Press Release: TPP Protest Report

From Jim Albertini, Malu ‘Aina:
“Hawaii had a a very spirited protest against TPP on Sat. March 15th from 11-1PM at the Waikoloa Marriott Beach Hotel. More than 60 people gathered on the highway fronting the hotel property and held signs and banners against TPP for the first hour and leaflets were handed out to passing vehicles at the traffic light. (Leaflet below). People came from all over the island and included Native Hawaiian leaders, ILWU Union members, peace, environmental and anti-GMO activists, etc. Signs and banners included: “Secret meetings taking place here.” “NO TPP –Backroom deal -License to Steal,” TPP Kills Jobs, Kills Nature, Kills Home Rule.” “Stop TPP Fast Track –People Before Profits.” There were even signs in Japanese against TPP. The response from those passing by in vehicles and on foot was very positive.
“At 12 noon, about 30 people moved from the highway to the King’s trail area near the King and Queen marketplace areas of the resort complex to continue the protest and hand out leaflets to TPP delegates passing by on the sidewalks to and from the nearby restaurants and shops. The King’s trail is a public trail where free speech rights must be recognized within resort private property. Some delegates passing by wanted their pictures taken next to a protest vehicle truck with magnetic signs that read “No TPP: People Power Not 1% Rule.” and “No TPP –No License to Steal.” Hotel security were upset that the truck was parked in the parking area clearly marked “King’s Trail Parking Area.” They wanted the truck removed but protesters stood firm.
At the King’s trail, several county police eventually arrived and I heard one of the officers falsely assert that the trail was private hotel property. But he protests continued.
“Another dozen protesters went to walk the public shoreline area carrying protest signs and offer informational leaflets to people on the beach fronting the resort. Hotel security again tried to dispute people’s first amendment rights on the shoreline and the legal definition of the shoreline which is “the high wash of the high seasonal surf,” not the low or high tide mark. When protesters turned their cameras on to record the encounter, the security supervisor refused to say another word and left the area.
“No arrests were made throughout the day. The protest was peaceful. Still, people’s rights of peaceful protest need to be clarified and respected by hotel security and police on Hawaii’s public trails and shorelines. And of course corporations, and things like TPP, trampling on peoples rights and destroying the earth need to be stopped by united global citizen action.”
Jim Albertini for Malu ‘Aina

Protests Planned for International Trade Talks at Waikoloa

A series of  protest and educational  events are  being planned to coincide with talks scheduled to take place at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott on the  Trans-Pacific Partnership, a new trade agreement that would further lower trade barriers between at least twelve countries around the Pacific Rim. The talks, scheduled to take place March 9 through 15, will involve trade and industry representatives to work out details  preceding a ministerial-level meeting in April. At least 12 countries –The U.S., Japan, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Chile, Singapore, Vietnam, Mexico and Canada–have been participating in the talks, though South Korea and additional Latin American countries have made noises about joining.  The Obama Administration, at its official Web site on the talks, calls the TPP the “cornerstone” of its trade policy and maintains that in addition to attempting to open  more markets to U.S.-made products, the administration is negotiating for “robust environment standards and commitments from member countries”  and “strong and enforceable labor standards” in all the signatory nations.  But opponents claim that the treaty will lead to the export of millions of American jobs, strengthen pharmaceutical monopolies, encourage the privatization of lands and resources used by indigenous peoples, and erode national sovereignty in favor of corporate power.

Protest groups plan to place peaceful pickets around the resort throughout the week, culminating in a peaceful protest rally n Saturday, March 14, from 11. a.m. to 1 p.m.  They  have also  scheduled events with “educational speakers” at the Hilo Women’s Club on Wednesday, March 11, at 6 p.m.,  and at the West Hawaii Civic Center Council Chambers in Kono on Friday, March 13, at 6 p.m.   Among those speaking will be a representative from Global Access to Medicine;  The Third World Network, and  Unite Here, Local 5; as well as Palekapu Dedman of the Pele Defense Fund and Dr. Jane Kelsey from the University University of Auckland, New Zealand.

