It's puzzling — and sad — to see Hawaiian independence activists aligning themselves with the mainland-based Center for Food Safety (CFS) and anti-GMO activist Vandana Shiva. Especially under the guise of aloha aina, coalition-building and getting educated.
I mean, aren't they aware of how the CFS-led anti-GMO movement has polarized rural Hawaii communities, used strategies that made a mockery of aloha, turned off mainstream voters and intentionally distorted the truth?
Other than taking up arms, little could marginalize independence activists more than hooking up with the mainland's anti-GMO crowd.
Yet this flyer and message is now circulating on Facebook:
Here is an attempt to advance Aloha Aina here in Hawaii. It is an attempt to build a coalition of people who want major changes in the governance of Hawaii.
This event is not the cure all, but one of many steps we will need to take to gain control of our future here is [sic] Hawaii. I hope you will be able to kokua in any way you can to attend, get others to attend, send out this flyer, get involved, talk with others, etc.
We hope to start this new year with some kind of a focus and momentum, and it starts with coming together and being educated!
Its [sic] not the corporation's hale, Its [sic] the PEOPLE'S HALE!
Shiva, on her third tour of Hawaii, is listed as the special guest. As I've previously reported, her speaking fee is $40,000, plus first-class airfare from India and expenses.
Do you know how many hulihuli chickens the Reinstated Nation of Hawaii has to sell to make $40,000?
So is any of the mainland dough that funds the Hawaii anti-GMO movement being shared with independence activists? I mean, aside from Walter Ritte, who has been on that payroll for some time now.
And truly, are Dustin Barca, the ill-informed, paranoid ranter who failed in his mayoral run, and Gary Hooser, the smug ideologue who barely got re-elected to the County Council, the best people to represent Kauai in anything, much less a coalition seeking major changes in governance?
Curiously, CFS's Ashley Lukens is distributing her own email flyer — one protected by copyright, no less — that says absolutely nothing about Hawaiian independence or aloha aina or coalition-building.
No, it's all about Vandana Shiva and CFS Director Andrew Kimbrell, who lives in Washington, D.C., trying to pass themselves off as “Together, we are home rule.”
Whose home, exactly, are they talking about? And whose rule, other than the one they want to impose?
We're supposed to be excited because “Dr. Shiva will help bring our stories of struggle and triumph to the rest of the world, carrying forward Hawaii’s victories to all who are fighting for increasing control of their food system.”
What victories are those, exactly? A promo video for the “Home Rule Tour” claims, “We Are Winning,” even though two of the three anti-GMO bills have been struck down and a similar fate likely awaits the third.
Meanwhile, people who actually could be working for meaningful change are being distracted by this charade, which promises much, but has actually delivered nothing but discord, disunity and donations to its own coffers.
The CFS website claims that Shiva "ignited and empowered the food movement in Hawaii." Yet CFS and Shiva have focused entirely on destroying the seed companies. They have done nothing to actually achieve "food sovereignty" by getting farmers on the land or improving local food production.
I have long supported the Hawaiian independence movement and efforts to promote true aloha aina in the Islands.
But CFS and Vandana Shiva are not and never will be the means to that end. They have their own interests and agenda, and the earnest folk of Hawaii are pawns in their battle, tools to achieve their own personal ends.
The anti-GMO movement — funded and directed by mainland "1%" foundations and international corporate interests — is nothing more than the newest version of colonialism to hit the Islands. And it's all the more insidious because it's being passed off as “home rule” and "food sovereignty."
What more can be said than “E ala e” and “auwe”!?