28 Mar 2014

CNMI class action looms over US military plans

3:53 pm on 28 March 2014

Residents of Pagan in the Northern Marianas and their supporting community members will take legal action against the US Department of Defence if it pushes through with the militarisation of Pagan.

The Department of Defence plans to use Pagan to deploy more than 2,000 U.S. Marines for training exercises which will mean the loss of homes and land for many.

The decision to file a class action law suit against the department was made after a community meeting on Wednesday when residents expressed feeling neglected by both federal and local officials.

Lee Kaipat from Northern Island Mayor's office says residents are anxiously awaiting permits to return home.

"The families up in the Northern Islands, they have land there dating all the way back to the early 1900's. The families here who have been waiting to go back home, so I'm pretty much sure, if that's the last resort they're going to do then that's the action they will take. We just want to go home. We just need to save Pagan, save the North."

Lee Kaipat from Northern Island Mayor's office