Archive for the ‘Social Justice’ Category

Comments on History and Military presence in Hawaii by Poka Laenui

Monday, October 19th, 2020

On 10/19/2020 2:42 AM, Poka Laenui wrote:



Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific

PHNSY DD/WPF EIS Project Manager

Attention: Andréa M. Von Burg Hall

258 Makalapa Drive, Suite 100

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI 96860-3134


The EIS should address the following matters:

  1. The historical perspective to the use of Pearl Harbor initially as limited for a ten year time period which was to expire by 1893 and for the limited use of an exclusive coaling and refueling station for the United States.  From this initial allowance for the U.S. use of this property, the U.S. has proceeded to subsequently invade the independent nation of Hawaii, landing a hundred sixty two blue jackets, armed with the Gatling Guns and Howitzer cannons, and proceeded to overthrow the independent nation of Hawaii, subsequently establishing a puppet regime which later became the Republic of Hawaii.  That Republic of Hawaii government subsequently and as originally planned with the U.S. Minister Plenipotentiary before the U.S. invasion, proceeded to cede Hawaii to the United States of America in a treaty of annexation.  That treaty, however, was never ratified in accordance with the U.S. Constitutional provision for treaty ratification, instead circumventing that constitutional requirement under Article 2, Section 2 and was adopted by a joint resolution of Congress.


This historical background raises a number of legal questions from the perspective of U.S. domestic law, treaty law and international law.  From U.S. domestic law, the question is what is the legitimacy of actions assumed by the U.S. government based on an occupation of territory of an independent nation of Hawaii when that occupation is founded on an unconstitutional act?


As regards treaty law, the annexation treaty signed between the Republic of Hawaii and the United States of America was done so under the terms that the treaty would be ratified in accordance with the U.S. Constitutional process which was ratification by the U.S. Senate and not by a joint resolution of Congress.  The U.S. has failed to ratify the treaty as provided for by the Constitution.  What are the implications for this historical error to the claimants of the Hawaiian nation, including not only the native Hawaiian people but the many others who can legitimately claim heirship to their inherent nationality to the Hawaiian nation?


The United States, having brought about the demise of the Hawaiian Constitutional Monarchy by its initial invasion and subsequent transfer of powers to the Provisional Government, Republic of Hawaii, Territory of Hawaii and State of Hawaii, what is the U.S. government’s obligation to bring about the restoration of the Hawaiian national government in order to give effect to an organized voice of the Hawaiian nation prior to any further continuance of any action which proceeds along this line of illegal assumption of Hawaiian territory?


As regards international law, what is the obligation of the United States to abide by its international commitments to abide by customary and treaty laws regarding Hawaii, the United States of America, and the international community including obligations under the United Nations Charter?  The United Nations have previously adopted the General Assembly Resolution on the Definition of Aggression whereby any claim of property which is the direct product of an act of aggression is an illegal act.  It is nothing less than a confession that the U.S. aggressed against the Hawaiian nation which brought about the eventual possession of these Hawaiian islands under the claim of the United States (see Public Law 103-150 as well as the Presidential Address to the Joint Houses of Congress, Dec. 18, 1893 by President Grover Cleveland).  While the current state of international law does not have an enforcement arm to bring the U.S. to abide by this definition of aggression, violation of this resolution still constitutes an illegal act which calls upon the honor and integrity of all to abide by the law, perhaps even more forcefully due to its moral command.  What is the appropriate response and liability of citizens of the United States of America who in the end must be held responsible for the actions of its government?  What is the individual liability of the members of the U.S. military forces who act in violation of international law?  (Remember the principles of the Nuremburg Trial made part of international law as well as of the Uniform Code of Military Justice)


