Immortal Technique -- The Poverty of Philosophy

You cannot change the past but you can make the future, and anyone who tells you different is a Fucking lethargic devil. I don't look at a few token Latinos and black people in the public eye as some type of achievement for my people as a whole. Most of those successful individuals are sell-outs and house Negros.

Interview with Arthur Ridgeway

A brief interview with an elder of the Yuin people, who recently served an eviction notice to protect the Gulaga National Park. See http://www.tilbalogging.com/

Free Burma-Melbourne Solidairty

Footage of rally and march in Melbourne on Friday 28 September, one of many such events being held across Australia in response to violent repression by the military government in Burma.

Thanks to pc for the footage,

Burma-One Solution Revolution-Aotearoa Tautoko

Thanks to Joe for this, Ka Pai Tamakimakaurau
Aotearoa Tautoko for Burma....Chur

The NZ government, along with Australia, is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with ASEAN, which includes Burma. The eleventh round of negotiations are underway in Kuala Lumpur, running over the 24th to 28th of September

Over a thousand people turned out in Central Auckland on Saturday 29th September to support the peaceful revolution in Burma that is inspiring the world. The demostration was called by the Solidarity Union, and supported by the Council of Trade Unions (NZ), Burmese Federation of Trade Unions, the Burma Support Group (AUSA), Amnesty International (NZ), the Service and Food Workers Union, the NDU, the Green Party, Socialist Worker, Greens on Campus, Radical Youth, Pax Christi and Global Peace and Justice Auckland. A National MP even spoke- which was more than could be said of NZ's ruling Labour Party, who were conspicuous by their absence. The Labour government wants to negotiate a free trade deal with Burma, and has refused to impose sanctions on the dictatorship since 2005.

Joe Carolan of Solidarity Union introduced the speakers, and called on NZ student and trade unions to take action to support their words-

"Now that the MyanMar military Junta has smashed the monasteries, beaten, imprisoned and murdered the monks, and opened fire on the people in the streets, there can be no retreat. All work and trade must stop. A General Strike must paralyse the nation.

Workers and student organisations are now on the frontline in Burma. Our NZ student and trade unions have a moral duty to support them in this time of need. The CTU has backed todays protest. But Burma needs more.

The trade unions of New Zealand are the largest democratic organisations we have. Unions who came today should take up workplace collections to support the Burmese Federation of Trade unions, whose representative Naing Ko Ko joins us here. They know best how to deliver the support to the resistance at home.

All NZ companies who profit from slave labour in Burma should be the targets for future protests- NZ does 4.4 million dollars of dairy business with the Myanmar regime, and the Super Fund invests in Total Oil's exploitation of Burma's reserves. Helen Clarke wants to sign a free trade deal with the regime. All should immediately be stopped. There can be no trade with a slave labour regime."
Naing Ko Ko of the Burmese Federation of Trade Unions paid homage to the Buddhist monks, who led the march down Auckland's Queen Street. He said that the struggle that they have started must be continued by the country's workers and students, many of whom are now forced underground. Tinmama Oo of the Burma Support Group in Auckland University Student Association pledged that her generation of Burmese would never give up and never surrender, and that one day the brutal military dictatorship would be overthrown.

John Minto from GPJA warned people not to trust groups such as the UN Security Council, ASEAN, the US Military or the politicians in power to solve the crisis. He looked to the huge outpouring of internationalist solidarity from ordinary working people to deliver the support to the Burmese resistance as the only power Burma's people could trust.

The revolution in Burma will inspire the workers of Thailand, who are living under the iron heel of the Thai military with little condemnation from the Western political establishment. The revolution in Burma will inspire the workers of China, who were slaughtered along with the students of Tiananmen Square when they stood up from freedom in 1989, The revolution in Burma has inspired the people of Aotearoa, who will continue to organise practical solidarity for the resistance in the weeks and months to come.


Police accused of race attacks on Africans

"Police in the region are being awarded for multicultural policing while perpetrators of brutality and racism remain in their stations, or in other stations in the region — or are promoted."

Liz Porter
September 30, 2007

A LEAKED police report has questioned the future of a senior sergeant accused by lawyers of running a regime of "racially motivated police violence" against local African youths at Flemington police station.

The confidential Ethical Standards Department report, part of which has been obtained by The Sunday Age, recommended that Victoria Police call in "external agencies" to discuss whether the officer should stay at the station.

The officer was dubbed "Senior Sergeant X" in a recent VCAT judgement, which ruled that the report be kept secret. He was in charge of the station in 2005 and early 2006 but is on temporary secondment to the Victoria Police Centre, the tribunal heard. It was during X's time as the officer in charge of the station that lawyers from the Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre received a spate of complaints about police brutality, harassment and racism directed at young refugees from the Horn of Africa.

A secret "ethical health" review was conducted for the ESD last year by Inspector Mark Doney after the centre reported 13 complaints to the Office of Police Integrity.

Summaries of the complaints were presented to a VCAT hearing of the community legal centre's appeal against the police's refusal to release the report.

They included allegations of young people being "punched and kneed", punched while handcuffed, slapped and choked by police officers. One youth alleged he was forced to strip naked below the waist, in public and again at the police station, in the course of an unlawful search by police. There were also allegations of repeated racial abuse.

One youth alleged that he was punched twice in the head while his face was on the ground. His head was stood on while an officer told him he was a "black c---" and smoked. Another youth alleged that police hit him repeatedly on the head while he was seated and handcuffed, causing him to fall to the ground.

Tamar Hopkins of the Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre said she was appalled that the officer's possible return to the station was even being considered.

Although lawyers from the centre made a lengthy submission to the ESD review, police have so far fought successfully to keep its contents secret. First Victoria Police blocked the lawyers' Freedom of Information request for the report. Then, when the centre applied to VCAT for a review of that decision, the police fought them and won.

The lawyers have been told they have grounds for a Supreme Court appeal, but are reluctant to risk up to $30,000 of the centre's tiny budget to pay police legal costs should they lose.

The VCAT hearing about the report was told that two officers were moved from the station after the complaints were made to the OPI and before Inspector Doney began questioning police at the station.

One officer, referred to in the VCAT judgement, as "acting sergeant Z", featured in a number of the complaints and was transferred to another station afterwards. The other, "senior sergeant X", was not mentioned specifically in the complaints but was in charge of the station at the time of the complaints. But Inspector Nigel Howard, manager of the Moonee Valley Police Service Area, told VCAT that the move was at X's inititative, who was seeking promotion.

The hearing was also told that it was the redeployment of senior sergeant X and then acting sergeant Z that had enabled other officers to speak with greater candour to Inspector Doney. In ruling that the report be kept secret, the deputy president of VCAT, Mr M. F. Macnamara, noted Inspector Howard had said in evidence there was a culture of retribution against "those who ratted" to investigators about colleagues or superiors. He quoted Inspector Howard's evidence that publicising the report would enable others to work out "who the rat was".

Ms Hopkins called for the police to release the whole report and said the level of complaints about Flemington police dropped when a new senior sergeant introduced a "zero tolerance for racist comments" policy.

But she said that that senior sergeant had moved and the legal centre continued to receive complaints about racial harrassment and aggression by police from other stations, including Moonee Ponds.

She said that the centre now had 18 complaints awaiting investigation by OPI.

"Police in the region are being awarded for multicultural policing while perpetrators of brutality and racism remain in their stations, or in other stations in the region — or are promoted."

Complaints to the Office of Police Integrity

■March 2006, Flemington: Young man says he was punched in face by one officer. He was choked and punched in the lower back by another, and called a "black f---".