For more information about the proposed treaty, visit the Obama Administration’s TTP Web site.   For a good independent overview of the issues involved, see this article in Salon.  For more information about the protests, contact or visit:

Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action
P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760
Phone 808-966-7622



–Alan McNarie

Judy Wicks to Speak at Local Economies Festival in Hilo

wicks 1

Judy Wicks

by Malian Lahey

Internationally known author/entrepreneur/social justice advocate Judy Wicks will be the featured speaker Local Economies Festival, at Shark’s Café on Keawe St. on January 31. The festival which is designed to shine a light on our economic behavior and how we can use it to protect our communities from corporate exploitation, will feature other speakers as well as live music by the Equals and local products direct from their producers. The event lasts from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with Wicks scheduled to speak for an hour starting at 1 p.m.
In her book, Good Morning Beautiful Business, Wicks describes how, in the early 80’s, she was running a restaurant and working to save an enchanting historic area of Philadelphia from being razed to the ground to build a mall.
That’s when she met an Episcopal priest named David Funkhouser who was on his way to Washington, D.C. with a group of Salvadoreans with the intention of protesting U.S. government support for government death squads who pushed indigenous people off of their farmland to make way for U.S. corporate development.
Her word for the connection she felt with the Salvadoreans is “solidarity.”
In 1987, when the Reagan administration was deep into the Iran-Contra scandal, Wicks was running her own restaurant, the White Dog Café, creating her own signature style of New American cuisine, and enjoying great success building a local food economy based on ethical farming and ethical treatment of animals. In this time of achieving her goals, she reconnected to a deeper dream of creating true peace and justice in the world.
She contacted Funkhouser again and asked him to help her start “sister restaurant” relationships with restaurants in El Salvador and Nicaragua. Wanting to witness the truth about what was going on as President Reagan inundated Americans with the message that the Sandinistas who resisted the Contras were dangerous communists, Wicks found that the sister restaurants, including one called Selva Negra, were privately owned and unmolested by Sandinistas.
Her sense of justice inflamed by the absolute misinformation being spread in the USA by the government and mainstream media, Wicks made the White Dog Café a hotbed of intellectual exchange on social justice issues by inviting luminaries like Amy Goodman, Frances Moore Lapp?, Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser and Dan Imhoff to “Table Talks” with her customers.
A few years after that, she was invited to join the Social Venture Network by Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s. All this gave her the courage to do what she did next.
In 1994, when the Clinton administration approved NAFTA, the Zapatista uprising began in Chiapas, Mexico. This is because NAFTA forced Mexico to repeal Article 27 of its constitution, which protected indigenous lands that US corporations wanted to exploit for their resources.
In 1995, the White Dog started a sister relationship with Casa del Pan in Chiapas. In November of 1997, Wicks accompanied Roy Bourgeois, the founder of School of Americas watch, to the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia, to protest the torture, rape and massacres being perpetrated by SOA alumnae throughout Central America.
Says Wicks, “I went to the School of the Americas to protest the human rights violations. I had good company and I met a lot of really god people in the stockade. It was something we had planned for months. There was a whole scenario where some groups carried the coffins and someone carried a single sign of someone who had been killed, and when their name was called, the person carrying their sign answered ‘Presente.’ It was one of the highlights of my life. The soldiers were nice. They came and arrested us. There were hundreds of us; it might have even been a thousand. They took us to a stockade they had built outside of Fort Benning. We were given a citation and told that we were not allowed to be on the property.”
However, the U.S. government still continued to supply weapons and training to forces oppressing indigenous Maya people, and in December 2007, Wicks received an urgent email from Kippy Nigh, owner of Casa Del Pan, begging Judy to help find a way to stop the US government from sending guns to the Mexican army before it was too late.
Unfortunately, it was already too late. Colorado coffee importer Kerry Appel made his third annual coffee buying trip to Acteal, in the state of Chiapas, only to find that the paramilitary group Mascara Roja had stolen all of the coffee stores and murdered forty-five Mayans from the coffee growing community inside of a chapel where they had gathered to pray for peace. This event later came to be known as the Acteal Massacre.
Wicks responded by organizing Businesses for Ethical Trade and Human Rights in Chiapas (BETHRIC). She recruited her coffee roaster and supplier Myron Simmons of New Harmony in Philadelphia, Rick Stewart, founder and CEO of Frontier Natural Products Co-op, Kerry Appel of Human Bean in Colorado, Dan Cox of Coffee Enterprises in Vermont, Rick Peyser of Green Mountain and Jason Rosenthal of Equal Exchange to organize a trip to Chiapas.
After a fact-finding tour where they witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by government brutality in these villages, Wicks and the other BETHRIC representatives held a press conference in Mexico City. “We have come here in defense of the indigenous people with whom we trade, but we also come here to protect an economic system we believe in. We share the indigenous respect for the natural environment and promote the use of organic farming methods critical to the health and well being of consumers and future generations. Like many indigenous communities, we believe in an international economy based on healthy local economies, buying from family farms and neighborhood businesses.”
1997 was also the year in which the Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International was created, supported by the efforts of Appel. For commodities, the Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International stipulates that traders must:
• Pay producers a price that covers the costs of sustainable production.
• Pay a premium that producers can invest in development.
• Make partial advance payments to prevent producers from falling into debt.
• Sign contracts that allow for long-term planning and sustainable production practices.