The United States is a signor and the U.S. Congress has ratified the Charter of the United Nations, making the charter obligatory under Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution.  Under Article 73 of the U.N. Charter, the U.S. is obligated to bring all its territories which are regarded as non-self-governing territories to self-governance.  The United States submitted among other territories, the Hawaiian Islands as a non-self governing territory.  Among the obligation to be met by the United States is the obtaining of the free and informed choices of independence, free association or integration into the administering authority, i.e., the United States of America.  These choices were never afforded the people of Hawaii who were non-self governing.  The movement for U.S. Statehood of Hawaii was a violation of that free choice process because it was the U.S. citizens and not the non-self governing people of Hawaii who were permitted to vote in that “Statehood Vote” plebiscite in 1959.  Furthermore, the “choices” given in that plebiscite was only to become a State of the U.S. or remain a territory of the United States.  There were no choices for independence or for free association.  Thus, the sacred trust obligation assumed by the United States to bring about self-determination of the non-self governing people has not yet been met.  What are the obligations of the United States to first meet such obligations before continuing with its colonization of Hawaii?  What are the liabilities for its citizens who are eventually responsible for the acts of its nation, especially for those citizens who now know of the continuing illegality of its governmental actions?


  1. The alternative of investing in a process of peace by peaceful means, i.e., a movement away from the unrelenting buildup of military weaponry and equipment to carry such war efforts forward, and address instead, a broad process of identifying the real issues of national security and how to achieve such security.  This generalized search for peace by peaceful means should clearly define the national security interest including protection against hunger, homelessness, health care for its people, proper education, eradication of disease and poverty, safety from weather changes including storms, temperature rise, volcanic eruptions and tidal waves, and these issues measured against the military aggression by others against the shores of the United States (not including how the U.S. has instead placed itself in harms way by its participation in wars and conflicts beyond its borders).


This process of peace by peaceful means should look into involving domestic as well as international organizations that are not associated with or under contract to the U.S. government such as the East West Center.  There are many other organizations for peace by peaceful means which can be contacted and should be for coming up with viable plans for national security through peace by peaceful means.


  1. The EIS should address the specific concerns of the Native Hawaiian people, their cultural, subsistence and spiritual interest in Pu`uloa (Pearl Harbor), and the need for appropriate protocol within the native culture for proceeding with any further building on these ancient and sacred `aina. 

I submit these areas of concern which should be part of the EIS in this matter.



/s/ Poka Laenui

Poka Laenui,


Photos from Oct. 16, 2020 Hilo Peace Vigil

Friday, October 16th, 2020

Photos from Oct. 16, 2020 Hilo Peace Vigil.  Mahalo to all!


Please Join the Friday Hilo Peace Vigil

Friday, October 16th, 2020
Please Join the Hilo Friday Peace Vigil
If can, please join the Friday Hilo Peace Vigil 3:30-5PM at the downtown Hilo Post office. Come for 5min. or the full vigil. Bring a chair to sit in the shade. Please wear a mask and social distance.  All participation appreciated. I could use help with set up at 3PM. Please join Hawaiian kupuna, 87 year old Malie Sellers, 87 year old Margaret Furukawa, and other seniors –Ron Fujiyoshi, Danny, Li, Tomas Belsky, Steve Paulmier, etc. We need youth and other seniors too.  See this weeks leaflet here
Jim Albertini

Ann Wright’s Op Ed on Terminating Army Lease at Pohakuloa

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020


Column: State should terminate Army’s lease on land at Pohakuloa

                                A mortarman with the 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, loaded a round during a fire support coordination exercise on Nov. 19, 2019, at Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii island.


    A mortarman with the 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, loaded a round during a fire support coordination exercise on Nov. 19, 2019, at Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii island.

  • Ann Wright

    Ann Wright

1 / 2

As a concerned Hawaii citizen, I call on the governor of the state of Hawaii and on the chairperson and board of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to terminate the lease of 23,000 acres of Hawaii public trust land at Pohakuloa Training Area to the U.S. Army.

This land was leased for $1 to the Army in 1964 for a term of 65-years. In violation of the terms of the lease, the Army has damaged native ecosystems, left unexploded ordnance, depleted uranium and other contaminants, and harmed Native Hawaiian cultural sites.

Although the lease expires in 2029, the U.S. military is seeking to renew the lease as quickly as possible.

