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Na Maka o Ka Aina marks the 30 year anniversary of Hale Mohalu eviction

Punikaia 2Joan and Puhipau have again graced us with something special. Na Maka O Ka Aina guys have uploaded a music video of Bernard Punikaia singing his song, “Where Birds Never Fly.”  (Punikaia performance)

30 years ago, Punikaia and Clarence Naia, two Hawaiians with Hansen’s Disease who refused to vacate Hale Mohalu, a place that had been home to victims of that disease, were forcibly evicted. Punikaia lived in his car and on the streets for years after this photo was taken of him being dragged out. He refused to be institutionalized.

This is a link to an old story from the archive of thehonoluluadvertiser.


50 years ago, 4 little girls were murdered by an act of terrorism at the 16th Street Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama

AngelaCivil Rights activist and Black Power movement icon, Angela Davis, is interviewed about the Bombing in Birmingham on Hardknockradio.

Davis grew up there during that era, when it was a city referred to as “Bombingham” because of the frequency of KKK and police sanctioned bombings and murders.  During the interview Davis, whose neighborhood was referred to as “Dynamite Hill,” remarks that one of her earliest memories is seeing the house across the street from her home burn after it was bombed.  She also knew one of the little girls whose life was stolen on September 14, 1963. Their names were, and forever are Denise McNair,  who was 11 along with Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley who were all 14.

Spike Lee made an excellent documentary about this incident called “Four Little Girls.” It’s among his best films, so if you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it.

One of the important things about this interview is how Davis makes the connections between this event and the recent killings of young black men, Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin.

McKinley Statue with its Fake Treaty of Annexation


UPDATE: See bottom of this post for news about Sai’s upcoming trip to Zurich.

KITV NEWS: Keanu Sai was featured in a KITV News story that aired on September 10th. It was produced by Hawaiian journalist, Catherine Cruz, one of a very few who have consistently reported on Hawaiian sovereignty matters over the years with clarity and honesty.

The focus of the story is the statue of President William McKinley in front of McKinely High School in Kaimuki. It’s the kind of thing you drive past and see from afar, but never look closely at. However, Keanu and plenty pro-independence Hawaiians have been looking at that statue for years. Some have even posted hundreds of names of Hawaiians  who signed the Ku’e petitions on placards in front of the statue to protest the lie it represents. Or, as Keanu has said many times, that statue represents the only treaty of annexation, because what is becoming common knowledge is that the United States never legally annexed Hawaii. It simply began an illegal, immoral militarily enforced occupation in 1898 and overwhelmed Hawaiians with more than a million settlers.

It’s a well done piece, so check it out! Statue-at-McKinley-High-School.



The Swiss Diplomats – Zurich Network has invited Dr. Keanu Sai to the city of Zurich to give a presentation on the prolonged and illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The title of Dr. Sai’s presentation is “Hawai‘i – An American State or a State Under American Occupation.” Professor Niklaus Schweizer, a former Swiss Consul for Hawai‘i and a professor at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, will be giving the introduction. After the presentation there will be a panel discussion comprised of Dr. Sai, Professor Schweizer, and former Swiss Ambassador to the United States and Germany, Dr. Christian Blickenstorfer. The presentation and panel is scheduled for Monday, November 11, 2013.

From People to Place: A Documentary Filmmaker’s thirty – year Journey, Thursday, September 19th, 12-1:15, Henke 325

FiggylaniJamaican filmmaker and scholar, Esther Figueroa, is the UH Hawaii, Manoa English Department’s Visiting Distinguished Writer in Residence this semester, teaching Caribbean literature and creative non-fiction.

There’s so much I could say about this woman’s courage, soulful to the point of heartbreaking clarity, and unflinching dedication to documenting the corporate and colonial (but those are kinda the same thing, aren’t they?) cannibalism of Jamaica’s shores, reefs, rivers and other natural resources. She has literally witnessed and made us witness to the disappearance of her country. Through her lens we experience the insanity of over building hotels to satisfy the insatiable desire for foreigners who don’t mind killing the place so they can perform ritual fantasies with Jamaica’s culture and beaches.

Go to her YouTube channel (see Figueroa Films) and view some of her work.  Her feature length documentary, Jamaica for Sale, is enlightening, relentless and a genuine displacement of the tourism industry’s narrative of that place. I can’t imagine anyone with a mind or heart seeing this film and still thinking a vacation in Jamaica is a good idea.

If you have the opportunity to hear Ms. Figueroa, do so. She will be in Henke 325 from 12-1:15, as part of the Center for Biographical Research brown-bag series.

And PS- Fig-leaf’s first novel, “Limbo,” a story about Jamaica, is due out in the spring 2014. Seeing her in person here in Hawaii is, indeed, a genuine treat, a gift from the spirit of resistance to spirits in resistance.


Signs of Life Under Occupation: What I Learned Traveling from Tel Aviv through the oPt

Cindy FranklinNext Thursday, September 12th from 3 – 4:30 in Kuykendall room 410, Cynthia Franklin, UH English professor and author, will be discussing her trip to Palestine.

A piece she wrote several months back appeared in Portside, so this is a reminder about the event I announced there.  Franklin wrote something brilliant and sensitive about her journey– I can only imagine that her talk will be even more powerful. Perhaps equally as interesting will be the Q&A. I look forward to the talk and the community dialogue, particularly with the plans being readied for another US military action in the Middle East.