Feb. 18, 2017 Video at Pohakuloa main gate. Video by Donald Wessels.
Military Police Lieutenant G. Alexander refuses to accept hand delivery of letter to PTA base commander signed by at least 84 people. He said to mail the letter.
Below is an email sent to PTA Commander C. Marquez on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 from Jim Albertini
Aloha Commander Marquez,
Below is a report on our gathering Saturday, Feb. 18th. As noted, when we tried to hand deliver our signed statement with 4 pages of names, PTA Police Lieutenant G. Alexander told us he would not accept it for you and we had to mail it. We will do that, but the refusal to even accept out respectful letter is further insult. Reminds me of the Gospel readings of yesterday of Jesus under Roman occupation – when you are slapped on the left check, turn the other cheek. When the Roman soldier forces you to go one mile, walk the second mile, etc. and the ultimate — Love your enemies! We will continue to do our best to walk the extra mile and love you in spite of your disrespectful, illegal and immoral actions. We remain firm in our belief. No lie can live forever. The arc of the universe bends toward justice. Love, not violence, will have the final word.
Blessings to you.
Photo of Protect Pohakuloa ceremony at Pu’uhuluhulu
photo by Donna Grabow
Press Release on Protect Pohakuloa gathering held Sat. Feb. 18, 2017
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 Visit us on the web at www.malu-aina.org
Seventy people gathered Sat. morning at 10:30 at the Pu’uhuluhulu ahu at the intersection of Saddle Rd and Mauna Kea Access Rd. Ceremony and prayers were offered for the healing of our air, land, and water; for Pohakuloa, Mauna Kea, Oak Flat and Standing Rock and wherever people are suffering. Besides Native Hawaiian (Kanaka Maoli) and other local residents present, native healers from inner Mexico joined in solidarity. Kumu Kalani Flores from Waimea lead the gathering ceremony and many people offered prayers and offerings, including chants and songs. Some of the ceremony was live-streamed to Oak Flat and Standing Rock. Following a pot luck lunch, twenty six people journeyed to Pu’u Koli, the very center of the island, for further ceremony and prayers seeking peace, aloha and the healing of our lands. Pu’u Koli is located on the southern boundary of Pohakuloa. Live firing from Pohakuloa could be heard during the ceremony.
Following the ceremony at Pu’u Koli, a delegation attempted to deliver the letter below to the Pohakuloa Base Commander, Christopher M. Marquez LTC via the PTA main gate. The letter was signed by more than 80 people. PTA Police Lieutenant, G. Alexander refused to accept the letter for Commander Marquez and said it would have to be sent through the US mail which will be done. The letter speaks for itself. Mahalo to all who were part of this gathering and who signed the letter.
To Christopher M. Marquez, LTC
Commanding Officer US Army Garrison Pohakuloa Training Area
P.O. Box 4607 Hilo, Hawaii 96720-0607
We, the undersigned, are deeply offended by your repeated lack of good faith in responding to our Sept. 30, 2016 request, and several follow up requests, for religious access to the ahu at the base of Pu’u Ka Pele for ho’okupu and Makahiki ceremony. We are also deeply offended by your failure, and that of other PTA commanders, to respond to questions submitted in writing about Depleted Uranium (DU) radiation contamination at PTA and other community concerns dating back to 2007, questions that were also presented to you in writing on Sept. 30, 2016. Your repeated lack of good faith, and that of other PTA commanders, hurts rather than improves military/community relations.
We do not believe that you have the moral or legal right under the U.S. Constitution, and certainly not under Hawaiian Kingdom law, to prohibit religious practice and access to sacred sites at Pohakuloa. The U.S. as an occupying power, has a legal duty to uphold Hawaiian Kingdom law and the right of religious practice and access under the law — Kanawai Mamala Hoe, which is also recognized in the Hawaii State Constitution. Article 12, section 7 of the Hawaii State Constitution affirms the right of traditional religious practice. Religious practices are also protected by numerous international and human rights laws; too many to mention here and are cited in military manuals and handbooks that apply directly to military branches of the United States of America.
Therefore, please immediately cease and desist from your illegal activities of blocking our right to religious practice and access. Please also know that we consider your ongoing occupation and the bombing of Hawaii not only illegal, but the ultimate in religious desecration of our sacred ‘aina and we intend to hold you accountable.
For reply: Malu ‘Aina P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawaii 96760