O’ahu Organizers Are Defending the Earth Against US Militarism

“The Pentagon has a blanket exemption from all world local weather agreements — in impact, a license to kill the pure world with out consequence,” says Kelly Hayes. On this episode of “Motion Memos,” Kelly and Kawenaʻulaokalā Kapahua focus on the U.S. army’s function in environmental devastation and discover classes from the marketing campaign to close down the Pink Hill Bulk Gas Storage Facility on the island of O’ahu — and what activists and organizers can study from this wrestle.

Music by Son Monarcas and Amaranth Cove


Observe: This a rush transcript and has been calmly edited for readability. Copy will not be in its ultimate kind.

Kelly Hayes: Welcome to “Motion Memos,” a Truthout podcast about issues it is best to know if you wish to change the world. I’m your host, author and organizer Kelly Hayes. As we speak, we’re going to discuss a wrestle that you could be or could not have heard about, as a result of it has been woefully underreported. Organizers with the Shut Down Pink Hill Coalition noticed an enormous victory on March 7, when the U.S. army introduced it might drain and decommission the Pink Hill Bulk Gas Storage Facility on the island of O’ahu in Hawaii. Reporters on the press convention the place this historic concession was made seized the chance to ask army officers questions on Ukraine, however confirmed little curiosity within the announcement itself. Most media shops have barely acknowledged this wrestle, or the large victory that organizers have gained right here. That’s an enormous drawback. For one factor, this can be a story about activists who have been up in opposition to probably the most intractable opponents on Earth — the U.S. army — they usually gained. The battle is just not over, as we’re going to focus on; however for the U.S. army to comply with shutter a facility it beforehand claimed was important to nationwide safety because of a grassroots stress marketing campaign — that’s one thing all of us must study from.

That is additionally a narrative that reveals us the true character of the U.S. army. We have to grapple with the realities of U.S. militarism, proper now, as a result of folks have a behavior of pondering in binaries. The truth that we’re watching one other world energy trigger havoc and destruction with their army doesn’t change the character of the U.S. army, or its harmful function on the earth. There’s additionally plenty of deeply vital historical past tied to this marketing campaign that I feel we must always all know and contemplate as we weigh our personal selections concerning the future. The wrestle for sovereignty and self willpower in Hawaii is inextricably sure to the wrestle in opposition to militarism and the protection of water and wildlife. These sorts of connections exist all over the place, however they too typically go unseen and unacknowledged, they usually hardly ever inform the technique of actions. So I feel it’s vital to speak about work that’s being finished by people who find themselves making these connections and who’re, on this case, additionally profitable vital victories.

To start, I requested Kawenaʻulaokalā Kapahua, who’s an organizer with the Oʻahu Water Protectors, to offer us some background and an replace on the Pink Hill wrestle.

Kawenaʻulaokalā Kapahua: So my title is Kawenaʻulaokalā Kapahua. I’m a Hawaiian independence activist right here in Hawaii, and a water protector. Hawaii was an unbiased nation up till 1893, when it was illegally overthrown by U.S. Marines in a coup and it resulted within the creation of the state of Hawaii. Round World Battle II, the Pink Hill Bulk Gas Storage Facility was created. A quick historical past of that is simply that this large gas storage facility was created across the time of the Pearl Harbor assault. It might maintain as much as 250 million gallons of gas. The tanks are about 20 tales excessive and about 100 ft vast. So these are large tanks which are capsule formed, they’re buried underground and the unique concept was that will forestall them from being bombed as a result of plenty of the U.S. gas throughout Pearl Harbor was saved in open air services in order that they have been apprehensive about it getting destroyed.

And they also constructed it underground 100 ft above our main supply consuming aquifer. For these of you who don’t know what an aquifer is, mainly, it’s this fashion the water system works. In Hawaii it rains and since we dwell on volcanic islands, the rock is porous lava rock and so mainly rain falls onto the islands and filters by this very porous rock down by the bottom, and takes about 20 years to do this and when it reaches a sure degree, it’s mainly pristine. It’s clear, the rock has filtered it naturally of any contaminants and it exists on this underground, sort of not fairly cavern, this underground house beneath the islands that acts as an aquifer, which is mainly an enormous water tank that’s underneath our island, it’s simply naturally created. And that’s the place we draw essentially the most of our, if not all of our consuming water from.

