Writings & Leftings

How will we move towards independence?
January 7, 2008, 12:14 am
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A proposed strategy for action.
We will impede the use of Hawaii as a launch pad for US wars on the world. The US sees Hawaii as a key part of a strategy for global hegemony. Hawaii plays a role both in the organizing and execution of warfare, as the headquarters for the Pacific Command, and as the ‘host’ to several key bases, including Pearl Harbor. In the US imaginary, Hawaii’s location within the United States is assumed and unquestioned: Pearl Harbor and Hawaii are “as American as apple pie.” By directly confronting the use of Hawaii in this imperialist logic, we start to problematize and throw into relief the very relationship of Hawaii to the United States, as well as slow the ability for the United States to conduct its wars. 
We will end the exploitation of our lands and resources for corporate agendas. Since the 1830s, Hawaiian lands have been targeted by foreign capitalists for their economic benefit, leading directly to the conflict of 1893 and the subsequent occupation. In the 21st century, the leading industry to exploit our land and culture is the tourist industry. Tourism represents the most advanced form of colonization, because it turns the purpose and raison d’etre of the occupied land away from the needs and desires of the native population, and re-purposes it for the pleasure and benefit of the mass-market tourist. The brilliance of the tourist industry is that can also provide a space for native to ‘share their culture’ with the tourist, placing both the native and her/his culture in the service of the consumer. Through a campaign of disruptions and noncooperation, we will diminish Hawaii’s attractiveness as a safe, domesticated tourist locale, which will erode profitability and also increase repression of our movement, which will in turn make Hawaii less attractive as a destination. Ultimately, our goal should be to use the disruptions of the tourist industry to force the state to negotiate with us for key demands – land, sovereignty, a process for phased withdrawal, native ownership of economy, etc.
We will stop the attempts to foreclose on our native and national rights through “federal recognition.” The Akaka Bill is a clear and present danger to the possibilities of self-determination and independence. Through a combination of people-power, community education, protest, and fostering of international solidarity, we will prevent the Akaka Bill from becoming law. As an alternative, we will propose a bill that creates a “reconciliation process,” flowing from Public Law 103-150 (the Apology Bill).
We will nourish and expand international relationships, through bilateral and multilateral solidarity and agreements. International recognition is the crowning goal of an independence movement. We will engage with peoples movements throughout the world, encouraging Hawaiian independence to be part of a global strategy for peace, justice, and equality. When appropriate, we will also enter into creative partnerships for economic and political solidarity, such as the pan-Latin American ALBA alternative trade pact.
We will increase the capacity of our community to comprehend and take action on issues affecting us. The purpose of political organizing is to raise the political consciousness of the oppressed, and to increase the peoples’ capacity to act on that consciousness. We will use classic community organizing techniques – tested throughout the world in factories, barrios, rural and urban settings, and in our own historic political movement – to build political power for social change and independence. This must include a process for national debate, dialogue, and collective decisionmaking, to examine the effects of 150-years of racial and national oppression, and to decide on a way forward.
We will develop clear alternatives for economic opportunity, de-linked from the exploitative military-tourism economy. To supplement the Ku’e work, we will develop community-oriented enterprises and institutions to provide an alternative lifeway for our community.


Indigenous youth leaders speak out at Bali climate conference
December 17, 2007, 6:26 pm
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Congratulations to Jihan Gearon and Benjamin Powless, the North American indigenous youth leaders who attended the Bali climate change conference last week.

From the Indigenous Environmental Network:Next Generation of North American Indigenous Youth Attend International Climate Meeting

BALI, Indonesia — Today marks the end of the 13th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 13) in Bali. Navajo and Mohawk representatives of the Indigenous Environmental Network leave with frustration about the outcomes of COP 13 but also inspiration from Indigenous leaders.

