KASAMA Vol. 26 No. 1 / January-February-March 2012 / Solidarity Philippines Australia Network

International Women’s Network Against Militarism
8th Gathering — February 19-25, 2012 — Puerto Rico

Forging Nets for Demilitarization and Genuine Security

Forging Nets for Demilitarization and Genuine Security


The 8th Gathering of the International Women’s Network Against Militarism, that occurred on February 19-25, 2012, reunited 26 women representing 8 countries gathered in Puerto Rico. Delegates from the Philippines, Guahan (Guam), Japan, Okinawa, South Korea, Hawaii, and the United States joined their counterparts in Puerto Rico to evaluate the growing military threat and develop strategies to counter the impact of militarism, military contamination, imperialism and systems of oppression and exploitation based on gender, race, class, nationality and sexual orientation.

First, we express our dissatisfaction and anger at the situation faced by our colleague from the Philippines, Corazón Valdez Fabros, who was denied entry into the U.S. despite the fact that she was issued a valid visa beforehand. No adequate explanation has been given to justify this violation of her freedom of movement.

Ms. Fabros is an internationally known and highly respected advocate, researcher, and expert on conflict resolution, democratization process, human rights and security. She is a regular speaker at international conferences and meetings, particularly in the Asia-Pacific, on peace building, nuclear disarmament, and environmental clean-up of former U.S. bases in the Philippines.

Although Ms. Fabros was issued a multiple entry visa last October, Delta Airlines was instructed by the Immigration and Border Protection to not board the flight leaving Manila en route to Puerto Rico on February 17, 2012. We are grateful that the U.S. representative of Puerto Rican descent, Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), is investigating and requesting an explanation.

As a result of the discussion at our meeting we declare the following:

Therefore, we, the participants of the 8th Meeting of the International Women’s Network Against Militarism demand the cleanup of closed and current military bases and land used for military purposes in all our countries. This land must be returned to local community control.

We demand full compensation to victims of military contamination, including Guahan down­winders of atomic testing in the Pacific, residents of Vieques and other communities of Puerto Rico, communities in the Philippines around former Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base. We also demand that the United States take full responsibility for the negative social impacts caused by the U.S. military presence in the region, in particular gender-based/sexual violence by U.S. military personnel, and their Amerasian children. Sexual crimes by U.S. military personnel have occurred for many decades in the host communi­ties, and they are often go unpunished. Amerasian children born in the Philippines and abandoned by U.S. military fathers lack the support, care, and human rights that all children deserve.

We recognize that the current economic recession created by capitalism has created rising poverty, massive joblessness, and a lack of decent and affordable education and health­care in the United States and its possessions and territories. We denounce the use of economic resources to further military activity. We denounce the dispro­portional recruitment of poor young people and young people of color to sustain a senseless war that only protects the interest of the wealthy. Instead, we call for an economy of peace, an economy that will support our communities in sustainable ways, with an emphasis on providing for basic human needs, health and wellness, solidarity, and respect for the land and all peoples.

February 25, 2012 — San Juan, Puerto Rico

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