So mainly this 250 million gallons of jet gas was saved only a hundred ft above that water. I’ve been within the facility. You possibly can look all the way down to the outlet, you’ll be able to look down into the water from, and there’s no bodily limitations between the gas, in addition to the tanks themselves, the gas and the water. And mainly in 2014, there was an enormous leak that spilled out of the tanks. The army tried to cowl it up. The phrase received out and there was main political pitfalls over that and blowback. We began mobilizing with a view to take away the tanks and shut down the power. Hawaiians have been pushing for the tip of this facility for a very long time. Not solely as a result of it threatens our water, however as a result of it sits on stolen Hawaiian land that the U.S. army condemned and took from our folks and all of this stuff.

Then, in 2021 in Could, there was a significant gas leak that the Navy initially tried to solid as simply being just a little underneath 2000 gallons, which was fully false, incorrect — they have been mendacity they usually didn’t inform anyone. They knew the power leaked in Could, they didn’t inform anybody. They knew the water was contaminated by July. They continued to cover it, cowl up and never inform anybody. After which, simply after Thanksgiving in November 2021, folks began smelling gas popping out of their faucets. Folks began ending up on the hospital. Over 5,000 folks ended up in ER. Over 93,000 folks couldn’t drink the water there, it was making them sick. Their houses have been mainly unlivable.

The Navy continued and the U.S. army at massive continued to lie about it up till the final momen once they might now not deny the truth that the Pink Hill Subject Storage Facility had failed catastrophically, leaked into the water and poisoned hundreds of individuals. Since then, we’ve been combating to make sure that this facility is shut down completely. There isn’t any approach to repair this facility, it has catastrophically failed. It can’t be allowed to stay counter to what the U.S. army has mentioned for years, a long time even.

They often claimed it’s for nationwide safety that they want this. Protection Secretary Austin and Secretary of the Navy Del Toro came over Hawaii, and mainly it was a PR disaster for them. Del Toro made an epic assertion of claiming that it wasn’t the gas within the tanks that was making folks sick, it was the gas within the water, as if the 2 have been completely different someway. Speaking about how he wouldn’t select between jet gas and water to dwell, even supposing you want certainly one of them to maintain your common physique capabilities and we’ve existed with out the opposite for hundreds of years as a race, as a species.

That’s a quick historical past of the Pink Well being Gas Storage Facility. Only a couple weeks in the past, the Pentagon lastly introduced, after sustained and large neighborhood stress and neighborhood organizing and political blowback, that they have been going to completely shut down this facility. This got here amidst large protests and large outrage and steady stress from the neighborhood to cease this and to pay for remediation.

However that doesn’t imply an finish to this disaster, primarily as a result of mainly that was 77 p.c of our water that was simply contaminated. Presently, three wells that service over 400,000 folks on the island of O’ahu have been shut down. They could be shut down completely. We could by no means be capable to drink from this water supply ever once more, which implies that your complete metropolitan space of Honolulu now not has water wells inside its neighborhood. We’re pulling water from different areas on the island.

Which implies that we’ve simply misplaced 77 p.c of our water. We’re clearly making up a tiny portion of that now. As we transfer into the summer time months, which means we’re going to have water shortages and the way in which our water system works, it implies that sure areas could activate the faucet this summer time and nothing’s going to return out. That’s an unprecedented disaster right here in Hawaii. It’s completely ridiculous that probably the most rain wealthy locations on earth goes to be dealing with a water disaster as a result of for 80 plus years, army officers determined they have been prepared to poison all people on this island and make life very tough on this island, just so they might use this gas to wage struggle.

KH: The US army is the world’s largest single client of vitality. Yearly, the U.S. army consumes greater than 100 million barrels of oil. If the army have been a rustic, its emissions would rank among the many prime 25 p.c of countries. However as Indigo Oliver wrote in 2019, “The Pentagon’s environmental footprint can’t be measured in emissions alone. Razed cities, contaminated soil, dying, illness and famine are way more perceptible and deadly than the carbon dioxide in our ambiance to those that have skilled warfare.”

