We Need To Ask Hard Questions About RIMPAC

By Kim Compoc and Shelley Muneoka

"We need to ask hard questions about the environmental cost of 48 ships, six submarines, and hundreds of aircraft invading our shores. What is the carbon footprint of RIMPACʻs live-fire training, sunken ships, explosive ordnance disposal, and expended fuel? What are the impacts on the military personnel who are exposed to such toxins every day?"


Support HB 1775, support real security for Hawai’i!

People Over Profits Rally 
Hawai’i State Capitol

By Khara Jabola Carolus

Imagine an American-controlled city on an island in the Pacific Ocean. Here the trees are black and the mountains are flat, barges of trash from Japan are dumped into the central bay, people have to rally for breathable air, and the capitol is so congested that drivers spend an average of 1,000 hours a year stuck in traffic. Here journalists are slaughtered for their words, entire villages are wiped out by hurricanes that exceed all weather scales, and the government is the country’s largest human trafficker. Here, if you’re like me, the daughter of a former American serviceman and a Filipino woman, your whiteness is your mother’s scarlet letter because people will always wonder if she’s your nanny, a mail-order-bride or what the American soldiers called a “LBFM PBR” --- that is, a Little Brown Fucking Machine Powered By Rice.

Thankfully, these islands are not Hawai’i. Unfortunately, they are real. They’re the Philippines today.

Hawai’i is connected to the Philippines by its history of conquest and because the militarization of our everyday lives is connected to the U.S. imperialist project abroad. I’m here to talk today about people to people solidarity and the next wave of militarization in Hawai’i.

The future of Hawai’i is above us. In fact, 2014 has been dubbed “the year of the drone” for Hawai’i. Drones can be used for a myriad of applications such as invasive species control, search and rescue, and even pizza delivery but we must fully examine the policies and stakeholders behind the push for domestic drone use. The benefit to society is undeniable but the threat is also enormous.

This past December, without the people’s input or consent, Hawai’i was approved as a drone testing site for the Federal Aviation Administration’s drone program, which will integrate drones into our airspace by 2015. The Electronic Frontier Foundation anticipates that 30,000 drones will be flying inside the U.S. by 2020 as a result of the opening of airspace through the FAA test program. On the mainland U.S., it is now common practice for federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security to loan Predator drones to state and local law enforcement for everyday crime prevention. In the past three years, it has loaned out Predator drones at least 700 times. One such loan was used for the first drone-assisted arrest in 2011. Note that this Predator-assisted arrest targeted the political activity of individuals perceived as threats to the status quo.

The Predator drone is the infamous hunter/killer model used to terrorize our brothers and sisters living through the horror of U.S.-led wars in the Philippines, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.
The U.S. Congress estimates that ten to thirty percent of drone casualties abroad are innocent civilians. One Pakistani child recently testified before U.S. Congress: “Now I prefer cloudy days because the drones don’t fly. When the sky brightens and becomes blue, the drones return and so does the fear."

The push for domestic drone use is being driven by a campaign to rid the U.S. of drugs and unauthorized economic refugees crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. This supposedly contributes to the security of our communities.

In Hawai’i we know all too well that expanded law enforcement means increased incarceration and increased insecurity for our communities. If Hawai’i was an independent country, it would be the 5th largest jailer in the world. Native Hawaiians and Filipinos account for over half of those imprisoned in Hawai’i, most for drug-related offenses. The number of incarcerated women in Hawai’i is double the national number and women are the fastest growing segment of prison populations in every state under U.S. control. One third of these women are incarcerated for drug offenses.

Militarized  law enforcement is not a solution to substance abuse--- which is a public health problem, nor is it a solution to poverty, houselessness, lack of education, and other so-called aggravating factors for criminal activity. Militarization will never bring genuine security to Hawaii and drones are a wasteful giveaway of taxpayers dollars to defense contractors. To reject drone surveillance is to reject the fiction that the only way for our economy to thrive is by fomenting wars and developing war industries.

Currently, there are no laws protecting us from drone surveillance by law enforcement. This Legislative session there are a number of drone bills but HB 1775 is where the protection of Hawai’i’s high standard of privacy, the protection of economic refugees, and the fight for indigenous self-determination intersect.