Jihan Gearon, from the Dine’ (Navajo) Nation and Benjamin Powless, from Mohawk, Six Nations, have been participating in the climate conference in Bali for the past two weeks. Though IEN has been participating in these UNFCCC since 1998, Jihan and Ben came to learn about the proceedings so that the next generation of Indigenous youth will be able to participate in the future. They have been working with other Indigenous Peoples and climate justice organizations to advocate for Indigenous Peoples rights and oppose the false solution of carbon trading.

Gearon says, “What scares me most about this COP isn’t that we came out of it with no targets or plan for post-Kyoto. It’s that the atmosphere of the discussions seems to focus less on stopping climate change and more on how money can be made from the climate change problem, at the expense of Indigenous People.”

Industry representatives came to COP 13 in full force, advocating for market-based solutions to climate change, such as international carbon trading markets. Many industry reps pushed for reforestation projects to take a bigger role in worldwide carbon markets.

“Carbon trading schemes have been detrimental to Indigenous Peoples,” says Powless. “And reforestation projects should not be included in them. Because polluting companies need a forest to stay unused in order to pollute elsewhere, they deny Indigenous Peoples access to their own traditional forests. This is a violation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

Despite their disappointment, both Powless and Gearon agree they have learned a lot and left with one source of inspiration. The Indigenous Peoples Caucus of COP 13 has been pushing for more meaningful inclusion in climate negotiations and both say working with the caucus has been a positive experience for them.

“It’s inspiring to see Indigenous Peoples from every corner of the world not be scared to speak out in their appeals for the rest of the world to include them in this process,” explains Powless. “And even more than just appealing, they’ve been forceful when necessary even to the point where we’ve staged a few protests here about the UNFCCC process keeping us out of the negotiations.”

Gearon adds, “this is really what Indigenous Peoples the world over need to be capable of doing in support of our rights.”

Is Hawaii being used to train for a bombing attack on Iran?
December 12, 2007, 9:15 am
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Jim Albertini asks a very important question – are the recent spate of B-2 target runs over Hawaii part of a training program for a near-future US attack on Iran?

An Associated Press story of Nov. 22, 2007 reported that B-2 stealth bombers from Guam are using Hawaii for target practice. Specifically, its been learned that B-2s bombed the Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) in the heart of Hawaii Island in September, October and Novemeber and plan to continue to do so on a monthly basis. Hawaii County Mayor, Harry Kim, was unaware of the B-2 bombings but felt officials and the public need to be informed when such activities are taking place. The news reports said the B-2s dropped 2000 lb inert (dummy) bombs at PTA. A check on the internet confirms that 2000 lb bombs carried by the B-2 can be both conventional and nuclear weapon “bunker busters” to destroy hardened underground facilities. Are the B-2s bombing Hawaii training for a possible attack on Iran? 

 Good question, particularly given Mr. Bush’s refusal to join the world of reality regarding the alleged Iranian nuclear program.

Unexploded ordnance on Maui?
December 4, 2007, 5:51 pm
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The conventional wisdom has been that US military testing has not taken place on Maui. Apparently that isn’t the case.

Road to Ahihi-Kinau closed after ordnance discovered in lava field

MAKENA – The discovery of unexploded ordnance in the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve last week led state officials to close the road to the reserve on the southern flank of Haleakala.

The road will remain closed until the area is cleared by an Army explosives-disposal team, said Deborah Ward, spokeswoman for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Members of that team were busy Monday removing a 250-pound unexploded bomb at Makua Beach on Oahu, she said. It was not known when the disposal team would be able to fly to Maui to handle th ordnance found late Friday in the reserve’s aa lava fields by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The corps officials were searching the area as a follow-up to the discovery of ordnance in the area a few months ago, she said. That ordnance was disposed of at an Army firing range.

Ward did not have details on the type or size of the four objects found at Ahihi-Kinau, but she said officials were concerned enough about the discovery to close the area, at least temporarily, out of concern for public safety.

A state enforcement officer and Ahihi-Kinau resource rangers were posted at the parking lot of Kanahena, or “Dumps,” to turn people away from the road into Ahihi-Kinau, she said.