As Kawenaʻulaokalā talked about, army rehearsals for warfare have additionally induced in depth injury. The Navy has admitted to leaving massive quantities of depleted uranium in U.S. coastal waters. The Navy additionally plans to dump 20,000 tons of heavy metals, plastics and different poisonous compounds over the following twenty years in oceans the place it conducts its struggle video games. The Pentagon has a blanket exemption from all world local weather agreements — in impact, a license to kill the pure world with out consequence. Nevertheless, when considering the local weather disaster, most individuals don’t take into consideration the affect of the army, and that’s a significant drawback.

KK: I feel one could solely want have a look at the water disaster we’re dealing with this summer time, the truth that Hawaii is, like I mentioned, one of many wettest place on earth, we see a number of the highest ranges of rainfall of anyplace on earth and this summer time we’re going to activate the faucet and nothing’s going to return out. That’s a significant disaster for an island of virtually one million folks, for us to be out of water is completely insane.

So mainly I feel that alone ought to show the menace that the U.S. army offers to the world when it comes to the local weather disaster. They’re one of many largest polluters on the market as is obvious by the actual fact they polluted the water for 400,000 folks after which made water scarce for over one million. And the truth that they mainly received away with this for many years, politicians in Hawaii advised us for years that we must always simply drop it, Pink Hill was not a menace, that we have been by no means going to get the army again down, that we have been by no means going to get this facility shut down. We received it shut down in 4 months because the main leak that poisoned folks got here to gentle mainly. However the U.S. army represents the best menace to life anyplace on the earth however particularly right here in Hawaii.

We dwell in a really ecologically fragile surroundings that has been devastated because of colonialism and capitalism. The longer the U.S. army persists on this world, however particularly right here in Hawaii, the longer our lifestyle for stays at menace. The U.S. army has bombed many islands right here in Hawaii, significantly the island of Kahoʻolawe, which they bombed so onerous they cracked the water desk. And what I imply by that’s they bombed so onerous they cracked the island open and all of recent water inside it, spilled out into the ocean. So there’s now not drinkable water on Kahoʻolawe due to what they did.

They’ve scattered poisonous chemical substances everywhere in the Hawaiian Islands. Pearl Harbor, for instance, certainly one of their well-known army bases was a significant fishing floor for the Hawaiian folks. You couldn’t pay me to eat a fish out of that water now, it’s so polluted. They’ve saved chemical weapons, akin to mustard gasoline on our land, in our water. They’ve left unexploded ordnance everywhere in the land. This sort of air pollution and this type of contributions to the local weather disaster are astronomic. Hawaii is a small microcosm of what they’ve finished globally. So in the event that they’ve poisoned our water right here, you’ll be able to solely think about the affect their army campaigns have had in say, Iraq, Afghanistan. The army campaigns they’ve had when it comes to the air pollution that’s created by their ships, operating all around the globe, their fighters, and plane flying in all places.

The U.S. army with probably the most obscene budgets within the planet says it’s too costly to care concerning the local weather disaster. Whereas, I don’t learn about you, however I feel it’s too costly to have to fret about our water and the truth that we’re going to be making a long-term funding in army moderately than in clear surroundings and clear water. That’s too excessive a worth to pay for our future, not solely our future, however our youngsters and our grandchildren’s future.

KH: Many individuals consider Hawaii as a paradisiacal vacationer vacation spot, however in the words of journalist Millicent Cummings:

Most vacationers can be hard-pressed to think about 500 tons of TNT blasting right into a pristine shoreline or poisonous sewage flowing into the waters of Waikiki or whales beaching themselves to flee Navy sonar testing … Hawaii is, nonetheless, the “endangered species capital of the world.” It stands to cause that the USA army, being the best polluter and largest emitter of carbon dioxide on the planet, may need one thing to do with that unacceptable reality.

Cummings referred to as Hawaii “essentially the most militarized group of islands on the earth.” That characterization doesn’t jive properly with well-liked depictions or perceptions of Hawaii, and that disconnect is essentially the product of historic erasure.

KK: Hawaii was an unbiased nation up till 1893, when U.S. Marines stormed Iolani Palace, over by the federal government and imprisoned our queen in a single bed room, one room solitary confinement to herself for months. And I feel that was the beginning of this actually massive scale army historical past that Hawaii has endured. So over the course of 130 years of occupation, the U.S. army has seized large parts of Hawaiian land. The U.S. army is among the largest landholders in Hawaii. On the island of O’ahu alone, the army holds 26 p.c of all land, so over 1 / 4. Which is a completely insane quantity of land for them to carry, particularly on an island, we don’t have that a lot land to go round already.

