header image 1
November 23, 2015 @ 8:07 am

Ep. 228 “Na’ Matatnga I Manhoben (To Make the Youth Brave): Guahan Actions to Counter the Militarization of Youth”

Ep. 228 “Na’ Matatnga I Manhoben  (To Make the Youth Brave):  Guahan Actions to Counter the Militarization of Youth” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames and produced by Dance Aoki with assistance from Alan Grossman) airs 11/20/15.  

This week, November 14-20, is the second International Week of Action  Against the  Militarization of Youth.  This week is a call for nonviolent actions across the world to raise awareness of, and challenge, the ways young people are militarized, and to give voice to alternatives. (For more information about these actions and events, go to www.facebook.com/antimiliyouth).  

In solidarity with this global action, this episode features interviews with four daughters of the Marianas, born and raised on Guam, who share first hand accounts of student led actions to counter the militarization of youth in Guam high schools.    

In the first half, we welcome Kisha Borja-Quichocho and Nichole Rose Quintanilla, both graduates of George Washington High School (GWHS). 

Kisha graduated from GWHS in 2004. She went on to earn a BA in English from Hawai`i Pacific University, an MA in Pacific Islands Studies from the University of Hawai`i-Manoa, and an MA in Teaching from the University of Guam. In 2010, she returned to GWHS to teach language arts and became faculty advisor to a student club, NIM (Na’ Matatnga I Manhoben  (in Chamorro, To Make the Youth Brave),  the first public high school club committed to promoting peace, preserving the Chamorro culture, and countering military recruitment in the school.  She is currently a member of the faculty at the University of Guam, teaching courses in the School of Education and the Division of English and Applied Linguistics and serving as the Editor for the Micronesian Area Research Center.  She is also the mother of Lina’la’, who remains one of the driving forces behind the work that she continues to do at home, at work, and in the community.   

Nichole was active in NIM in her junior and senior years and graduated in 2013. This pivotal experience inspired her to become a History and Chamorro Studies major at the University of Guam rather than enlist in the military.  She is now preparing to become a secondary education teacher and to continue the work of NIM in Guam’s schools. She is also a spoken word artist, apprentice weaver, actress, and Guam’s public high  coordinator for the Sinangån-ta Youth Movement, Guam’s official spoken word and poetry organization for youth.    

Program guests in the second half are high school teachers Fanai Castro and Shannon Siguenza.  They talk about their experience last year advising a group of students from the Academy of Our Lady of Guam (AOLG), Guam’s only all-girls Catholic high school, that produced a short video message (“Guahan in Solidarity with Tinian and Pagan” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL5yDV0IZtQ).  The intent of this project, led by Tasi Yanger and Fena Garcia,  was to express solidarity with those resisting the U.S. military plans to use the islands of Tinian and Pagan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) for live fire training. 

Fanai is an AOLG graduate. She went on to earn a B.A. degree in Ethnic Studies with honors from Mills College in 2003 then returned to her alma mater in 2013 to teach Guam History and Culture. Prior to this, she had experience with public school students as a substitute teacher for the Guam Community College, cross-enrollment program. She is an artist and a poet whose work centers on the movement for a nuclear-free and interdependent Pasifik, as well as community education and sustainability. She created the poster for the 7th International Meeting of Women Against Militarism, held in Guam in 2009.  She also co-curated the art exhibit and helped to organize the counter-militarism fashion show for this international meeting. 

As a young girl, Shannon was inspired to emulate the community service work of her mother, Frances Siguenza, who worked at the Office of Veterans Affairs and advocated for Guam’s veterans. She graduated from GWHS then earned her B.A. Psychology degree from the University of Guam in 2010.  At the time of this film project, Shannon was teaching psychology at the AOLG.  She is currently an English teacher at Simon Sanchez High School and a graduate student at the University of Guam. Shannon’s work as a teacher, poet, and writer is centered around empowering Guahan’s youth, cultural revitalization, language preservation, and the development of healthy communities on island.   