“This is a closure for public safety,” she said.

Without struggle there is no progress
December 4, 2007, 5:21 pm
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This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North, and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages, and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others.

Frederick Douglass, 1857

Without action there is no knowledge
December 4, 2007, 9:30 am
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A mural at the Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, TN.

Siempre adelante
December 4, 2007, 8:48 am
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I don’t have a lot new to say about what’s going on in Venezuela, so here’s some excellent links to pull us through the morass of bad US coverage about the Bolivarian revolution occurring right now in America Latina.

  • Article by Eva Golinger: Confused about Venezuela?
  • Article by Teresa Arreaza about ALBA, the new solidarity-economy trade pact initiated by Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, and Nicaragua.

Obviously the results of Sunday’s referendum on the proposed constitutional amendments is a blow to Chavez’ momentum, but we can only hope that the core of his reforms – structural economic changes that will benefit the nation’s poor, and emergence from under the shadow of US hegemony – will indeed continue. It’s actually in the long-term interest of us all, regardless of our particular piety to charismatic leaders such as Hugo Chavez, that reforms of this type are successful. As could be expected, coverage in the U.S. press of the referendum results is very narrow. On the drive home tonight, National Public Radio led with a quote from the Bush administration congratulating the Venezuelan people for voting against the reforms. Meanwhile, several news sources are reporting CIA involvement in the right-wing opposition. Given the history of the US in the Americas, one can hardly be surprised.

One (of several) blogs covering Pakistan crisis
November 6, 2007, 5:41 pm
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BBC Global News is covering the media blackout in Pakistan during the current crisis. In the absence of major broadcast news, blogs, social media sites, and SMS seem to be used to relay information. Here’s a link to one of the blogs mentioned in the BBC story. It’s called “Teeth Maestro.” Note the seriousness of the posts, in contrast to the whimsical title. 

Aue na kupa o ka aina ‘o Tabasco
November 3, 2007, 8:41 pm
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Aloha ino – piholo ana ka aina ‘o Tabasco, i ka aoao hema o Mexico, i ka wailana he nui. Aia he hookahi miliona kanaka e nele ana i ka hale’ole, a ua make hookahi kanaka a oi paha.    Eia kekahi ninau a’u e hapai ai: pehea la ho’i keia, aia na ahi ai-hale i San Diego,  ka wa malo’o ma Georgia, a he wai pi’i ma Mexico? He wa ano ‘e keia.

Legislators open exemption for Superferry corporation
October 29, 2007, 11:23 pm
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Both bodies of the Hawaii state legislature have authorized versions of a bill to create exemptions for the Superferry corporation. It’s a sad example of the way in which business and military special interests have inserted themselves into our governance, resulting in a state that compromises its laws to support those interests. Disappointing! But not surprising.

State Senate passes compromise Superferry bill

The state Senate this morning voted 20 to 5 to pass a compromise bill that would allow HawaiiSuperferry to resume operations while the state conducts an environmental impact statement. The bill also would set specific operatingconditions to help protect whales and prevent thespread of invasive species. Although the vote appeared lopsided, several senators voted with reservations, reflecting misgivings about the process of coming back into special session to help save the project.

The state House has scheduled committee hearings on the bill this afternoon at 1:30pm. (It will be live on your island’s cable channel.)The Lingle administration and Superferry executives have backed the Senate version of thebill, making it likely that House lawmakers willalso agree. The bill requires the Lingle administration toimpose operating conditions on the ferry to protect the environment. It also would create an oversight task force to monitor the project andreport back to the Legislature. The bill also includes language protecting thestate from liability from lawsuits by Superferrybecause of delays in ferry service. The bill would overturn a Maui court ruling barring the ferry from Kahului Harbor while thestate conducts the environmental review. Lawmakers hope to adjourn the session Thursday.

[from The Honolulu Advertiser]