Virtually the entire land they maintain has been become Superfund websites. For many who don’t know, Superfund websites are websites which are so contaminated there could also be no remediation for them. They’re contaminated to an enormous extent by the army. That is by unexploded ordnance, that is by destroying of chemical weapons, the dwell fireplace operations, jet gas contamination, like we’re seeing at Pink Hill. So mainly wherever the army has gone in Hawaii it has introduced dying, it has introduced contamination and it has introduced air pollution and it’s introduced evictions. So Pink Hill is only one space that they condemned the land in that space, to assert it for themselves, they’ve additionally finished it in different areas and seized different parts of land. Virtually each U.S. army base in Hawaii, folks lived there earlier than the U.S. army got here and kicked them out.

One different instance is Makua Valley, which has been a battle for many years, virtually 60 years to get this sacred valley again that the U.S. army — mainly the neighborhood that lived there, an entire city, the U.S. army kicked them out in the future, advised them that they wanted their houses for a army train after which bombed them with planes. They bombed the church, they bombed folks’s houses. Nobody lives in that valley anymore. The individuals who lived there have been made homeless and plenty of of them have been scattered. We’re nonetheless combating to get that valley again.

Different areas akin to Kahoʻolawe, like I discussed earlier, have been bombed so onerous they broke water desk, that island was forcibly taken from us. We compelled the army to offer it again in Nineteen Nineties by large protests and large dangers of life and two deaths to get that island again. The army mentioned they might clear up. They didn’t. Different areas together with Pearl Harbor, like I discussed earlier, which is so contaminated that you simply couldn’t pay me to eat a fish out of there regardless that it was one of many main fishing grounds for our folks. There are fishing shrines throughout that space. The rationale it’s referred to as Pearl Harbor is as a result of it was house to an abundance of pearl-producing oysters, which are actually extinct because of the U.S. army.

One of many different massive areas close to my hometown of Kailua is Marine Corps Base, which was referred to as Mokapu, it’s a extremely vital web site for Hawaiians. Quite a lot of sacred websites, plenty of historic temples are there, plenty of sacred burial websites and the U.S. army has turned this right into a Marine Corps base. The neighborhood that lived there was additionally evicted. And the burial websites there have been websites to make use of — they’ve been excavated, they’ve been destroyed, they’ve been used to apply invasions and run tanks over. It’s completely insane. And that is only a small development.

Agent Orange was produced right here in Hawaii for the U.S. army after which practiced or examined on our forests earlier than taking it to Vietnam, to make the most of on the folks there. Each two years the U.S. army hosts the RIMPAC [Rim of the Pacific] army workout routines right here in Hawaii, which is a number of the largest army workout routines on the earth. They invite over 26 nations to return and participate within the struggle video games right here. Most of them, nations and regimes with horrible human rights information, together with the Israeli IDF, the Indonesian army, which is committing genocide and West Papua within the Philippines, the army of the Philippines, which is consistently killing journalists, academics, activists. So if you wish to have a look at the army historical past of Hawaii, it’s in depth. Continuously our land is just not solely destroyed for our use, however it’s additionally utilized to coach different oppressive regimes around the globe to go and commit genocide and different hallmarks of the U.S. army on folks throughout the planet.

KH: In late November, when army households have been sickened by gas ingestion, organizers moved shortly, mounting an enormous marketing campaign to decommission the power. There had been litigation across the gas tanks lately, however nothing like the large people-powered mobilization that gained this marketing campaign. So I requested Kawenaʻulaokalā if he felt there have been classes that the remainder of us ought to glean, as activists and organizers, from the work that occurred right here.

