restricted access After 9/11: Militarized Borders and Social Movements in the Mariana Islands

In this essay, I provide an ethnographic study of militarization and social movements in the aftermath of 9/11. Drawing on activist, government, media, and military sources, I examine the roles of social movements in the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the U.S. unincorporated territory of Guam. As colonies of America’s most westernmost “border,” the CNMI and Guam constitute the Mariana Islands. I argue that this archipelago has become another site wherein the United States has increasingly militarized its borders, and in ways that have garnered the critical attention of indigenous activists and labor activists. By focusing on their respective calls for freedom, I analyze how indigenous and labor activisms challenge, support, or transform narratives of U.S. military legitimacy since 9/11.