Protest rally calls for halt to military construction

Prutehi Litekyan is supporting the lawsuit filed by a national environmental group against President Trump for failing to protect critical habitats for 23 endangered species on Guam, the CNMI, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia.

Calling on our governor to stand firm in her request to temporarily pause the military construction to assess the recently discovered historic sites present at the construction areas, cultural and environmental activist group Prutehi Litekyan held a rally to demand a halt of all military construction.

According to historian Dave Lotz, the emotions emanating from the over 200 attendants consisted of a combination of enthusiasm and frustration.

In an interview on K57, Lotz relays his opinion about the disposition of the military.

“We see situations in which cultural resources are preserved until the Navy decides they need that real estate for an installation and just like Magua Village, it vanishes. I think we need to look at other tools to say that Chamorro cultural resources have to be preserved and that’s the primary purpose,” Lotz said.

As for the 2011 Programmatic Agreement, which is set to expire near the end of this year, Lotz says that the PA cannot be the only option that the community can consider.

“I think the Navy has to have heightened sensitivity to cultural resources. Too often, we just say they’re following the Programmatic Agreement. I’m hoping that we’ll be looking at other alternatives, realizing that a lot has already been done and it’s mostly not working in the favor of the people of Guam,” Lotz said.

According to a statement from Prutehi Litekyan, the rally served as a reminder to local leaders that the island’s culture and heritage are not negotiable.

In addition, Prutehi Litekyan says that more than 14,000 signatures have been collected to support the pause of the construction.