The Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
By Jesi Lujan Bennett, CPIS MA Student
Oceania Rising is a newly registered independent organization at UH-Mānoa. Oceania Rising is made up of students from around the Pacific who are working in solidarity for a peaceful and just Oceania. To recognize the 59th anniversary of the dropping of the nuclear bomb “Bravo” on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, the students organized the Oceania Rising event on 1 March 2013. The occasion was used to inform and empower members of the community about the atrocities brought about by the nuclear testing. A candlelight vigil paid honor to Marshallese nuclear test survivors and those who have passed away. Marshallese community members spoke about their thoughts on the catastrophes that took place within their islands. Oceania Rising and student participants from Brigham Young University–Hawaiʻi gave tribute to the Marshallese community through short presentations on different Oceanic national heroes and the struggles they supported, and through performance art including music and poetry. Through these activities, Oceania Rising promoted the spirit of Pacific solidarity. Due to the support of the attendees, the sign-in sheet was unanimously voted on to become a petition to restate Maʻohi Nui (otherwise known as French Polynesia) back onto the United Nations’ list of non-self-governing territories. Watch the event on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VqPBds5uhcc.