■March 2006, Flemington: A young man claims he was racially harassed and assaulted during a raid on his home. He was told: "I don't like you black guys around here. Go back to your country." At the police station, he was slapped on the face and threatened with serious injury.


■February 2007, Moonee Ponds: One young man says he was bashed in the face with a torch while handcuffed. Another says he was repeatedly beaten with a torch and sprayed with capsicum spray while lying on his stomach on the ground.

■April 2007: A young man says he was punched repeatedly in the head, choked and kicked while being stood on and handcuffed by Footscray police



The AFP has had a presence in one form or another, in the Pacific for close to two decades. The initial entry into the Pacific Region was by way of the Defence Cooperation Program funding which enabled the AFP to place an officer in Vanuatu in an Advisory/Training capacity. That role today is a liaison role in keeping with other AFP officers posted overseas.

From an Operational perspective, the AFP has serviced the Pacific Island region from Canberra since the early eighties, by way of a South Pacific Island Liaison Officer, who travelled on a regular basis throughout the region. That role is now that of a Regional Coordinator Pacific Islands based in AFP HQ Canberra.

In 1994, the AFP, as a result of increasing transnational crime indicators such as drugs and guns, opened a liaison office in Port Moresby, PNG.

In August 2001, a successful cabinet submission to address the increasingly apparent transnational crime issues in the region saw the placement over a 6 month period, of two additional officers in Honiara in the Solomon Islands, an additional officer in Port Moresby, PNG and Port Vila, Vanuatu and the opening of a new post with two officers in Suva, Fiji Islands.

An additional AFP officer was also posted to the office of the Regional Coordinator Pacific Islands (formerly the South Pacific Liaison Officer) in Canberra. All AFP Pacific Island posts have various responsibilities when it comes to other countries in the region. For example, Fiji is responsible for all PIC’s east of Fiji and the AFP Regional Coordinator Pacific Islands retains responsibility for Micronesia and the French Territories, whilst PNG, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have enough responsibilities with their countries alone.

The boost in AFP personnel in the Pacific Region was also supported by approximately 2.4 million dollars in Law Enforcement Cooperation Program (LECP) funding support over 2.5 years. Many LECP interventions are under way or have been completed in the field of Intelligence, Investigations, Forensic, Border Control, officer exchange and attendance at various conferences, seminars and workshops
The AFP enjoys a high profile in the Pacific region and is intent on raising that profile
in the future. Considerable work is being generated through the placement of additional officers in the region, and this together with the LECP initiatives has enabled considerable inroads to be made into Pacific policing and other law enforcement agencies.

The AFP today, involves itself in close consultations with DFAT, Defence and AusAID on issues relating to policing in the Pacific Region. The AFP now provide advice to the Australian Government, the Australian Intelligence community and Australian overseas missions on a regular basis on policing and politics in PIC’s and more recently on AusAID Police Institutional Strengthening Projects in PNG, Solomon Islands and future projects in Vanuatu and Fiji.

The AFP has hosted a number of workshops in an effort to improve the outlook of Pacific policing and also works in close consultation with the Pacific Island Forum (Law Enforcement Liaison Officer - LELO) on matters of mutual interest. The most recent initiative to be placed before AFP management is the placement of a Training Enforcement Liaison Officer in Suva, Fiji Islands to coordinate all Pacific Law Enforcement Training, a well overdue and much anticipated initiative for the region.

The AFP is a regular attendee and contributor at the following:

The South Pacific Chiefs of Police Conference (SPCPC)
The Australasian and South West Pacific Commissioners Conference (ASWPCC)
The (Pacific) Forum Regional Security Committee (FRSC)
The Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO)
The Pacific Immigration Directors Conference (PIDC)
The New Zealand Combined Law Agency Group Conference (CLAG)
The following are examples of the conferences attended.
South Pacific Chiefs of Police Conference (SPCPC)

SPCPC is the South Pacific Chiefs of Police Conference and consists of Police Commissioners from all Pacific Island countries from Saipan and Guam to French Polynesia and Australia and New Zealand. The SPCPC meets once a year in various member countries around the Pacific and is supported by a mid term SPCPC working group which addresses all resolutions arising from the conference.

This conference is the voice of policing in the Pacific. The AFP is very active within the SPCPC, both financially (providing travel funds) and representative wise, and together with two invited state police force representatives, attend each year. Representatives of the SPCPC attend other Pacific Island forums such as the Forum Regional Security Committee (FRSC) and the Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO).

Australasian and South West Pacific Region Police Commissioners Conference

The ASWPRCC is the Australasian and South West Pacific Region Commissioners Conference. This is a more Australian dominated conference with the AFP and all States and Territories represented. PNG and Fiji are the only other semi regular representatives at this Conference. The conference addresses issues of both a domestic and international nature.


The principal role and functions of the Australian Federal Police Overseas Network is

• Establish a relationship of confidence with the police and law enforcement
agencies in the host country and other countries within the region of
responsibility, facilitating a flow of information to Australian police forces

• Initiate inquiries with relevant local law enforcement agencies on behalf of the
AFP, State Police, ABCI, etc, and pass on requests from local agencies to the
AFP for inquiries within Australia

• Coordinate and provide advice to host countries on joint investigations

• Assist the host country in the development and execution of controlled

• Assist with the extradition of persons wanted in Australia or the host country

• Identify new developments in police training, equipment and practices,
especially in relation to drugs and organised crime

• Provide training and technical advice where appropriate to local law
enforcement agencies

• Cooperate, with the knowledge and agreement of the host country, with Third
Country law enforcement authorities

• Represent the AFP at international law enforcement conferences, including
those held under the auspices of the United Nations Drug Control Program
(UNDCP) and Interpol

• Facilitate visits by law enforcement officials to and from the host country

• Liaise with Department of Foreign Affairs-designated special purpose liaison
officers at Australian Missions where the AFP is not represented

• Strengthen the capability of foreign law enforcement agencies through the
provision of training programs through the Law Enforcement Cooperation
Program (LECP)


Transgender Rockstar -Ramon Te Wake

Of my most enduring mentors & roles models, many have been transgender womyn Whakawahine Maori, Fa’afafine (Samoan), Fakaleiti (Tongan), Mahu Wahine (Hawaiian), Mahu Vahine (Tahitian), and Akava’ine (Cook Island). My sisters have taught me survival, identity and sisterhood. I remember meeting Ramon at the "Marae in the Sky", she was then a very talented girl, who has blossomed into a beautiful, strong & intelligent Maori Women, defying stereotypes at every turn. Chur Sis.


The Place of Takatāpui Identity within Māori Society: Reinterpreting
Māori Sexuality within a Contemporary Context

by Clive Aspin
Nga Pae o te Maramatanga


Queer Life Maori Style Returns To Maori Television



The Nuclear History of Micronesia and the Pacific

"We are seeking a Pacific...free of every last remnant of colonialism... [F]reedom and independence will have no meaning if our very existence is threatened by the constant fear of total destruction"

by Richard N. Salvador*, Republic of Belau, August 1999

"The first shot, Bravo, the largest single nuclear explosion conducted by the United States, with a destructive capability more than one thousand times that of the Hiroshima bomb, was detonated on 1 March 1954. The explosion was so powerful it vaporized several small islands …"

"...To this day, peoples of Rongelap, Bikini, Enewetak, and many in the Marshall Islands continue to suffer from cancer, miscarriages, and tumors."

