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Cthullu Beach

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It is once again November and that means it is time for NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, or as I prefer to call it #ChaNoWriMo or Chamoru Novel Writing Month. For those brave enough to try their typing or writing hands at NaNoWriMo, the challenge is to write 50,000 words of your prospective novel by the end of the month. 30 days for 50,000 words. 

I've been doing this for several years now writing a number of different stories and novels, some of which have made their way into the many things I've published through The Guam Bus. Most of these November novels have been focused on my alternate history for Guam referred to as "The Legend of the Chamurai." In it, there were pre-Spanish contacts between the Japanese and Chamorus and in the early 17th century, a group of samurai assist the Chamorus in fighting off the Spanish. In these stories, I've tried to give life to a number of legendary figures such as Chaife, Fu'una and Puntan, Ukudu and others. 

For t…

Borders and Buildups

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The issue of wall funding in the United States for President Trump is another point at which we can see ideological lines become distorted and distinct when moving from the community of the colonizer to the community of the colonized. Left and right, liberal and conservative have particular meanings within a community and within groups within a community. Part of the colonizing process is not solely those things which the colonizer does to forcibly integrate the colonized peoples, but also the ways in which the colonized peoples may accept a particular framework for understanding themselves and their issues. This is a key point people often miss. Colonialism isn't inherently conservative and therefore decolonization is liberal. Colonialism can be both faces and many more. There can be liberal forms of colonization and conservative ones. Movements or conversations that are liberal or progressive in the US can still be colonial. 
We are reminded about this every once in a while in …

Independent Guåhan October 2019 General Assembly

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Independent Guåhan October General Assembly will commemorate the history of Chamoru petitions for self-determination
For Immediate Release, October 21, 2019- Independent Guåhan (IG) invites the public to attend their upcoming General Assembly (GA) to take place on Thursday, October 24thfrom 6:00-7:30 pm at the Main Pavilion of the Chamorro Village in Hagåtña. This month’s GA will commemorate the more than a century of petitions by the Chamoru people for improvements in their political status. In this spirit, the group will honor as Maga’taotao the late Senator Francisco R. Santos, a long-serving local leader.
Within months of the US takeover of Guam in 1898, the Chamoru people were already politely requesting improvements in their political status. Dozens of petitions were sent to the US Congress and the US Navy prior to World War II, some bearing thousands of signatures asking that the US improve the political status of the Chamoru people, whether by granting US citizenship or providin…

The Organic Act Explained

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Independent Guåhan to offer Teach-In on The Organic Act, its past, present and future
For Immediate Release, October 13, 2019- Independent Guåhan (IG) invites the public to attend a Teach-In titled “The Organic Act Explained” on Thursday, October 17thfrom 6 pm – 7:30 pm at University of Guam, Humanities and Social Sciences Building Room 106. This event is free and open to the public and will also be live streamed on the Independent Guåhan Facebook page (www.facebook.com/independentgu)
Recently, Guam’s non-voting delegate to the US Congress Michael San Nicolas introduced a bill in Washington D.C. to amend the Organic Act for Guam, which would require that a public referendum be held prior to any tax increase for the island. The delegate also has plans to introduce future amendments, in order to compel prompt payment of tax refunds for local residents. Discussion on these proposed reforms has been unfortunately limited, in part by a general lack of knowledge and understanding about Guam’s…

Third Options

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An interesting discussion on the possibilities of a "third" option when thinking about decolonization in the Pacific. In Guam, I have written about the risks or dangers of "fourth kinds" or "fourth options," but I still found this article to be enlightening. 
In Guam, I refer to the fourth kind as potential political status traps. Decolonization in the most general sense is about achieving a genuine level of self-governance. There are, as we can see in the world today, a wide variety of arrangements whereby a colonizer or administering power can call a place self-governing, while still maintaining colonial control. 
For example, when looking at the United States, Puerto Rico is a "commonwealth" and isn't supposed to be a colony or non-self-governing territory anymore. But if you compare the status of Guam and Puerto Rico, their level of self-governance, they are almost in the exact same position, with only a fancy title separating them. Even t…

"Naked Racial Spoils Systems"

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The clock is running out for the Government of Guam to decide if they plan to appeal the recent 9th Circuit Court's affirmation of the Dave Davis case. After the federal district judge in Guam, Francis Tydingco-Gatewood ruled in Davis' favor in 2017, the government of Guam appealed. They lost that appeal earlier this year. In a few weeks the Leon Guerrero administration will reveal their plans for the Davis case and hopefully the issue of a self-determination plebiscite in general. 

For those unfamiliar, the Davis case deals with a non-binding political status plebiscite codified in Guam law, that would be limited to only those who were made US citizens by the 1950 Organic Act and their descendants. Although not strictly a racial definition, the US federal courts have ruled that this classification known in Guam as "native inhabitants" is unconstitutional. 

The question that remains for Maga'håga Lou now is, what is Guam's next step? As she is the head of Guam&…

Grito de Lares

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Recently at the Fanhita: Our Continuing Quests for Decolonization, I and the several hundred other attendees received updates on Puerto Rico from Wilma Reveron-Collazo. Her presentation "Puerto Rico Actually" provided a powerful genealogy of Puerto Rico's movement for decolonization, as well as American attempts to keep the island colonized or to hide its continuing colonization. 
Puerto Rico occupies an interesting place in the imaginary of Guam. It is a place very distant from us in geographic terms, but we nonetheless share a similar history of Spanish colonialism and a similar present of American colonialism. At a time when Puerto Rico and Cuba were developing their own nationalist and revolutionary movements, the same movements, albeit on a smaller level, were also developing on Guam. Both Guam and Puerto Rico exist in territorial/colonial relationships with the US, although they have different names. Puerto Rico is referred to as a commonwealth, although you would…