Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who is eligible to join OCW 670?
Any person with a vested interest in the protection of the Marianas is encouraged to join OCW 670. We welcome individuals from all walks of life, from community members residing in the CNMI, to those living abroad; from teachers to business people, parents, children, man’amko (elderly) to manhoben (youth), artists, advocates and all others. OCW 670 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.
What is the level of involvement to join OCW 670?
We encourage members to attend our re-occurring membership meetings to discuss recent events (every third Thursday of every month), community organizing and other important aspects related to OCW 670 goals. Our group depends on the knowledge, expertise and involvement of community members like yourself that allow us to maintain active and engaged conversations about important issues in our community. However, you are welcome to choose the level of involvement in the group that best suits your lifestyle. Members are welcome to choose the level of involvement that works best for them. We encourage everyone to join our email list to receive monthly newsletter updates about the most urgent issues facing the Marianas, as well as notifications of upcoming OCW 670 events and educational opportunities. Those who want to play a more active role can join OCW 670’s Policy, Public Information, Steering, Public Safety, and Environmental Health committees to get more involved in advocating for positive changes in our community.
What is expected of OCW 670 Members?
Please see our Code of Ethics regarding OCW 670’s expectations for group members. As always, we encourage respectful dialogue with one another and with others in the community, and actively seek to express our concerns as “one voice” to promote cohesiveness, respectfulness and professionalism when representing OCW 670.
What is militarization?
Militarization is a process by which a society organizes itself for military conflict and violence. It occurs when communities begin to privilege military goals, ideals and policies in their society. Some consequences of militarization include increasing weapons development, memorializing/commemorating war and violence, defending national interests at all costs, base building, increasing troop size, allocating large amounts of money and resources towards military planning, aligning environmental policies with defense goals, etc.
Why do we stand for the “de-escalation of militarization” in the Marianas?
While OCW 670 recognizes the need to maintain security measures throughout the Pacific, we do not advocate for increasing militarization at the expense of the health and safety of our people and environments. The Department of Defense (DoD) has a long history of of engaging in activities that are linked to environmental degradation throughout the Pacific, including the use of agent orange on Guam, Polychlorinated biphenyl’s (PCB’s) in Tanapag Village on Saipan, the bombing of Farallon de Mendinilla (FDM), nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands, and more. We seek to maintain the integrity of our CNMI Covenant negotiations in which the United States “will continue to recognize and respect the scarcity and special importance of land in the Northern Mariana Islands” (Article 8: Property, Section 806 in the CNMI Covenant) by protecting our lands, seas and skies from further destructive military planning in the Marianas Archipelago.
How does militarization impact me in the CNMI?
OCW 670 recognizes that the Mariana Islands comprise a critical component of the global base building enterprise and Military Industrial Complex (MIC) espoused by the United States Department of Defense (DoD). We believe that increased militarization has unjustifiably resulted in the irreparable damage to our environments and our people’s health and well-being through destructive training and testing, including the use of violent weapons technologies such as active sonar. Left unchecked, militarization has the potential to cause further destruction throughout the Mariana Islands, eroding our ability to engage in proper self-governance. We also recognize that military policies are often enacted in our community in ways that are not in line with the health and sustainability of our people, such as when the U.S. military does not adequately comply with or skirts environmental regulations, promotes military goals at the expense of community health, ignores public input, and causes irreparable damage to the natural environment.
Why get involved?
The protection of the Mariana Islands from irreparable damage caused by military planning is essential for fostering a healthy, safe and thriving community for indigenous and non-indigenous people throughout the archipelago. The protection of these sacred lands is a responsibility given to all of us who call these islands home. The Mariana Islands are much more than property that can be sold and exchanged. Rather, the islands possess spiritual, ancestral and familial importance to indigenous Chamorro and Refaluwasch peoples. Recognizing these unique ties to place is something that every community member on island is invited to respect, regardless of cultural or ethnic background. What harms one community member, harms us all and what harms one island, harms the entire archipelago. Therefore, your voice, input and knowledge as a protector of the Marianas is integral to the overall goals of OCW 670 and the broader Marianas community. With the support of our diverse community, OCW can bolster its capacity to serve the needs of our islands’ people and future generations to come.
OCW 670 Anonymous Membership Protocol
In order to respect the privacy of OCW 670 members, we would like to extend an invitation to join our group via anonymous membership. Through your involvement as an anonymous member, you will not be expected to share any personal identifying information with general group members and will remain known only to the Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary of OCW 670, as well as those who you wish to contact personally. We recognize that certain community members would like to contribute to the overall goals of OCW 670 without having to retain public membership. We welcome your involvement and contributions while protecting your anonymity. Biba Marianas!
Please click here to read OCW 670's Code of Ethics.