Skip to main content

Caught in the act, a "Guerrilla Video" roundup

Some of the most historically significant film/video footage has been caught by regular folk on humble equipment and then employed in the interest of social justice by holding people accountable. I call this Guerrilla Video.

I like this definition of "guerrilla" from FreeOnlineDictionary.com: "A member of an irregular, usually indigenous military or paramilitary unit operating in small bands in occupied territory to harass and undermine the enemy, as by surprise raids." The term has been used to describe the underfunded soldiers of the American revolution and the people's army of Vietnam alike.

Video can be used as weapon for social justice. It was someone testing out some new video equipment in 1991 when he inadvertently caught California police beating Rodney King. And more recently, who would have believed a BART police officer would brutally shoot Oscar Grant in the back without seeing the cell phone video?

Although fortunately not as fatal, a number of local guerrilla videos have turned up recently. I thought I'd share some while they're still hot.

Boss GMO flows a fuse:
"IslandGirl637" (Youtube handle) was video recording some of the participants at Hawaii State Legislature's "Ag Day" which had been organized by Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation's "Boss GMO" Dean Okimoto. She turned a corner to see Okimoto confronting two women from GMO labeling group Babes Against Biotech. Okimoto has denied doing what he caught doing in the video. Go figure.


Kanaka Garden:
This next video catches Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) personnel destroying a garden planted by Native Hawaiian activists. DLNR also arrested 8 - 10 of the outlaw gardeners and towed their cars away. The DLNR has authority of so called "ceded" lands, also known as "seized" lands as they were seized from Hawaiian royalty to be returned. That was over a 100 years ago and counting. The video will at least make you think about the true ownership and use of these lands.

This video differs from the previous in that it was edited to make a statement. Which it does very well, IMHO.


Berserk cop:
This one has been making the rounds. Like a lot of people at the deOccupy Honolulu encampment, Chris Nova Smith always has a cellphone camera ready to document raids and police actions. When a cop went berserk and Chris tried making a complaint at the police station, the berserk cop prevented him from doing so, and his buddies helped! It's like they didn't see the camera? What the heck were these guys thinking?


I'll be highlighting more guerrilla video from Hawaii soon. If you see any, send them over for me to look at. Email me at hdougm at gmail dot com.

Defend the right to own and bear cameras! (And learn how to shoot one safely.)

H. Doug Matsuoka
6 April 2013
Makiki, Honolulu

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What The City Doesn’t Want You To Know About Thomas Square

[This article was originally published by CivilBeat on July 21, 2016. I'm reprinting it with video clips. Doug]

The City of Honolulu plans to close Thomas Square on Aug. 15 for six months and re-open it in February 2017 as something completely different, according to its master plan. Although city officials have unveiled grandiose plans concerning a drastic makeover, there are a number of troubling things they are trying to keep under cover:

1. It will no longer be a public park. The master plan calls for Thomas Square to be transferred from the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, where it is a public park, to its Department of Enterprise Services. What is it? The department runs the Blaisdell Center, the Waikiki Shell, the zoo and the public golf courses. By way of a memo dated April 28 from the city’s enterprise chief Guy Kaulukukui to the state’s head of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the city asked the state to make changes to allow a change of purpose for…

HCDA creates their own anti-homeless police at HAR hearing

While no one was watching, the HCDA (Hawaiʻi Community Development Authority) held  a Hawaii Administrative Rules hearing that creates their own anti-homeless police force, and (incidentally) raises park fees by up to 500%. The affected parks are at the intersection of Honolulu Council Districts 4, 5, and 6, (Trevor Ozawa, Ann Kobayashi, and Carol Fukunaga respectively) but none (or their staff) were present today. These laws were made without any oversight from the public or their elected representatives.

Who knew that such sweeping changes could be made without the oversight of any elected officials? And after one decision making hearing that is accountable to no one? If the Honolulu City Council had to rule on such changes, it would require three full council hearings, and opportunities for public participation at each.

My own interest in attending the hearing was to get some kind of hint as to the mechanism the City would use to curtail First Amendment rights in Thomas Square afte…

Eric Seitz: Pro bono is a crock

At yesterday's "Justice in Jeopardy, Expanding Access to Justice in Challenging Economic Times" at the UH Richardson Law School, Dean of Harvard Law School Martha L. Minow pointed out that one in five Americans now qualify for civil legal assistance because they are within 125% of the Poverty Level -- a record high in the history in the county. As the demand for legal services grows, the available resources continue to diminish, leaving most without the "equal protection" of the law.

I checked out the breakout session on pro bono because I used to work for Hawaii's pro bono referral service, Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii (VLSH).

These days, most pro bono services are not attorneys representing clients, but short informational sessions at legal clinics. Moderator Robert LeClair asked attorney Eric Seitz what he thought of this turn in pro bono services.  This is what Eric said:

"Well, let me start out by saying that I've always thought pro bono w…