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September 25, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

Ep. 164 “The Third Guam International Film Festival: Beyond the See”

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September 25, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

Ep. 163 “Political Futures for the Marianas”

(hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Joy White) was recorded in Guam 8/31/13 and airs 9/13/13.  

This episode features two lectures which examine the past and envision political futures for the Marianas presented at the 2nd Annual Marianas History Conference held August 30-31 at the University of Guam. This conference was hosted by the University of Guam, Guam Preservation Trust, Guampedia and the Northern Marianas Humanities Council and featured 51 papers and poster organized on the theme,  “One Archipelago, Many  Stories;  Integrating Our Narratives”.  


In the first half, we present the lecture by Senator Vicente "Ben” Cabrera Pangelinan (senben@guam.net) entitled“Galvanizing Past and Present Threats to Chamorro Homelands”.  


Enacted in 1975, the Chamorro Land Trust Act was a law envisioning homelands for Chamorros. Yet this concept lay dormant nearly twenty years before the government of Guam was forced to implement it, over objections by the Governor and Attorney General at the time. Why was opposition to the law drawn out, and how was this eventually overcome? This lecture outlines the work and sacrifice of those few who educated the entire community on the notion of native land rights, fought the government’s obstinate refusal to implement the law, and who ultimately achieved homelands for Chamorros in perpetuity. Today, we witness the first generation of Chamorros, previously disenfranchised from land ownership in Guam, to have homes and sustain their families through use of the land granted by leases under the Chamorro Land Trust. We witness, as well, the threats and strategies to protect this hard fought program for future generations.

“Senator ben” was born in Saipan and grew up in Guam. He pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Government at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. Senator Ben has always been dedicated to government service, as Staff Assistant to Congressman Antonio B. Won Pat in Washington, DC, and to the late Governor Ricardo J. Bordallo.  Senator Ben’s tenure with the Guam Legislature began in the 22nd term, continued through the 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th (Speaker), 29th, 30th, 31st, and now 32nd Guam Legislature. Senator Ben oversees the Committee on Appropriations, Public Debt, Legal Affairs, Retirement, Public Parks, Recreation, Historic Preservation and Land.

In the second half, we present the lecture of Don Farrell (donfarrelltinian@gmail.com) entitled “Marianas Reunification Efforts”. 

In 1947, President Truman placed the former Japanese Mandated Islands of Micronesia into the United Nations trusteeship system. This guaranteed the people of those islands the right to self-determination.  Differently, Guam’s political status was defined in 1950 when the U.S. Congress adopted the Organic Act of Guam, making it an unincorporated territory of the United States. These two developments began a series of dialogues on reunification between elected officials from Guam and the Marianas District of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. These dialogues culminated in 1969 in a joint plebiscite on reunification.  The negative vote cast on Guam ended dialogues on reunification and drove the Northern Marianas toward an independent act of self-determination while Guam has not completed an act of self-determination.  Farrell discusses efforts that were made toward the political reunification of the Mariana Islands, the reasons they failed, and the possibility of future reunification efforts.

Don A. Farrell came to Guam from California in 1977 and taught at Inarajan Jr. High and John F. Kennedy High School before switching careers in 1980 to become a public relations officer for the Guam Legislature. He was chief of staff to the Speaker of the Guam Legislature, Carl Gutierrez, from 1982 to 1986.  He moved to Tinian in 1987 where he continues to do historical research, write, and teach. Among his numerous publications are,Liberation 1944: The Pictorial History of Guam (1984); The Americanization of Guam: 1898-1919 (1986); and The History of the Northern Mariana Islands (1991).

These two lectures have been edited to fit the time format of this program. 

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September 9, 2013 @ 10:07 pm

Ep. 162 “Historicizing Chamorro Resistance, Subversion and Activism”

 (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Marlon Molinos and Joy White) was recorded in Guam 8/30/13 and airs 9/6/13. 

This episode features two lectures about Chamorro resistance, subversion and activism presented at the 2nd Annual Marianas History Conference held August 30-31 at the University of Guam. This conference was hosted by the University of Guam, Guam Preservation Trust, Guampedia and the Northern Marianas Humanities Council and featured 51 papers and poster organized around the theme,  “One Archipelago, Many  Stories;  Integrating Our Narratives”.  


In the first half, we present the lecture by Dr. Evelyn Flores (evelynrflores@yahoo.com) entitled “Subversive Women: Excavating Chamorro Women’s Acts of Resistance During WWII”.  