• It restricts law enforcement use of drones to emergency and lifesaving situations
• It bans drone collected evidence from state courts to preempt backdoor collusion x fed’l
agencies and state law enforcement)
• It bans weaponization of drones
• And it sets up a robust reporting regime that keep legislators and the public engaged

Join me in saying no to economic dependence on unsustainable industries that profit from the stolen land and labor of other island people.
No militarized policing!
No mass surveillance!
No mass incarceration!

Support HB 1775, support real security for Hawai’i!

Okinawa’s Revolt: Decades of Rape, Environmental Harm by U.S. Military Spur Residents to Rise Up

"Nearly 70 years ago the United States took over the Japanese island of Okinawa after one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. More than 200,000 people died, mostly Japanese civilians. Today the United States operates 34 bases on the island and is planning to build a new state-of-the-art Marine base, despite mass protests. A multi-decade movement of Okinawa residents has pushed for ousting U.S. forces off the island, citing environmental concerns and sexual assaults by U.S. soldiers on local residents. Broadcasting from Tokyo, we are joined by two guests: Kozue Akibayashi, a professor and activist in Japan with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and the Women’s International Network Against Militarism; and John Junkerman, a documentary filmmaker currently working on a film about U.S. military bases in Okinawa."

View Video and read more on Democracy Now: 


Article from Star Advertiser: "State expanding outreach" to improve isle military facilities

"A new airstrip at Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii island, a return to live-fire training at Makua Valley on Oahu, a strong state-military-business partnership, and military "liasons" in Hawaii and Washington, D.C. are being pursued as the state seeks to maintain $8.8 billion in annual military expenditures amid defense budget cuts." - Star Advertiser, January 8, 2014


Seeds Planted in 2013; Cultivate Dreams for 2014.

Women from Hawaii have been participating in the International Women's Network Against Militarism (IWNAM) meetings for 9 years now.  This network has existed since 1997, or for 16 years.

This past November 2013,Terri Kekoʻolani, Kim Kuʻulei Birnie and Ellen-Rae Cachola, attended the internal meeting of the International Women's Network Against Militarism in Baguio, Philippines.  Women from Puerto Rico, U.S., Hawaiʻi, Guahan, Philippines, Okinawa, and South Korea were in attendance.  We clarified our vision, mission, goals, developed our leadership structure and activated working group committees. 

Some of the issues we discussed were the use of the Pagan Island for live-fire training by the U.S. Department of Defense, and the return of the U.S. Navy to Subic Bay Naval Base, as well as the projected development of a new naval base in Oyster Bay, Palawan, Philippines. 

Women from Hawaii reported on the presence of the military in Hawaii as a continuation of colonization. The expansion of the Pohakuloa Army training base, Ospreys in Mokapu, and Aegis Missile System in Kauai are just some of the facilities that contextualize why there is increasing Hawaiian houselessness, military housing subsidies, military vehicle accidents, violence against women/LGBT and military recruitment in the schools. 

We also talked about how our resistance is based on values of decolonization, or empowering communities to reclaim their culture and their relationship to the land to protect one another from perpetual militarism and violence. We have done this through participation in the AHA Wahine conference, delegation report backs after the 2012 network meeting, submission of a letter of appeal to Hawaiian representatives attending the UNESCO World Conservation in Jeju, production of a Passionista Fashion Show, support for legal and cultural work to reclaim Makua and Kahoolawe, development of the Peace and Justice Crew at Farrington High School, and presentation of our film.

Often, it is easier to talk about security issues happening "over there," but our goal is to continue to talk about security here at home.  On October 26, 2013 and  December 29, 2013 we screened the film, Living Along the Fenceline, on two occasions. First, to educate people on the relationship of militarism to domestic violence. Second, to talk about militarism and colonization.  

This year, we have created ways people can practically participate in the movement for genuine security, through supporting and participating in our international research, education, campaigns, finance and communication committees. But more than just busy work, we use this film as an organizing tool to raise community discussion on how people see militarism pervade their lives, and what they are willing to do to make a change.

Let us know if you’d like to have the film screened in your community, or to collaborate in other ways, by commenting here or on our Facebook page.

We are embarking on a journey to make the topic of ending militarism relevant to the various communities that we come from, so that we can come to meaningful conversation with each another and build relationships; so we can have a stronger reach beyond ourselves. Together we can be that critical mass to let those who govern us know--we are ready for peace and justice. We are not going to wait for someone to give it to us.

