By 2014, the United States plans to spend $10 billion to move 8,000 Marines and their 9,000 dependents from Okinawa to Guam. This move will more than triple the military’s already massive presence on the small island of Guam (population 172,000), flooding the island with an additional 40,000 people associated with the military build-up.
The decision to increase the U.S. military presence on Guam is being made without the consent of Guam’s people. On August 13, 2007, a group of Guam’s maga’haga* – or women leaders – met with U.S. Congressional representatives to protest the buildup, and Eklectiyk Creative Media created Maga’haga, a short film documenting this meeting. Maga’haga illustrates the unwavering strength and determination of the island’s women to preserve their island home, and to make their voices heard.
Maga’haga (the film) can be viewed on youtube in two parts:
*In Ancient times, “maga’haga” were the eldest daughters of a clan, who shared the responsibilities of running the clan’s affairs and governing its resources with the “maga’lahi,” or the eldest sons. Today, the term refers to a strong female leader.