Sunday, September 18, 2016

From Pagan Island to Diego Garcia: U.S. Military OUT!

Chamorro exiles from Pagan Island  are demanding the right to return to their ancestral home. Pagan Island is north of Guam in the Marianas. What's stopping them?  The U.S. military's plan to turn the entire island into a bombing target and live fire range   For more information see and

Chagossian exiles from Diego Garcia are demanding the right to return to their ancestral home.  Diego Garcia, in the Indian Ocean, was previously part of Mauritius. What's stopping them?  The U.S.'s use of the entire island of Diego Garcia as a strategic staging area for war.  For a current summary click here;for more extensive history click here, and go to  Chagossian Refugee group site.

These struggles are both linked to the U.S.'s "Pivot to the Pacific."   In 2009 John Pike, an analyst of the U.S. Military, said 
"Diego Garcia is  the base from which we control half of Africa and the southern side of Asia, the southern side of Eurasia ... If it didn’t exist, it would have to be invented ...“we’ll be able to run the planet from Guam and Diego Garcia by 2015."   The U.S.'s necessity to control both of these islands is even greater today as the U.S. implements its "Pacific Pivot." 

There will be an international meeting on the struggle of the Chagossian people beginning September 23rd.  One of the attendees has asked for signs of support from people in Hawai`i.  Make your sign - big or small.  Hold it up in front of you and take your picture.  Send it to immediately and we'll forward it to the attendee. 

Build a movement of resistance to endless war.   Link up with World Can't Wait nationally and locally.  Find out more about the Pacific Pivot.    Tell your friends what's happening in Hawai`i (Pohakuloa), Guam, Pagan, Tinian, Okinawa, Jeju.....  Post information on your facebook.  Send out tweets. Spread resistance on social media.  Only the people can stop the U.S.'s relentless march to war.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Photos from the Action at the IUCN

Below are just a few of the photos taken at the action in front of the IUCN.   For a report on the action see the post below the photos.

Successful Action at the IUCN!

Despite forecasts of heavy rains and wind, about 25 determined demonstrators gathered at Old Stadium Park for a short rally and march to the Hawai`i Convention Center to demand that the IUCN take meaningful action against U.S. military crimes in the Pacific and related issues.   Our numbers were relatively small, but the concerns were many.  Liz Rees, World Can't Wait's spokesperson, began the rally with a call to oppose the military's crimes in the Pacific and around the world.  Healani Sonoda Pale (Protest Na`i Aupuni) spoke out against the desecration of Hawai`i's land and the oppression of the Hawaiian people.  Joshua Noga, speaking as an individual and as Sierra Club, gave a powerful statement against military presence in Hawai`i and Ann Wright praised the activism of the people of Jeju, Okinawa, and in other struggles.  Then the walk to the Convention Center together.

World Can't Wait-Hawai`i has held many actions at the Hawai`i Convention Center but has always been prohibited from standing in front, and have instead been forced to stand on a narrow sidewalk across the street.  However, we decided to try again and stood inf front of the imposing glass facade with our signs and banners where we were visible to people on the escalators and on the 1st floor.  

 Many convention attendees immediately rushed outside, and we were suddenly talking with people from Iran, Thailand, India, Saudi Arabia, Nepal and other parts of the world.  Many were taking photos.  International journalists conducted interviews.  Many people related their own experiences.  A group of people who had come from Okinawa and are fighting against the U.S. military's plan for a base in Henoko came out to join us.  A man from Puerto Rico talked about their struggle against the base at Vieques and the toxic mess left by the military.  A man from India encouraged us to "walk right in," and then added that the U.S. officials wouldn't let it happen.  A group from Thailand spoke out against the U.S. military training exercises in their country.  Several representatives from South Asian countries talked about their fear of a U.S. war with China, and a Vietnamese representative added "my country is still contaminated," and talked about the legacy of Agent Orange.
For more than an hour we held our signs and talked with people. Many thanked us. Some asked questions about the signs:  "Where's Pagan?"  "Why aren't we hearing more about this at the meeting?"  Others wanted to ask questions about Hawai`i:  "Why are there so many homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks.  Isn't there a lot of welfare in the U.S.?"   "What does 'Navy Sonar Kills Whales' mean?"  "What's happening in Kwajelein?" and on and on.  

Throughout the action, we were met by curiosity, questions, and an eagerness to share experiences about the U.S. military.  Only a few expressed disapproval, and it turned out that they were from the "U.S. Host Committee" and were not from Hawai`i.  

As our action ended two IUCN delegates shared information explaining their understanding of why we had been allowed to stand in front of the Convention Center.  When the IUCN met on Jeju Island several years go, activists who were struggling against a military base in Jeju attempted to talk with IUCN delegates and put forward a just demand that the IUCN take a position against the destruction of their harbor and the building of the base.  The IUCN did not take action, and would not allow them to be heard.  The police were called in and protesters were arrested.  Many IUCN attendees were outraged and wanted to hear what the people of Jeju had to say.  Their complaints to the IUCN forced the Hawai`i conference organizers to provide a "free speech area."   We later spoke with several Hawai`i IUCN delegates who said they hadn't been able to find out where the promised "free speeh area" was, but our action provided the answer.   While we haven't received any official confirmation of this, it appears it is in the open area in front of the Convention Center!  We have activists in Jeju to thank for being visible and accessible to IUCN delegates.

About 50 people participated in Saturday's action, representing many organizations and agendas but united in their effort to speak out against never -eding war and  the U.S. military's wanton destruction of the environment and the lives of the people of Hawai`i, the Pacific, and the world.  

