Thursday, July 09, 2009

Support Bill 66

Support Bill 66
Thursday, 09 July 2009
Letter to the Editor
The Marianas Variety
by Scott "Taisapit" Knudson

DEAR people of Guam, it is your right under the 3rd amendment of the United States Constitution to approve or deny the peacetime transfer of military personnel to our island. Thus, it is your right to approve or deny the possible transfer of 8,000 Marines and other personnel from Okinawa to Guam.

This island is divided as to whether it should be allowed or not. Our leaders appear to generally support it because they are chasing $$, but this transfer will have such a large-scale and long-lasting impact on our island’s economy, population, environment, and quality of life that it demands approval by the people en masse.

Bill 66, submitted by Senator BJ Cruz, is currently under consideration at the legislature. It calls for an island-wide referendum, within 90 days of passage, with two questions being put before the people:

1. Do you approve the transfer of these military personnel?
2.Do you approve the lease of Chamoru Land Trust lands to the U.S. military?

This bill is the only bill currently under consideration that would mandate that the military transfer – and, by extension, its associated construction build-up – be put to vote before the people. For that reason, I am calling upon all the citizens of Guahan to show up at the public hearing at the legislature, which will take place on Thursday, July 16 at 4:00 p.m. There they will be free to express opinions and ask questions.

Regardless of whether one supports or opposes the build-up, it is absolutely essential to our dignity that the matter be put to vote before the people. The current intention of the Pentagon is to triple the military presence on island – from around 15,000 to about 40,000 – without even asking us, but merely by tossing money at us and relying on our leaders’ complacency. That’s called colonialism.

If we are ever to escape our subject status and achieve the dignity and equality that we deserve as U.S. citizens and human beings, we must exert our democratic rights under the constitution. That means telling the Pentagon that they have to check with us first before doing what they please.

So please, people of Guam, come to the legislature on July 16 and show support for democracy and human rights. Support the demand for an island-wide referendum.

Fanogue Taotao Guahan!

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