While it is harrowing that Japanese cities became the ultimate target, Micronesians (Marshallese) and French-Polynesians have never really overcome the disastrous consequences of the nuclear testings that made the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki possible. In French-Occupied Polynesia, 180 tests were conducted for over 30 years beginning with atmospheric testing in the Tuamotos in 1966. Only sometime later did the testings move underground in the atolls of Moruroa and Fangataufa; but unlike the Americans, in the case of documentation of test results and effects on environmental and human health, the French have always been and continue to be secretive about their own tests in Polynesia. Tahitians and Marshall Islanders who were exposed, including test site workers, have been dying slow, excruciating deaths. Often they are unable to receive proper medical treatment because French authorities continue to deny officially that the nuclear tests did in fact cause any significant environmental or human damage.

At the conclusion of World War II after Japan’s defeat, Micronesia was taken by America. In January 1946, the US Naval Military Government selected the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands chain for the first series of nuclear tests--known as Operation Crossroads--which were intended to demonstrate the destructive capacity of the atomic bombs on a fleet of wartime ships (Robie 1989, p.142). In July 1947, the US Government became our "Administering Authority," with the blessings of the UN. Immediately after the war, eleven territories were under UN supervision. Micronesia became administratively the "Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands," and consisted of the Marshall Islands, the Caroline Islands (which included the islands of Kosrae, Pohnpei, Truck/Chuuk, Yap, and Belau), and the Marianas Islands (which include Guam, Saipan and Tinian).

In Belau (Palau), where I come from, we were spared the harrowing experiences of the atomic testings. Kwajalein, Bikini and Enewetak in the Marshall Islands, however, were chosen for a supply base and a smaller command center, respectively, and which were used for the bomb testings. The Marshall Islands suffered the most from these military occupations and tests. Kwajelein also became a vital link in the supply route for American forces during the Korean War as well as a base for missile tests later. On Saipan, the main island of what is now the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, the Central Intelligence set up a camp which operated a secret training for Chinese nationalist guerillas who were part of an unsuccessful plan to invade the Chinese mainland (Robie p.144).

Micronesia, therefore, was where the beginnings of important aspects of these US military activities took place. These integral aspects of US military strategy in the western Pacific were the beginnings of a strategic concept at work in U.S. Asia-Pacific policy. Ever since, as Joseph Gerson has written, Micronesia has been shaped and influenced by "the goal of maintaining and increasing U.S. power and advantage in the region." In the Marshall Islands, the US tested a total of 66 atomic and hydrogen bombs between 1946 and 1958. Six islands were vaporised by nuclear weapons and hundreds of people were irradiated. Today, more than 40 years later, many islands are still uninhabited. Many Bikinians and Rongelapese who were downwind of the bomb explosions remain exiled peoples. (Alexander 1994, pp. 28,30).

In the book, Blood on their Banner: Nationalist Struggles in the South Pacific, David Robie writes,

...the more than 2000 islands of Micronesia have played a vital role in modern strategic history. Japanese aircraft launched their attack on Peal Harbor from Micronesia, plunging the United States into the Second World War. And it was from Tinian Island in western Micronesia that the Enola Gay took off with its deadly weapons for the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki which ended the war and ushered in the nuclear age. The islands of Micronesia have been used by Washington ever since as pawns to enhance its strategic posture (Robie, ibid, p.142).

This 'strategic posture' was largely the result of a Cold War strategy that relied on massive military might. It emerged as well from a rational calculation of the use of deadly power. Cold War strategy, Alexander observed:

...required an assessment of both the political and military potential of the atomic weapon in a strategic sense. While the political assessment was made in the context of East-West rivalry, the military assessment required taking note of both the strengths and weaknesses of the new weapon. Two of these weaknesses, the scarcity of bombs and the limited range of the only available delivery vehicle, the B-29 bomber, served to govern US strategy in the first years after World War II, and prompted an all-out effort for research and development, including an ambitious testing program. At the same time, US confidence in its ability to maintain its nuclear lead was bolstered by a new-found strength, the efficacy of which had been demonstrated by the Manhattan Project (Alexander, ibid, p.18).

A comprehensive program of nuclear research appeared necessary; however, there had been concerns within the US Congress about safety issues. After considerations, the US Atomic Energy Commission told Congress in 1953 that tests should be held overseas until it (can) be established more definitely that continental detonations would not endanger the public health and safety (Weisgall 1980, p. 76). Micronesia, which was captured from the Japanese, seemed, to the AEC, as the most natural place. Bikini was chosen as one of over 20 atolls scattered over close to 400,000 square miles of ocean which make up the Marshall Islands to carry Operation Crossroads, the first series of tests which were conducted near the surface of the atoll, in July 1946. These first tests consisted of two 23 kiloton detonations, one named Able and the other, Baker.

The explosions gouged out a crater 240 feet deep and 6,000 feet across, melted huge quantities of coral, sucked them up and distributed them far and wide across the Pacific. The island of Rongelap (100 miles away) was buried in powdery particles of radioactive fallout to a depth of one and a half inches, and Utirik (300 miles away) was swathed in radioactive mist. Also in the path of the fallout was a Japanese fishing boat, Lucky Dragon No 5, and all 23 crew rapidly developed radiation sickness. (Alexander 1994, pp.22,23,24). Jonathan Weisgall, in an article titled "Nuclear Nomads of Bikini" noted that according to one report, "Baker alone left 500,000 tons of radioactive mud in the lagoon" (Weisgall, ibid, p.84.).

But the "US navy [only] sent ships to evacuate the people of Rongelap and Utirik three days after the explosion. These (and other) Pacific people were used as human guinea pigs in an obscene racist experiment - a particularly sharp snapshot of colonialism and the horrors wrought by the arrogant mindset which goes with it," as a Peace Movement Aotearoa/New Zealand Action Alert put it (Peace Movement Aotearoa, March 1999).

These two tests were just two of the total 66 nuclear tests that the Department of Defense announced it conducted between 1946 and 1958, 23 of them at Bikini Atoll and 43 at Enewetak, located in the northern Marshall Islands. Operation Sandstone was the name of the series of tests conducted at Enewetak Atoll between April and May 1948. A 49 kiloton blast code-named Yoke, yielded "an explosion which was more than twice the size of any prior atomic bomb detonation." There was something significant about Operation Sandstone, as Alexander observed. Partly quoting from Harvey Wasserman’s and Norman Solomon’s book, Killing Our Own: The Disaster of America's Experience with Atomic Radiation, Alexander wrote,

Operation Sandstone was significant in that the tests, conducted jointly by the Department of Defense and the Atomic Energy Commission, ‘evidently did result in substantial improvements in the efficiency of use of fissile material,’ and according to Herbert York this ‘success’ ‘boosted morale at Los Alamos and helped garner further support for the laboratory in Washington. As a result, the construction of a new laboratory, located nearby on South Mesa (New Mexico), was authorized as a replacement for the wartime facilities which were still being used.’ This response is an example of the way in which the nuclear industry and nuclear strategists developed their own momentum. Each successful explosion not only helped create the mystique of American nuclear preeminence, but also spoke to the possibility of the development of more and more powerful weapons, resulting in greater insecurity not only for the people involved in the tests, but for the entire world (Alexander, ibid., p. 24).

Other series of tests, Operation Greenhouse, for example, were conducted at Enewetak in April and May 1951. On November 1, 1952, Mike was exploded on the island of Elugelab. Mike was the name of a cylindrical bomb measuring 22 ft in length and 5-1/2 ft in diameter and weighing 23 tons. Mike's detonation yielded a force of over 10 megatons, nearly one thousand times that of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The island of Elugelab completely disappeared.

The US Government listed the Mike explosion as the first detonation of an experimental thermonuclear device (Wasserman and Solomon, pp. 80-84). A total of six islands would simply vanish as a result of further tests of similar magnitude. The Mike bomb paved the way for the development of future hydrogen bombs. Operation Castle tested these bombs between March and May 1954, using Bikini and Enewetak Atolls. The operation included the following detonations: Bravo (15 megaton), Romeo (11 megaton), Union (6.9 megaton), Yankee (13.5 megaton), and Nectar (1.69 megaton).