KK: Properly, for one, don’t belief politicians, like I mentioned. Which ought to be, I feel that’s rule quantity certainly one of political organizing a grassroots marketing campaign, however simply in case folks didn’t get it. Hawaiian politicians have been mainly lap canines for the army because the state of Hawaii was arrange. Daniel Inouye, hailed as a struggle hero, hailed as one of many biggest U.S. senators of all time, an absolute corrupt maniacal politician who bought out Hawaiian folks and Hawaiian land, who empowered the military-industrial advanced and made hundreds of thousands off of it. He’s one of many main causes Pink Hill nonetheless exists. Mazie Hirono, Brian Schatz, Ed Case, present politicians for Hawaii all are additionally main explanation why Pink Hill existed all the way in which up till in the present day as a result of they pushed again and fought actually onerous in opposition to the neighborhood to silence our voices and to make sure the army received as a lot funding as they needed to make sure that they might proceed finishing up their air pollution marketing campaign right here in Hawaii.

So in case you’re an organizer and also you’re combating to your land otherwise you’re combating the U.S. army, perceive that the politicians aren’t going to be your pal. Solely overwhelming political stress goes to pressure them to do something. Primarily simply because the deep pockets the army has, the military-industrial advanced has when it comes to marketing campaign donations to folks. And in operating this type of marketing campaign, it required mass mobilization. I imply it meant that the actual fact, one of many issues the U.S. army has finished right here in Hawaii is attempting to disconnect folks from their understanding of our land and the way in which our land is an interconnected system. So lots of people have been, the army was simply attempting to say, “Oh, this isn’t an issue. This isn’t an issue.” Then when it lastly was an issue, they have been solely saying it was an issue for his or her areas that they have been underneath management of. Ensuring to cover from folks that this aquifer that they poisoned providers 400,000 folks, most of them civilians, not all of them army, most of them simply households and dealing class folks attempting to get by.

In order that was one of many actually vital impacts of this was to make it possible for we targeted very closely upon this. And we’re nonetheless focusing very closely upon this, that sure, the army households are those who’ve been poisoned, sure, they’ve seen extreme hurt. A few of them are going to have lifelong well being results due to this. The army must compensate them, it must look after them, it must make it possible for these individuals are taken care of eternally as a result of it’s ridiculous that they ever needed to put up with this. The truth that the U.S. army claims it protects its personal after which completely poisoned them. But additionally the working-class folks of Hawaii are going to see the toughest impacts of this as a result of it’s their water that’s going to be minimize off first. It’s our water that’s going to be contaminated long run, however it’s us who’s going to have the bottom entry to wash water when the faucets cease operating. And we’ve the least choices relating to that.

I feel specializing in the impacts among the many most weak members of society is vital as a result of we’ve essentially the most fast want. And so I feel that was probably the most vital issues right here was ensuring that the individuals who have been going to be essentially the most affected by this have been within the know. So we ran in depth canvassing campaigns, we have been going up and down by entire communities, passing out info, getting folks within the know, like ensuring folks have been updated about what was happening. Individuals who lived on the opposite aspect of the island from Pearl Harbor and Pink Hill weren’t at midnight about the truth that this disaster completely affected them and would affect their water.

So far as classes for different organizers, in case you’re going to battle the army, you must battle them onerous. Perceive that they’ve targets which are fully contradictory to life on earth, fully contradictory to the betterment of the working class, betterment of common folks, the betterment of actually anyone however themselves and their very rich military-industrial advanced firms. So in case you’re going to battle them, be prepared for stiff resistance. And for the truth that the one factor that may overcome them is grassroots neighborhood organizing, large unity and solidarity and aggressive escalation and taking the battle to them. I feel probably the most vital issues that we did right here when it comes to forcing the army out, fortunately, and likewise sadly, the Hawaiian motion has plenty of historical past in confronting the army. It took us years to get Kahoʻolawe again over 20 years to get again that whole island.

Fortunately we have been in a position to pressure Pink Hill again into the palms of the folks inside 4 months, however it took large dangers, together with protesting outdoors one of many largest U.S. army bases on the planet. And mainly coming as much as the gates and confronting guards and all this different stuff. And so I feel when it comes to classes for everybody, in case you’re going to battle essentially the most highly effective empire on the planet, you must be prepared to face as much as energy and you must be prepared to prepare throughout communities. You must be prepared to get your palms on the bottom mainly. And run an intensive floor sport as a result of the one factor that overcomes large capital and large army energy is huge neighborhood solidarity.

