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February 28, 2014 @ 9:46 pm

Ep. 177 “Nuclear Remembrance Day- Remember, Recommit, Resist”

 hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Joy White was recorded 2/26/14 and airs 2/28/14.   

March 1 is Nuclear Remembrance Day, a national holiday in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the detonation of the 15 megaton Bravo nuclear weapon at Bikini Atoll.  One thousand times the force of the Hiroshima bomb, this blast exposed thousands of Marshall Islanders to radiation fallout.  This day of commemoration draws attention to the U.S. nuclear legacy of radiation related diseases and other damages generated by environmental degradation, loss of land use, cultural upheaval, and physical dislocation, as well as the ongoing struggle for social justice ---- not only by Marshall Islanders, but also by advocates in Guam and the Northern Marianas, exposed to radiation fallout as “downwinders”.   

In this episode,  we commemorate Nuclear Remembrance Day by featuring two poets,  a native of the Appalachia mountains in Kentucky and a native daughter of the Marshall Islands, whose love for these islands and her  people inspire their creative work.

Program guest in the first half is P.K. Harmon, a poet and writing professor at the University of Guam. Harmon is Founding Editor of Al in Aelon Kein: the Marshall Islands Literary Review and former theatre director and humanities professor of the College of the Marshall Islands. A graduate of Ohio University’s Program in Creative Writing, he was recently Visiting Professor of Creative Writing for the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. He has had individual poems published in Riverwind, The Marshall Islands Journal, and the Laurel Review.  He shares three poems from his book What Island? (Serving House Books, 2011):  What Island?  What Bikini? What I Say?.  Harmon is married to Lucy Likilimej Anni of the Marshall Islands and they have three children.

In the second half, our guest is Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner ( a poet, writer, journalist, and spoken word artist born in the Marshall Islands and raised in Hawaii. Her poetry is a blend of storytelling and activism. She has performed her poetry in the Marshall Islands, Hawai'i, California, New York, Taiwan, and England. Currently she is at University of Hawai'i at Manoa pursuing her Master's degree in Pacific Island Studies, researching Marshallese oral traditions and the history of Marshallese writing.  This interview includes her performance of two poems The History Project and Tell Them as well as commentary on her essay “Reflections on Nuclear Survivors Day”.  For these and other works, see Iep Jeltok, a basket of poetry and writing from Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner []

This episode includes a clip from a video (in English and Marshallese) produced by Marshallese Education Initiative,  Inc. (MEIC) promoting the commemoration of Nuclear Remembrance Day 2014.  They are  sponsoring an international event, the first of is kind in the continental United States, in Little Rock, Arkansas, a hub of the Marshall Island diaspora,  to “reflect on our shared nuclear legacy, honor survivors and victims, and educate the public about the global consequences of the use of nuclear weaponry’ []; also, a haunting song written, composed and performed by nuclear survivors at a previous commemorative event in the Marshall Islands []

For related episodes, go to Ep. 10 (4/9/10) Environmental Justice and Radiation Exposure, Ep. 16 (5/7/10) Environmental Justice and Radiation Exposure on Guam, Ep. 29 (8/6/10) Remembering Hiroshima and Tinian, Ep. 66 (5/6/11) All Things Nuclear, Ep. 88 (10/7/11) Guam’s Participation in the World Conference Against A and H Bombs , Ep. 129  (10/5/12) For the Good of All Mankind and to End All World Wars, Ep. 153 (7/5/13) Guam ‘Downwinders’ and RECA:  Another Push for Social Justice, and Ep. 157 (8/2/13) Darlene Keju -- Pacific Health Pioneeer, Champion for Nuclear Survivors. 

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February 19, 2014 @ 12:58 pm

Ep. 176 “One Billion Rising for Justice: V Day, Guam”

hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Joy White airs 2/14/14.  


It is estimated that one in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.  That is one billion women. Last year on February 14, Valentine’s Day, one billion women and men in 207 countries, including Guam, took to the streets to stage actions to end violence against women and girls.  Local organizers are once again urging residents to walk out to main streets today at 4:30 p.m. to rally in solidarity with victims and survivors on both sides of the fence and to demand action and accountability from local and federal authorities. 

In this episode we provide local perspectives on one of the nation’s best kept secrets -- the epidemic of military sexual violence. We also highlight Guam’s participation in One Billion Rising for Justice [], a global campaign to bring awareness of sexual violence against women and girls. 

In the first segment we re-broadcast my interview with Ramona (last name withheld) a Chamorro veteran who, after years of silence, finally reported her repeated rapes by a superior while serving in the U.S. Army.  She talks about her journey from a silenced victim to survivor and advocate for other veterans. This interview first aired 3/19/10 as one of two interviews on Ep. 9 Writing Chamorro Women into U.S. Military History.  This interview has been edited for this re-broadcast.    

Program guest in the second segment is Dr. David Johnson (,   a clinical psychologist at the Veteran Affairs Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Agana Heights. Prior to Guam he worked for the VA in San Diego, Seattle, and Honolulu. He specializes in treating the effects of combat and sexual trauma. 