Again, according to Alexander:

The first shot, Bravo, the largest single nuclear explosion conducted by the United States, with a destructive capability more than one thousand times that of the Hiroshima bomb, was detonated on 1 March 1954. The explosion was so powerful it vaporized several small islands and parts of islands in Bikini Atoll and left a hole one-mile deep in diameter in the reef. Years later, some Bikinian leaders would return to Bikini and weep openly at the sight of the sandbars and open water, all that remained of the islands destroyed by the Bravo shot. They would declare that the islands had ‘lost their bones.’

Bravo coated Rongelap and Utirik Atolls with two inches of radioactive fallout. (Alexander, ibid., 28).

To this day, peoples of Rongelap, Bikini, Enewetak, and many in the Marshall Islands continue to suffer from cancer, miscarriages, and tumors. Eighty-four percent of those who lived on Rongelap who below 10 years old at the times of the explosions have required surgery for thyroid tumors (Alexander, ibid., p.30).

Movement for a Nuclear-Free Belau (Palau)

As someone who is intimately involved in anti-nuclear movements and know of the health consequences of radiation exposure, I grieve today for my Marshallese sisters and brothers. By a kind hand of fate perhaps, my island nation of Belau was spared the harrowing nightmare of nuclear testings. However, we were not spared the full brunt of what is described as nuclear colonialism. By the end of the 1970s, over a decade after the official creation of a larger Micronesian effort to decolonize (Congress of Micronesia), it was clear to us what the monstrous legacy of nuclearism had done just a few thousand miles to the east of us in the Marshall Islands. (Subsequent nuclear catastrophes would contribute to strengthening the anti-nuclear movement). Marshall Islands, the French-Occupied Polynesia, and several places around the world that had been unkindly dealt by nuclearism impressed themselves strongly upon our minds, to say the least.

In our movement to decolonize, we wrote a Nuclear-Free Constitution in April 1979. Overt and covert American efforts to sidetrack issues and or at the least undermine Belau’s position on anti-nuclearism were unconvincing; via various diplomatic and not-so-diplomatic means, they failed initially to arrest what was quickly becoming a popular movement against what was felt to be outright colonial behavior. The history of the Constitutional Convention that produced the world’s first nuclear-free Constitution offered an explicit rejection of American demands, which were to compel Belau to acquiesce to US military and nuclear requirements. The increasing anti-base movement in the Philippines, where the US maintained its largest foreign military base operation, contributed to the tensions between Belau and America. Belau was always seen as a potential fallback area in the event the Philippine people did successfully evicted the US military. Belau, the Philippines, Guam, Kwajelein and other parts of Micronesia were parts of the network of what was described as a "forward military strategy" which aimed to project US military strength as close as possible to the Asian mainland and throughout the Pacific Ocean. This was part of a grand strategic plan outlined in a US National Security Action Memorandum No. 145 (NSAM-145), signed by John F. Kennedy in April 1962, and designed to formally incorporate all of Micronesia within US’s political and military network in the Pacific.

NSAM-145 provided the political context in which Kennedy would, over a year later, send a mission to Micronesia to plot the contours of a colonial conspiracy which had been faithfully adhered to by subsequent US administrations. The mission was headed by a Harvard University Business School Professor Anthony M. Solomon. The mission’s report came to bear his name. The Solomon Report, was the blueprint for US neocolonialism in the Pacific [and] provides disturbing reading on American political ambitions (Aldridge and Myers 1990, pp.22, 23). Resisting this grand colonial scheme, we attempted to create a nation-state. The next 15 years proved to be a painful period of radical political and social transformations, as we struggled to preserve our nuclear-free Constitution amidst aggressive US Pentagon attempts to undermine it.

It is impossible to describe a 15-year movement here in a page or two. I will only refer the reader to the extensive report of the United Nations Visiting Mission to Belau in November 1993. The UN mission was sent there to observe the November 9th 1993 plebiscite on the Compact of Free Association, the treaty negotiated by Belau and the US which details the economic and military conditions of a treaty-relationship between the US and Belau (for more details, refer to UN Trusteeship Council Document T/1978, December 1993). This is the treaty that the United States was adamant in compelling Belau to adopt, and which after 15 years and seven attempts to say NO to it, was finally "approved" in 1993. The treaty has essentially laid to rest the nuclear-free provisions of Belau’s Constitution for 50 years; the US, in return, will give Belau some economic assistance only for 15 years.

The crucial issues to consider here, or in similar nation-building efforts, are those of democratic principles and military imperatives. Between 1983 and 1993, Belau peoples exercised their democratic right to freely express their common wishes in founding a nuclear-free island nation. In all of these democratic exercises, we said No each time. US military imperatives overrode all of those No's and undermined democratic practice; but this is not something new. Cultures of militarism and nuclearism are, by nature, cultures of secrecy. They erode openness and democracy and make indispensable a culture of death and terror which legitimizes militarism and production and use of weapons of mass destruction. The theory and practice of nuclear deterrence have been extremely hostile to democratic practice. National military strategies have often required the absence of free democratic thought while, on the other hand, a commitment to nuclear disarmament and demilitarization will allow communities to participate more fully in both the political sphere and civil society" in working to ensure a world free of the nuclear dangers that confront us.

Belau’s first popularly-elected president, Haruo Remeliik, was assassinated, partly as a result of the intricate web of Compact of Free Association politics and internal power struggles shaped by America’s obstinate military policies.

As a result of the November 1993 plebiscite, the Compact of Free Association was approved and came into force on October 1, 1994, a day hailed as "Independence Day." A year later, Belau joined the South Pacific Forum, an organization of Pacific Island Governments. In December of 1995, Belau joined the United Nations. As a result, in the South Pacific Forum and within the United Nations, Belau will assume responsibilities for keeping the issue of nuclear disarmament alive.

One of the stipulations of the Compact of Free Association which made possible its passage in 1993 was that the United States would only seek to exercise its right to militarize (which implies the stationing of nuclear weapons) "during periods of crisis or hostilities." To be sure, a May 6, 1993 Letter of Assurances from US Secretary of State Warren Christopher failed to explicitly define what such crisis or hostilities would be. In any event, the stipulations expressed in Secretary Christopher’s letter were incorporated within and legislated into binding Belau law. A greater portion of these assurances would rely on the "good faith" of the United States and the Belau Government, in accordance with the provisions of stated military objectives of the Compact treaty (see Republic of Palau Public Law No. 4-9, Sections 5, 6). Regional peace, we must then conclude, will depend to a greater or lesser extent on the responsibilities of these two nations to decrease (or de-escalate) the potential for actual military conflict or violence.

It is worth noting that for the basic international legal instrument mandating global nuclear disarmament is the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The NPT forms the integrated network of unilateral, bilateral, regional and multilateral treaties and other standard-setting arrangements that seek to control/curb the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. Nuclear disarmament is premised on the good faith efforts by nuclear weapon states to take unilateral or multilateral initiatives to achieve disarmament. Highlighted in Article Six of the NPT, such a premise has been a controversial issue because of lack of action to pursue good faith initiatives to disarm. That premise of good faith, however, was reaffirmed by the International Court of Justice in 1996 and remains vital to the trust that must be built within on-going disarmament efforts.

