Peace activists visit Sydney

Monaeka Flores (speaking) and Shinako Oyakawa with Julie Macken and Nick Deane (IPAN)

On Monday 31 July the Justice and Peace Office was pleased to host, with Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN), a visit of two women from the islands of Guahan (Guam) and Ryukyu (Okinawa).

Monaeka Flores and Shinako Oyakawa both belong to the First Nations communities on these islands and live daily with the impact of colonisation and the appropriation of scarce land for military purposes.

In addition there have been devastating environmental consequences. The heavy-footed presence of the US military on Guam has been responsible for the poisoning of the land with PFAS and the loss of all bird life.

Their stories have a new resonance in Australia, as the United States military relocates some military assets from Guam to bases around Darwin.

Military bases do not exist in a vacuum and their presence in remote locations may be ‘out of sight, out of mind’ but has a harmful impact on communities and ecosystems.

You can watch edited videos of their remarks or stream the audio of the entire event below.