The IUCN runs through August 10th.  A huge exhibit area on the first floor is free and open to the public from 11-5 on September 5, 6, 7, and 9 (closed the 8th).   It's well worth a visit!   Take a minute to thank the people of Okinawa who are fighting the base at Henoko (look for the booth wth the Dugong quilts),  Check out the many gorgeous photos.  Warning:  the Army, Navy, and Air Force each has a booth boasting of their conservation efforts!   The Navy even has the audacity to call themselves "Stewards to the Sea" and the AFB compares their "raptor" drone to the Hawaiian Stilt!  They must be confronted about their lies!


Friday, September 2, 2016

Speak Out Against The Crimes of the U.S. Military Against the Environment and Humanity!

Demand that the IUCN Take Meaningful Action!


Saturday, September 3
9am:   Rally at Old Stadium Park (at the corner of Isenberg & King)
           Short statements about Red Hill, Guam, Pagan, Pohakuloa, and more
9:45:   March to Convention Center
           (makai along Isenberg; ewa on Kapiolani to Convention Center)
10:15-noon:   Signholding in front of the Convention Center

Henoko - Pagan - Tinian - Guam - Pohakuloa - Makua - Barking Sands - Bikini - Kwajelein and Ebeye - Oyster Bay - Jeju - Red Hill....the list goes on and on

The U.S. Military has left a trail of destruction across the Pacific.  Toxic sites.  Bombed islands.  Nuclear contamination.  Destruction of reefs and harbors.  Poisoned water.  Displacement.  Prostitution and crime....the crimes are innumerable!

Today these crimes are INCREASING as the U.S. military expands operations in the Pacific.   Islands like Pagan and Tinian are being targeted for bombing and live fire ranges.  Pohakuloa has been expanded.  Base expansion in Guam.  Pristine reefs being dredged. 

The IUCN is the largest conservation group in the world but the military's destruction of the environment is no where on the agenda.  They talk about climate change without recognizing that the U.S. military is the largest institutional user of fossil fuels in the world!   They talk about  biodiversity without addressing the military's destruction of native habitat.  It's time for this dirty secret to be blown wide open -- and it's up to us to do it!   

The U.S. Military will have a big presence at the IUCN.  It will have exhibits touting its "green energy policy" and its programs to "protect biodiversity."  Don't let them get away with their monstrous lies!  

What About the Weather?
We'll proceed as planned if the weather is relatively clear or the rain is light.   If rain is very heavy we'll go directly to the Convention Center -- and will hold our signs there unless conditions absolutely prevent doing so.   We have many cloth or vinyl banners  that will withstand rain. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

"Greeting" Obama at the East West Center

What happened when Obama came to the East-West Center?
Last night more than 200 people stood near the entrance of the East-West Center to "greet" President Obama.  About 100 held signs:  "U.S. Military Destroys the Planet," "No TPP," "No More Ko`oholawe's", "Navy Sonar Kills Whales," "Military Occupation is Not Conservation, "No DOI Rule Over Kanaka Maoli"  and many, many more.  Many of the people without signs were UH students hoping to get a glimpse of Obama. 
Barricades lined the front of the East West Center, keeping onlookers at a distance. Undercovers moved amongst activists and observers snapping photos.  Others were in positions on nearby buildings with high power cameras and weaponry. 
The huge variety of signs provoked a lot of conversation among the people.  "What does 'Save Tinian' mean"?   "What's the Dakota Pipeline"?  "What's DOI"?  "How are we going to stop all of this shit?".... For more than an hour new acquaintances were made and e-mails were exchanged; people walked along the several blocks lining East-West Road reading the signs and acquainting themselves with issues they'd never thought about before.  
After activists received the news that Air Force One had touched down at Hickam, the K-Nine unit pulled up beside the protesters, an HPD bicycle unit began patrolling East-West Center Road, and more HPD units assumed positions.  
As Obama's entourage approached some 30 minutes later, activists began chanting: "People of the World Scream and Shout, U.S. Military Get the Hell Out" and the Ku`e chant rang out loud and clear, energizing the group.   More HPD cars moved in, followed by huge black SUV's.  A few had windows down and doors open, revealing heavily equipped military personnel holding assault weapons.  Obama's press team poured out of another and headed for the East West Center along the sidewalk.  An SUV with heavily tinted windows rolled into the drive alongside the East West Center and down to the bottom floor and out of sight of on-lookers, offering Obama  entry into the East-West Center away from the sight of on-lookers.  Those who came to catch a glimpse of Obama were sorely disappointed.
The majority of the people continued to line East-West Road, resigned to a long wait while Obama "met with Pacific Island leaders" as promised.  Not much more than 10 minutes later the entire entourage rolled out leaving everyone to wonder just how much he had listened to the concerns of the leaders gathered there in such a short time.  Today's StarAdvertiser leads us to conclude that the President did no listening, but instead spent his short time there delivering a largely self-congratulatory speech on how much had been done for the environment during his presidency.  We could only wonder what Pacific Island leaders thought of this photo op while the sea levels continue to rise. 
As people gathered up their signs many talked about being surprised by the numbers that came out on very short notice and recounted conversations they'd had with fellow demonstrators.  People remarked on how many different issues had been represented.  Others talked about the militarization of the event or the amount of money spent for this 10-minute photo op.  
Was the signholding a success!   Our response is a resounding "yes."   A diverse group of people came together.  They talked with each other and among themselves.  The entourage itself was a real-life lesson in militarizationAnd we're sure that even while Obama was probably not aware of ALL of the issues being spoken to, he could not have missed the fact that people in Hawai`i were making demands.  The mainstream media remarked on the action, and the Star-Advertiser included the "U.S. Military - Get the Hell Out" slogan in their front page account of the event.  
Last night's action was a great lead-up to Saturday's event, which should be both larger and speak to many more issues.   The mainstream media has already announced that we'll be there, but whether it will really have an impact depends on YOU!   Join us on Saturday!!