For more information about youth resistance in the Marianas, go to: 


For more information about counter military recruitment, go to: 




Related episodes: 

Episode 38 (10/8/10) “Counter Military Recruitment and Guam's Youth”

Episode 201 (9/26/14) “Peace Photography Post 9-11” 

Listen Now:

Share | Comments | Embed | Download | Plays (Loading)
November 23, 2015 @ 7:47 am

Ep. 227 “Veterans, Culture and Identity”

Ep. 227 “Veterans, Culture and Identity”  (hosted by Desiree Taimanglo Ventura and produced by Dance Aoki with assistance from Alan Grossman) airs 11/13/15. 

In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…" 

The men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces from Guam offer a unique perspective on what it means to serve and fight for a country within which they do not have equal citizenship.  Their stories, which are full of passion and complex, sometimes confusing, contradictions are experiences and perspectives that our island’s younger generations do not often pause to think about.  

Program guest is Tressa Dela Cruz, an instructor from the Guam Community College and daughter of a US Air Force veteran, who sought to connect our island’s young adults with local veterans in order to provide them with an opportunity to hear from this unique demographic.  On September 29, Dela Cruz sent out a call for local veterans willing to participate in a project assigned to her Freshmen Composition students.  She successfully connected 60 local veterans with 60 college students who participated in a series of interview sessions hosted on the GCC campus over a span of two weeks.  Students were able to sit one-on-one with different veterans and ask questions about the ways in which culture and military service intersect.  In addition, Dela Cruz spearheaded an essay contest for high school students that encouraged them to write about what veterans mean to them personally.

This conversation includes one of the GCC students and her grandfather, a local veteran who participated in this project.  Elisa Artero Guerrero is from the village of Mangilao and a full-time nursing student.  Her grandfather is retired Command Sergeant Major Franklin Artero.  Born in 1942, Artero offers his experiences as a post-war child, which have shaped many of his views on Guam’s culture and future, military service, and war.  He was drafted into the US Army at the age of 18, and went on to serve 30 years. He has received numerous honorable decorations during his service.

This episode includes the poem I Kelat (The Fence), written by Desiree Taimanglo Ventura as read by Dance Aoki (forthcoming publication in Home(is)lands: Guam and Hawaii, An Anthology of New Writing, edited by Brandy Nalani McDougall and Craig Santos Perez); the oral testimonies presented by Desiree’s father, U.S. Army Colonel Raymond Leon Guerrero Taimanglo, and by Tun Antonio Sablan at a public hearing on the 2009 Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Guam and CNMI Military Relocation (downloaded from the Voice of Guam youtube channel, created by UOG students in a GCC EN111 class (taught by Ms. Taimanglo Ventura), and the Inifresi (Chamorro pledge) performed by Zack Lujan. 

Guest host Desiree Taimanglo Ventura received her B.A. in English at Chaminade University and an M.A in Rhetoric and Writing Studies from San Diego State University.  She is currently a full-time instructor of English and Communications at the Guam Community College, and has taught English at the University of Guam, as well as Rhetoric and Writing Studies at San Diego State University.

Listen Now:

Share | Comments | Embed | Download | Plays (Loading)
November 9, 2015 @ 7:31 am

Ep. 226 “The Decolonization of Guahån: What Happens to a Dream Deferred?”

Ep. 226 “The Decolonization of Guahån:  What Happens to a Dream Deferred?” (hosted and produced by Dance Aoki with production assistance of  Vivian Dames,  Alan Grossman, Angel Petros,  and Robert Wang) was recorded 10/29/15 at the University of Guam and airs 11/6/15. 

Earlier this year Guam Governor Eddie Calvo, also chair of the Commission on Self-Determination, announced plans to launch an educational outreach campaign in preparation for a plebiscite to determine the island’s future political status.  A date for this vote has yet to be set.  He also approved a budget for three task forces to prepare educational materials to detail the pros and cons of three internationally recognized political status options — independence, free association and statehood.

This episode features coverage of the Decolonization Forum held at the University of Guam (UOG) on October 29, 2015 featuring presentations by Dr. Laura Souder-Betances, Hope Cristobal, Speaker Judith Won Pat and Dr.  Carlyle Corbin.  This public forum was sponsored by the UOG Division of Social Work, Chamorro Studies Program, and Women & Gender Studies Program.  The purpose of this forum is to educate the community about the history of Guam’s quest for self-determination, to re-assess current strategies and possibilities, and to inspire and motivate a new generation of citizens and advocates.   