In this presentation, Dr. Flores examines the false divide between public and private, domestic and political that often pervades official stories which have suppressed the vital agency of women in subversive acts of civilians during war and political struggle.  Using oral histories, she analyzes female involvement in subversive acts in Guam during WWII and presents examples of Chamorro women who acted as: 1) Radical Initiant, 2) Trickster Assistant, and 3) Reckless Deviant.  


Dr. Flores is an associate professor of English and of Chamorro Studies at the University of Guam. She is the author of three children’s picture books and of poems published both locally and internationally. Her research and scholarly activities are dedicated to preserving and publishing the stories of the indigenous people of Guam particularly but also of the broader geographic area of Micronesia.

In the second half,  we present the lecture of Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua (mlbasquiat@hotmail.com) entitled “Jumping the Fence: An Evaluation of Nasion Chamoru and Its Impact on Contemporary Guam”.  

In 1991 a group of twenty people gathered in Latte Stone Park (now called the Angel Santos Latte Stone Park) in Hagatna to proclaim the birth of a Chamorro nation. This group eventually evolved intoNasion Chamoru which Bevacqua describes as the “most notorious organization in recent Guam history.  Nasion Chamoru organized countless protests, sit-ins, and other acts of civil disobedience that changed the ideological landscape of Guam.   Former senator Angel Santos was a Nasion Chamoru leader credited for forcing the implementation of the Chamorro Land Trust Commission in 1992.  He died in July 2003 at the age of 44.  In this presentation, Dr. Bevacqua evaluates the impact of Angel Santos and Nasion Chamoru in terms of how people conceptualize decolonization, Chamorro culture, and land today. 

Dr.  Bevacqua is an assistant professor of Chamorro Studies at the University of Guam. His research deals with the impact of colonization on Chamorros in Guam and theorizes the possibilities for the decolonization of their lands and lives.  In 2001 he led a faculty task force which established a Chamorro Studies B.A. program at the University of Guam. He is a passionate advocate for the revitalization of the Chamorro language, and has translated manga comic books, rock songs and even Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” into Chamorro.  He is also a program host for Beyond the Fence. 

These two lectures have been edited to fit the time format of this program.  This episode concludes with an excerpt from the 2010 Memorial Service for Angel Santos uploaded by Guam Newswatch on April 15, 2010 {http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tE1_YpcTRh8} 

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September 2, 2013 @ 12:18 am

Ep. 161 “Island Soldier — A Film Documentary”

 (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Joy White and Marlon Molinos ) was recorded in Guam 8/8/13 and airs 8/30/13. 

The first half of this episode features an interview with Nathan Fitch (fitch.nathan@gmail.com), producer and director of Island Soldier, a new film documentary in progress that explores the impact of the military service on citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia in the US Armed Services.  Island Soldier presents intimate portraits of Micronesian citizens with a narrative that follows a small, tight-knit cast of characters on a journey that takes them thousands of miles from their families and homes in search of professional, economic, and educational opportunities. In addition to the active duty soldiers, the film also gives a voice to the other Micronesian stakeholders who are being directly affected by the current wars.  


Mr. Fitch is a former Peace Corps volunteer who served in the Federated States of  Micronesia doing historic preservation work in Kosrae from 2004-2006, then an additional six months in 2011in Kosrae and Pohnpei. He is currently a MFA candidate at Hunter College in New York City and a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective. He has worked as a freelance photographer and filmmaker for publications including TIME, ESPN, The New York Times, NPR, and others.  At the time of this broadcast, Mr. Fitch was in Afghanistan to do additional filming for this documentary.    


The second half of this episode provides coverage of a film and discussion event held August 8, 2013 at the Dededo Community Center.  This event was sponsored by the Guam Humanities Council to provide opportunity for facilitated discussion of the issues raised in the film. The production of Island Soldier is made possible in part by funding from Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) and a grant from the Guam Humanities Council (GHC) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). 


The 30 minute preview of a rough cut of the film on August 8 was followed by a panel presentation and discussion.  The panelists are: Francis X. Hezel, SJ, former director of Micronesian Seminar and author of numerous books and articles on a wide range of social issues and the history of Micronesia; Staff Sergeant Palik Asher, a US Army recruiter originally from Kosrae; and Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua, assistant professor of  Chamorro Studies at the University of Guam.   


This episode includes a poem entitled “Destiny Fulfilled”  by Emelihter Kihleng (read by Nedine Songeni) from A Pacific Collection: Readings for Civic Reflection. Ms. Kihleng is a native of Pohnpei who was raised in Pohnpei, Guam and Honolulu. Her poems have been published in various literary and creative journals. 


