H. Doug Matsuoka's notes in the margin of the Big Everything.

12.28.2012

ʻAina Fest celebrates an active year against GMOs in Hawaii

GMO-Free Oahu and Babes Against Biotech present this Sundayʻs (12/30/2012) "ʻAina Fest -- Food Sovereignty Now." Beginning with a march down Diamond Head Road (across from Kapiolani Community College) and ending at Kapiolani Park (near Kalakaua across from the Aquarium) it hopes to gather together the diverse opponents of GMO to meet each other, talk, and trade stories and ideas.

(Click images to embiggen)
There will be informational booths, childrenʻs activities, and prizes at the park. And organic food, of course.

From the organizers' statement:
We, members and friends of GMO-Free Oahu and Babes Against Biotech, would like you to join us in spreading awareness by demanding food sovereignty for all.  
People have the right to decide what they eat and to ensure that food in their community is healthy and accessible for everyone. However, that right has been stripped from us by large corporate interests. The current food system does not support small, local farmers and sustainable agricultural practices. Consumers do not know if they are eating genetically modified food. For two decades, biotech has used prime agricultural lands in Hawai’i for growing genetically modified seed and experimental crops. Their practices is contrary to the heart of Hawaiian value of Malama ʻAina (love and respect of land).  
The ʻAina Fest caps a year marked by a record number of protests and demonstrations against  GMO in Hawaii. Here is some of the yearʻs anti-GMO action:

12.17.2012

Breaking news: deOccupy Honolulu wins Restraining Order against Honolulu


From Sugar Russell:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Longest Running Occupy Encampment Wins Restraining Order against Honolulu, HI

Honolulu 12/17 -- On Wednesday, December 12th, members of (de)Occupy Honolulu filed a lawsuit against the City & County of Honolulu, Wesley Chun (Director & Chief Engineer of Department of Facilities Maintenance), Trish Morikawa (County Housing Coordinator), and Sergeant Larry Santos (Honolulu Police Department), over deprivation of civil rights during raids on the encampment, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawai`i. On Monday, December 17th, a Temporary Restraining Order has been issued, until the Preliminary Injunction hearing in a month, dealing with raids of Thomas Square. All defendants have either quit their jobs or retired since the last raid at Thomas Square, the day before Thanksgiving.

Defendants Trish Morikawa (former Coordinator Office of Housing) and Westley Chun (former Director of Department of Facility Maintenance) pictured here at the June 26, 2012, raid on deOccupy Honolulu, are no longer employed by the City & County of Honolulu
The lawsuit focus on the city & county’s abuse of Ordinance 10-26 (AKA Bill 39), which limits the use of sidewalks after pushing (de)Occupy to the sidewalk, and Ordinance 11-029 (AKA Bill 54), which allows the Department of Facility Maintenance, Housing, Parks, and HPD to traumatize, steal, and brutalize the vulnerable houseless population.

Area taped off with HPD standing guard while bulldozer destroys property during raid 31 (of 53 to date) on deOccupy Honolulu on 5/31/12
Since the (de)Occupy camp was established on November 5, 2011, the movement has been fighting against Ordinance 11-029, which was used as a tool to repress freedom of speech within hours of being signed into law. City ordinances like Bill 39 and Bill 54 criminalize the houseless. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stated in Tony Lavan v. City of Los Angeles, “For many of us, the loss of our personal effects may pose a minor inconvenience. However, . . . the loss can be devastating for the homeless.”


Retired Sgt. Larry Santos of HPD at left
“Houseless rights are human rights. We have been standing vigil 24/7 for over a year. During that time the city has repeatedly stolen and destroyed our collective and personal property, including car registrations, medications, and bedding of protesters and the houseless alike,” says Sugar Russell, plaintiff. “The city has humiliated people using intimidation and violence. This is what the government does to people who are willing and able to stand up and document abuse and inequality.”
Trish Morikawa directing the 35th raid (of 53 to date) on deOccupy Honolulu encampment on 8/7/12

“The fight is not over until the peoples’ voice means more than corporate money! (de)Occupy Honolulu is determined to shut down the unconstitutional ordinances of Bill 39 and Bill 54 throughout the County of Honolulu. Prioritizing programs like job placement, rehabilitation, and housing first will show a better return in value for both the community, and the thousands of houseless on the island,” says plaintiff Christopher Nova Smith. “Restructuring the assistance housing funds to mirror Hawaii County’s plan could offset the financial strain on the community. By investing in the value of people, the City and County of Honolulu can save taxpayers millions of dollars while promoting equal civil rights and community sustainability.”

- END -

[A playlist of videos (mostly edited from livestream recordings) showing the illegal seizure and destruction of property, and violation of free speech, civil rights, and the Kanawai Mamalahoe is here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpuR67BLmK3RCstuw_g_opGW1MoBvTB91

A Flickr set of deOccupy Honolulu actions and raids is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hdoug/collections/72157631014137840/

H. Doug Matsuoka
12/17/12
Makiki, Honolulu]

12.10.2012

The very strange state of the State of Hawaii and its case against Peace Activist Laulani Teale


OK, kind of a rant here, but it's as late at night for you as it is for me. Iʻm thinking about how really weird and twisted some things are here in Hawaii:
  • We take as our state motto -- Ua mau ke ea o ka 'āina i ka pono -- which proclaimed by Kauikeaouli, King Kamehameha III, denies the very existence of the State of Hawaii (hereʻs part of a video by Umi Perkins explaining that point);
  • And mindful that he would no doubt object to the imposition of foreign rule and an alien legal system on his nation, we name the District Court after him anyway (Kauikeaouli Hale); 
  • We declare Hawaiian as well as English an official language of the State, and although we give government buildings and streets Hawaiian names, we donʻt require any further familiarity with the language or culture, even for government officials and judges;
  • We enshrine the Law of the Splintered Paddle, Kamehamehaʻs Kānāwai Māmalahoe, into the State Constitution, but donʻt require the State, its police, or its courts to possess any familiarity with it or understand it or have any intention of following it.
We also have panel discussions at the law school about how non-Hawaiians can support the Hawaiian Sovereignty movement without the concept of legal support to Hawaiians coming up except only peripherally. But thatʻs not a bullet point here because thatʻs a whole other post in the near future.

So, for the record, I present a short video: Hawaiian activist Laulani Teale reciting the Kānāwai Māmalahoe in court as the introduction to her closing argument in defense of the charges against her (November 15, 2012). She also translates it for the benefit of the court:




The complete closing arguments and the judgeʻs guilty verdict are in links below.

So, yes, the verdict was guilty, favoring testimony of City & County employees exclusively over video contradicting that testimony. And yes, Teale had to represent herself after finding no attorney willing to represent her. And yes, she will be appealing but has not yet found an attorney willing to help her.

None of this makes sense to me, but I guess that is the theme of this post.

H. Doug Matsuoka
10 December 2012
Makiki, Honolulu

For more info about Laulani Teale and her the circumstances surrounding the case, click this DougNote search link (this story will be at the top for now).


[Update: Received this from Laulani late last night:]