“I saw how the indigenous farmers were being driven off the land by policies and development and corporatism and that was a real turning point in my life, those were real turning points in my life and helped to shape my worldview,” Wicks says.
Seven months later, she returned to Chiapas with BETHRIC colleagues to establish a trade relationship with the Mut Vitz (Hill of Birds, in the Mayan language) Cooperative. Kerry Appel lined up buyers for an entire container of coffee from Mut Vitz, which eventually expanded into 15 containers over the years.
“Singing Dog worked with us to get their vanilla and fair trade cinnamon,” Wicks recalls. “Rick Stewart from Frontier Natural Coop provided technical assistance to the farmers about how to get organic certification and how to grow the coffee better.
Equal Echange provided assistance to them in organic certification.”
Wicks’ fair trade boutique in Philadelphia, the Black Cat, carried handicrafts and textiles among other products produced by indigenous communities in Chiapas.
Wicks writes in her Good Morning Beautiful Business, “With business as my vehicle, I had set out to bring some assistance to a beleaguered community with whom I felt a kinship in our mutual desire to build a just and sustainable world, and, working with like-minded partners, had succeeded…I began to envision an alternative to the corporate-based global economy – an economic system that was locally self-reliant in basic needs and interconnected globaly by an intricate network of small-scale business relationships that were win-win and supportive, rather than exploitative of the local communities where products originated. I saw a way out of the current form of globalization and the ruin it brought.”
Inspired by the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle, and the sale of Ben & Jerry’s to Unilever, Wicks founded the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies.
“We need to learn from indigenous people that they have a better relationship to the natural environment,” she stated. “At BALLE conferences they make a point of acknowledging the indigenous people of that particular place where they’re meeting. They speak and say something about their place and add their blessing to this work that fosters a place based economy that is in harmony with nature”.
Wicks continues to be a force shaping the conversation around business, investment, and local economies today, with appearances at the Social Capital Markets Conference and Slow Money in 2014.
In her Good Morning Beautiful Business, she writes, “We’re out to create a global system of human-scale, interconnected, local living economies that provide basic needs to all the world’s people. Yes, we want them to function in harmony with local ecosystems and support just and democratic societies. But we also want the people in them to have joy in their lives. To put it simply, we believe in happiness.”
Happiness is a value that Wicks lives out every day. Asked about at her ability to bounce back from any obstacle that life threw her way, she replied, “It wasn’t a conscious decision. I think it’s just my personality. We’re given this great opportunity to be on this planet.
If you didn’t enjoy the party, it would be a great disappointment to the creator. There’s a way of looking at it that all of this great beauty is meant for us to enjoy, to love life.” .
The Local Economies Festival is sponsored by Ka`u Specialty LLC, Hilo Shark’s Coffee, Petrogylph Press, and Basically Books.

Malian Lahey is a farmer and coffee broker selling 100% Ka`u coffee to Starbucks and others. Her social impact enterprise, Ka`u Specialty, is dedicated to the triple bottom line of planet, people, and profit

Kea’au News — Radiation Workshop Is Tonight

A radiation workshop with physics educator and peace activist Lynda Williams will be held at the Kea'au Community Center from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

(Media release) — In remembrance of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the dozens of nuclear tests in the Pacific and in light of the recent Fukushima nuclear disaster and discovery of depleted uranium on O’ahu and Hawai’i island, learn to protect yourself from the effects of nuclear radiation and the lies perpetuated by the nuclear industry with the power of knowledge. Join physics educator and peace activist Lynda Williams in a friendly workshop covering basic atomic physics and the health effects of nuclear power and ionizing radiation. No prior scientific knowledge required. Free, accessible and welcome to all.