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September 1, 2013 @ 11:42 pm

Ep. 160 “The Marianas Under Siege: Farallon de Medinilla, Pagat, Tinian and Pagan

” (hosted by Dr. Lisa Linda Natividad with production assistance of Joy White) airs 8/23/13.  

Program guest is Representative Felicidad Ogumoro, member of the 18th Legislature of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana islands (CNMI).  She shares her insights and perspectives about the political development of the CNMI, the negotiated Covenant and its references to the presence of U.S. defense forces, and challenges presented with the current "federalized" state of the CNMI.


A key component of the United States Department of Defense’s preparation for war is the carrying out of live fire training. At least four islands in the Marianas have been used, or are planned to be used for live firing ranges in the future. 


The first of these is the Northern Marianas Island of Farallon de Medinilla (FDM) which, according to the web-site globalsecurity.org, “has been used as the Pacific Fleet's only U.S. controlled range available for live-fire training for forward deployed naval forces. FDM is an uninhabited 200-acre island that is approximately 3 miles by 1/2 mile… The island is leased from the Government of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands since 1976 that allows use of the island until 2075.”  Environmentalists have sued the Department of Defense on the use of FDM in the past, particularly for the protection of specific species of birds that are endangered. 


In 2009, the DOD revealed its plan to construct a live firing range complex on the historic and ancient village of Pagat, Guahan to support the planned relocation of US marines from Okinawa which was announced in 2006.  This plan was interrupted with the successful lawsuit against DOD for not sufficiently exploring alternative sites to Pagat.  As a result, DOD is currently in the process of conducting a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to re-examine Pagat for the location of the firing range complex, along with the Fena water reservoir area, which is one of the island’s main water sources for the local population. 


A third area under siege by U.S. militarism as firing ranges is the CNMI island of Tinian.  As part of the CNMI Covenant, approximately 3/4 of the island is currently being leased by the US DOD for purposes of live fire training.  According to an article in the Asia-Pacific Journal by Leevin Camacho and co-author Broudy, “In March 2013, the DoD announced expanded plans that will effectively convert two-thirds of Tinian into a large-scale military training complex. DoD has maintained a lease on these lands for decades, but has let the lands sit abandoned, much to the chagrin of the local community. Officials also revealed their intentions to transform the entire island of Pagan into a sprawling military training complex.” 


Pagan Island lies 200 miles north of Saipan in the middle of the Northern Marianas chain. According to DOD, "The U.S. military intends to use the entire island with a full spectrum of weapons and joint training activities." Like FDM, Pagan is described as a biologically diverse treasure and one of very few habitats for the rare tree-snail.  Partula Gibba,  Camacho and Broudy remind us that, “If these plans are allowed to unfold, one-third of Guam, two-thirds of Tinian, and the entire islands of Farallon de Medinilla and Pagan would fall under the control of the U.S. Department of Defense.” 


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September 1, 2013 @ 11:27 pm

Ep. 159 “Australians Form A Peaceful Network to Resist US Bases, Part 2 of 2”

(hosted by Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero with production assistance of Joy White) was recorded 7/26 through 7/28 and airs 8/16/13. 

In response to President Barack Obama and former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s announcement in 2011 that 2,500 Marines would be based in Northern Australia by 2016, peace organizations from throughout the country formed the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN).  IPAN invited Beyond the Fence co-host Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero and Bruce Gagnon, the coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, on a national tour of Australia late last month to discuss the realignment of Marines, and to share their knowledge about the US Pacific Pivot. 

This episode is the second in a two-part series featuring interviews with peace activists from the four cities Leon Guerrero visited on her Australian tour. Guests share their concerns about the increasing US military presence in Australia, including fears that the US is building bases in the country. They discuss Talisman Saber, the US led combined military training activity that many Australian call “war games.” This summer’s Talisman Saber exercise took place between July 15 and August 5, and was the largest of five such exercises conducted in Australia since 2005.  The US contributed 20,000 personnel for the exercise.  They also share some of the efforts Australians have made to respond to their country’s willingness to host more American military despite concerns from Australian citizens. 