In the first half of this episode, Chamorro rights activist, scholar, and co-editor (with Robert A.  Underwood) of the book Chamorro Self-Determination:  The Right of a People—-Derechon I Taotao, 1987) presents “Revisiting Chamorro Sovereignty and Self-Determination from a Language and Culture Perspective”.  

This is followed by a presentation by another pioneer in the Chamorro self-determination movement,  former senator Hope Cristobal, who provides an overview of the “Development of Guam Public Law on Decolonization”.  While senator in the 23rd Guam Legislature, she authored the legislation which created the Guam Commission on Decolonization and the Chamorro Registry. 

Music selection:  “Saena, Saena”, a chant performed by Inetnon Gefpå’go under the direction  of Master of Chamorro Dance, Vince J.C. Reyes, which was part of the opening ceremony for this public forum.

In the second half, Speaker of the Guam Legislature and member of the Commission on Decolonization, Judith T. Won Pat,  presented “A Report Back on Guam’s Testimonies to the United Nations 4th Committee in October 2015”.  This coverage focuses on the statement she presented as a petitioner to the U.N. about the impacts of militarization on Guam’s quest for self-determination.  She also commented in her panel presentation on the success of the Guam-specific resolution which was approved by the General Assembly and the importance of strategic networking and lobbying.   

This program concludes with the keynote speech “Decolonization:  What Happens to a Dream Deferred?” by Dr. Carlyle Corbin.  Dr. Corbin, a Virgin Islander and executive secretary of the Council of Presidents of the United Nations General Assembly, provides an overview of three historical commitments to decolonization, analyzes the problem of what he calls “dependency legitimation” using different case examples, and suggests why the French, British and U.S. colonial powers ignore their legal and moral obligations to decolonization.  [For the full text of his talk and related information, go to: overseasreview.blogspot.com]

This episode concludes with a poem entitled, “Harlem - What Happens to a Dream Deferred?” by Langston Hughes, read for this program by Robert Wang.  

These four 15-20 minute presentations have been edited to fit the format of this program.  This panel presentation was followed by a moderated question and answer segment which is appended to the podcast for Ep. 226. 

Listen Now:

Share | Comments | Embed | Download | Plays (Loading)
November 6, 2015 @ 6:05 am

Ep. 225 “Ti Tano-mu este. Tano-mami (This is not your island. This is my island)

Ep. 225 “Ti Tano-mu este. Tano-mami  (This is not your island. This is my island):  Voices from the CNMI on the Militarization of Pagan and Tinian” (hosted by Moñeka De Oro and produced by Dance Aoki with assistance of Vivian Dames, Alan Grossman,  and Robert Wang) airs 10/30/15.  Testimonies featured in this episode were recorded by Leonard Leon between April 28-May 1, 2015 in Tinian and Saipan.

In support of the rebalancing of military forces in the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. military is proposing to increase joint military capabilities by improving existing and developing new live fire ranges and training areas on the islands of Tinian and Pagan in the CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands). The public comment period for this DEIS (draft environmental impact statement) ended August 15, 2015. [To view this document, go to: www.cnmijointmilitarytrainingeis.com/]

Between April 28th and May 1, 2015 the U.S. military conducted three public hearings on Saipan and Tinian to assess the potential effects of their proposal. Hundreds of people from different walks of life attended and presented oral and/or written comments.  This episode features selected oral testimonies which were overwhelming opposed to the proposal, joining a chorus of government agencies and public bodies also opposing the project. 

Earlier this month, the CNMI Governor Eloy S. Inos, called upon the U.S. military to withdraw and reconsider  this proposal. According to Dentons LLC, the consultants hired by the CNMI government to review this proposal, the Navy’s document will not provide a legally defensible basis—under the National Environmental Policy Act and relevant federal and local environmental and historic law—for the Navy to sanction their live-fire project. They propose that a new round of public comment, with a heavily revised environmental impact statement, is needed before the U.S. military moves further with its decision.  A Supplemental DEIS is expected in 2016.  

In the first half of this episode, we feature selected voices in opposition from Saipan:  Genevieve S. Cabrera, Steven Johnson, Frankie Manibusan Elliptico,  Pedro Perez,  Romola Orsini, Vinny Orsini, Celine Orsini, Rosemund Santos Sword, as well as the voices of three residents of Pagan — Cinta Kaipat, Diego L. Kaipat, and Jerome Aldan (Mayor, Northern Islands). This is followed by  two testimonies presented by David Sablan and Brianna Fajardo in favor of the proposal.  

