Statements

Close Red Hill Now

Statement on the crimes of the US Navy in Hawai’i
At this very moment, the US government is committing a crime of historic proportions against the people of Hawai’i.
At this very moment, the US government is committing a crime of historic proportions against the people of Hawai’i.

At the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility just meters above the metropolitan area of Honolulu, the US Navy has leaked thousands of gallons of petroleum and toxic chemicals — poisoning residents, displacing whole communities, and threatening all life on the island of Oʻahu.

And yet — in the face of clear attempts by the US Navy to cover up for it — President Joe Biden remains silent. We, the undersigned, call for an immediate closure of the Red Hill facility and full reparations for its victims.

Since the early 1940s, the Red Hill site has leaked at least 180,000 gallons of petroleum-based fuel into the soils and waters of the island. Nearly 200 million gallons still remain in the leaking underground tanks.

The images now emerging from the disaster site are impossible to ignore. Poisoned drinking water has sickened entire communities. Fumes emanate from the ground and taps. Hundreds of families have left or been evacuated from their homes with no assurance where they will now live.

Yet the US Navy continues to reject calls by residents and the state government to drain the remaining tanks. The health of hundreds of thousands across Oʻahu is now in jeopardy. To be sure, the tanks sit above the O’ahu Basal Aquifer, which provides drinking water for more than 400,000 people, from Hālawa to Hawai’i Kai.

This is the legacy of militarization in the Pacific Ocean: death, devastation, and displacement.

On Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands, the US government built the "Tomb," a nuclear coffin to bury 88,000 cubic meters of its radioactive waste. It is now leaking into the sea. Thousands of Micronesians continue to suffer from the effects of the 67 atomic and thermonuclear weapons detonated in the Marshall Islands as part of the U.S. Nuclear Testing Program. Likewise, thousands of Polynesians still suffer the health effects of fallout from French nuclear tests—in the Moruroa and Fangataufa atolls and beyond.

In the Northern Mariana Islands, the US military is expanding with impunity its illegal plans to turn several island homelands of the Indigenous Chamorro people into bombing range sacrifice zones. So too in Guam, where the US military is building a brand new Marine Corps. base and razing an ancient limestone forest for a live-fire training range complex.

We stand in solidarity with the Kānaka Maoli and all Indigenous peoples of the Pacific in their struggle for liberation — free from the toxins, bombs, and bases of their oppressors.

Right now, our demand is simple: Shut down Red Hill. Drain the tanks. And repair what they have destroyed.

Signed,

Noam Chomsky, USA

Aruna Roy, India

Cornel West, USA

Naomi Klein, Canada

Jeremy Corbyn, United Kingdom

Suzanne Coleman-Haseldine, Australia

Julian Aguon, Guam

Avi Lewis, Canada

Andres Arauz, Ecuador

Paola Vega, Costa Rica

Slavoj Zizek, Slovenia

John McDonnell, United Kingdom

Harsh Mander, India

Nnimmo Bassey, Nigeria

Nikhil Dey, India

Renata Ávila, Guatemala

Nick Estes, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe

Scott Ludlam, Australia

Srečko Horvat, Croatia

Photo: U.S. Indo-Pacific Command / Flickr

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Date
04.01.2022

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