Report on Jan. 3l, 2009 Pohakuloa healing ceremony and protest (bip)
POHAKULOA HEALING CEREMONY AND PROTEST
Approximately 50 Big Island residents gathered on Saturday, Jan. 3lst from l0AM till lPM at Mauna Kea Park, adjacent to the l33,000-acre military Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA). Troops were present at PTA but no live-fire was observed. The purpose of the gathering was twofold. First to conduct a healing ceremony for the 'aina and second, to protest the ongoing military bombing, radiation contamination, desecration and occupation of the Hawai'i Kingdom. People brought ho'okupu (offerings) for the healing ceremony. Ali'i ai Moku, Paul Neves, of the Royal order of Kamehameha, brought his Halau who offered ole and hula as part of the ceremony. Kaliko Kanaele, a member of the Royal order and a long-time activist taught chants to those gathered about the importance of pulling together and bringing things to light. A number of people shared personal stories and thoughts on resistance. Protest signs at the gathering read: "Aloha 'Aina --A Call to Action," "Stop the Bombing," "End U.S. Occupation," "Make Peace--Work for Justice." "The Kingdom Lives - Return Ceded Lands." Throughout the gathering there was obvious military/police surveillance from vehicles in the park and adjacent military areas.
Throughout the ceremony and protest strong trade winds were blowing from Hilo so our gathering was fortunately upwind of the PTA base impact area. No above background readings were noted on several radiation monitors present unlike May 29, 2007 when winds were blowing directly off the PTA impact area toward Mauna Kea Park and citizen monitors recorded several spikes 4 times background levels.
People who came from Kona noted there was an American flag waving pro-war group of about 20 people at the PTA main gate area, located about l mile from Mauna Kea Park. Among those present was Andrew Walden, editor of the right wing now defunct Hawaii Free Press newspaper.
Following the healing ceremony, speakers, and a pani of shared food at Mauna Kea Park, several people carried the protest to the PTA main gate area. Protest signs were set up directly in front of the PTA main gate, across Saddle Road from the Pro-war demonstration. Ho'okupu from the healing ceremony were left on the triangle piece of land fronting the PTA main gate. Some exchange of thoughts took place across Saddle Rd, but all went peacefully.
The West Hawaii Today, Jan. 3lst newspaper ran an article saying that Army Col. Howard Killian will be giving a presentation to the Hawaii County Council Intergovernmental Relations Committee at l0:30AM on Tuesday, Feb. 3rd. on depleted uranium at the Pohakuloa Training Area. The article said, "the military recently completed tests to determine whether any of the material poses a threat to army personnel at PTA or residents. Although the tests won't be made public until spring, military officials recently reported the tests determined no danger exists."
This kind of statement about "no danger exists" is a military medical judgment. The military keeps repeating "no danger" with no data available for examination. We demand data on the radiation contamination, control data, etc. We want to know the extent of the radiation contamination and if DU penetrators have been used at PTA which we highly suspect. The military is trying to focus ONLY on DU Davy Crockett spotting rounds from the l960s. The military has a proven track record that it cannot be trusted to tell the truth.
JOIN IN A PROTEST AT THE COUNTY COUNCIL BUILDING 9:30 AM ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3RD TO CHALLENGE COL. KILLIAN ON HIS STATEMENTS OF 'NO DANGER.'