In the second half, we hear selected voices in opposition from Tinian: Serafina King Nabors, Juanita Mendiola, Deborah Fleming, Kim King-Hinds,, Chellette Nita Aldan San Nicolas, Zach Manglona, and Jerrica Aldan.  

This episode concludes with a conversation between Moñeka De Oro and Majorie Atalig Daria about the efforts of the Tinian Women’s Association leading up to the April-May public hearings (recorded 10/28/15 in Guam).   

Music selections:  “Save Pagan and Tinian”, the Alternative Zero campaign song,  written and performed by Gus Kaipat and the cover song for the album “Get Up, Stand Up” (Bob Marley), performed by New Zealand artists.  

Guest host Moñeka De Oro taught at the Tinian Junior-Senior High School during AY 2014-15 and now teaches at the Agana Heights Elementary School on Guam.  She is a founding member of WeAreGuahan and Our Islands Are Sacred and has also been involved with Fanachu Marianas,the Tinian Women’s Association and the Alternative Zero campaign.  Special thanks to Leonard Leon for recording the testimonies presented at these public hearings for Beyond the Fence. 

Please forward this announcement to your respective networks and encourage listeners to submit their comments on line. Suggestions for future topics and guests or requests to be removed or added to this list may be sent to btf.kprg@gmail.com.

Thank you for listening to and supporting public radio for the Marianas --- and for promoting Beyond the Fence, locally and abroad. 

Listen Now:

Share | Comments | Embed | Download | Plays (Loading)
November 5, 2015 @ 5:48 am

Ep. 224 “Celebrating Guam’s LGBT History”

Ep. 224 “Celebrating Guam’s LGBT History”  (hosted by Leiana S.A. Naholowa’a with production assistance by Dance Aoki,  Vivian Dames and Alan Grossman) airs 10/23/15.  

October is national LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender) History Month, and 2015 has been a year of significant civil rights victories for Guam and the United States. With the federal court ruling that struck down the prohibition of same-sex marriage in Guam on June 5, and the U. S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26 that requires all states and territories to recognize same-sex marriages, LGBT individuals finally attained the benefits and privileges afforded to straight couples. 

In celebration of this milestone in Guam's LGBT history, this episode features interviews with four individuals who have been at the forefront of this struggle for marriage equality and civil rights, locally and nationally.  

We begin with an interview (recorded June 22, 2015) with Guam attorney William ‘Bill’ Pesch, a member of the legal team (with brothers Mitch and Todd Thompson) that represented Loretta Pangelinan and Kathleen Aguero in the historic lawsuit for marriage equality in Guam. Pesch is the son of a former director of the U.S. Air National Guard and writes a weekly column, “Life, Love and the Law”, for the Pacific Daily News.   Pesch discusses the circumstances surrounding this lawsuit and how meaningful this ruling has been in his family life with his husband and two adopted sons. 

The second segment provides an update from Lisa Kove, executive director for DOD Fed Globe, a non-profit organization, based in San Diego, California, that advocates for LGBT-identified employees (civilians and military), retirees, veterans, and their friends and families of the Department of Defense.  She is a Navy veteran who has worked openly gay since 1997 inside the Department of Defense, and has over 30 years experience as a service member, consultant, and civil servant.  In this interview, she shares some LGBT history behind the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the victories of marriage equality. She also suggests what advocacy is needed now for transgender individuals serving in the military who face intense discrimination (recorded by phone October 20, 2015). 

[Pesch and Kove were first interviewed for Beyond the Fence in 2012 (Ep. 127 (9/14/12) “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:  One Year After the End”)] 

We conclude with a joint interview (recorded October 20, 2015) with Reverend James Moore of St. John’s Episcopal Church and Tim De La Cruz, executive director of GALA (Guam Alternative Lifestyle Association).  They reflect on their early experiences working in community organizations in Guam.  Reverend Moore shares some of his experiences supporting LGBT people in the military in the days before the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and De La Cruz talks about GALA’s collaborations with GLASS (Gay, Lesbians and Supporting Sailors), an LGBT organization of employees of U.S Naval Hospital, Guam. Moore and De La Cruz also discuss Bill 185, a bill introduced in 2009 for same sex civil unions which was met with much contention, yet  laid the foundation for marriage equality for GLBT individuals on Guam.  