Lynda Williams is physics faculty at Santa Rosa Junior College in California and a board member of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in
Space. A long time peace and anti-nuclear activist and educator, Lynda strives to demystify science in order to enlighten and empower people.

Sponsored by Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action and Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space

(Submitted by Jim Albertini.)

Letters — Seeking Coverage On World Citizen Garry Davis’ Kudos In LA

Aloha Tiffany,

I will be flying out to Los Angeles for the November 11th Award Ceremony in Beverly Hills for Garry Davis! I wanted to send you this press release and information. Can you spread the word to your contacts in Los Angeles?… I am hoping that this will be lines around the block!


Beth  (Leeds)


(Press release follows) Read more

Global News — 50,000 Being Evacuated From Villages Proximate To Erupting Mount Mayon

Mount Mayon, located in the Philippines in the Pacific "Ring of Fire," began erupting Monday, and government officials have called for an evacuation of 50,000 people in villages proximate to the cone volcano.  (Reuters photo courtesy of Al Jazeera)

Mount Mayon began erupting Monday, and government officials have called for an evacuation of 50,000 people in villages proximate to the cone volcano. Mount Mayon is located in the Philippines and, like Hawaii, is a part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire." Wikipedia reports there are 452 active and dormant volcanoes in the Ring of Fire or circum-Pacific seismic belt. (Reuters photo courtesy of Al Jazeera)

Global News — Homeland Security Provides Support After American Samoan Disaster

AP image of Fagatogo, American Samoa courtesy of the Telegraph

AP image of Fagatogo, American Samoa courtesy of the Telegraph

(Media release) — The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is into its seventh day of response and federal support to American Samoa. At the same time, FEMA and other federal partners remain engaged in preparedness efforts throughout the Pacific.

FEMA and federal teams, through the Federal Coordinating Officer, continue to work closely with American Samoan Governor Togiola Tulafono, as well as Delegate Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, to provide response in areas of American Samoa impacted by last Tuesday’s tsunami. Read more

Group Essay — Reflecting On Statehood And The Last 50 Years

Courtesy of Los Angeles Times

Hawaii State Archives photo courtesy of Honolulu Magazine

Hawaii State Archives photo courtesy of Honolulu Magazine. Click here to read "50 Moments of Statehood, turning points that shaped Hawaii" by Tiffany Hill, Lorraine Jonemann, Michael Keany and Kam Napier

Inspired by the Honolulu Magazine, Big Island Chronicle has put together meaningful moments in Hawaii the last 50 years of Statehood.

Honolulu Magazine came up with “50 Moments of Statehood,” but I’m sure we can come up with a lot more than that to describe the last 50 years that Hawaii been the 50th state. Let’s get listing.  Here is a start, including but not limited to the moments listed by Honolulu Magazine writers Tiffany Hill, Lorraine Jonemann, Michael Keany and Kam Napier:

Honolulu Star Bulletin photo by Albert Yamauchi of newspaper boy Chester Kahapea on Aug. 21, 1959.

Honolulu Star Bulletin photo by Albert Yamauchi of newspaper boy Chester Kahapea on Aug. 21, 1959.

Read more

Global News — New Leadership For The Harry And Jeanette Weinberg Foundation

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States, which has funded countless programs and initiatives on the Big Island, announced major leadership changes today. In February 2010, Shale Stiller will conclude his originally agreed upon five-year term as president of The Weinberg Foundation in order to return as a partner to DLA Piper in Baltimore, one of the largest law firms in the world. Stiller is credited with making major changes in the Foundation’s professional structure, grant review process, and opening up the foundation to the community as a much more visible, available and engaged foundation.

The Weinberg Foundation’s Board of Trustees, which is comprised of five Trustees – Shale D. Stiller, Donn Weinberg, Barry I. Schloss, Robert T. Kelly, Jr., and Alvin Awaya – has carefully considered many options for the future leadership and governance structure of The Weinberg Foundation, and they have unanimously voted on the following:

Donn Weinberg, Chair of the Board and 
Rachel Garbow Monroe, President Read more