In June 2013, the International Forum on Globalization (IFG), in collaboration with Pua Mohala I Kapo and a broad range of indigenous and small island peoples of the Pacific, presented a three-day series of major public events. These included a public Teach-In featuring 50 speakers from 18 countries, accompanied by private strategy meetings at Martin Luther King Auditorium, Berkeley. The events were a continuation of the first Moana Nui gathering in Honolulu, November 2011, at the University of Hawaii. (Click here to see selected videos and audio recordings from the Moana Nui 2013 event, as well as bios of participants.)
The direct purpose of the IFG Moana Nui events has been to respond to some of the greatest threats ever to face Pacific peoples, and countries of the Pacific Rim. Recent shifts in United States economic and military strategies are having broad negative effects on the peoples, resources, economies and geo-politics of the entire region. These policy shifts, mostly under the Obama Administration program, “The Pacific Pivot,” affect the future viability and sovereignty of indigenous peoples and small nations of the Pacific. They greatly accelerate profoundly dangerous power struggles underway between the United States and China, and potentially Russia, over trade, ocean and island resources, and economic and military domination of an 8,000 mile region.
Moana Nui’s primary goals are: 1) To stimulate new collaborations among Pacific Island peoples and nations, toward common purposes in behalf of their resources, cultures and sovereignty, and 2) To wake-up U.S. and other countries’ activists, media and policy-makers —who remain mostly oblivious to the details– about what is underway in the Pacific right now, and to initiate contacts and support for the indigenous and small nation peoples as they resist domination, and try to protect their environments, and to retain control of their experience.
The first Moana Nui gathered 500 Pacific activists for three days of spirited public meetings, collaborative organizing, protest marches, and long term campaign planning. The events received enormous attention and praise in the Pacific region, and formed a unique bond among peoples who may live thousands of miles apart, across the sea, and had rarely attempted to join forces before.