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Resisting political colonization and American militarization in the Marianas Archipelago

Sylvia C. Frain


This article will explore the triangle of contemporary political colonization, increased American militarization, and the continued denial of Indigenous rights interlinked in the Marianas Archipelago. The 15-island chain is politically constructed as two separate insular areas of the United States: Guåhan (Guam), an unincorporated territory, and the remaining 14 islands are the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas. Through its “Asia-Pacific pivot” foreign policy strategy, the US Department of Defense is expanding across the region, including the Marianas Archipelago. The environmental impact statement documents that describe the proposed military activities violate international and federal laws and neither invite nor require the consent of the Indigenous peoples. Chamoru (Chamorro) activists are utilizing social media sites to create solidarity across and beyond the archipelago. This article incorporates trending #hashtags used within the resistance campaigns.

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Print ISSN 1177-1801 Online ISSN 1174-1740