Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

My Photo
Name:
Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Monday, July 26, 2010

NO MORE U.S. BASES ON GUAM






Pagat, a sacred site in Guam, has served as a center for the communal revitalization of the indigenous Chamorro people for millennia. Now, sixty-five years after the U.S. liberation of the tiny island (half the size of Okinawa) from imperial Japan—the U.S. military wants to transform this beloved gathering spot into a firing range. This threat to the sacred is one of many U.S. plans in its proposal to militarize even more of Guam, 30% of which is already covered with military bases.

For more info on Guam organizing look here

4 Comments:

Anonymous Brother Jonah said...

I hot linked it on our site.
There's another Sacred Site (ok, a vast number thereof) where I was raised, by El Paso Texas, it's currently a "State Historic Site" because the Overland Stage Co, and Wells Fargo had a stage stop there. It's called Hueco Tanks, one of the few places in between the East side of El Paso and the Pecos river that has fresh water. It's a formerly undersea volcano and it's sacred to every tribe in the region. Ft Bliss has long eyed it for annexation, not so much for any particular OTHER use than the fact that it's almost surrounded by Ft Bliss, Biggs Army Air Field, McGregor Range and White Sands Proving Grounds. Keep them thar nosy civilians away. Helped along with one of the only two Indian tribes recognized by the State of Texas living nearby, The Tigua of Pueblo Ysleta Del Sur. Also that George W and now his pet dog Rick Goodhair Perry have a longstanding feud against the Tigua.

So my soul goes along with the Chamorro.

Indigeneo for ever.

7/27/10, 4:27 PM  
Blogger Brian Dunbar said...

it's sacred to every tribe in the region.

Isn't this the 'sacred site' that became so only after the fact in the 1970s when it became fashionable to oppose the military in everything they want to do?

Go back a few hundred years and you'll find it's only sacred purpose was water for the abos running around the area before Spanish came along to settle the place.

7/28/10, 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Brother Jonah said...

No, it's the sacred site that has 8000 year old religious paintings on the walls. That one.The Spanish used the area as the name implies, The Pass. Or "the step" but it's got a lot more history before Coronado came up with his Knights.

The "abos" as you refer to us, on the west side of the mountains we had settlements. That's where the Rio Bravo passes through. The original aboriginals if you want to get all Great White Father in your definitions, were mostly killed off by the Spanish and The Gift of Smallpox (maybe measles)
There was a settlement at Hueco Tanks as well, For, as previously mentioned, thousands of years before the Spanish "settled" it.
Funny you should mention the Army and the 1970s all in one gasp.There used to be a path from the Northeast of El Paso, McCombs Road, that cut straight between Biggs Field and McGregor Range. If one is badass enough to do it you could walk from El Paso to Hueco Tanks in about 12 hours or so.
The Army put a huge Toxic Waste dump right across the trails. Every time the (Prevailing) Easterly winds blow the very large population center of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez Chih.Mexico some 3 million people including the ones in uniform on base, get a dose of asbestos dust. No telling what all else is stored there, the signs on the fences just say Asbestos. And to wear protective gear. Funny how they don't put that information out on McCombs road where people who really need to know can see it. There's 4 schools I know of that are within a click of the Asbestos dump. And whatever else the Army doesn't tell the people.
But back to Hueco Tanks. It attracted the interest of Archaeologists in the late 1960s when a lot of non-native Americans suddenly realized that we're people, we're Americans and we have a rich history. And most of them at least pretended to drop the contempt. Even the Wandering Tribes have culture and civilization, and as it turned out, used the land a lot less destructively than the Spanish and other "settlers".

But if having permanent dwellings in one spot for centuries or in this case Millennia, agriculture, trade and an established religion are part of your criteria for "civilized" these guys had it.

7/28/10, 4:29 PM  
Anonymous Brother Jonah said...

Also the "1970s" timeline you referred to was about the time a lot more Anglo people took notice of Indian Rights. One thing that applies in all these cases, like the proposed Shale Oil and other strip mining operations up here in the Colorado Springs area, on Ute lands,the attempted takeover of the Wounded Knee Ogalala Reservation by Strip Miners, blocked partly by the American Indian Movement, the fencing off of the Great Wheel at Standing Bear Butte by a Private Enterprise Cattle Company (something the TeaBags would rally for again) and similar outrages against Native Sovereignty that were addressed in the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978.
Yep, those bad ol' wicked naughty Liberals in Congress recognized the fact that 10,000 years of ownership even without filling in the necessary Corporate and Military Paperwork for the claims (Kind of hard to do when the English were living in mud huts, mostly illiterate and hadn't yet even taken over Scotland Wales and Ireland, much less America, and thus hadn't imposed the Paper Rules on us yet.) actually counts as proof of Indian Rights.
One of the things the Hueco Tanks archoelogical dig was set up to prove.

Incidentally, the Chamorro case would be directly impacted by the AIRFA'78 rules, if the Corporate-tamed "justice" department felt bold enough to actually enforce the constitutionally mandated law of the land.
Under Article 6 of the Constitution, second passage. But the Profiteers and their TeaParty are more interested in parts of the constitution they can interpret to mean they get to take anything they want, pay the original owners anything the Profiteers consider just, and demand that we be happy and content with the arrangement.
By the way, the Military and the other users of BLM land including but not limited to Energy Exploitation and Timber extraction always have been particularly aggressive and arrogant in the pursuit of the Dollar Bill they worship. Which is why they keep running afoul of the Indian "Abos" who actually have title to the BLM land.

7/28/10, 9:14 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home