The nuclear disarmament challenge in Belau would be to compel a good faith compliance to US and Belau laws.For Belau and the United States, respectively, Republic of Palau Public Law No. 4-9 (signed by our president on July 16, 1993), US Public Law 99-658 (approved on November 14, 1986) and US Public Law 101-219 (approved December 12, 1989) are the American legal mandates of the Compact of Free Association. In addition to this July 1993 Belau law which merely restated some interpretations and positions of the Belau Government vis-a-vis the Compact of Free Association as well as subsidiary agreements to it developed in Hawaii and Guam, and authorized what became the final Compact plebiscite, for Belau’s part, we are bound as well by the legal imperatives elaborated in the two US laws referenced above.

In January 1997, at its regional meeting in Moorea, French-Occupied Polynesia, the Abolition 2000 network passed a resolution denouncing the military/nuclear option of the Belau/US Compact of Free Association, and the undemocratic process within which it was "approved." More importantly, the Abolition 2000 resolution stated that any attempt to use the option for nuclear purposes would violate the Pacific nuclear-free zone as well as violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and would risk adding to the genetic damage already perpetuated on the Pacific peoples.

Not to be forgotten, there were British Tests in Australia, Kiritimati (Christmas) and Malden Islands in the Line Islands. Jacqui Katona (Gundjehmi Aboriginal Organization, Mirrar peoples) from Australia has information on these.

In French-Occupied Polynesia, the French have conducted a total of 153 nuclear weapons tests, in addition to those conducted in 1995. There is a lack of official information about the tests, so no comparison with how the Americans have done in Micronesia is done. Again, Jacqui Katona may be able to provide information about Moruroa and Fangataufa, and the Te Ao Maohi (French-Polynesians) anti-nuclear movement. And Lysiane Alezard, from Le Mouvement de la Paix in Paris, should also be able to share more information about the French tests.

The French nuclear test site workers face similar problems that all nuclear test site workers elsewhere face. Amidst the difficulties in Tahiti however, Hiti Tau has worked along with peoples from a university in Belgium to gather personal information and testimonies of previous nuclear test site workers, now published in the book Moruroa and Us: Polynesians’ Experiences during Thirty Years of Nuclear Testing in the French Pacific (See De Vries and Seur 1997). Theirs is a narrative of struggle as well as a triumph of collective grassroots action. It speaks as well to the role of networking within the international anti-nuclear information infrastructure, of which this gathering is part.

What Can We Conclude From All of This?

Unfortunate as we Micronesians were for being the unwilling hosts to preparations, testings, and launchings of weapons of mass destruction against civilian populations, over the years within our demilitarization and nuclear-free struggles, we have been constantly reminded of our role within the world-wide struggle for demilitarization and denuclearization. While we grieve for the on-going legacy of human and environmental health resulting from nuclear testings, a greater portion of our nuclear-free Pacific struggles has been inspired by what Betty Burkes described in her talk at an Abolition 2000 conference in Northern California in 1997, that we are constantly making inquiry into the culture of war and violence we inhabit, check out how we participate and are organized to acquiesce in our own exploitation (Burkes 1997). At least we have tried to work along with Japanese, Native peoples, and other victims of the Nuclear Age in forging common struggles of resistance against nuclearization and militarization everywhere.

We recognize the responsibility for tailoring our struggles in ways that inspire peoples in comparable sites of struggle. As far as we have been able, we have sought to wage our struggles non-violently. Being witnesses to the violence and brutality of nuclearism--and the colonialism which legitimizes nuclear violations of our islands in the first place--Pacific Islanders sensed early on that a struggle for genuine justice had to reject the adoption of violence as a means to end the violence we saw around us. Colonialism provided the ruthless infrastructure from which we yearned to be free from political oppression.

It was owing partly to the nature of Pacific peoples to reject the principle of violence. Violence killed all in its path, and here we were struggling to survive. Instinctively, decisions were made for a nuclear-free Pacific movement to respond accordingly. A friend in Hawaii, Rolf Nordahl, recently reflecting on this tendency, rejects violence as a means to achieving resolution of the sovereignty movement there and commented to our Allies group, "Violence begets more violence and the resulting desire for revenge leads to twisted thinking such as Milosevic explaining that the reason he can conduct ethnic cleansing is because of what happened 600 years ago." We need to make the connections between the violence of colonialism and a culture of militarism which allows the militarization/nuclearization of colonial outposts, and funnels resources away from more urgent social needs in Western nations. Moreover, we need to constantly question the many justifications for militarism and its role in economic affairs.

Writing about the role of weaponry in international trade, John Ralston Saul says in his book Voltaire’s Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West that "We are living in the midst of a permanent wartime economy." He continues, "The most important capital good produced in the West today is weaponry. The most important sector in international trade is not oil or automobiles or airplanes. It is armaments." Saul does not necessarily add anything new to what we already know about the trade in weapons; but he does reiterate the backwardness or the lack or higher moral values that ought to influence the trading of goods and services. Among many others, Seymour Melman has been writing about these issues for 20 years; his book The Permanent War Economy is recommended reading. John Stanley and Maurice Pearton, Steven Lydenberg, Robert De Grasse, William Hartung, Carol Evans, James Adams, and Martin Navias also have provided compelling analyses of military spendings and economic waste (there is a list of their books in the Works Cited section at the end). The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute publishes an annual accounting of arms sales, while The Council of Economic Priorities in New York has addressed the subject in a number of reports which hold to the old liberal approach--that arms are a waste of money and that statistics prove it.

In the preface to their book Resisting the Serpent: Palau’s Struggle for Self-Determination Bob Aldridge and Ched Myers reflect that "For nowhere else are the concrete mechanisms of the military-industrial-academic complex so sanitized, so overlaid with official mystification. How else could the citizenry of the world’s largest debtor nation continue to accept and subsidize such huge levels of military spending? Militarism, to extend the metaphor, has ‘colonized our minds...But our domestication is most troubling when it deludes us to think that militarism, apart from an overt foreign intervention and short of nuclear war, is at best an economic boom and at worst a victimless crime. The fact is, without a strategic missile ever being launched, militarism is wreaking destruction upon human life and culture. Perhaps North Americans might see this more clearly if we suspend our scenarios of what might happen to our world in the event of all-out war long enough to listen to the voice of those whose worlds have already been ravaged" (Aldridge and Myers 1990, p. xx-xxi)

Beginnings of the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Movement

The grassroots Pacific anti-nuclear movement was launched at the first Nuclear-Free Pacific conference at Suva [Fiji] in April 1975, backed by the Against Tests on Moruroa (ATOM) committee which had been formed in 1970. It consisted of people from the Pacific Theological College, the University of the South Pacific and the Fiji YWCA. The committee was merged into the Pacific People’s Action Front in the mid-1970s and then the movement went into decline. It surfaced again as the Fiji Anti-Nuclear Group (FANG) in 1983. Other Pacific anti-nuclear groups existed already but the Suva conference established a Pacific-wide network. This movement proved to be a major factor in persuading Pacific governments to take a stronger nuclear-free stand and shaping public awareness and opinion throughout the region.

A draft People’s Charter for a Nuclear-Free Pacific was produced at Suva and influenced the then New Zealand Prime Minister Norman Kirk to call for a nuclear-free zone treaty at the 1975 South Pacific Forum--an ideal that took a decade to be realized. After the draft was reaffirmed at a second conference in Pohnpei [the capital of what is now the Federated States of Micronesia] in 1978, the third meeting two years later at Kailua [O’ahu], Hawaii, expanded the group’s identity as the Nuclear-Free and Independent Pacific (NFIP) movement. Resource centres were set up in Honolulu and Port Vila [Vanuatu].

