Self-determination march set for Sept. 2

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Dr. Robert Underwood, right, said the statement has to be made that it's not over for Guam's self-determination and that island leaders must reaffirm support for Chamorro self-determination.

 

Next month, several community groups will come together in support of determining the island’s political status.

Whether you’re for statehood, free association, or independence, the organizers of the Fanoghe: March for Chamorro Independence is inviting the community to join them in a peaceful demonstration in support of Chamorro self-determination.

According to former University of Guam President Dr. Robert Underwood, the fight for self-determination has been a long one.

“Chamorro self-determination has a long historical, moral, and legal basis. It is an issue which fulfills a commitment to the people of Guam at the time of the Treaty of Paris in 1898, which transferred Guam from Spain to the United States. It was an act of conquest, but an action that made a commitment to the native inhabitants,” Underwood said.

The march comes a little after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that determined that the Guam plebiscite law was unconstitutional and violated the 15th amendment.

The plebiscite would have allowed native inhabitants of Guam to say whether they supported statehood, free association, or independence.

In an interview with the Patti Arroyo show on NewsTalk K57, Underwood said the statement has to be made that it’s not over for Guam’s self-determination and that island leaders must reaffirm support for Chamorro self-determination.

Underwood says that there are still options that Guam can pursue such as going to Congress, appealing to the Supreme Court, or just doing it all over again but this time in a manner more mindful of the legal aspects.

According to Joni Kerr of the Guam Eco Warriors, the march is open to everyone who calls Guam home.

“Think of the march as an event in which everyone agrees on the need to move forward. We just haven’t decided on the destination, but we all lose if we stay put,” Kerr said.

The march will take place at 9 a.m. next Monday, Sept. 2, at Adelup.

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