World Can't Wait-Hawai`i had an awesome contingent in last Monday's MLK Day Parade! About 40 people joined our contingent led by the Hawaii J20 and the Refuse Fascism banners. Our truck delivered a great big NO! to the Trump/Pence Regime. The response from the people lining the street was enthusiastic. Many clapped and chanted; thousands raised their cell phones, i-pads and cameras and took photos to beam around the world.
Throughout the week we had a table at UH-Manoa's Campus Center to distribute flyers to build for J20, and on Wednesday we organized sign-making at the Sustainability Courtyard.
When we arrived at UH-Manoa Friday morning (inauguration day) a large american flag messages written on the stripes was hanging upside down from one of the buildings. A group of students were playing Macklemore's "Fuck Donald Trump" on an amplified speaker in Campus Center, and students began chalking the sidewalks and malls. The Art Building sported a big banner and soon students began launching T-shirts onto McCarthy Mall from the 2nd floor. A number of departments held seminars and workshops: on protest music, climate change, Black Lives Matter, attacks on Muslims, and much more. Some of us remarked that we didn't think that there had been such a day on the UH-Manoa campus since the Vietnam War!!
Before noon a silk-screening set-up was printing shirts in the Campus Center courtyard, signs were laid out on sidewalks, and protest music was being amplified. Three "sound carts" filled the campus courtyard with a drumbeat, and a puppet and dancers swooped in. At noon a teach-in with a line-up of "experts" laid out the dangerous and fascist nature of the Trump/Pence Agenda. Hundreds of students filled both sides of the campus steps and and courtyard.
At 2:30 more than 500 UH-Manoa students and faculty began to march. Another group, gradually growing to about 100, left the Honolulu Zoo, and another group left Ala Moana Park. All converged at Gateway Park, where even more people joined them. The assembly was by then a beautiful mix of people -- young and old, some who were participating in their first protest and others who were veterans of many. Creative signs reflected a huge variety of concerns. Energy was high. Drumming and chants filled the streets and echoed from high rises where tourists were summoned to lanais by the sounds: "No Trump - No KKK - No Fascist USA" Then everyone went together to the front of Trump Hotel, where chanting and drumming continued.
Hundreds then walked the length of Kalakaua to the Waikiki Shell, where an amazing free concert featured all-star bands: Makana (with John Cruz), Black Square, Jammerek, Taimane and more! World Can't Wait-Hawai`i, along with a dozen other organization, had booths where people could sign up and get involved.
The day had a real "no business as usual" atmosphere, and there was a huge outpouring of concern, anger, and fear about the future that was expressed in so many ways: At the same time, there was a celebratory feeling in the air - a feeling of new beginning of activism, and a sense of hope in the power of the people.
And then on to the amazing Women's Day March on Saturday!