Guest host Leiana S.A. Naholowa’a received her B. A. in Literature and Writing Studies from California State University-San Marcos, and is currently an M.A. student in the English program at the University of Guam.  She is also a part-time instructor in the Women and Gender Studies program. She married Jennifer Livengood on January 6, 2014, in the state of California, where gay marriage was made legal in 2013. 

Music selection: “Radical” by Catie Curtis. 

Listen Now:

Share | Comments | Embed | Download | Plays (Loading)
October 19, 2015 @ 2:04 pm

Ep. 223 “UOG Students Reflect on Urban Poverty and U.S. Militarism in the Philippines”

Ep. 223 “UOG Students Reflect on Urban Poverty and U.S. Militarism in the Philippines” (hosted by Trish Billen with production assistance by Arthur ‘AJ’ Taimanglo Jr. , Dance Aoki and Alan Grossman) was recorded 4/11/15 and airs 10/16/15.  

This episode features a group interview with five University of Guam undergraduate social work students (Francisco Figueroa, Jennifer Lee, Zorka Perez, Antonio Diaz, and Arthur ‘AJ’ Taimanglo, Jr.) who visited the Philippines March 19-26, 2015 as part of a University of Guam course “Social Work in the Philippines”, taught by Dr. LisaLinda Natividad. They engaged with students and faculty at the School of Social Work and Community Development at the University of the Philippines-Diliman campus and the Post-Colonial Studies Program at Ateneo de Manila University.  They participated in outreach activities to the urban poor in Manila with the Missionaries for the Poor and to women in the sex trade in Olongapo City with the Buklod Center.  They also met with with Ms. Corazon Fabros, a human rights attorney and peace activist, who provided a tour of the former U.S. Naval Base in Subic Bay (now the Subic Bay Freeport Zone) and the former Clark Air Force Base in Angeles City and her perspective on decolonization and demilitarization in this context. 

Olongapo is next to the former U.S Naval Base Subic Bay, once one of the biggest US naval facilities in the world. This base was closed in 1992 after the Philippine Senate terminated a bases agreement with Washington at the end of the cold war. Manila converted the facility, which was never home to the Philippine military, into an economic zone. U.S. warships have called regularly at Subic Bay since 2000 but reportedly only to dock during exercises with the Philippine military or to use its commercial facilities for repairs and resupply.  One month after this April 2015 interview was recorded, the Philippines announced plans to station new fighter jets and two frigates as it reopens the former US naval base in Subic Bay to military use in response to China expansion in the disputed South China Sea. This marks the first time the massive installation will function as a military base in 23 years, reigniting concerns about the social-cultural-enivornmental impacts in surrounding communities.    

Guest host Trish Billen is a May 2015 graduate of the University of Guam Bachelor of Social Work program who has returned to her home, Pohnpei State-Federated States of Micronesia.  

Listen Now:

Share | Comments | Embed | Download | Plays (Loading)
October 11, 2015 @ 5:28 am

Ep. 222 “A Chamorro for All Seasons: Tribute to Jose M. Torres”

