Sunday, January 22, 2012

Musings: Strong-Arming Molokai

Those who support Molokai folks in their quest for self-determination, as well as people involved with the Hawaii Superferry demonstrations, will appreciate the action at Kaunakakai Harbor yesterday, where about 50 persons protested the return of a 36-passenger vessel operated by American Safari Cruises.

Here's a link to a short video clip of the protest, which was posted with the text:

On January 21st 2012 over 100 police, coast guard, us sheriffs, and fbi converged on the tiny isle of Moloka'i. To protect a private luxury yacht and it's 36 passengers. At a cost of over $1 million dollars.

One of the background comments recorded on the video:

Well, I guess the governor really proved his point. He's the man. Can strong-arm Molokai.

Ya really gotta wonder, why would that cruise ship want to bring passengers to a place where they're so clearly not wanted? A sign held by one protestor offers an answer: GREED IZ DA PROBLEM.

According to a very short report in the Star-Advertiser:

The Coast Guard used a cutter to escort the American Safari Cruises 36-passenger ship, with a response boat and 27 Coast Guard personnel assisting on the ground, as well as a few manning small boats from the Marine Safety and Security Team from San Francisco, which was here for the recent presidential visit.

The FBI, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Maui County police and deputy sheriffs were also on hand.

The clamp down followed an action on Nov. 26, 2011, when Molokai folks used surfboats and small boats to block the cruise ship from entering Kaunakakai Harbor. It eventually turned around left.

But now it's back, with an armed escort. As a protestor addressing the ship and its escort with a bullhorn said:

We don't know who you're protecting. Not us. Molokai has always peacefully demonstrated and yet you guys come here fully loaded, armed and ready to shoot. What's up with that? What you guys gonna do? Shoot our kids? You gonna shoot the kupuna?

We're not terrorists. We love this place. Do you guys love this place? You don't even know this place. Therefore, leave.

It's a pretty sad state of affairs when the government is forcing tourism on kanaka at the point of a gun. As the sign held by one kupuna read: Respect the Lifestyle and Desires of Local People.


Anonymous said...

I think we should remember that the new rules implemented for the ʻsecurity zonesʻ were done illegally and untimely making them void. They were put in place by lingle for the Superferry on Kauai.

Anonymous said...

The Police, Coast Guard, and FBI are big bullies. Why are the people on that boat going to Molokai when they are clearly not welcomed. Seems totally disrespectful to me. Molokai should be able to determine how much growth they want for their small island. We stand with you people of Molokai. I aloha Molokai.

Anonymous said...

What's sad is that 50 people can claim that they have the authority to represent the wishes of 7,300 residents.

What is even sadder is failing to realize that thinking people shouldn't be able to park a boat because you judge them unworthy is fascist. The impulse behind wanting to prevent free travel is a fascist impulse.

Of course, you don't believe you are fascists because you believe you are right. As if believing in your own rightness wasn't an integral part of being fascistic.

Anonymous said...

If you look up the definition of fascism it's:

A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

Who is fascist, the govt with guns imposing an economic activity or people peacefully exercising first amendment rights? It's a little more complicated than not wanting people to park a boat because you think they're "unworthy."

Anonymous said...

January 22, 2012 12:03 PM

You donʻt get it.

Anonymous said...

I doubt that the protesters represented the vast majority of the island's population.

At any rate, the island's population cannot simply reject tourism and illegally block access.

Just because they are the population of an island does not give them any additional rights over use of public land governed by the US, state and county.

Protest all you want, but you cannot legally block access without consequences.

Anonymous said...

"Molokai should be able to determine how much growth they want for their small island."

Unless Molokai is a separate county in Hawaii, it cannot make such determinations.

Besides, "growth" as in building additional dwellings of various kinds is not the same as tourism.

You have no legal standing to "stop time", put up a "no vacancy" sign on the whole island. Public land is not your belongs to the state and, ultimately, to the federal government.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Sorry, but we do - and should - have the right to travel to Molokai if we please.

If someone tried to keep you from going where you would go, you'd be yelling your head off about it.

watchdog said...

Wish they'd escort the monk seals to Molokai with the same level of protection.

Anonymous said...

Snow Owl invasion
From the NY Times.

“One showed up at the airport in Hawaii, and they shot it,” he added in astonishment. “It’s the first ever in Hawaii and they shot it!”

At first I thought it was a tourist...

Anonymous said...

