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The Big Isle Greets The TPP Negotiators

For the past week, the Big Isle has been the host for the latest round of the TPP Trade Negotiations. Many local grassroots activists and Union members have been busy sponsoring and supporting gatherings and lectures, island-wide, on the evils that lurk within the TPP!

In Hilo, on Wednesday…

In Kailua-Kona on Thursday…

Here’s the full lecture(2 hrs) that was held on Friday, in the West Hawaii Civic Center…

That last clip was filmed by Occupy Hilo’s media sparkplug, Kerri Marks…!

On Saturday, Isle residents protested ouside the Marriot, as Malu ‘Aina‘s Jim Albertini wrote…

Hawaii had 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.

People came from all over the island and included Native Hawaiian leaders, Unite Here Local 5 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.” TPP Kills Jobs & Environment” 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 people’s rights and destroying the earth need to be stopped by united global citizen action.

For anyone interested in being more informed and/or taking local action, Expose The TPP is great place to start, along with Flush The TPP!, and, for the more adventurous, please join the Rolling Rebellion…!

For Pete’s sake, at least call your critter…!

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