The fourth--and biggest--congress was held in Port Vila during 1983 in recognition of the Vanuatu Government’s support of a niuklia fri pasifik, as it is expressed in pidgin (Robie, ibid, p. 146-147). At the opening of this conference in Port Villa, Vanuatu, Deputy Prime Minister Sethy Regenvanu told the delegates that, "We are seeking a Pacific...free of every last remnant of colonialism... [F]reedom and independence will have no meaning if our very existence is threatened by the constant fear of total destruction" (Robie, ibid, p.147).

In Vanuatu, the People’s Charter for a Nuclear-Free and Independent Pacific, adopted in Hawaii, was reaffirmed. The Charter’s Preamble declared the following:

1. We, the people of the Pacific want to make our position clear. The Pacific is home to millions of people with distinct cultures, religions and ways of life, and we refuse to be abused or ignored any longer;

2. We, the people of the Pacific have been victimised for too long by foreign powers. The Western imperialistic and colonial powers invaded our defenceless region, they took our lands and subjugated our people to their whims. This form of alien colonial political and military domination unfortunately persists as an evil cancer in some of our native territories such as Tahiti-Polynesia, Kanaky, Australia and Aotearoa. Our home continues to be despoiled by foreign powers developing nuclear and other means of destruction, oppression, and exploitation that advance a strategy that has no winners, no liberators and imperils the survival of all human kind;

3. We, the people of the Pacific will assert ourselves and wrest control over the destiny of our nations and our environment from foreign powers, including Trans-National Corporations;

4. We note in particular the racist roots of the world's nuclear powers. We are entitled to and we commit ourselves to the creation of a just and equitable society;

5. Our environment is further threatened by the continuing deployment of nuclear arsenals in the so-called strategic areas throughout the Pacific. Only one nuclear submarine has to be lost at sea, or one nuclear warhead dumped in our ocean from a stricken bomber, and the threat to the fish and our livelihood is endangered for centuries. The erection of super ports, Nuclear Testing Stations, may bring employment but the price is destruction of our customs, our way of life, the pollution of our crystal clear waters, and brings the ever present threat of disaster by radioactive poisoning into the everyday life of the peoples;

6. We, the people of the Pacific reaffirm our intention to extract only those elements of Western civilisation that will be a permanent benefit to us. We wish to control our destinies and protect our environment in our own ways. Our usage of our natural resources in the past was more than adequate to ensure the balance between nature and humankind. No form of administration should ever seek to destroy that balance for the sake of a brief commercial gain;

7. We, the people of the Pacific will strive to be politically, economically, and spiritually self-determining. This includes the right to secede from oppressing nations.

The Pacific anti-nuclear movement, like the movement of indigenous peoples to assert their rights, was partly a response to the West's persistent colonial domination in violation of the United Nations Charter's call for decolonization at that time and the West's Cold War pretext for use of the Pacific islands for devastating nuclear testing. By that same year, the United Nations Cobo Report [in Geneva] concluded that discrimination against indigenous peoples was due to their lack of self-determination, that imposed assimilation was a form of discrimination, and that the right of indigenous peoples to cultural distinctiveness, political self-determination and secure land resources should be formally declared by the UN (Blaisdell 1998a).

As a result of previous work then on-going, the UN created, under the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities of the Human Rights Commission in Geneva, the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations, in order to address, among other things, the continuing abuses of the world's Indigenous peoples by existing Nation-states. That working group completed, after 12 years of work and intense lobbying in Geneva, the Pacific and around the world, a draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous peoples are still working to get it passed by the United Nations. More significantly, that working group provided an additional forum wherein we attempted to broaden discussions and debate regarding our anti-nuclear struggle, hoping to develop international consensus for final cessation of foreign domination in our homes. We look forward to the future with hope when all the final vestiges of colonialism will have been eradicated.

Our anti-nuclear movement has been inextricably linked to our struggle to bring about an end to colonialism and neocolonialism. Had Pacific Islanders been able to freely self-determine their political futures--taking serious consideration of informed consent in a climate devoid of fear and economic blackmail--there would absolutely be no doubt we would have rejected hosting the preparations and testing of other foreign countries’ dangerous nuclear bombs in our island homes.

On July 9, 1999 which was Constitutional Day in my island nation of Belau, we celebrated the full 20 years since we wrote what was once a nuclear-free Constitution! A mere twenty years have taught us much. A grassroots global nuclear abolition movement has been created and continues to grow. Moreover, a campaign to abolish nuclear weapons within the United States has been created and will be formally launched in October 1999.

The International Court of Justice, the world’s highest court, issued a legal advisory expressing the general illegality of nuclear weapons. For us in Belau, the struggle was long and painful. Assassinations, killings of innocent civilians, and official involvements (of officials in both the Belau and US governments) in the breakdown of law and order, now vindicate the rightness of the nuclear-free idea, once radical and unrealistic but now chic (See Butler, Edwards and Kirby 1988, "Palau: A Challenge to the Rule of Law in Micronesia," for a description of the systematic breakdown of law engaged in by "top government officials"). Now a broad spectrum of mainstream organizations and individuals are working to create a nuclear-free world, largely because we have now come to understand the depth of the crisis of relying on weapons of mass destruction to ensure "security."

For Micronesians generally, it made sense to do the right thing. For Belau peoples particularly, we must have either been ready and willing to pay the price or crazy enough to stand up to the US Pentagon. Whatever the case may have been, twenty years after we wrote that Constitution, on July 9, 1999, the young peoples of Belau--many of them were the children of those who authored the Constitution as well as our nation’s Founding Fathers--hosted a Constitutional Forum wherein the surviving members of the 1979 Constitution Convention spoke about their experiences during the convention. The Forum addressed the challenges now facing the island nation. With all that we have seen take place in the last twenty years, it was encouraging to know that we had been vindicated.

In July 1978 however, just a year before we authored our own nuclear-free Constitution, the UN General Assembly was scheduled to hold its 10th Special Session between May 23 to July 1, devoted to disarmament. Surprisingly, and by consensus, the General Assembly adopted a Final Document about 20 days ahead of schedule--something unheard of in current multilateral disarmament forums.

That Final Document declared:

Mankind today is confronted with an unprecedented threat of self-extinction arising from the massive and competitive accumulation of the most destructive weapons ever produced. Existing arsenals of nuclear weapons alone are more than sufficient to destroy all life on earth. Failure of efforts to halt and reverse the arms races, in particular the nuclear arms race, increase the danger of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Yet the arms race continues. Military budgets are constantly growing, with enormous consumption of human and materials resources. The increase in weapons, especially nuclear weapons, far from helping to strengthen international security, on the contrary weakens it. The vast stockpiles and tremendous build-up of arms and armed forces and the competition for qualitative refinement of weapons of all kinds to which scientific resources and technical advances are diverted, pose incalculable threats to peace. This situation both reflects and aggravates international tensions, sharpens conflicts in various regions of the world, hinders the process of detente, exacerbates the differences between opposing military alliances, jeopardizes the security of all States, heightens the sense of insecurity among all States, including non-nuclear-weapon States, and increases the threat of nuclear war... (United Nations Office of Public Information 1978, pp.4-5).

An accompanying program of action identified several key actions and proposals for disarmament work to proceed. I recount that 1978 declaration on disarmament in order to highlight the fact that nation-states cannot be trusted. Twenty years is a bit too long to wait on a sincere promise made to halt development of weapons of mass destruction. Arguably, since 1978, the world has witnessed an increase of nuclear arsenals and the threats now facing humanity have increased as a consequence of the arms race conducted since that time. We now only have approximately 20 weeks before the new millennium comes, making it ever so crucial that we join together as representatives of civil society to develop a more progressive grassroots agenda for a nuclear-free world.

