As President Barack Obama spent his last day, January 5, in Hawaii, representatives from Hawaii Peace and Justice and World Can’t Wait protested his assassin drone program and lack of effort on Palestinian issues in front of his Hawaii vacation home.
On January 18, Board member Ikaika Hussey presented the Hawaii Independent’s Ideas Summit 2013. Kyle Kajihiro was panelist on the “Hawaii in the World” session.
And on January 21 Kyle accepted the 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. Peacemaker Award.
Renie Wong and Pete Doktor plus Farrington Peace and Justice Club made a splash with our decorated truck with sound system at the MLK Day Parade, joining Honolulu Friends (Quakers).
We tabled at the Rotary Global Peace Forum, January 25-27. Here’s Renie’s story about that: “I got a call from a friend of a friend who was already at the Convention Center who told me that all our posters, tri-folds, signs, brochures that we had put up Thursday were all taken down because “there were complaints.” Some people thought we were “too controversial,” “too graphic.” “Inappropriate.” I was pretty shocked. Our main poster said, “CHALLENGES TO PEACE” and had pictures of refugees, effects of famine, child soldiers, destroyed buildings. We had two anti-drone signs with some flyers, and the “Jeju Peace Island” tri-fold. The rest was stuff like “War is not the Answer,” quotes from MLK, Jr., Jeju and HPJ brochures and End-the-Occupation-of-Palestine info. Anyway the Rotarians took it all down. Didn’t call, nothing.
When I got there Friday I put it all back up again. After about an hour the head Rotary person came around and said a couple of things. “How did anyone let you in here?” “I took the signs down and expected they would stay down.” She noted that the pictures were “violent, not appropriate for a peace forum.” “Confrontational, not peaceful.” “We need to show Aloha to these international attenders.” She was pretty confrontational, herself. I showed her how the pictures and by-lines were about how to make peace happen by taking away the occasion for war, and about the effects of war on civilians. After a while she said, “the complaints were specifically about anti-Semitic flyers (pointing to a couple of flyers that simply advocate U.S. stopping military aid to Israel). All this while I was very nice and even complemented her on her finding a compromise, at which point she kind of melted and we agreed that we’re all looking for alternative, peaceful solutions to the world’s problems, so I whisked away the offending flyers and we were good for all the rest to stay put. The next day we set out the materials again, and had many good and interesting talks with people, some of whom did express opposition to our positions, but never asked that we not be allowed to express them.”