Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Activists to Protest Fighter Training


A LOCAL activist group, Taotaomona Native Rights, is hosting two peaceful protests today and one tomorrow to oppose the U.S. military’s transfer of fighter jet training exercises from Okinawa to Guam.

The exercises were transferred in order to spare residents of Okinawa from the loud noise and harmful effects of the noise pollution created by the jets.

But Trini Torres, Pilong Maga' Haga, said the protests are necessary to call attention to the harm these fighter jets will create and the negative impact to Guam residents living in these areas over which the fighter jets will be flying.

“They are doing things to us without asking our permission, and we can’t just keep quiet,” Torres said.

The military recently announced that approximately 400 military personnel, including those from Marine Aircraft Group 12, will participate in air-to-air and air-to-ground jet fighter training maneuvers on Guam. These training procedures used to be held in Okinawa Prefecture, but Okinawa residents have voiced their protests over the loud noise of the maneuvers.

The activist group is inviting island residents to join them during the protests. The first is scheduled today from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in front of the Legislature.

The second will be held also today at 4 to 6 p.m. across and in front of Guam Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo’s office in Hagåtña.

Tomorrow, the group will hold a similar protest from 3:30 to 6 p.m. across the Andersen Air Force Base front gate.

“Senators and Congresswoman Bordallo need to stand up for the safety and protection of the people of Guam. At the same time, the U.S. military needs to stop using Guam as its dumping ground and they need to treat the people of Guam with respetu (respect),” said Torres.

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