Columnist Ron McNinch recently compared the upcoming March for CHamoru Self-Determination to Dorothy following the yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz. He claimed that marching to Guam's District Court targets the wrong entity, because there is nothing the court can do. However, he missed the symbolism of the entire march route from Adelup to the District Court and back to Adelup.
This march route acknowledges that Guam’s decolonization plebiscite has been stalled by the federal courts and we need to bring it back to the people of Guam. In marching from the District Court back to Adelup, we are calling on our leaders to continue to pursue CHamoru self-determination and explore all options that will allow us to actualize it.
In conversations about the march, I’ve shared how when the Spanish arrested CHamoru leader Maga’låhi Hurao without cause, 2,000 people gathered on Sept. 11, 1670, demanding his release. Like Hurao, our plebiscite is being held hostage and needs to be released so that we can finally exercise self-determination. We are putting it back in the hands of our people by calling on our leaders to march forward and find a viable solution.
Advocating for CHamoru self-determination is not following a yellow brick road. It is taking a stand for what is right. It is recognizing that the indigenous people of Guam have endured nearly 500 years of foreign control and deserve to finally have a say in their future.
Let’s march 2,000 strong on Sept. 2.
Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero is from Toto.