Saturday, April 08, 2017

"Respect the CHamoru People" rally draws hundreds

Guam - The Adelup lawn was packed today as hundreds of protesters gathered for the "Respect the CHamoru People" rally that had been organized in response to the Dave Davis decision last month.
In that case, federal Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood ruled in plaintiff Arnold "Dave" Davis' favor challenging Guam's decolonization registry that only allows "native inhabitants" and their descendants to register.
Those registered in the Decolonization Registry would have an opportunity to vote on Guam's political status plebiscite for three options: independence, statehood or free association, but only after the registry reaches a certain threshold.
Davis sued GovGuam when he was denied registry arguing that the Decolonization Registry law discriminates against him because of his race. The decision drew backlash from the local community because of the case's racial and discriminatory undertones. 

Today's rally coincidentally comes just one day after Governor Eddie Calvo renounced his support for the military buildup. The governor's bold announcement came as a surprise as he has been a staunch supporter of the military buildup. The governor cited the H-2B visa crisis and the federal government's refusal to allow visa waivers as his key reason for his sudden change of heart. 
In the last year the US Citizenship and Immigration Services has denied nearly 100 percent of H-2B visa applications, causing a severe shortage in foreign labor on Guam. Calvo says in the last year the island went from 1,300 construction workers to now just 170, driving the price of labor and materials up. For the military buildup alone, the government estimates a need of at least 4,000 workers.

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