This episode opens with a group interview featuring six peace activists from Melbourne: Nancy Atkin (nancyatkin@optusnet.com.au) of the Medical Association for Prevention of War; Shirley Winton (office@vicpt.cepu.asn.au) and Mario Royeca (mroyeca@hotmail.com) of the Communication Workers Union; Tim Wright (tim@icanw.org) of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons; journalist and researcher Nic Maclellan(nicmaclellan@optusnet.com.au); and Dale Hess (d.hess@ozemail.com.au) of the Quaker Peace and Social Justice Network.  They discuss their concerns about the increasing U.S. military presence in their country.  They also share their thoughts on their country’s recent policy to take a hard stance against asylum seekers arriving in Australia via boat by deporting them to Papua New Guinea or Nauru.  Australia has seen an increase in refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Sri Lanka, which has become a major issue in their upcoming elections. 

The second part features an interview with a couple from Sydney, who belong to the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition – Hannah Middleton (peace@mira.net) and Denis Doherty (denisdoherty@denisdoherty.org). Middleton arranged Leon Guerrero’s tour of Australia and has been actively involved in organizing peace groups throughout the country through IPAN. She and her husband, Doherty, planned a peaceful demonstration on the streets of Sydney calling attention to the fact that many people feel invisible because their leaders are not listening to their concerns about the U.S. military presence in their country. They discuss some of these concerns and talk about the demonstration. 


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September 1, 2013 @ 11:09 pm

Ep. 158 “Australians Form A Peaceful Network to Resist US Bases, Part 1 of 2”

 (hosted by Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero with production assistance of Joy White) was recorded 7/23 through 7/25 and airs 8/9/13. 

In response to President Barack Obama and former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s announcement in 2011 that 2,500 Marines would be based in Northern Australia by 2016, peace organizations from throughout the country formed the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN). IPAN invited Beyond the Fence co-host Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero and Bruce Gagnon, the coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, on a national tour of Australia late last month to discuss the realignment of Marines, and to share their knowledge about the US Pacific Pivot. 

This episode is the first in a two-part series featuring interviews with peace activists from the four cities Leon Guerrero visited on her Australian tour. Guests will share their concerns about the increasing US military presence in Australia, including fears that the US is building bases in the country. 

Guests will also discuss Talisman Saber, the US led combined military training activity that many Australian call “war games.” This summer’s Talisman Saber exercise took place between July 15 and August 5, and was the largest of five such exercises conducted in Australia since 2005. The US contributed 20,000 personnel for the exercise. 

Australians were deeply concerned and upset to learn that during Talisman Saber, four bombs were dropped on the Great Barrier Reef on July 21. While US officials claim the bombs will have no adverse impact on the reef, Australians fear that this is just the first of many threats to their environment that will arise as the U.S. increases its military presence there. The inert bombs were dropped from two U.S. fighter jets after civilian boats were spotted close to their intended target off the central Queensland Coast. 

Guests will also share some of the efforts Australians have made to respond to their country’s willingness to host more American military despite concerns from Australian citizens. 

This week’s show opens with a short interview with Annette Brownlie (annettebrownlie@optus.nte.com.au), a nurse and peace activist in Brisbane. Brownlie is part of the organization Just Peace, which advocates for justice and peace in Australia. She began her work as a peace activist during the Vietnam-era, and has been a part of peace organizations since. She said Just Peace is an anti-war group that is interested in seeing Australia play a different role in the Pacific than just being a “lapdog to the US and Great Britain.” She would like to see her country work on establishing friendships and good relations with the people of the region. 

The second guest is Attorney Tony Young from Darwin in Northern Australia, where the Marines are going to be based. He belongs to a group called BaseWatch, which formed in response to the announcement of the Marine realignment to Darwin from Okinawa. BaseWatch is concerned about the realignment because it is the first time US soldiers have been permanently based in Australia since the Second World War, and they fear that it is only the beginning of plans to build more US bases in the Northern Territory. BaseWatch aims to be a part of bringing Darwin and its people into the forefront of planning for this major change in their social infrastructure.

We conclude with the speech of Bruce Gagnon (globalnet@mindspring.com) of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space delivered at a public meeting in Melbourne entitled “America’s Pacific Push.” Gagnon visited the Philippines before his trip to Australia and shares some of his experiences there and in other places in the Pacific, which are experiencing and responding to an increased US military presence. He also discusses the work of his organization to call attention to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and drones. Gagnon has worked on issues concerning space for 27 years. In 2003, he was appointed as a senior fellow at the Nuclear Policy Research Institute. In 2006, he was the recipient of the Dr. Benjamin Spock Peacemaker Award. He is a Vietnam-era veteran and began his career by working for the United Farm Workers Union in Florida organizing fruit pickers. 

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