Mass arrivals via cruise ships to Moloka`i is what residents are opposed to. Unlike most of our other main Hawaiian islands that have become heavily populated and visited by transplants and tourists, a very large part of the Moloka`i community continue to live a traditional subsistence lifestyle. Many (and not the minority either!) Native Hawaiian families still sustain themselves and their `ohana by traditional means of hunting, gathering, planting and fishing. Large vessels such as cruise ships pollute and impact the ocean resources...and face it, whether you like it or not, hoards of tourists will change the close-knit tapestry of the Native Hawaiian community and lifestyle. And I agree with other postings that echo the question in my own mind: "Why on earth would anyone want to go someplace where they are not welcome?" Even if it's not the visual majority. It is the way of the haole - the foreigner, stranger and newcomer to feel that it is their entitlement to go anywhere and do anything that they please! Geeze.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but the "entitlement to go anywhere" is a human right. Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the U.N. General Assembly, and Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Geeze!

Anonymous said...

Sure you can go Molokai, but nothing says you got the right to go by cruise ship. If you be pushing your rights to go where ever, don't forget the residents also got the right to get in your face and say they don't like it!

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 12:35 - Any of us can go to Moloka`i right now if we wanted to. The issue here is mass arrivals to Moloka`i by cruise ship. The community there has been against this for years! This is not new. All we have to do is look at Honolulu Harbor and our own Nawiliwili Harbor and see how polluted and heavily impacted these former fishing areas/grounds that once sustained huge communities of people and families.

People who cannot see or understand this primary point that is being made by those in opposition on Moloka`i as well as here on this blog post "gather" their fish in the produce sections of Costco, Foodland, Times, Safeway, etc.

I envy the fact that Moloka`i people can still lead this type of sustainable lifestyle that keeps mankind connected to our natural resources in ways that respect and aligns balance and productivity.

You'll probably say that it is your human right to impact and exploit the land and natural resources. You pack a foolish attitude that will eventually lead to your demise.

Anonymous said...

Molokai is known as the Welfare Island...although they are "self sufficient".....road apples.

Anonymous said...

When, oh when, will people see the futility of clinging to the past???

Move into the 21st century or be crushed by it. Adapt to thrive.

You think the world will leave those stone age tribes found in the Amazon alone???

Such dreamers are doomed to a bad end.

Anonymous said...

The world of today is a big shit pie and all of us have to take a bite.

Anonymous said...

Oh what ignorant baboons. Just wait until the next Hurricane or major natural disaster that shuts down gas stations, stores, airports and harbors...telephones, water systems, etc. One of the biggest blessings that came out of the tragedy of Hurricane `Iniki in '92 was how all of the transplants who led cushy, comfortable, consumer lifestyles left Kaua`i to go back to the continent. Clinging on to the past? I think NOT! The "dreamers" you speak about are only doomed because _______ like you are rude enough to push your arrogant attitudes and ways into places that you know nothing, nor care nothing about except your own self, needs and wants. I guess in your own whacked way, you feel that it is your right to do so. No aloha.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see that blind racism is alive and well on Kauai...tell me about "Local" Haoles again because I can't stop laughing.

Anonymous said...

"Small Island Mentality"

Anonymous said...

But it IS our right to do so...that's the point.

The "Sovereign Nation of Molokai" does not exist. No passport/visa restrictions. No one...absolutely no one...can tell a person that he can't buy land there nor build on it.

Your "No Vacancy" (or "Welcome to Molokai...Now Get The Hell Out!") mentality is ridiculous.

Don't like it? Keep movin' on to Figi.

Anonymous said...

Ahh....Molokai momona. Famous for its abundance and ability to feed its people and all of Hawaii nei. I kako'o (support) the people of Molokai who want a say in how the resources of their island are used and NOT abused. "Mass tourism" that plagues all the other main Hawaiian islands is a double-edged sword. There should be places that retain that sense of place, a true reflection of the Hawaiian culture, not some Hollywood version of it ala Waikiki. If people really want to visit Molokai, there is an existing ferry service as well as planes that fly there daily. Visit Molokai on her terms, not yours. She will welcome you and reveal her beauty and spirituality if your heart is open.

If you value the culture that makes Hawaii special, allow places where the culture can breathe unencumbered by the masses that have overcome so many of our wahi pana on the other islands.

Anonymous said...

So well said...mahalo for that awesome last posting at 1:55p