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Then and Now (notes for a presentation on activism in Hawaii)

I've been asked to give a presentation for a class focusing on the history of local activism, especially comparing the movements of "then" with the "now" of Occupy Movement (at deOccupy Honolulu) and Hawaiian Sovereignty/Kanaka Maoli struggles. At least that's what I think I'm presenting -- as documentor who was there then and is here now.

My premise is that activism (or "reactivism") has a definite cultural component and you are "activated" when something strikes you as compelling. And often that can be culturally defined.

Rather than just be some old guy with reminiscences, I thought I would present some data that might be interesting. So here is my outline with notes and links.

Intro and format of presentation:

I was 19 and at UH in 1971, 42 years ago. Some old guys I remember talking sense then, compared to my 60 yrs old now:

John Kelly (52 then) -- Save Our Surf
     Love, Truth, and Action

Robert Aitken, Roshi (54) AFSC, Buddhist Peace Fellowship

Should say where I'm coming from politically to put my presentation into context and let people know not only where I'm coming from but where I'm going to.

Want to avoid having "activistitis." Mention Madori's aversion to the word "activist."

Also want to avoid inducting people into the "nonprofit industrial complex."

Brief bio and the world I grew up in:

Why I have the only western name in my family and why it was a toss up between Douglas and Dwight: HUAC and McCarthyism. The bad guys: communists and the USSR (which disappeared in ... 1990 or so...?)

I. Mostly Nukes:

1952 Year of birth (my mom and dad are 31 and 34), first Hydrogen bomb test detonation in Pacific Proving Ground vaporized Enewetok atoll with equivalent force of 10 Megatons or 769 Hiroshima bombs.

1957 (5 yrs old): Amid reports of atomic bomb tests by Russians, our TV experiences periodic static. Dad says it's from Sputnik circling overhead. Thanks dad!

1960 (8 yrs old): Parents take me to Spartacus, starring Kirk Douglas (Paths of Glory). Based on a novel written by communist Howard Fast about a historic Roman slave revolt, screenplay was written by Dalton Trumbo, one of the Hollywood Ten to be imprisoned by HUAC. At 8 it was mostly a boring film with small bits of sword action and nudity.

1961 (9 yrs old): Stand on the sidewalk and watch Starfish Prime light up the sky with equivalent 1,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs. Russians test drop largest hydrogen bomb yet. Tsar bomb detonation equivalent almost 4,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs.

1962 Pacific Proving Ground ends, American nuclear testing ends after detonation of 210 Megatons detonations in, on, or over Pacific. Equivalent of 16,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs. Who's afraid of Fukushima.

Both Russian atomic weapons designer Andrei Sakharov and American atomic weapons designer J. Robert Oppenheimer become anti-nuke activists. Both Russian and American plans are to use nuclear weapons to inflict fatalities in the hundreds of millions.

II. Civil Rights,"The" War, the draft, killing, dying:

(Cover of large format family magazine when I am 13 yrs old)
Article link to "Iconic Photos"

"Unregulated" news gathering. Journalist let loose in the field bring back stories. No internet, but TV and magazines show war in "living color" (NBC television slogan).

1965 (13 yrs old): Watts riots.
1967 (15 yrs old): Detroit riots.
Civil Rights acts of 1964 and 1968.
Summer of Love. Didn't get any.

1968: Man on moon - yay!

1968 What did I see at Laurence Hata photo lab in Waikiki.

1969 (17 yrs old) My Lai massacre of 1968 revealed -- massacre of 500 women, children, and elderly by US soldiers.

1969 (17 yrs old) First "activist" actions against Vietnam war and draft. Help coordinate successful school strike/walkout protesting Cambodia bombings.

John Kelly and Save Our Surf. Wave size calculation. Surf prediction science.

Friend Mike Moriarty tells me about the Blount Report. My reaction: "Yeah, sure."

1970 (18 yrs old) Four dead in Ohio. I graduate Kalani High school. Register with the Selective Service. Draft lottery number reported in paper as 30. Misprint, it was 300. I petition for and receive Conscientious Objector status. Hear about Ethnic Studies struggles.

I'm a documentor. Somewhere around here I meet Ed Greevy. We both are fans of W. Eugene Smith.

American casualties in Vietnam = 58,000. In Iraq = 4,488. =American Vietnam War casualties are 13 times greater.

Vietnamese casualties in Vietnam War (military and civilian) = 1,500,000.
Iraqi casualties in Iraqi war =

Video interview of photographer who caught execution photo:

1970's UH:

What is odd and what is not?

Bachman Hall occupations for Ethnic Studies. Why is Ethnic Studies established so far ahead of Hawaiian Studies?

John Witeck's history of the Ethnic Studies program at UH.

University of Hawaii has no Hawaiian Studies. This isn't "odd" to many people.
Center for Hawaiian Studies creation timeline:

Save Our Surf to Ethnic Studies to Hawaiian Sovereignty issues.

Other differences between Then and Now:

Grabbed this random Jefferson Airplane poster from the net. Some time around late 60's Jefferson Airplane did a free concert at the Waikiki Shell. Threw tabs of acid (LSD in aluminum foil sugar cubes) into crowd. I got there too late.

World population 1971: 3,500,000,000
World population 2012: 7,000,000,000
Twice the world population now.

Hawaii population 1971:   769,913
Hawaii population 2012: 1,340,674
74% increase in population

Tuition at UH in 1973-74 (per Ibrahim Aoude): $81/semester
Tuition at UH in 2012-13 (per website): $4,332/semester
(Inflation adjustment $81 in 1973 = $424
Tuition = 10X more now adjusted for inflation

Kinds of drugs used stats
Sexual behavior, STDs (no AIDS), birth control pills. People related to people very differently.

UH campus much more uptight and locked down now.

2011 The "phone call"?

2008 Crash, layoff, brush with death, APEC, Occupy movement.

The Kanawai Mamalahoe encampers and supporters (including a large contingent from Occupy Honolulu) pick up the pu'uhonua and take it on a five hour circumnavigation of Kapiolani Park! At "park" opening of 5am, we return it to the same spot.
2011 APEC week Kanawai Mamalahoe encampment gets help from deOccupy Honolulu. Flickr set.

The anarchist missionaries and the relationships and the metal bits in the face. March 14, 3am raid -- young women lead kūʻē. Not an old boy's network. Edited Youtube of raid.

Flickr collection of the sets of photos from deOccupy Honolulu starting with first Bill 54 raid on 2/2/12.

Raids to date

"Activistitis" and the Nonprofit Industrial Complex. Startacus redux?

How do you get from deOccupy Honolulu to Songs of Sovereignty? I'd like to see gatherings bringing different groups together to discuss how to work together. What should a non-Hawaiian person's attitude and actions be toward Hawaiian Sovereignty issues?

What is the fundamental basis for activism? Who we are; the two stacks of stuff comprising the Universe and how to shape long term actions to accommodate them.

OK, so how do you get from deOccupy Honolulu to Songs of Sovereignty? Follow Karen.

Nine minute clip from the live stream of deOccupy Honolulu's Food Not Bombs Jam and Song's of Sovereignty 8/26/2012 in Thomas Square.

H. Doug Matsuoka
11 September 2012
Makiki, Honolulu


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