The U.S. military wants to extend the lease on the 23,000 acres of state of Hawaii property at Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) as it provides access to the 110,000 acres of adjacent U.S. federal government-owned land at the largest U.S. military firing range. The Army calls the 132,000-acre range on Hawaii island the “Pacific’s premier training area.”

PTA, with a 51,000-acre “impact area,” is used heavily by Hawaii-based and visiting international military forces. It is the largest live-fire range in Hawaii and supports full-scale combined arms field training from the squad to brigade (approximately 3,500 soldiers) level.


Hawaiian cultural practitioners Clarence Ku Ching and Mary Maxine Kahaulelio filed suit against the state DLNR in 2014, claiming the state breached its trust duties by failing to enforce the lease.

Four years later, state Circuit Judge Gary Chang ruled in 2018 in Ching and Kahaulelio’s lawsuit that the DLNR failed to care for the Big Island property, lacking inspections over the first nearly 50 years of the lease. The judge said that the state has a duty to “malama ‘aina,” called two DLNR inspection reports “grossly inadequate,” and ordered the state to develop and potentially execute a plan to obtain adequate funding for a compre­hensive cleanup of the land.

After Judge Chang’s order, DLNR said that as the landlord of the property, it would work with the Army to develop a formal inspection, monitoring and reporting process, which has been virtually nonexistent. However, the Hawaii Supreme Court later overturned part of the order.

The Army set a 40-day public “scoping” period for the environment impact statement (EIS) that ends Oct. 14, this Wednesday. If you think it is time for the state of Hawaii to get its 23,000 acres back from the federal government, submit written comments via the EIS website at


Honolulu resident Ann Wright is a retired U.S. Army colonel.

Trump Threatens Coup Oct. 16, 2020 Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

Trump Threatens Coup


Desperate People Do Desperate Things! Be prepared – anything is possible!

   trump cloud 


       Democracy is under threat like never before. The group “Public Citizen” has summed things up very well — Trump is threatening to remain in office regardless of the election results and using the threat to foment chaos leading up to Election Day. Trump would not commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose. He has launched a full on attack against mail-in ballots. Here are some things Trump has actually said: Well, we’re going to have to see what happens.” “The ballots are a disaster.” “Get rid of the ballots and … there won’t be a transfer, frankly.” “The ballots are out of control.” “The ballots — that’s a whole big scam.” “We want to make sure the election is honest, and I’m not sure that it can be.”

      Never in the history of the U.S. has a president refused to peacefully hand over leadership to his duly elected successor. But now we have a president confessing on live TV, over and over again — that he may try to remain in office regardless of the election results. This is outright authoritarianism. It is what dictators and despots do.

10 things you need to know to stop a coup

     Longtime  peace activist and author, David Hartsough, advises everyone to get involved with   Help build a massive nonviolent movement to nonviolently resist if there is an attempted coup in November.  Activists are helping build this movement, organizing nonviolent trainings, etc.  If Trump loses the election but refuses to accept the results of the election, this could be a “trigger event” which could help mobilize millions of people into action.  See also George Lakey’s articles under the “Democracy” section in

       Even if there is not a coup and the election results in a peaceful transition of power, our work has just begun.  Have no illusions.  Republican or Democrat, the wars of empire need to be ended.  We need to build a more just society and livable world that serves all the people, not simply corporate interests and the elite .1 of 1%.

Meanwhile – Please sign this petition concerning the military Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA):
To the Governor of the State of Hawai’i & Director of Lands and Natural Resources
Do Not Extend $1 Lease on 23,000 acres of Hawai’i State Lands in Military Pōhakuloa Training Area!

Don’t Be Bamboozled Again!

1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject violence & war as solutions. 3. Defend civil liberties.
4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Hawaiian, etc.
5. Seek peace through peaceful means and work for justice in Hawai`i and around the world.

Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action

P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown), Hawaii 96760 Phone (808) 966-7622 Email

For more information and to receive our posts go to

Oct. 16, 2020 Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet – week 994 – Fridays 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office