Ep. 222 “A Chamorro for All Seasons: Tribute to Jose M. Torres” (hosted by Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua with production assistance by Dance Aoki and Alan Grossman) airs 10/9/15. 
On July 21st, 1944 American forces were hitting the sands of Guam with the intent of retaking the island from the Japanese. At the same time the people of the southern village of Malesso’ (Merizo) were reeling from two massacres of their people that left 46 dead. Worried about the lives of their friends and families, a group of men led by Jose “Tonko” Reyes rose up to kill the Japanese holding them prisoner in the concentration camp at Atate. A young man named Jose Mata Torres was among those mighty men of Malesso’ who liberated themselves. 
Mr. Torres died on September 28, 2015 at the age of 89 leaving behind a diverse list of accomplishments. He was a war survivor, a liberator, a medical researcher, a connoisseur of classical music, a longtime radio host at KPRG, an author, and a proud advocate of saving the Chamorro language.  He spent the last years of his life working towards the publication of a memoir of his war experiences, Massacre at Atate. He hoped that by writing this book, the suffering and heroism of the people of Malesso’ in a time of war might never be forgotten.  This book was published by the University of Guam Micronesian Area Research Center (UOG MARC) in February 2015.  
This episode offers a tribute to Jose Mata Torres, a Chamorro man for all seasons. It features clips throughout from the launch event for Massacre at Atate, where Torres read passages of his book and answered questions from the community.  
In the first half, we hear from UOG students Anthony Tornito and Elyssa Santos who assisted Mr. Torres in research for his memoir, followed by recollections from Gerhard Schwab, UOG professor of social work and Chamorro Studies student. 
In the second half, Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero, managing editor, UOG Press, discusses the significance of Mr. Torres’ book and legacy.  This is followed by comments from five  .UOG students after listening to excerpts of Mr. Torres book:  Andrea Quiambao, Jordan Tingson, Lewis Tenorio, Kriana Le Velle, and Aundrya Manglona. This is followed by recollections by professor of history, Anne Perez Hattori, and UOG president, Robert Underwood. 
This episode includes two of Mr. Torres’ beloved classical pieces:  “ A Song Without Words OP. 109 (solo by Jacqueline du Pre)” by Felix Mendelsohn and “Marche Slave, B-flat minor, OP. 31” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Listen Now:

Share | Comments | Embed | Download | Plays (Loading)
June 16, 2015 @ 3:34 am

Ep. 198 “USP4GG Global Protest Against China’s Claims in the West Philippine (South China) Sea”

Ep. 198 “USP4GG Global Protest Against China’s Claims in the West Philippine (South China) Sea” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Marlon Molinos and Alan Grossman) first aired 8/29/14 and re-broadcast 6/12/15 (with assistance of Robert Wang).   

On July 24, 2014, Filipinos around the world were called to stage protests in front of China Embassies and other peaceful rallies to support the Philippine government’s position against China’s aggressive territorial and maritime claims in the West Philippine (South China Sea).  Today, in commemoration of Philippine Independence Day, June 12, 2015 U.S. Pinoys for Good  Governance (USP4GG) are once again organizing rallies in Guam and Saipan to bring attention to this sovereignty struggle and implications for the region.   The Guam protest is scheduled for 11:00-1:30 p.m. at the Tamuning Mayor’s Community Park; in Saipan, from 10:00-1:00 p.m beginning at the Kilili Pavilion, Susupe.  

The U.S. Pinoys for Good  Governance (USP4GG) has been at the forefront of global organizing among Filipinos in the diaspora to protest China’s ‘bullying’.  Its mission is to promote good governance in the Philippines (the 12th most populated country in the world with a population of 100 million) by seeking ways to increase the positive political influence of the estimated ten million Filipinos living and working abroad.  It has supported multilateral diplomatic approaches to resolving this maritime and territorial conflict and now supports the Philippines’ petition to a United Nations endorsed tribunal seeking a durable solution to this dispute. 

This episode features interviews with three representatives of the USP4GG who have led the global viral campaign to put pressure on China to back down: Loida Nicolas Lewis, Ted Laguatan, and Dr. Celia Lamkin.  All three Filipino-Americans were active in the campaign to elect Benigno Aquino III as President of the Philippines and were invited guests at the state dinner given for President Barack Obama on his visit to Manila in April 2014 to sign the Enhanced Defense Cooperative Agreement (EDCA) to support the US Pacific Pivot. The U.S. has been vague about whether this mutual defense treaty with the Philippines covers the islands in dispute, whereas it has repeatedly said the East China Sea islands fall under its security treaty with  Japan. 

Loida Nicolas Lewis is the national chair of USP4GG based in New York City.  She is a lawyer, global entrepreneur, philanthropist and civic leader.  This interview includes an audio clip of her Call to Action for Filipinos to participate in the global protest against China aggression on July 8, 2014. She led the July 24 protest in New York City in front of the United Nations. 

