Saturday, April 27, 2013

Action at Wheeler AFB in Solidarity with the National Month Against Drones!

It was 9am on a beautiful Hawai`i morning .   Our drone replica was loaded into the truck.  Our car windows were painted, and signs were taped to the sides.  We were headed to Wheeler AFB, one of O`ahu's official drone bases - and a place where we'd never demonstrated before.

Wheeler is adjacent to Schofield Barracks, one of the largest U.S. Army bases.  Both are located in Wahiawa, a military town filled with pawnshops, fast food joints, rim shops and massage parlors, and we were feeling pretty apprehensive.   Our spirits were lifted when two women said they'd just heard a news program on NPR reporting on an anti-drone protest at a Waddington base in England and then said there were protests against drones elsewhere that day.   Someone immediately pulled up photos of the protest at Waddington.  Another said she'd seen a crawl on the local morning news reporting on drone protests elsewhere.   All of this reminded us that our small crew was part of an international movement much larger than just ourselves. 

When we hit the highway to Wheeler we noticed we were getting thumbs-up and from fellow travelers, and we were surprised when we could pull our cars right up to the intersection in front of the gate to Wheeler, where our decorated cars would themselves be a demonstration.  As we began to assemble our drone a guy in a pick-up truck pulled up to ask if it was a Predator or a Reaper, and then proceeded to launch into a rant about the occupation of Hawai`i by the U.S. military.   Maybe it wasn't going to be such a rough day after all!

Our group of 14 occupied the area in front of the gate with our banners, signs and drones for two hours.  Most of the military personnel going in and out of the gate completely ignored our presence; a few shouted that we were "ignorant" or defended drones. Two going into the base dressed in military camouflage asked each other what drones were.   A civilian worker stopped his car to ask whether we had a petition because he wanted to get signatures on base, and many of the vendors going into the base gave us a thumbs up.  

Most of the people who responded to us were traveling along the highway that runs past the base.  While there were some thumbs-down and middle fingers, the majority of those who responded hit their horns or gave us a thumbs up.  Two young women pulled their pick-up to the front of the gate, hopped out, and took their pictures with us.  Many of the people were local people who live in the rural areas and it was really heartening that the response was so positive.  As we left one of the protesters remarked that the reception from passers-by in this military saturated area of the island responded to us  more positively than students at the University of Hawai`i had the previous week.  Another added that the response was even better than at the First Friday Art Walk. 

We left wondering about the response from people in other areas and eager for news about what was happening elsewhere - including on the island of Hawai`i, where a protest is being held on Sunday at the Pohakuloa Military Training Area and where two ads against drones are currently running in island newspapers.   After more than a year of protesting against drones in Hawai`i, there's a real sense that drones are at least becoming a contentious issue, and there's a growing basis to build a real movement against drone warfare and surveillance.  

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Protest at Wheeler AFB Saturday, April 27

Drones are weapons of terror. They kill cmbatants and civilians, children and adults, men and women, alike.
Extrajudicial assassinations by killer drones violate U.S. and International law.

Surveillance drones threaten our liberties, spying on communities and borders, invading personal privacy.

Protest this weekend!

On O`ahu we'll be at Wheeler AFB. On the Big Island activists will be at Pohakuloa on Sunday from 10am until noon.. An ad against drone warfare will appear in the Hawai`i Herald this weekend. This is all part of a national month of protests happening across the U.S. Here are the details about our protest at Wheeler AFB:

In Honolulu: Meet at Church of the Crossroads Parking lot before 9am. A car caravan will leave for Wahiawa at 9am.  Protest near the Higgins Road Gate to Wheeler AFB in Wahiawa from 10am-12noon. There's parking space and a safe place to protest along Kamehameha Highway at the Wahiawa Community Garden directly across from Wheeler.

 World Can't Wait-Hawai`i will have the big drone replica, banners, signs and leaflets. You can also bring your own signs with your personal message.  

For more information about drones go to the World Can't Wait website at For info about the national anti-drone campaign go to:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


ACT NOW! Sign the petition. Wear an orange armband. Find ways to support the hunger strikers and strengthen the demand to Shut Down Guantanamo and End Indefinite Detention!

The hunger strike at Guantanamo is in its 76th day.

Guantanamo acknowledges that 86 detainees at Guantanamo are on hunger strike. 16 are being force-fed. 9 are in the hospital.

 Shaker Aamer has been on hunger strike more than 70 days. Experts say he has already suffered "irreversible damage" and may die and yet he remains committed to the hunger strike. Shaker Aamer has been detained without charge or trial at Guantanamo for eleven years. 

166 men remain imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, 157 haven't been charged. 86 were "cleared for release" several years ago but the Obama administration refuses to release them.

The situation at Guantanamo is dire and demands that we act.

A small group of determined activists across the country have been on the streets in orange jump suits daily. Yesterday 12 people from Witness Against Torture were arrested at a "die-in" on the Federal Courthouse steps in NYC. Letters from prisoners, messages from their attorneys, and actions across the country have all helped bring world-wide attention to the hunger strike. But much more needs to be done!

What can you do?

Sign the petition at: petition today!

 Wear an orange armband or a piece of orange tape to show solidarity with the hunger strikers and initiate conversations with people.

 Put a sign supporting the Guantanamo hunger strikers in your window.

 Pick up a piece of chalk and write a message on the sidewalk (or even write "Close Gitmo" on the beach sand).  

We have orange jumpsuits available to anyone who can initiate an action (or even stand on the sidewalk alone with a sign saying "Guantanamo hunger strike - 76 days".

 Download the leaflet on the national website and pass them out in your class or your church.

