Sunday, November 13, 2011

Occupy With Aloha

Photo courtesy of Yes Lab

For many of us who are becoming uneasy with some of the problems associated with Occupy Wall Street, the rapes, the degradation of community parks, the shootings, the fear that it will become a haven for some of society's most violent, what we are most uneasy about is the possibility that the message will be lost. The message - that 99% of our population has been forgotten, left out of the American Dream, while the other .09% has amassed the majority of the wealth of our great nation. That Wall Street used banks like casinos and we are left with the carnage of their greed, an economy on the brink of destruction. What is left for the rest of us is massive debt and jobs that are no longer in our country, but in foreign nations that do not have laws protecting the rights of their workers, thus enabling them to sell us their cheap products, while we borrow from those same countries to pay our teachers and fireman.

Our politicians very often come out of Washington much more wealthy than they were when they took their vows to honor the will of the American people. They often do this with inside information that the rest of the country does not have access to - just as Nancy Pelosi and her husband did with a credit card company. Soft corruption, honest graft. Insider trading in the stock market. Writing the rules so that they do not apply to themselves! Taking information learned in committee meetings and using it to make stock market trades. The rest of us go to prison for doing many of the things our politicians routinely do to line their pockets.

So when I found this post on Synchrosecrets, I asked Trish and Rob if I could repost it in its entirety. Here is one man's very brave stand for the other 99%.


Here’s an interesting twist in the Occupy movement.

Hawaiian recording artist Makana was supposed to play a luau Saturday night – November 12 – at Waikiki Beach for leaders at an annual summit that is putting together plans for a Pacific free-trade pact.  The Obamas and leaders of 21 economies from the Asia Pacific were present. Among the attendees were Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Security was apparently tight.
So there they are, these leaders, doing whatever leaders do at a private shindig on Waikiki Beach, and the young man who is supposed to play for the Hawaiian feast opens his jacket to reveal a t-shirt that reads, Occupy for Aloha. The five-minute song in the video is what he sang repeatedly for forty minutes. Here’s the refrain I love:
“We’ll occupy the streets, we’ll occupy the courts, we’ll occupy the offices of you, till you do the bidding of the many, not the few.”


Cloudia said...

yes, Makana (means 'gift' in Hawaiian) is beloved. This took courage - it's not local style to make fuss. People are buzzing, are proud of the boy, kinda worried about backlash he might face. So cool to see people outside Hawaii (like CNN blog) pick up on this.

Aloha from Honolulu

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CrazyCris said...

amazing story!

I'm afraid the "Indignados" movement here in Spain has lost its way too due to a more radical element taking over and the general public no longer really listening out of fear. :s

But the more people I talk to the more I realise in one way or another we are all "indignados", bloody well fed up with our politicians and this political system, but unable to see a way out since those with the power to change it are the ones who have no interest in changing it. *sigh*

DJan said...

Throughout history, this sense of indignation at the criminal elements who take over the governments of their countries -- it doesn't end well. Revolution usually follows, even if it takes a long time to occur. And with our new tools of communication, it could happen much, much sooner. Thanks for this story; you've got me thinking.

Brian Miller said...

woohoo....that is awesome...i have great respect for his bravery...on the other side the artist Frank Miller wrote a scathing article stereotyping all OWS participants that has created quite the reaction among his one time fans...

Nancy said...

Cloudia - I am very proud of him! That took GUTS. I hope I-Tunes picks up his song - it deserves to have a permanent place on my I-Pod.

Chris - I'm not sure what it's going to take. Maybe we need to throw all the current polll out all over the world to send the message - we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore!

DJan - I think we have a quiet revolution going on right now. I wonder if they understand that?

Brian - Wow, I'll have to check out that story!

Grandmother said...

Well, he sings the message clearly and bravely. Good for him and I pray that the message doesn't get lost.

California Girl said...

Well put Nancy. I've been wondering just how dangerous OWS in some cities. Is it true or is it embellished by the media and the politicians trying to vilify it? I guess I'm optimistically skeptical that it still has legs and much of the rumored negativity is untrue.

ds said...

Good for him--that took a remarkable amount of courage. Thank you for sharing his story and his song!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

He sang this for 40 minutes? I'm surprised he didn't get rushed off the premises. To your point about violence, etc.... Revolutions attract all kinds of people, each rebelling for his or her own reason. Occasionally some of them hinder the larger cause, either by their actions or because their presence confuses the message. It's always a balancing act for leaders, keeping the movement broad or filter out the noisemakers.


i saw this post over at the macgregors - BRAVO to this young man! BRAVO!

T said...

The media always tries to play up the bad and violent side of anything they dislike. It's the same thing here. This guy had tremendous courage. We need more like him.
- Trish

Murr Brewster said...

Our Occupy in Portland was just dismantled this weekend. I'm in complete support for the reasons you mentioned, but I think the camping had to end sometime, preferably before something awful happened, and I can't quite join my fellow like-minded folk in condemning the breaking up of the camps. Something about the encampments makes it so much easier for people to marginalize the message. I would rather see huge, huge, respectful demonstrations that just keep happening, where people like me can put on our best duds and stand up. Then go home. Then come back and do it again.

Nancy said...

Grandmother - Me, too.

California - I also wonder if it is being infiltrated on purpose. But it had to end sometime - now the question is how do we keep this going without the camping?

ds - Didn't it? Seriously - he sang it to the very people that needed to hear it! At great risk to himself and his career.

Blissed - Exactly. It is a very fine balance.

Gypsy - I totally agree. And the song was wonderful.

T - Absolutely.

Muff - I totally agree. The Park Blocks were being ruined. I also agree that it should be BIG protests - with the rest of us participating. It's time for the rest of us to get off the couch, so to speak.

Nancy said...

Sorry, Murr - I didn't mean Muff!!

BlancheDuBois said...

I had seen a post about this the day after he did it, and thought it was great. What struck me most, though, was the fact that he was able to do it for forty minutes before anyone present seemed to notice. Now, I seem to recall that he varied his volume and style as he played it over and over, in order to avoid detection right away.

This makes me wonder if the failure to notice someone speaking (or in this case, singing) a powerful message to them right in their midst is a good example of what we're facing (and by we, I mean those of us who agree in whole or in part with the many messages of OWS). It seems a metaphor for what has been happening in this country for some time--the people are suffering, right under their noses, and those in power just keep on going with the party, with their comfortable status quo.

What must happen to break up this party? What would make them look up from the hors d'oeuvres tray, short of the sound of something shattering?

Nancy said...

Blanche - I think you are right on in this thinking. It is exactly what is happening. I have no idea what it is going to take - except to vote every single one of them out of office, every single time they vote against the will of the many. But the alternatives are not any better, and very often worse.

BlancheDuBois said...

Yes, the alternatives can be worse, if we can even call them alternatives. We vote out a Republican, and get what? A Democrat. We vote out a Democrat we get . . a Republican. I think both parties have failed the American people and shown their primary interest is self-interest.
I kind of wish OWS would form its own political party--the Occupation Party, or something along those lines--with its own stated platform. Perhaps this could be a next phase to the movement. A two party system holds us all hostage, really.