Ted Laguatan is the national co-founder, legal counsel and spokesperson of USP4GG. Together with Nicolas Lewis and another activist lawyer Rodel Rodis,  USP4GG national president, Laguatan founded the Global Diaspora Council  (GFDC) and helped Filipinos in Europe to establish the European Network of Filipinos (ENFID), the only umbrella organization of Filipinos in Europe.  Laguatan heads an ethics based law firm in the San Francisco Bay area where he practices human rights law.  He is also a regular columnist for various publications including the Internet edition of the Philippine Daily Inquirer which has a readership of millions.  He organized the July 24 protest in San Francisco. 

Dr. Celia Lamkin is chairperson of the Marianas Chapter of USP4GG.  She is a  retired physician and health and human rights advocate who has lived in Saipan for 20 years.  She organized the June 12, 2015 protests in Saipan and Guam, as well as previous actions in the Marianas related to this cause.     

Music selection: Change the World by Filipinos United, a collaboration of Filipino artists calling for peace, unity and awareness in the face of international military aggression against the Philippines over the West Philippine (South China) Sea.  

Listen Now:

Share | Comments | Embed | Download | Plays (Loading)
May 11, 2015 @ 2:38 pm

Ep. 147 “The First Guam Visit of the Japan Mothers’ Congress” (Rebroadcast)

Ep. 147 “The First Guam Visit of the Japan Mothers’ Congress”

Ep. 147 “The First Guam Visit of the Japan Mothers’ Congress” (co-hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames and Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero with production assistance of Joy White) was recorded 2/5/13, first aired  5/10/13, and will be re-broadcast  5/8/15 (with assistance of Alan Grossman).     

Maternalist politics have long played an important role in peace and environmental movements around the world.  In recognition of Mothers Day (May 10), we are pleased to offer partial coverage of the first Guam visit of the Tokyo Liaison Council of the Japan Mothers’ Congress, February 3-6, 2013.  The purpose of this historic visit was to promote analysis of the impacts of the Japan-US Security Treaty on the quality of life in Japan, Okinawa and Guam and to forge solidarity among these communities, especially women.   

Protests against the US hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands in 1954 developed into a Japanese mother’s movement calling for the protection of allchildren from the dangers of nuclear war.  In June 1955, the first Japan Mothers’ Congress was held. It has been held annually ever since under the slogan, “Mothers as mothers want to cultivate and protect life.”  This mothers’ movement gained impetus after President Obama’s speech in April 2010 declaring that a world without nuclear weapons is a national goal of the United States. 

On the third day of the 2013 Guam visit, the Japan Mothers’ Congress delegation of 37 representatives met with members of Fuetsan Famalao’an  (Chamorro, for ‘the strength of women’) for a conversation.  Fuetsan Famalao’an was mobilized in 2006 to give voice to the concerns of women and girls regarding the announced relocation of US Marines from Okinawa to Guam, and related military expansion in the Marianas.    

In the first segment of this episode, we present the comments (interpreted in English) of three representatives of the Japan delegation: Yamaki Akemi, President, Tokyo Liaison Council of the Japan Mothers’ Congress; Yashuko Kura, Tokyo Mothers Congress, and Yoko Anomoto, Secretary General, Japan Federation of Women’s Organizations.   

In the second segment, representatives of Fuetsan Famalao’an present their comment: Lou Leon Guerrero discusses the sacred role of mothers as “protectors of our children” and the purpose of their organization; Hope Cristobal places this organization within the broader struggle for the decolonization of Guahan and discusses the importance of Chamorro language and connection to the land as wellsprings for national identity and resistance; Fanai Castro discusses the sacredness of land as vital to indigenous identity; and Selina Onedera-Salas shares four observations about what helps Guahan women persevere in organizing and advocacy for peace.    

The third segment provides coverage of a farewell dinner hosted by Guahan mothers at the home of Gwendolyn and Ray Nelson Taimanglo in the northern village of Yigo, adjacent to Anderson Air Force Base.  This event was recorded by Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero who also provides commentary.  It features comments from Akiko Sekigushi (President, Tokyo Mothers’ Congress), reflections on ‘the fence’ and the legacy of war by retired USAF Colonel Ray Taimanglo, the reading of a poem “Para I Lahi-hu” (For My Son) composed and read by Moñeka De Oro, closing remarks by Yamaki Akemi, a song by the Japan delegation, the reading by Selina Onedera-Salas of a poem entitled  “Famalao’an Micronesia” (Women Micronesia), composed by Desiree Taimanglo Ventura, who also provides commentary.  This event concluded with a rendition by all participants of the song “We Shall Overcome.” 