Envisioning/Ensuring Our Future -- Abolition 2000

This is the legacy of what we in the Pacific have been witnesses to: the violence of colonial aggressions and nuclear colonialism, and the resulting effort to re-think the whole basis of planetary security. Thinking along shared responsibilities of caring for our planet compels us to network far and wide with sympathetic allies who inspire us and help us in a common effort to bring sanity, every precious bit of sanity, to the way we live on this planet. Genuine peace can come when we allow a sense of justice to guide our affairs vis-a-vis one another, and more crucially, in the way we relate with our precious Mother Earth. "We are a culture organized around death, war, profit, and violence," Betty Burkes proclaimed, "where power is based on the principle of power-over others." She explains that power over [another] is the power of punishment, weapons, competition, the power of annihilation that supports all the institutions of domination. Nuclear weapons serve the preservation and continuance of that culture.However, to realize a secure and livable world for our children and grandchildren and all future generations, the stated goal of Abolition 2000 requires that we make some inquiry into the culture of war and violence we inhabit, check[ing] out how we participate and are organized to acquiesce in our own exploitation (Burkes, ibid.).

Describing what was at stake at a US nuclear disarmament meeting in Chicago last year when the US Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons was being established, Jackie Cabasso, one of Abolition 2000's founders, wrote in Abolition 2000: Speaking Truth to Power: "We had lots of questions: What exactly does abolition mean. How long would it take?...We recognized that a nuclear weapons free world must be achieved carefully and in a step by step manner, and we spelled out the steps. But we were unyielding in our objective: ‘definite and unconditional abolition of nuclear weapons.’ From the basement of the United Nations in New York we faxed out the Abolition 2000 Statement" (Cabasso 1998, pp.2-3). And the rest is history! Abolition 2000 is now a global movement with more than 1,300 organization members around the world.

Many individuals who were involved in founding the global Abolition 2000 network have created a US campaign to abolish nuclear weapons. Such a short history, less than 5 years--speaks volumes to what a caring and active grassroots movement can do in 5 years what more than 180 Nation-states cannot do in twenty! But this disparity of action--and excessive amount of rhetoric--on the part of nation-states, must also tell us something fundamental: that there may be an unfortunate lack of concern and or sincerity on the part of governments collectively to achieve anything to reduce the increasing dangers humanity faces. It is up to us then, including all concerned peoples and grassroots movements around the world, to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. Failing to do so and remaining indifferent to this global effort to rid the world of nuclear arms is to participate in a conspiracy of silence that is ultimately deadly.

I take this issue very personally, as everything that I and my brothers and sisters in Belau and around the Pacific value politically, culturally, spiritually have been and continue to be challenged in the extreme by the arrogance of power, maintained by the ability to threaten to murder the mass of humanity. Threatening to mass-annihilate peoples in order to defend a certain "way of life" should be crimes against humanity. It is the same logic that inspired colonial excursions across the globe in the past 500 years.

The excessive amount of financial resources used to sustain nuclear arsenals is a larceny of the mass of peoples who toil daily in America to pay taxes that are then diverted from urgent social needs to maintaining ever-increasing arsenals of weapons of mass destruction. It is a moral bankruptcy that is driving all these policies; the bankruptcy knows no boundaries as we are all deeply impacted in many ways. We have, in essence, all returned to the scene of a crime, and we do so largely to find within ourselves the will to live as human beings.

* Richard Salvador is currently a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu, where he lives. He is writing a dissertation on the colonial history of Micronesia and Micronesian decolonization movements. He is also gathering research about Belau (Palau), with the goal of writing about Belau's effort to produce a nuclear-free Constitution; the American Government's counter-effort to strike down the nuclear-free provisions of that Constitution; and the subsequent effects of the anti-nuclear movement on society and people. Richard is also active in international anti-nuclear work and currently serves on the coordinating committee of Abolition 2000 representing the Pacific Islands Association of NGOs.

Works Cited

"Abolition 2000 Resolution Against the Military/Nuclear Option of the Republic of Palau-United States Compact of Free Association," (Moorea, Te Ao Maohi, January 20-28, 1997). See website of Abolition 2000: A Global Network for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons


Adams, James. Engines of War. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1990.

Aldridge, Bob and Ched Myers. Resisting the Serpent: Palau’s Struggle for Self-Determination. Baltimore, Maryland: Fortkamp Publishing Company, 1990.

Alexander, Ronni. Putting the Earth First: Alternatives to Nuclear Security in Pacific Island States. Honolulu, Hawaii: Matsunaga Institute for Peace, 1994. (ISBN: 9994371576)

Bailey, Emily, Richard Guthrie, Daryl Howlett and John Simpson, The Evolution of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime, 5th edition. (Programme for Promoting Nuclear Non-Proliferation). Southhampton, UK: The Mountbatten Centre for International Studies, 1999.

Blaisdell, Kekuni. "The Indigenous Rights Movement in the Pacific: 1998 Marks the Centennial of the U.S. Colonial Expansion in the Pacific and Caribbean," published by In Motion Magazine, 1998a. Available on the Internet: http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/pacific.html

Blaisdell, Kekuni. "Decolonization: Unfinished Business in the Pacific (Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organizations Discussion Paper for the Regional Seminar of the United Nations Decolonization Committee," Nadi, Fiji, 16-18 June 1998. Published by In Motion Magazine. Available on the Internet: http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/fiji1.html

Butler, William J. and George C. Edwards and Michael D. Kirby. Palau: A Challenge to the Rule of Law in Micronesia: Report of a Mission on Behalf of The International Commission of Jurists and The American Association for the International Commission of Jurists. New York: The American Association for the International Commission of Jurists, 1988.

Burkes, Betty, "What can one Abolitionist Movement Learn from Another? Comparing Abolition of Nuclear Weapons with Abolition of Slavery," Text of speech at a Northern California Abolition 2000 Conference, February 22, 1997.

Jacqueline Cabasso, "Abolition 2000: Speaking Truth to Power," Text of speech at US nuclear demilitarization campaign planning meeting, October 9-10, 1998. Chicago.

Churchill, Ward and Winona LaDuke, "Native North America: The Political Economy of Radioactive Colonialism," in M. Annette Jaimes (ed), The State of Native America: Genocide, Colonization, and Resistance. Boston: South End Press, 1992.

De Grasse, Robert, Jr., Military Expansion--Economic Decline. New York: Council on Economic Priorities, 1983.

Evans, Caron. "Reappraising Third World Arms Production," in Survival (March 1986).

Joseph Gerson, "U.S. Asia-Pacific Hegemony and Possibilities of Popular Solidarity, Fresh Look: Re-examining the role and impact of US bases in Asia-Pacific Seoul, South Korea," June 26-27, 1999.

Hartung, William. The Economic Consequences of a Nuclear Freeze. New York: Council on Economic Priorities, 1984.

Lydenberg, Steven. Weapons for the World. New York: Council on Economic Priorities, 1977.

Melman, Seymour. The Permanent War Economy: American Capitalism in Decline. New York: Simon and Shuster, 1978.

Moruroa and Us: Polynesians’ Experiences during Thirty Years of Nuclear Testing in the French

Pacific, published by the Documentation and Research Centre on Peace and Conflict, Lyon, France, 1997.

Summary: "'Moruroa and us' is the final report about the experiences of the Polynesian test-site workers and islanders who lived in the vicinity of Moruroa and Fangataufa. The report is the result of a sociological research conducted by Hiti Tau and the Eglise Evangélique and supported by Pieter de Vries and Han Seur of the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands.

To see a longer summary of Moruroa and US, please visit: http://www.antenna.nl/ecsiep/resource/moruroa.html

Navias, Martin. Ballistic Missile Proliferation in the Third World. London: IISS/Brassey’s, 1990.

Peace Movement Aotearoa (New Zealand), "Action Alert - Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Day," March 1999.

