January 7, 2019 - In response to the recent federal ban on cockfighting in the US territories, Independent Guåhan will be holding a Teach-In titled “Cockfighting, Culture and Colonialism” on Thursday, January 10thfrom 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm at UOG Humanities and Social Sciences Building Room 106. This event will discuss the role of cockfighting in Chamoru culture over the past few centuries and also the issues of colonialism that are present in the recent actions by the US federal government to ban the practice in Guåhan and other territories. This event is free and open to the public. It will also be livestreamed via Independent Guåhan on Facebook
Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua, Assistant Professor of Chamorro Studies at the University of Guam will present on how cockfighting was first introduced to Chamorus and how it became a culturally significant hobby for most Chamoru men during the Spanish period. Professor Bevacqua will also address more recent efforts to prohibit cockfighting in the United States and later the territories, and how this ban can be seen as yet another example of the hypocrisies of American democracy.
This Teach-In and other activities organized by Independent Guåhan around the issue of the federal cockfighting ban, are not meant to reflect the position of the group on the morality of the sport with regards to the treatment of animals. However, it is the position of Independent Guåhan that this ban can be interpreted as an attack on aspects of Chamoru/local culture and is another example of American colonialism. Chamorus and others on Guåhan should have the right to make decisions about their culture and laws, without the federal government ignorantly interfering from thousands of miles away.
Independent Guåhan holds a range of regular activities, including monthly Teach-Ins on topics of importance to the island community, especially related to issues of decolonization, cultural revitalization and international solidarity. Past Teach-Ins have focused on rethinking Liberation Day as a liberation, the convoluted history of war reparations for Chamorus, the independence movement in Catalonia and solidarity between Chamorus and Filipinos over Guåhan’s decolonization. Independent Guåhan’s Teach-Ins are held monthly at the University of Guam and organized through IG’s Media Committee.