Nov 11 6:12 PM

Residents of Mariana Islands protest US military live-fire training plans

US Air Force training on Farallon de Medinilla Island Bombing Range, Mariana Islands. SSgt. B. Zimmerman (USAF/Wikimedia Commons)
The Stream (Al Jazeera)

Residents of the Mariana Islands in the Pacific have launched a campaign against the U.S. military's plans to use the island of Pagan as a live-fire training exercise site. In a report, the military announced that the entire island would be used for "a full spectrum of weapons and joint training activities," including the use of artillery and bombs. Pagan was formerly inhabited but evacuated in 1981 due to a volcanic eruption. Supporters of the "Our Islands are Sacred" campaign say military exercises will cause environmental devastation and jeopardize Pagan's future habitability.

The "Our Islands are Sacred" campaign began with demonstrations outside of a Department of Defense public meeting about Pagan on the Mariana Islands. It has since spread online, as supporters of the campaign in Guam, Hawaii, and the U.S. mainland have posted photos of events and expressions of solidarity using the hashtags #OurIslandsAreSacred and #SavePaganIsland.

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