KH: I feel this marketing campaign is a ravishing instance of what’s attainable when individuals are prepared to leverage collective energy for the sake of collective survival. It’s not uncommon for the army’s actions to concurrently hurt the communities it occupies, the pure world, and its personal workers and their households. It’s extremely uncommon for folks to show that interconnected struggling into collective motion — however that doesn’t must be exceptional. There are numerous factors in our societies the place, if we prioritized our collective opposition to what’s killing us, we might halt plenty of hurt. And if we continued to construct upon that energy, and people priorities, we might rattle, upend and crack open the techniques that oppress us.

One query that I prefer to ask activists and organizers is, “What offers you hope?” On this case, I used to be fairly positive I already knew the reply, however I nonetheless needed to listen to it.

KK: The truth that we shut down this large, what the U.S. army referred to as state-of-the-art facility in 4 months, offers me plenty of satisfaction. Primarily it offers me plenty of hope as a result of we’re at a time when the U.S. is completely dedicated to a brand new Chilly Battle, it’s completely dedicated to large additional militarization. Biden simply accepted the most important army spending funds ever, I wish to say, I consider so, simply an obscene sum of money. The truth that they’re committing increasingly more cash to this. I imply, Biden’s entire presidency has been ignoring what individuals are calling for and funding the violent, tyrannical and oppressive applications. The U.S. runs, funding them much more, whether or not it’s police, which murdered folks of coloration regularly or funding the U.S. army, which commits genocide, the place ever it goes, commits air pollution and mainly is sending our whole planet hurtling towards in uninhabitability.

And so what offers me hope in all of that is the truth that daily random folks have been prepared to face up and battle this, lots of them army households. Quite a lot of the individuals who have been poisoned have been kids and as horrible as that’s, it meant that moms, army spouses who had kids, have been a number of the fiercest fighters on this as a result of the U.S. army, their employer, let me remind everybody that the U.S. army is their employer, poisoned it’s workers. And in the event that they have been every other workspace or office, that will be massively criticized for harming their workers. However a few of these moms have been a number of the most fiercest fighters for his or her kids and to guard the water as a result of their kids have been a number of the first affected. But additionally the actual fact wherever Indigenous communities are, they battle again in opposition to militarism and capitalism.

And right here we’re seeing one other instance of this. At a time when the U.S. is heightened in its violence and heightened in its aggression, that an Indigenous neighborhood like Hawaiian folks was in a position to confront that and mainly pushed the U.S. out of this facility it’s held for 80 years, in 4 months is an enormous win. And it implies that if we will mainly take down a facility, if the U.S. mentioned it was crucial to its nationwide protection or its technique in Pacific to carry the Pacific hostage, it was crucial to the U.S. army technique to undertaking pressure into Asia, to threaten different nations, and we have been in a position to mainly rip that facility from their palms and pressure them to close it down. That’s enormous.

If we will accomplish that, we will accomplish ending militarism and saving our planet as a result of on the finish of the day, all of us want water to drink. I don’t know of a single individual on the planet would drink jet gas. I don’t know of a single individual on the planet who can breathe in poisonous fumes and never see horrible well being impacts. I feel there’s plenty of energy in the truth that on a regular basis folks, strange working class individuals are prepared to face as much as these grasp powers that be and win often. Holding that momentum up and utilizing it to construct new fights, I feel has been giving me plenty of hope these days.

KH: After I was a baby, the U.S. declared its first struggle on Iraq, claiming that its neighbor Kuwait have to be defended. The nation was fixated, however the visuals have been extremely curated — a lesson discovered from the Vietnam struggle. There can be no physique counts, however we did get buying and selling playing cards and video game-like imagery of missile launches. By the point the U.S. was waging struggle on Afghanistan, folks right here had discovered to disregard struggle in the identical method they ignore prisons. Now, a struggle is raging, the world is watching, and one other nation is the aggressor, so each affect is emphasised moderately than hid from digicam view — and the victims are white. So, some individuals are reacting as if the horrors of struggle, together with environmental impacts, have simply been born. But it surely’s essential that we keep in mind that struggle is at all times the work of hell-making and the creation of deathscapes, and for the U.S. army, there isn’t any peace time. As a result of folks whose land is occupied, whose water is poisoned, who watch the world round them die, for the sake of army emissions, gas storage, struggle video games and extra, aren’t experiencing peace. They’re experiencing violence. If we wish to battle for the longer term, we should acknowledge these techniques for what they’re. We additionally must uplift tales that may assist folks perceive the reality of those techniques and methods to battle again. That’s why Pink Hill’s story is so vital to inform amid media silence.