Berkeley joins Steinem & Stone in seeking Justice 4 Jeju.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      December 11, 2013
Berkeley joins Steinem & Stone in seeking Justice 4 Jeju.
Paul Liem:  510-414-5575 pliem@mindspring.com              
KJ Noh:  k.j.noh48@gmail.com              
Christine Ahn: christineahn@mac.com  
Stephanie Miyashira 524-2624                           
Councilmember Max  Anderson 981-7130                   
Councilmember Kriss Worthington (510) 981-7170 kworthington@cityofberkeley.info

Berkeley made history by becoming the first City in a growing international movement of environmentalists and peace activists to stand up for villagers on Jeju Island in their long struggle to oppose a massive naval base being built on the beautiful island.
Gloria Steinem emailed the Berkeley City Council:  "…There are some actions for which those of us alive today will be judged in centuries to come. The only question will be: What did we know and when did we know it?  I think one judgment-worthy action may be what you and I do about the militarization of Jeju Island, South Korea, in service of the arms race.”
Jeju Island is UNESCO’s only triple honoree: a Global Geological Park, a Biosphere Reserve, and a World Heritage Site.  This environmental jewel was designated an “Absolute Conservation Area” by the Korean Government, was proclaimed an “Island of Peace”, and voted one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World.”
 Affected local villagers have engaged in seven years of principled non-violent struggle, facing endless beatings, arrests, fines, and imprisonment.  Most recently, Sister Stella Soh, the first Catholic Nun in Korean history to be arrested for an act of conscience, was arraigned in a Korean court. 
Stephanie Miyashira, an activist in a wheel chair, broke down in tears as she implored the council to support the cause of peace. She agreed with Oliver Stone, who stated : “I deplore the militarization of Jeju Island.  I deplore the building of the base. This is leading up to a war, and we cannot have another war here.  We have to stop this thing.” 
Christine Ahn, a scholar at the Korea Policy Institute, wrote in a heartfelt and moving letter to Berkeley City Council that she had named her daughter Jeju because of her passion for the cause of the peace activists on the island. 
Berkeley’s Resolution calls on the US Military "to cease supporting the base which will gravely harm the fragile ecology, damage the livelihood of the people of Jeju, and make this Island of Peace a pawn of the great powers and a magnet for military conflict.” 
This historic vote will be celebrated in a press conference at 6:30 PM on December 17 at Berkeley Old City Hall steps, 2134 MLK Jr. Way, Berkeley 94704

Paul Liem:  510-414-5575 pliem@mindspring.com              
KJ Noh: k.j.noh48@gmail.com              
Christine Ahn: christineahn@mac.com  
 Stephanie Miyashira 524-2624                           
Councilmember Max  Anderson 981-7130                   
 Councilmember Kriss Worthington (510) 981-7170 kworthington@cityofberkeley.info

Living Along the Fenceline, filmscreening & dialogue

Womens Voices, Women Speak invites you to a screening of the award-winning documentary "Living Along the Fenceline," as part of DVAC's Domestic Violence Awareness Month programming series.

Friday Oct 25, 2013 
The Arts at Marks Garage
1159 Nuʻuanu Ave

Featuring stories of women in Hawai'i, Guam, Philippines, Okinawa, Texas, Vieques and South Korea, this film highlights how the culture of violence in the military infuses daily life around the bases. But in women's resistance to violence, alternative ideas of peace and genuine security continue to emerge.

The film has won Best Feature Documentary, Toronto Female Eye Film Festival 2013, and has been shown at the Guam-USA International Film Festival, and Jeju Women's Film Festival. More information on the film, see http://www.alongthefenceline.com/

Brandy Nalani McDougall, Native Hawaiian poet and scholar, will open the screening with her powerful poetry, so plan to arrive early!

*Post-film discussion
*Live additions to the Passionista! Real Kine Security Blanket
*Tabling by organizations engaged in local genuine security efforts 

Sponsored by Womens Voices, Women Speak, International Women's Network Against Militarism, Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking, Domestic Violence Action Center, Filipino Law Students Association,Oceania Rising, and Hawai'i Peace and Justice.

Learning together builds movement - please share with your friends and family!