Monday, March 27, 2017

Building resistance in the streets!

Last Friday a World Can't Wait-Hawai`i crew went to Waikiki to hand out the Statement from RefuseFascism.   We also took a big banner and set up at the corner of Seaside & Kalakaua.  B-Boys had already set up their dance routine on the Seaside corner; we were across from them.  Hawkers promoting gun clubs were passing leaflets.  Sidewalks were crowded.   The corner was wild!

As soon as we set up people began responding.  A group of women from Chicago stopped and
hugged us, saying she "didn't expect to see something like this in Hawai`i".  A group of military guys said "we completely agree but we can't say anything because we're in the military."   A resident working in a nearby store came and surreptitiously asked for a flyer saying her boss would fire her if she saw her.  A teenager said loudly:  "I'm with you but my dad isn't!   He thinks Trump's great" -- and then glared at her father.   Families and friends handed us their cellphones and asked us to take their photos with the banner.    We distributed 250 copies of the Statement and dozens of people had their photos taken with the banner. 

While we estimated that more than half of the people supported us, there were also a lot of Trump supporters.  There was a lot of talk against immigrants and refugees.   Some were really vocal.  One guy began calling us "racist" because the banner included a "Black Lives Matter" sign, and then went on to other misogynist epithets.   He stood nearby throughout the night and tried to rally people against us - with no success.   A group of right wing preachers armed with a big cross and placards stopped to yell at us over a loudspeaker:  "baby killers, fornicators...."    They only succeeded in calling more attention to the banner, with the result that more people took the flyers and stopped to talk.  

World Can't Wait-Hawai`i will be participating in three upcoming marches in April.  We urge you to put on your marching shoes make your signs, and join us!   The marches are:

Saturday, April 15:  Tax Day March, organized by Hawai`i J20.  Gather at Ala Moana Park (Diamond Head end) at 12 noon and march to the Federal Building.    The focus of the march is the demand that Trump show his taxes.  World Can't Wait-Hawai`i will also have signs and banners opposing war and militarism.  Join us! 

Saturday, April 22:  March for Science.   Gather at Bachman Lawn at 3pm for a rally; march begins at 4pm.  Route will be down University to Kng, right on King to Isenberg, mauka on Isenberg to Beretania, Beretania back to University and then back up to Bachman Lawn, where there will be activities and entertainment.  World Can't Wait-Hawai`i will have a booth.

Saturday, April 29:  People's March Against Climate Change.   Organized by and others.  Gather at Kalakaua Statue, Gateway Park (triangle park at the corner of Kuhio/Kalakaua in Waikiki.  March through Waikiki to Kapiolani Park. 

We'll see you on the streets!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What Happened at the Festival of Resistance at UH-Manoa?

On the morning of Monday, March 13th, more than a dozen banners appeared on buildings throughout the UH-Manoa Campus:  "NO Misogyny," "No Racism," "No White Supremacy," "NO Climate Deniers" and more.   A large banner hanging above McCarthy Mall directed students to the "Festival of Resistance Against the Trump Agenda" at the UH-Manoa Campus Center. 

More than 25 grassroots organizations set up tables in the Campus Center with the aim of talking to students and faculty about their programs and how they are being negatively effected by the Trump Agenda. 

Students talked with reps and signed up for information.  Many groups had ways for them to to participate on the spot by making posters, taking photos, or writing messages. 

RefuseFascism's table invited students to write and then hold up a poster saying why they wanted to drive Trump/Pence from office.  World Can't Wait gathered messages of support to our Muslim sisters and brothers in Hawai`i.  Hawai`i J20 had a drum-making workshop where students could help make simple drums for upcoming protests as well as an apron-making project. 

 Representatives of many of the participating organizations spoke with great passion about the many challenges posed by Trump's agenda of bigotry, misogyny, immigrant-bashing, and ignorance that are threatening humanity and the planet.  

 Later in the afternoon there were two important workshops - one on the BDS Movement and the other on Militarism and Resistance in the Pacific. 


The Festival of Resistance was sponsored by Hawai`i J20+, a broad organization building resistance to the Trump/Pence Agenda.   World Can't Wait-Hawai`i, which has organized Festivals of Resistance at UH-Manoa in past years, played a big role in organizations the event.