Listen Now:

Share | Comments | Embed | Download | Plays (Loading)
May 3, 2015 @ 6:45 pm

Ep. 138 “The Military Buildup and Strategies for Development in Tinian, CNMI”

Ep. 138 “The Military Buildup and Strategies for Development in Tinian, CNMI” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames and co-produced by Daisy Demapan and Joy White) first aired 12/28/12 and re-broadcast 5/1/15 (with assistance of Alan Grossman). 

Tinian is the second most populated of the three main islands which constitute the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI).  It has a population of about 3,200 and a land area of 39 square miles, two thirds of which is controlled by the US military. When this episode first aired in 2012, company and battalion level non-live fire training areas already existed and the island was anticipating details of US Department of Defense (DoD) plans for live fire ranges and greater aviation support training.  These plans were laid out in the CNMI Joint Military Training Draft Environmental Impact Study (CJMT DEIS) released on April 4, 2015.  

As reported in the Marianas Variety (April 18, 2015), the elected leadership of Tinian has stated their unified opposition to these plans for their island.  Last week, Beyond the Fence featured an interview with the Tinian mayor who discussed his concerns [Ep. 212 (4/24/15) “Tinian Mayor Concerned About US Military Plans for His Island”].  A series of three public comment hearings on this DEIS were conducted this week in Tinian and Saipan. Today, the Marianas Variety reported that the people of Saipan turned out in droves to the first public comment hearing to express a resounding “No” to these plans.  The public comment period ends June 3rd, unless a request from CNMI leaders for an extension is approved. 

Even before the release of this DEIS, some Tinian residents were already questioning the economic and environmental impacts that increased military activity would have on their island.  This episode features interviews with two Chamorros with deep ties to Tinian, a long record of public service, and a commitment to cultural preservation and sustainability.  Each is pursuing different strategies for development, one focused on economic development and the for-profit sector; the other, focused on human development and the non-profit sector:  


Phillip Mendiola-Long is a a native son of Tinian. His mother is Chamorro and his father is Caucasian and a US Air Force retiree.  After completing college, Mendiola-Long returned to Tinian and served in various government roles such as the Chief Policy Advisor for the Mayor of Tinian, Chairman of the Marianas Public Land Trust, Board Member of the CNMI Free Trade Zone and member of the Governor’s and Mayor’s Military Task Force. He is the owner of Sherman Consulting, LLC, an administrative and management consulting firm that specializes in assisting US domestic and foreign firms set up business in Micronesia and assisting the US federal government (Joint Region Marianas and NAVFAC) with meeting coordination and ground logistics. He has served as president of the Tinian Chamber of Commerce since 1996 and was appointed by the US Secretary of Commerce to represent the CNMI in the Hawaii Pacific Export Council which is mandated to increase US Pacific Exports.  This interview was conducted December 11, 2012 when Mr. Mendiola-Long was on Guam attending the Micronesia Council of Chambers of Commerce meeting.  

Florine M. Hofschneider was born in Rota and grew up in Tinian.  She has 35 years of public service experience in the Northern Marianas as a teacher, social worker, special assistant to the Tinian mayor, director of admissions and records at Northern Marianas College, and principal of Tinian Junior-Senior High School.  She also had brief stints as the personnel manager for the Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino and helping out with a family pizza franchise in Texas. She is a member of the CNMI Women’s Association and the project director for a federally funded anti-poverty program that provides pre-employment training and job placement of US citizens in Saipan through the NMI Department of Community & Cultural Affairs. She is also a volunteer with Gineftao I ManMo’na (“gifts of the Early Ones”,  in Chamorro), a non-profit organization focusing on youth development, Chamorro language and culture preservation, and sustainable development. This interview was conducted on November 20, 2012  while Ms. Hofschneider was on Guam attending the Payu’ta  3rd Micronesian Non-Profit Congress.  

Music selection is “Tinian” by Julian Hofschneider. 

To read the CNMI Joint Military Training DEIS and the procedures for submitting comments go to:  www.cnmijointmilitarytrainingeis.com

Listen Now:

Share | Comments | Embed | Download | Plays (Loading)
Loading Plays