Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 22 Oct 2019 12am







    Sunday, October 20, 2019-9:22:58A.M.






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OPINION | Civil disobedience for real social progress

I HAVE yet to see any Legislature or Governor genuinely lay out and be held accountable for a 4yr. plan to accomplish not to mention a 10yr. plan which is really what is needed for genuine growth with synergy to continue progressing.

FYI readers, progress is a natural phenomenon that will take place anyway in a civilize society because progress is a forced phenomenon for humans and in fact it is embedded in our DNA as thinking humans — we naturally look for better ways, easier ways quicker ways which are all new ways of living and doing things and it’s called progress. In fact, protesting and civil disobedience are two of the founding characteristics of our nation which still continue today on the mainland but not in the CNMI.

I have been promoting progress since my very first letters to the editor that started back in the late 1990s and but I won’t even try to judge how they have helped us to progress the CNMI but I know they didn’t hurt. Many CNMI citizens have truly appreciated my efforts to influence and inspire change while a handful of hatters have done just that hatted me. But what many people may not know is tooooo many of the hatters are in our government and have been ever-since! I have written about a lot of things that could have helped and made things better but I only ended up telling our leaders “I TOLD YOU SO” and I did that so much I got tired of saying it. I’m sure many readers remember those letters.

I came to the CNMI with a genuine desire to contribute and be a productive citizen but I didn’t know that too many of those in power only wanted my services but not my conviction to the CNMI. So I decided to “TAKE-OWNERSHIP” in the CNMI and speak-out which many didn’t like because I’m not Local. How dare I tell Locals what needs to be done was and still is the attitude with some. I guess these bigots hiding in sheep clothing in the CNMI don’t comprehend humanity’s purpose nor do they understand the wisdom that “an adopted son of the CNMI can love and do as much for her as the native son” which is the ideology that truly made America, a nation of immigrants, Great: freedom, equality and the opportunity for prosperity regardless of race, creed, color or sex!

It has been an uphill battle for me to say the least but I am still kicking so don’t expect me to stop trying to be better for God, better for my family and better for my community. life is really that simple. I learned Civil Disobedience DIRECTLY from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Yes, the Civil Rights Movement was successful largely due to Civil Disobedience. I have done some of everything that many leaders didn’t like from writing about them to staging a one-man protest at the Governor’s office to get scholarship money for off-island students to trying to help teachers get their Collective Bargaining Rights. But it was like I said, a one-man protest as too many Local people don’t want to protest much of anything unless it’s about the culture. I know I wasn’t the only parent with children off-island who desperately needed that scholarship money to register but there I was the only parent protesting. I know I wasn’t the only teacher who knew that teachers have a U.S. Constitutional Right to organize for Collective Bargaining purposes but there I was with the very teachers I was trying to help fighting against me. Only in the CNMI could stories like this take place in real life in America.

But I’m here again to encourage local citizens to join me in another peaceful protest with an act of civil disobedience that may not seem like much but there is a saying “every-little-bit-helps” and this will surely help to improve our quality of life over time and even create good paying jobs. I have been trying to get our Governor and Mayor to sign-off on allowing citizens to simply use their lot numbers for their address for years. Our Kagman Representative Deleon Guerrero, my uncle, even solicited my help with this matter and I even contacted the Mayor about it when they were planning on redoing our address system based on directions but I got nowhere quick fast and in a hurry!

Our leaders wanted to appropriate money so people can go out and set up a new system that no-one would really understand because our island and the streets are not aligned with any of the cardinal directions. When I wrote in the paper about how ridiculous the idea was to use Directions, they just dropped the ball and that was it. not a word in almost two years on the issue. It didn’t matter that some of our first responders, businesses, especially those who deliver, already use a Lot Number Map Booklet that someone has published to find a person’s home. all the work has already been done. The problem was not the idea for using Lot numbers because they are sequential and they are not repeated in the same village as you only need to know what village you are in to find a lot number which are also in numerical order. heck you don’t even need to know the street name using lot numbers. The problem was the idea came from AMBROSE MILTON BENNETT and the powers-that-be can’t have Ambrose Bennett being credited with our address system in the CNMI just like a Board member tried to keep me from writing the Social Studies Textbook on the Marianas. In America EVERYONE is urged to contribute but in the CNMI its Locals ONLY!

So please display your act of peaceful Civil Disobedience by posting your Lot Number where your address would be on your house or in your yard. It will make it a lot easier for people to find your place and they won’t have to know who your neighbor is or know about a landmark anymore. it’s called progress and it won’t cost the Government a dime compared to the tens of thousands it will take for doing an Addresses System based on directions. There is no plan for us to have addresses it seems so we need to take this into our own hands as citizens and start posting our Lot Numbers. We can’t even ask for mail-delivery and the good Postal Delivery Job unless we have addresses which is what I mean by accountable planning. But as more and more people post their lot number and use it for their address the sooner our leaders will see that lot numbers can be recognized as our address and we will have achieved some progress for ourselves. I know many people don’t like paying for gas just to go check their mail, especially from Kagman. It’s $3-5.00.

I know some will say I had a lot to do with the legalization of marijuana and they will be right but I was also being USED by our politicians who were afraid to speak out on the issue. I even tried to warn them on how to avoid this delay and dilemma we are now in with funding Legalization but they didn’t want too much of Ambrose M Bennett in the Bill but look what it got us. Heck many in the 20th Legislature didn’t want me to even be involved in the Cannabis or Hemp Industries. So go figure that one out. But WE the People unnecessarily suffer Socially in the CNMI because of a lack of willingness to protest and the lack of any social/civil disobedience when our leaders are clearly wrong. There are other social issues that need to be brought to the light through civil disobedience and I will save those lessons and the lessons on our Economy and Politics that need some Civil Disobedience for another day. Wake-up CNMI when someone calls for a protest. One people one direction for Civil Disobedience and using our Lot Numbers for our Address it’s really that simple!!!

The writer is a resident of Kagman, Saipan.