I recently attended the March for Real Climate Leadership in Oakland, and saw an impressive and beautiful contingent of Pacific Islanders marching at the front. I wanted to share this heartfelt account of the event, originally posted at MoreThanTwoMinutes:
Pacific Islanders March for Self-Determination
by Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu
Even many weeks after that historic moment, viewing images of our Pacific Islander (Melanesian, Micronesian, Polynesian) contingent, marching collectively alongside each other and arm-in-arm with our Native American relatives in the Indigenous Block at the major Climate Change March on Saturday, February 7, 2015, which were shown on the many photos widely disseminated on social media, and or stored within the repository of my memory, I’m always moved to tears. I’m humbled by the images of us, so many of us, brown skinned, Pacific Islander bodies that included crying babies, youths and elders, mobilized and marching together, enduring the rain, moving slowly but steadily under the shadows of tall high rise buildings holding banners and signs that unapologetically tell our struggles. All of us, together, took over the streets of Oakland.
One of the banners that resonate in my memory protested the often negative representations of Pacific Islanders in the mainstream media and it also reminded us Pacific people of the importance of our original teachings and homelands. “Moana is not a Disney Movie, She is our Grandmother, Our Pacific Ocean, ” it said.