Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Interesting Letter today out of Kauai

Andrea's repost elsewhere called my attention to Jimmy T's letter today:


"'The perfect storm' of dissent"

"Don Paul’s letter (“The cost of protest,” Letters, July 13) asserts that protesters chose “whales before people.” As one who chose to protest in the water I must remind him of another reason for being in the water: to protest the failure of government.

When Gov. Linda Lingle chose not to acknowledge over 6,000 signatures of Kaua‘i residents requesting a thorough EIS, the ultimate disrespect in my opinion, and the decision by Rep. Joe Suoki to not hear SB1276 on the floor of the House of Representatives, the failure of government helped to create the conditions for a “perfect storm” of dissent and disgust for officials and elected leaders to allow a company to put “profits before people.” This failure by our government and the attempt by HSF to bribe locals with $5 rides ahead of the Hawai‘i Supreme Court decision to overturn Judge Cardoza’s ruling helped to draw several thousand nonviolent protesters to assemble at Nawiliwili. By preventing the Alakai from operating before an EIS was conducted, these citizens, surfers and non-surfers, helped bring to light some of the failures of our government to provide clarity and guidance to businesses wanting to operate legally and ethically in Hawai‘i.

Despite Mr. Paul’s assertions, local family members can still choose to visit relatives or attend cultural events on neighbor islands. Advanced medical care is still available for seniors and local produce can still make its way to the Big Island.

I’m sure if more people knew that traffic clogging, gas guzzling RVs were allowed on the HSF, I bet more folks would’ve been in the water. I, for one, am glad that’s not the case."

James Trujillo

Also, on http://www.amazon.com/ is the following excerpt from the only forthcoming book on this issue:

"So when the huge catamaran, sized specifically to be able to transport military vehicles, raced toward us in the sunset in flagrant disregard of all our efforts -- we were outraged. About 1,500 of us spontaneously gathered at the dock to again make clear what our state officials had refused to hear: that we would not allow the luxury monstrosity to touch our shores until an EIS had been conducted. We chanted, sang, and beat drums. We brandished banners and waved ti leaves, the sacred plant that wards off evil while calling in good. In that moment, all the sugar-era manipulations to pit race against race, class against class, vanished. Shoulder-to-shoulder stood Native Hawaiians, Japanese-, Filipino-, Portuguese- and Chinese-American descendents of plantation workers, descendents of American missionaries, and transplants from North America who have been calling Kauai home for as long as 40 years and as recently as six months. Lawyers, musicians, students, doctors, college professors, politicians, writers, woodworkers, social workers, nurses, mechanics, architects every walk of Kauai's community were represented. But the coup de grĂ¢ce came from the surfers who leapt from the jetty's rocky edge to paddle out to the mouth of Nawiliwili Harbor. Most of them were kids. There they sat, straddling their boards, seeming as small as mice, in comparison to the skyscraper-high ship, but blocking it from moving forward -- a sort of Tiananmen Square right there in the waters of Nawiliwili Harbor!"

Nicely written,
Aloha, Brad

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