.S. shipbuilding and maintain a vibrant American maritime industry. It requires that trade of goods between U.S. ports, including those in the territories be conducted on U.S. built ships, owned by US citizens and crewed by permanent residents or citizens of the U.S. This act has led to an artificial inflation of prices on goods sold in places such as Guam, which cannot take advantage of th…

UOG Language(s) Drive

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The petition drive to protect language learning at UOG continues. 
If you haven't signed the petition yet, please do so at this link.
Here is the website for the UOG Language Drive, which is being spearheaded by myself and other UOG faculty to protect language learning at UOG in the face of GE requirement changes which could drastically affect language programs at UOG, in particular my program, Chamorro Studies. 
Below is the petition statement for the UOG Language Drive, in Chamorro, Japanese, Tagalog, French, Spanish, Mandarin and English.
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Kinalamten para Lenguahi Siha gi Unibetsedåt Guahan  I hinangai-ña este para u na’adilåntu yan u chonnek mo’na i fina’nå’guen lengguåhi siha gi Unibetsidåt Guåhan. Manmama’nånå’gue, manmane’eyak yan manmansesetbe i fafa’nå’gue siha yan i estudiånte siha gi UOG para u manteteini i takhilo’ na minetgot-ñiha i kottura-ña siha yan i guinaha-ña iya Micronesia. Ginen este, siña ta usa este na minetgot siha para ta fåna…

Litekyan Redux

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Several years ago, there was a small but significant spike in Guam/Chamorro based activism around the announcement that rather than Pågat, the US military not intended to build their firing range complex for their military buildup near Litekyan or Ritidian as many know it on Guam. For those unfamiliar with the long, winding road for this the US military buildup to Guam, they created a DEIS around their intent to build the firing range complex in Pågat. After push-back from the community, lawsuits and also problems at the US federal level, this was withdrawn and a SEIS or supplementary environmental impact statement was conducted, identifying the area above Litekyan in Northern Guam as the new location. I attended the public comment meetings, participated in protests and demonstrations and also helped organize teach-ins and forums to educate the public about the military's intended use of this very important cultural and historic area for Chamorros. The level of public outrage nev…

MLK: A Radical, Not a Saint

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My position on Martin Luther King Jr. is somewhat similar to my position on Jesus Christ. I have a strong affinity for both of them in their radical dimensions, the way they challenged system of oppression in their time and proposed a powerful message of social change into something that was potentially more equitable. Both of them have of course been edited and watered down significantly in their message, to the point where both of them can be invoked in the name of so many things that they would have violently detested in their lives.

Gof ya-hu si Jesus Kristo komo un zealot. Lao anggen un lahen Yu'us, hmmm, ti bali nu Guahu i mensahi-ña. Parehu yan si MLK. Gof annok gi sinangån-ña yan gi bidå-ña na zealot lokkue'. Lao atan ha' på'go, i manracist na taotao, ma u'usa i estoria-ña para u ma puni i tinailayi yan taihustisia gi på'go na tiempo. 

Below is a great article that outlines the radical dimensions of Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy. 

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Faninayan Meetings

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Independence for Guåhan Task Force launches Fanhita Campaign Continues educational outreach by discussing security threats to Guam and Singapore as a possible model for independence. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016 – The Independence for Guåhan Task Force held its second General Assembly on September 22nd at the main pavilion of the Chamorro Village in Hagåtña. More than 70 people gathered to listen to information presentations, pay tribute to a Chamorro educational pioneer and also help coordinate small family and organization-based conversations meant to diversify the ways in which we educate our community about decolonization and independence. The meeting opened with a tribute to Dr. Bernadita Camacho-Dungca, the Chamorro linguist and indigenous rights activist, best known for her writing the Inifresi who passed away earlier this year. The Inifresi calls on the people of Guam to pledge to protect and defend the precious natural and cultural resources of their…