On Monday, August 25th, Judge Ahn announced that the jury in the trial against U.S. Special Agent Christopher Deedy was deadlocked and declared a mistrial. A protest was called for the following day.
By 5:30 pm people were gathering at the Kalakaua Statue at Triangle Park in Waikiki and began holding signs reading "Justice for Kollin Elderts" at the Kuhio/Kalakaua intersection. By 6:15 pm about 40 people had gathered and after a short rally the group, led by several activists with Pū, headed down Kalakaua Avenue into central Waikiki. The sound of the Pū , alternating with chants demanding justice for Kollin, grabbed everyone's attention. Tourists were curious and many took leaflets. Many residents voiced support and a few reactionaries jumped out to run out their racist shit:
After reaching Seaside Avenue the march looped back along Kuhio, stopping for a short rally at McDonald's. A number of the marchers stepped to the bullhorn to speak - some speaking to the sadness they felt at being at the site where Kollin was murdered and others voicing their rage that the jury had failed to convict an armed and drunk Agent of the U.S. government who had murdered an unarmed young Hawaiian man. World Can't Wait spokesperson Liz Rees linked the murders of Kollin Elderts and Trayvon Martin; several put the murder of Kollin Elderts in the context of the APEC meeting, which was itself an intensification of the militarization and occupation of Hawai`i and the Pacific.
The group was diverse and there were a lot of opinions, but there was a great spirit of unity and determination to continue the fight for justice for Kollin Elderts and other victims of this racist system.
There will be a hearing to determine the date of the retrial on September 13th. The Federal Government is determined to fight for acquittal and there will undoubtedly be a lot of maneuvering before an actual trial happens, A much stronger movement to fight for justice for Kollin Elderts must be built and sustained. The defense is hoping that the memory of this outrageous murder will face by the time Agent Deedy is re-tried. Just the opposite must happen!
The coming together of several organizations to call the Waikiki action was a good beginning and there's great potential to strengthen that unity and determination! Watch for upcoming plans.