The third segment features two members of Random Women’s Rally or RawR! ( or the lead organization behind the One Billion Rising for Justice action on Guam: Carina Fejeran, past president and member of the Guam Women’s Club and Monique Baza, a high school teacher, Air Force Reserve member, and survivor.  This interview is preceded by excerpts from oral testimony presented by Ms. Baza at a hearing at the Guam Legislature on May 7, 2013. 

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February 19, 2014 @ 12:53 pm

Ep. 175 “Equal in War, but not in Peace”

hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Joy White was recorded 2/4/14 and airs 2/7/14. 


In this episode we pay tribute to Congressman Blaz, a distinguished U.S. Marine Brigadier General and Guam’s Delegate for eight years, from 1985-1993, who died January 8, 2014.  While a member of the U.S. Congress, General Vicente ‘Ben” Garrido Blas penned a letter published in the New York Times on October 19, 1991 regarding the inequities of American citizenship for those residing on Guam. In this letter, he used the phrase “Equal in War, but not in Peace” to highlight this injustice, especially because the island suffered the atrocities of Japanese occupation during World War II and more casualties on a per capita basis during the Korea and Vietnam conflicts than any other American community. 

This week marks the first anniversary of the We the People Project ( a non-profit organization which Blaz helped found that seeks equal rights and representation for the nearly 5 million Americans living in U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. This week also marks the first major victory for the We the People Project. Through strategic use of impact litigation, the door is now flung open to present the oral argument for full citizenship by birth on U.S. soil before the D.C. Circuit Court later this year.  Although this landmark case, Tuaua vs. the United States, is challenging federal laws that deny U.S. citizenship to people born in America Samoa (which has been part of the United States for more than a  century), it will force a reexamination of what being born on U.S. soil means for citizenship in all U.S. territories.     

Program guest in the first half is Neil Weare (nweare@equalrightsnow. org) president and founder of the We the People Project and lead counsel in the landmark citizenship case, Tuaua v. United States.  Attorney Weare is a 1998 graduate of Southern High School in Guam and a 2008 graduate of Yale Law school. Prior to attending law school, he worked for Senators Lou Leon Guerrero and Tom Ada then Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo. He is currently based in Washington, D.C..  His parents, Dr. William and Nancy Weare, live in Santa Rita.

In the second half, we talk with another member of the We the People Project, Tricia Alawit.  She is a native daughter of Guam, granddaughter of Brigadier General Thomas Ramirez Santos  (US Army) and niece of General/ Congressman Ben Blaz.  She graduated with Neil Weare from Southern High School and is a graduate of Fordham University with a degree in Business Administration/Marketing.  She is also a veteran who joined the US Army Reserves at the age of 17 and served several tours of duty, including in Okinawa and Afghanistan.  She has spent the last ten years in New York City working in the corporate world and honing her skills as a writer  and actor.  She recently returned to Guam to found the Guam Actors Workshop and to work on a screenplay that examines what second class citizenship means for Chamorro veterans and service members.  

This episode includes the introduction of Honorable Ben Blaz given by Dr. Robert Underwood, president of the University of Guam, at the Presidential Lecture on October  21, 2013.  Dr. Underwood succeeded Blaz as Guam’s Delegate in 1993.

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February 18, 2014 @ 11:24 am

Ep. 173 “Global Perspectives on the NDAA of 2014 and the Guam Military Buildup (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Joy White)

airs 1/17/14.     

On December 28, President Barack Obama signed a sweeping defense policy which authorizes massive spending, including $527 billion in base defense spending for the current fiscal year, funding for the war in Afghanistan, and funding for nuclear weapons programs.  It was quietly passed by the House then fast- tracked through the Senate during the holiday season without time for amendments or discussion.  This figure does not include the ‘black budget’ or unpublished budgets of ever proliferating secret military and intelligence organizations.  

The NDAA also includes almost $495 million in spending for military construction projects on Guam. This allocation for the island is the second-highest military construction funding for Guam since fiscal 2010, when $700 million was approved. This policy stipulates that these funds won’t be used for the relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam, and continues to restrict full use of Japanese Government funding until DOD drafts a master plan detailing the proposed buildup. 

What does approval of the NDAA of 2014 and the Guam Military Buildup represent in the history of U.S. military imperialism?  To provide comment from a global perspective, we welcome back two previous program guests, an anthropologist/scholar on U.S. militarism and an international peace activist: 

Program guest in the first half is Dr. David Vine ( or associate professor, Department of Anthropology, American University-Washington D.C.  Dr. Vine was on Guam for the first time in September 2011 and was my guest on Ep. 86 (9/23/11) to discuss his book Island of Shame:  The Secret History of the US Military Base on Diego Garcia (Princeton University Press, 2011).  He was on Guam to conduct research for his book in progress tentatively entitled, Base Nation: Why Do We Have More Than 1,000 Military Bases Abroad? forthcoming in 2015.  