Spread the word about the hunger strike to everyone you know and urge them to act! We recommend two websites for articles, analyses, and reports on actions. World Can't Wait and Witness Against Torture. Go to them regularly for the most up-to-date information.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

No Drones Protest at University of Hawai`i Manoa!

A dozen activists carrying banners and leaflets, along with our drone replica, rolled down UH's McCarthy Mall on Wednesday morning.

We were initially confronted by campus security, who tried to say we couldn't be there but we were soon able to head to the Hamilton Library steps to leaflet.   Students leaving the library or the food court couldn't miss us. Many took photos of the drone and/or banners on cellphones and told us they'd be posting them to their classmates and on Facebook. Many more took leaflets. A few stopped to talk before rushing on to their next class.  

We then headed down to Varney Circle, where we continued to hold banners and pass out leaflets and small "Stop Drone" stickers. Some students immediately put the stickers on their backpacks, bikes or skateboards. Some asked for extra to give their friends and classmates.

Many students and faculty members stopped to thank us. Some had never heard of drones! Some opposed domestic surveillance but were ambivalent about using drones in other countries. A few energetically supported either drone warfare or domestic surveillance.  This is the first time we've been able to put out a strong message against drones at the UH-Manoa Campus and felt the action was a success.  Now we're gearing up for April 27th, when we'll protest in front of the Wheeler Air Force base near Higgins Gate. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

ALERT! UH-Manoa Protest Against Drone Warfare & Surveillance!

Protest Drone Warfare & Surveillance!
UH-Manoa Campus, McCarthy Mall
Wednesday, 9am - 11:30am

Are you outraged that U.S. drones are killing civilians in your name? Are you shocked that many university students either don't know about drone warfare, or don't have an opinion about it? This is unacceptable but we can change it!

Join us on Wednesday at McCarthy Mall. Help pass out leaflets. Hold a sign. Talk with passersby. Our big drone replica will be rolling down McCarthy mall and is sure to be noticed, but we also want to be sure students receive information.  

Each time we've taken out the drone it draws lots of attention. Photos of our drone at the MLK Day Parade and at the Chinatown New Year's Festival have circulated around the world and have even been re-sent by organizations in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Gaza. We know students at UH will pick up their cells and re-post the photos to friends.  

Be part of a month-long efforts to oppose drone warfare and surveillance and help build a world-wide movement of resistance! For more info go to

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Guantanamo Hunger Strike Passes 60 Days!

Across the U.S. on Thursday, April 11, street protests will support prisoners detained at the U.S. prison in Guantánamo who are engaged in a large-scale hunger strike, which began in early February. Some are now in critical condition.

We urge you to show your support for the hunger strikers on Thursday!  Post a sign on your office door, make an announcement in your classroom, wear a black armband or don an orange jumpsuit and stand on any corner with your friends or individually. 

There have been two actions to support the hunger strikers in Honolulu within the past 10 days.  The first was at the Federal Building; the second was at the First Friday Art Walk.   We learned a lot.

Many people believe Guantanamo has been closed.  No one we met knew about the hunger strike.  No one knew that 86 prisoners were "released" years ago, but are still being detained.  Many took leaflets (we got out about 400).  Some  thanked us for speaking out.   However, a shocking number of people we met at 1st Friday actually defended torture - a few going so far as arguing that the U.S. should not only torture people and create more prisons like Guantanamo but that they should kill more people who "don't like us". 

We have held events focusing on torture many times in the past but have never heard so many ugly comments.  We could only surmise that these people had always thought this way, but that the current atmosphere (which includes movies like "Zero Dark Thirty) is emboldening them to openly argue for torture.  

Our recent experiences "on the street" underscore the necessity to step up our demand to Shut Down Guantanamo and build support for the courageous hunger strikers.  While World Can't Wait-Hawai`i is not organizing another street action on April 11th, we can each - as individuals and as groups - take action that day!   Send us reports on what you do at

Be sure to bookmark the national World Can't Website to get the latest news about actions elsewhere, and for more information about the hunger strike at Guantanamo.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Support the Guantanamo Hunger Strikers

Shut Down Guantanamo!
Support the Guantanamo Hunger Strikers!
Signholding and leafleting at First Friday
Friday evening, April 5, 6:30-8:30
Corner of Bethel & Hotel (next to Hawai`i Theatre

More than 4 years after Obama promised to close Guantanamo "within a month" there are still 166 prisoners being held in torturous conditions. 157 haven't been charged and 86 were cleared for release more than three years ago.

As many as 130 of those prisoners have been on a hunger strike that has now lasted for two months. Eleven are being force-fed through feeding tubes. Several dozen have lost consciousness. The Obama administration refuses to listen.   Last week a small group had a Big Presence at the Federal Courthouse! Dressed in orange jumpsuits, holding a big banner reading "Stop Torture" and signs reading "Shut Down Guantanamo" and "Release Innocent Guantanamo Prisoners, they stood in front of the Federal Bldg sign at the corner of Punchbowl and Halekauwila and passed out leaflets to the foot traffic to and from the courthouses. Some didn't know Guantanamo was still open; none knew about the hunger strike, and few knew that prisoners were being held after their release dates. We cannot allow this to continue in our names! It’s only us — people in this country with a conscience, who care about humanity everywhere — who can raise public outcry needed to force our government to allow those men cleared for release to leave, give others a chance to answer charges, and close the illegitimate prison camp. Join us Friday evening. We'll have the orange jumpsuits, signs and leaflets. Come for a short time or for 2 hours.   For more info about the hunger strike: "Respect us, or Kill Us".