FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 13, 2023
Media Contact: Melissa Garriga | [email protected]
Head of Marine Corps Confronted over Destruction of Guam amid Ongoing Military Expansion
WASHINGTON–On Tuesday, CODEPINK CoFounder Jodie Evans took over the stage at the Heritage Foundation’s event, “Leading Change in a High-Stakes World: A Conversation with the Commandant of the Marine Corps.” The event featured General David H. Berger who since taking his command has had his mind set on driving a war with China. Such a war is not only unnecessary but it would also be catastrophic.
Displaying a China Is Not Our Enemy sign, Jodie Evans disrupted the grotesque war propaganda pep talk to defend the people of Guam and call out General Berger’s destructive plans to militarize the Pacific and fuel an avoidable war with China.
“If you live in Guam (right now) your land is being destroyed, your history is being destroyed. China is not our enemy! The Chamorro people of Guam are paying! They just went through a hurricane. They have nothing and you’re talking about “progress!” Evans shouted to General Berger before being brutally removed from the conference room.
Fresh off a trip to China, Jodie Evans is in D.C. in an effort to educate Congress on the fact that China is not our enemy and when the U.S. makes an enemy of a country, death and destruction ensues. The House Select Committee on China recently released "Ten for Taiwan," ten policy recommendations that aim to prepare for war instead of preserving peace, including expanding U.S. military bases in the Asia-Pacific. However, building more military bases is undiplomatic, unwanted by the native population, and destroying irreplaceable ecosystems. Such has been the case of Guam, as the Marine Corps opened a base on the island in January this year. This was the first base opened in 70 years.
As the climate crisis worsens, much of the south Pacific will continue to experience devastating climate disasters such as the typhoon that recently hit Guam. Likewise, the addition of U,S. military bases will also destroy the land and liveability of the small island. China is not our enemy. Our common enemy is the climate crisis and stopping the militarization of islands in the Pacific is a necessary step in reversing climate change.
On January 29, 2021, three UN Special Rapporteurs filed a historic joint allegation letter against the U.S. military on behalf of the Chamorro, the indigenous peoples of Guan. In that letter they charged:
"[T]he Chamorro people have not provided their free, prior and informed consent in connection with the ongoing expansion of U.S. military bases and its accompanying increase in personnel on Guam. The military escalation risks increased contamination to the drinking water, loss of wildlife and biodiversity, irreversible damage of their traditional lands, territories, and resources; loss of traditional livelihoods, cultural sites and heritage and threatens the physical and cultural survival of the Chamorro."
Guam is just one of many Pacific islands being consumed by U.S. military bases and being used as pawns in General Berger’s bloodlust for a new Pacific war. The indigenous people on these islands do not want the United States to continue to militarize and destroy their pristine ecosystems that are vital to their survival, and they most certainly do not want the U.S. to continue their pursuit of war with China.
For more information about CODPINK’S China Is Not Our Enemy campaign, please visit https://www.codepink.org/china.