Press Release: July 16, 2016 Press Release on Citizen Radiation Monitoring, free-speech rights, and police action
New problems with police over Free Speech rights in Hilo
further contact: Jim Albertini 966-7622, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 Email email@example.com www.malu-aina.org
Less than 24 hours after meeting with Hilo Police Captain Richard Sherlock, assigned by the Chief to discuss free speech issues with us, new problems have arisen. On Friday afternoon Captain Sherlock said that Hawaii Revised Statue 291C-77 protects free speech rights to leaflet. Yet again, on Saturday, July 16, at 11AM another police officer, D. Kenison threatened to cite a person from offering drivers of stopped vehicles in the makai bound left turn lane on Kanoelehua at the Hilo airport intersection traffic light, the identical site affirmed by Captain Sherlock as a site protected for free speech after a threat of arrest by another officer, officer Gouveia on Wednesday, July 13th. I informed officer Kenison of myself and Rev. Ronald Fujiyoshi meeting with Captain Sherlock yesterday and that Captain Sherlock had affirmed our free-speech rights and would be letting all officers know to respect our rights. Apparently the word has yet to go out. to officers. To his credit officer Kenison who threatened arrest had a respectful tone in his conversation with us.
This was not the case a. few hours earlier on Saturday. Four of us in white radiation suits, hard hats and masks with a 3’X8′ “ Radiation Monitoring” sign, clip boards and several radiation monitors where standing on the sidewalk opposite the Hilo Farmers’ Market by Mo’oheau Park. At approximately 8:30AM an unidentified police officer in a white Jeep, license plat ZCJ 215 pulled up to the curb and said in a rough voice “What are you doing here?” We explained that we were monitoring for radiation given that the military Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) is known to be contaminated with Depleted Uranium (DU) radiation and there is presently large scale live-fire taking place at PTA as part of RIMPAC 2016. We further explained that high explosives at PTA can turn DU into DU oxide particles which can be carried long distances in the wind and that such small particles are extremely dangerous if inhaled, causing various cancers, birth defects, and genetic damage. We gave the officer an informational leaflet. The officer’s again rough response was “Get that sign off the sidewalk.” The 8 foot long sign was actually perpendicular to the sidewalk with most of the sign on the park grass and only about 12-18 inches on the sidewalk leaving several feet of clear sidewalk for people to pass. Foot traffic on the park side sidewalk where we were standing was very light. Most of the foot traffic was across at the Farmers’ Market. Still, we complied with the officer’s demand but what was disturbing was the tone of his interaction which was harsh, bullying, not respectful and the kind of tone that doesn’t build a sense of police/citizen community, which is sorely need in our society. Frankly I felt harassed by the officer for exercising my free-speech constitutional rights.
After doing an hour of radiation monitoring at the Hilo Farmers’ Market, an hour at Rainbow Falls where we had a lot of good conversations with local residents and visitors from all over the world, we went to Hilo airport to monitor radiation. Carl David of our group decided to stay at the Hwy 11/Airport intersection and hand out leaflets as described above where he was confronted by officer D. Kennison. Three of us road in a pickup truck with the “Radiation Monitoring” sign upright in the bed and did three loops around the airport donut road. On the third trip we were followed by 2 Airport security vehicles and when we pulled into the cell phone parking lot area to lower the sign in preparation for leaving the airport, we were confronted by two Airport Security Police who said we had to leave.. We explained that in fact we were preparing to leave but we believed it was our constitutional right to drive on the public roadway and conduct citizen radiation monitoring, especially in light of RIMPAC bombing at Pohakuloa and the likely spread of radiation in the winds around our island home. I can only assume based on the Airport police statements that had we decided to continue our radiation monitoring at Hilo airport, the Airport Police would have arrested us.
Our last stop of the day for Radiation Monitoring was the entrance to Hilo Harbor, where we stayed for approximately 1 hour. Thankfully we had no encounter with police there. No police passed by.
In summation, for simply doing peaceful citizen radiation monitoring and offering informational leaflets to people about the dangers of Depleted Uranium radiation from ongoing bombing at Pohakuloa, a base known to be contaminated with DU, we had 3 police encounters in 3 hours. Why isn’t our State Department of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Nuclear Regulatory Agency doing Radiation Monitoring, an independent survey of the Depleted Uranium present at Pohakuloa and a clean up of the toxins there? After all, the Hawaii County Council passed Resolution 639-08 on July 2, 2008 by a vote of 8-1 that called for stopping all live-fire and any activities at PTA that creates dust, and it called for monitoring and clean up of the DU present at PTA. To date, the live fire continues and the DU has not been cleaned up. And no one is doing monitoring except us. How come? Fortunately the radiation monitoring readings we recorded today were not as high as what we recorded on other occasions. Today, the winds were light. Who knows what will be blowing in the wind tomorrow? We are not going to hold our breath until our government officials do their job. We are going to continue to act for people, plants and animals, for the air, land and sea, and the right to breathe free. Join us! Mahalo.
Jim Albertini Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 Email firstname.lastname@example.org www.malu-aina.org
Radiation monitoring schedule --join if can
Sun. July 17th (meet at Komohana/Saddle Rd 8AM) 9AM Mauna Kea Park (near
Pohakuloa), 10AM Waikoloa Village, 11AM Mauna Kea Beach hotel/Hapuna beach park
Check the Malu ‘Aina website www.malu-aina.org for future Radiation Monitoring dates and sites.