In the second half we welcome back, Dr. Joseph Gerson ( who was first interviewed for this program by Dr. Lisa Linda Natividad at the 2010 Annual Bikini Day Conference in Shizuoka, Japan.  That interview aired March 29, 2010 as Ep. 10 “Guahan and U.S. Military Geopolitics.” 

Dr. Gerson  has been involved in the U.S. justice and peace movements since the 1960s and has served the American Friends Services Committee (AFSC) since 1976.  He currently serves as AFSC’s disarmament coordinator, as director of programs in New England, and as director of the Peace and Economic Security Program.  He plays a leading role in building collaborations among U.S., Asian, and European peace and nuclear weapons abolition movements and works closely with many Asian and Pacific peace organizations, including the Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice.  In association with Focus on Global South, he has worked to help launch the "No U.S. Bases" network that includes more than 100 organizations in over 40 countries.  

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February 18, 2014 @ 11:10 am

Ep. 172 “The MITT, International Law, and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”

 (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Joy White and Marlon Molinos) airs 1/10/14.     

This episode focuses on the implications of the Mariana Islands Testing and Training (MITT) plan for international law and the rights of indigenous peoples.  The MITT Draft EIS/OEIS is just one of five National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) actions that the people of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands must review to register concerns and recommendations. This Phase II draft was released to the public onSeptember 13 and the Navy accepted comments through December 12.  

The Navy’s preferred alternative involves the continuation of military activities and the expansion of an additional 500 square miles of ammunitions testing and warfare training area, for a total of close to one million square miles for the proposed site.  According to Leevin Camacho (WeAreGuahan), this expanded area would be larger than the states of  Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Montana and New Mexico combined. 

The touchstone for this discussion is the opinion piece about the MITT Draft EIS/OEIS penned by Senator Vicente ‘Ben’ Pangelinan entitled ‘Preferred alternatives for our people” published by the Marianas Variety November 14, 2013 and recorded for this program.  

Senator Pangelinan ( was born in Saipan and grew up in Guam.  He oversees the Guam Legislature Committee on Appropriations, Public Debt, Legal Affairs, Retirement, Public Parks, Recreation, Historic Preservation and Land. In this column, Senator Pangelinan discusses the MITT EIS process and places this within a global perspective, referencing the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in particular Article 30 concerning the conduct of military activities.  

Providing additional comment are two guests: Julian Aguon (, Guam attorney and adjunct instructor of International  Law at the University of Guam and Mr. Edward A. Alvarez (, Executive Director, Guam Commission on Decolonization.  

Music Selection:  Title song from Evolutions by Patrick Palomo (2007, Pika Music) 

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February 4, 2014 @ 3:10 am

Ep. 174 “Native Voices and Undercurrents in the Marianas”

(co-hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames and Chris Hartig with production assistance of Marlon Molinos) was recorded 1/24/14 and airs 1/31/14.

This January marks the 20th anniversary of Public Radio Guam. KPRG is a non-profit, community organized public radio station founded in 1994 and licensed to the Guam Educational Radio Foundation 
Program guest in the first segment is Chris Hartig (, general manager of KPRG for the past seven years.  He talks about the development of this station over two decades, local programming, and the role of public radio. Prior to coming to Guam in 2006, he lived in Anchorage,  Alaska, for 21 years. Like Guam, there is a significant military presence in Anchorage which has a resident population of about 300,000 and hosts the Elmendorf Air Force Base, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and Fort Richardson, an Army Post.
In the latter segment, Chris takes over as host to interview Tingit Alaska Native Gregg McVicar (  McVicar is veteran host and producer of Undercurrents, American Music with a Passport, a nationally syndicated eclectic mix of music from Native Voice One, the Native American Public Radio Network, now in its seventh year.  Undercurrents was introduced to KPRG listeners in July 2013.  
McVicar was on Guam to help us celebrate our 20th anniversary and hosted a three hour live set from the KPRG studio last Friday, which preempted Beyond the Fence.   Prior to hosting Undercurrents, McVicar started and hosted Earthsongs, a show about first people’s music that continues today.  His creative work has been recognized by a Peabody award, an RTNA Golden Mic and multiple  awards from the National Association of Community Broadcasters. He holds a master’s degree from the Annenberg School of Communication.  

McVicar talks about Native American resistance music and the significance of three pieces selected for this Beyond the Fence interview:  Cry Your Tears by John Trudell,  Honor Me by Aragon Starr and No, No, Keshkagesh by Buffy Sainte-Marie. Trudell  was the spokesperson for the United Indians of All Tribes’ takeover of Alcatraz prison beginning in 1969, broadcasting as Radio Free Alcatraz. During most of the 1970s, he served as the Chairman of the American Indian Movement, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Starr is a member of the Kickapoo tribe of Oklahoma. She is an award winning musician, songwriter, actor, playwright, and creator of the comic book “Super Indian”.  Sainte-Marie is a Canadian-American Cree and legendary songwriter, musician, composer, visual artist, educator, pacifist and social activist whose work has focused on issues of indigenous peoples of the Americas.

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