Republic of Palau Public Law No. 4-9, Fourth Olbiil Era Kelulau (4th Congress), Third Special Session, May 1993. "An Act to State the interpretations and positions of the Republic of Palau as to the Compact of Free Association between the Republic of Palau and the United States of America..." See especially, Sections 5 and 6.

Robie, David. Blood on Their Banner: Nationalist Struggles in the South Pacific. Leichhardt, NSW, Australia: Pluto Press, 1989.

Salvador, Richard N. "Indigenous Peoples Speak Truth to Power: Environmental and Human Health Aspects of the Nuclear Age," NGO Statement to the Third Preparatory Committee of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty 2000 Formal Review, May 10-21, 1999. New York.

Salvador, Richard N. "Nuclear Colonialism and Environmental Racism: An Indigenous Perspective," unpublished NGO Statement to the Second Preparatory Committee of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty 2000 Formal Review, 27 April to 8 May 1998. Geneva, Switzerland

Saul, John Ralston. Voltaire’s Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West, Toronto and New York: Penguin Books, 1992.

Stanley, John and Maurice Pearton, The International Trade in Arms. London: International Institute for Strategic Studies [IISS], 1972.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute [SIPRI], The Arms Trade with the Third World. New York: Council on Economic Priorities, 1977.

Wasserman, Harvey and Norman Solomon, Killing Our Own: The Disaster of America's Experience with Atomic Radiation, 1945-1982, New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1982.

Jonathan Weisgall, "The Nuclear Nomads of Bikini," Foreign Affairs 39, 1980.

United Nations Office of Public Information, "Final Document of Assembly Session on Disarmament 23 May-1 July 1978," New York: United Nations Headquarters.

United Nations Trusteeship Council, "Report of the United Nations Visiting Mission to Palau, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, 1993." In Official Records of the Trusteeship Council, Sixtieth Session, Supplement No. 1 (T/1978).



We the Aboriginal Nations of Australia, declare our sovereignty over the country to which we belong. Each Nation lived as one with the land, respecting the rights of other nations, and observing Aboriginal law and protocols, from the Beginning.

Our world was shattered by the violence of the Invasion which began when the First Fleet of British Boat people arrived in 1788. Our people were decimated, as the invaders stole our country, imposed their own laws and systems of government on our peoples, forcing our people into concentration camps called “missions”.

Our people resisted the invasion, and continue to resist to this very day. Aboriginal sovereignty, the sovereign rights of each and every surviving Aboriginal Nation, continue to this day. Aboriginal sovereignty has been impeded by invader violence, but never extinguished.

We hereby reclaim our sovereignty, our inherent right to be governed by our own laws and protocols, in harmony with the land to which we belong. We are taking our rightful place in our ancestral lands, which are our birthright, our sacred inheritance, handed down from generation to generation since time immemorial, from the Beginning.

The invasion of our lands was illegal under international law at the time of the arrival of the First Fleet. This invasion involved the perpetration of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and theft of our homelands. Each Aboriginal Nation has the right to speak for the country to which that Nation belongs, and no one else.

This is Aboriginal Law

Each Aboriginal nation is sovereign in its own right. Each sovereign nation has the right to enter into treaty negotiations with other sovereign nations. Sovereignty is the ultimate assertion of our right to Self Determination. Our right to Self Determination is enshrined in the International human rights covenants, and is written into international law, the law of nations.

Sovereignty rights include the right to be governed by our own laws, in our own country. We call for the restoration of our homelands, which were stolen from us, so we can build a new future, in harmony with the land and with all the peoples who live in this land.

National liberation comes to the South Pacific

Although the small Pacific Island nations now exercise a nominal independence very few have sufficient resources and practically no industrial development which would enable them to stand up to the pressures that are being imposed on them by Australia, New Zealand and other nations with more highly industrialised economies.

It has been easy for countries such as Australia to use so-called "aid" programs and loans (and then threatening to withhold them) to demand that the weaker nations adopt policies acceptable to the developed countries.

Australia, in cooperation with the United States, declared the South Pacific Island states to be its area of influence. In this frame of mind the Howard Government declared that it was the policeman of the region and sat in judgement over its neighbours as "rogue" states, "failed" states, not capable of "good governance". The Australian Government used such charges to claim it had the right to carry out pre-emptive strikes, and with assistance from others even went to the length of deliberately engineering crisis situations for that purpose.

Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands is a classic example. On two occasions the Australian Government and its lapdog ally, New Zealand, sent troops and police to the Solomon Islands as a consequence of some local disturbances. Who stirred up these disturbances has, of course, never been explained.

The troops and police were not alone in moving into the Solomon Islands. Civilian personnel were included, some taking over key positions in government economic and legal advisers, judges, bankers and election monitors. That these personnel would include members of ASIO and other "intelligence" agents has to be taken for granted.

In the Solomon Islands an Australian policeman took over the position of Police Commissioner and was responsible for last week's raid on the office of the Prime Minister of the Solomons. The raid was carried out while the PM was out of the country attending a meeting of the Pacific Forum and violence was used to break into his office.

All this was accompanied by vicious verbal attacks on the Solomon Island's Prime Minister by Foreign Minister Alexander Downer whose arrogant and outrageous behaviour had already been displayed in connection with East Timor and Papua New Guinea. Downer is a typical colonial governor using the stronger economic and military power of Australia and the availability of personnel to effect a virtual colonial take over.

The PNG Government was faced with a similar attempt to take it over but Australia was eventually forced to back off after insisting that Australian personnel in PNG should be above PNG laws. Australian high-handedness was again on display recently in connection with PNG when the Australian Government refused to extend visas to the PNG Prime Minister and other government officials to visit Australia when they were allegedly involved in the Julian Moti affair.

Flagrant interference

The Australian Government's flagrant interference and stand-over stand-over tactics also being played out in East Timor as it attempts to turn East Timor into an Australian colony. Once again troops and police were rushed in using the pretence of disturbances in Dili. No United Nations authority was sought despite the presence of a UN mission in Dili that dates back to the struggle of the East Timor people against Indonesian occupation.

In the recent discussions in the UN Security Council, Australia argued that it should continue to control the military forces at present in East Timor rather than passing command over to the UN mission.

The UN investigation into the events earlier this year in Dili has concluded that Alfredo Reinado could be prosecuted for his role in the disturbances in which a number of East Timorese were killed. Reinado is said to be in "hiding", yet it is clear that his whereabouts are known to the Australian military and media. His criminal role is also being covered up by the Australian Government with no steps to arrest him despite his escape from jail several months ago.

Reinado, who lived in Australian for about nine years and trained at the military college in Canberra, is clearly working closely with Australian forces and was a useful and willing tool in the vicious Australian-orchestrated campaign to overthrow the elected government of Mari Alkatiri.

Another long-standing Australian resident who is also playing the Australian Government's game is the present Prime Minister of East Timor, Ramos Horta.

Growing resistance

Despite these campaigns, occupations, economic and political pressure and blackmail, there is an obviously growing resistance in the island states to the attempts of the Howard Government (and the Keating and Hawke Labor Governments before that) to re-impose a form of colonialism on the island states, to destroy their independence and sovereignty and to install governments that will do the bidding of their Australian masters.

A Communist Party booklet Recolonising the Solomon Islands published in 2003 says that the rejection of colonialism and the demand for independence and sovereignty remain strong in the world and the neo-colonialist plan outlined by the Australian Government may yet come crashing down as it deserves.

In the 1970s and `80s the Pacific Island states were given their statehood in the wake of the world-wide anti-colonial movement of the time. Now, the people and governments of these states are beginning to fight for their independence!

From The Guardian