KK: Pink Hill is just not the one piece of Hawaiian land that has been illegally taken and occupied and used in opposition to the Hawaiian folks by the U.S. army. It’s simply certainly one of them. And in order we go ahead into the remainder of this 12 months, this story has been actually underreported. Most main information sources have given it possibly one story. Within the press convention when the press secretary for the Secretary of Protection, Austin, mentioned this, there was all these main reporters within the room, not a single one requested any questions on this. They instantly began asking about Ukraine, which clearly is a vital ongoing disaster, however nobody appeared to trouble with this subject in any respect. So I feel it’s vital to maintain eyes on points that appear to be underreported or underrepresented like Pink Hill, simply because it positioned an enormous issue within the U.S.’s general model technique right here within the Pacific.

But additionally Pink Hill’s not the one land that we’d like again. We want all of it again. All the land again in Hawaii as a result of the U.S. army is just not a brand new steward of it. It has been nothing however detrimental to our folks. And so the longer this goes on right here in Hawaii, the extra detrimental results we’re going to see, not solely right here in Hawaii however internationally. And so if common Individuals must know something about Hawaii, it’s that there’s a want for large solidarity on the U.S. continent to assist demilitarize Hawaii and assist de-occupy us and get our land again in order that our folks can dwell on their ancestral lands once more, in order that our ancestors now not have their bones desecrated. So our water continues to be drinkable. So our non-human family members and animals have an opportunity to dwell and thrive right here and aren’t bombed out of existence by the U.S. army.

I feel if there’s something for folks to maintain their thoughts on it’s the truth that this summer time, when everyone seems to be pondering that COVID is over and that individuals are attempting to go on trip and all that stuff, particularly folks coming to Hawaii, that individuals are dwelling right here with out water due to the actual fact the U.S. army determined they have been prepared to poison our water. The longer this goes on, the extra of us are going to endure and the extra of us are going to go with out water. And that if they will do that to us, they’ll do that to anybody. So to be ready for that and to battle earlier than it occurs to you, sort of factor. The perfect time to get into the streets was yesterday and the second greatest time is in the present day. And so get entangled and begin combating to your neighborhood earlier than this occurs to it.

KH: This battle is just not over, and it’s, after all, just one chapter in a a lot bigger wrestle, however it’s a victorious story, and we’d like these. Over 70 teams, and enormous numbers of on a regular basis folks, got here collectively in Hawaii, and regardless of their many variations they waged an outstanding stress marketing campaign and beat the god rattling U.S. army. We lose much more than we win on this work, however each every now and then, folks pull one thing off that makes me sit upright in my chair and assume, “That’s proper. That’s what folks can do.” I’m so grateful for these moments and for the individuals who create them, as a result of we have to be reminded that human potential runs in multiple path. We have to be reminded of our energy, and to be challenged by the data that it’s there, if we’re prepared to behave collectively.

If you wish to study extra about what’s taking place with Pink Hill and the army’s environmental violence in Hawaii, I like to recommend trying out native protection. Honolulu Civil Beat has some nice items on this subject, together with Christina Jedra’s latest article, “How Hawaii Activists Helped Force The Military’s Hand On Red Hill.” For updates on what’s taking place with the state of affairs at Pink Hill, you may also observe Oʻahu Water Protectors on Twitter at @oahuWP.

I do wish to let our common listeners know that “Motion Memos” shall be on pause for a few weeks whereas I are inclined to some issues which have come up in my life. As at all times, I respect your understanding and assist as all of us attempt to navigate these instances.

I wish to thank Kawenaʻulaokalā Kapahua for speaking with me concerning the highly effective work that’s taking place in Hawaii. I’m positive I’m not the one one who discovered quite a bit from our dialog. I additionally wish to thank our listeners for becoming a member of us in the present day, and keep in mind, our greatest protection in opposition to cynicism is to do good, and to keep in mind that the great we do issues. Till subsequent time, I’ll see you within the streets.

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