Stop Drone Warfare & Drone Surveillance Leafleting in Hawaii
From World Can't Wait Honolulu A small crew got out more than 1300 anti-drone brochures and leaflets at two recent events. On Tuesday we went to the talk by Al Gore; on Friday to the Bruno Mars Concert. While we got rained on during leafleting at both events, we felt each was a big success.
At the Bruno Mars concert we were able to hold our big "Stop the Killer Drones" banner in front of the ticket office while others leafleted the crowd going to the concert. A few people still didn't know what drones were. Some refused to take the brochure making comments like "I like drones," "drones give me my job," or "I want a drone of my own." However, many thanked us for being there and said things like "yeah, get the drones out of Hawai`i" and "drones scare me." We had little time to actually talk since were rushing to get in line to enter the filled-to-capacity arena but our brochure is very detailed and we hope many people sat down to read it while waiting for the concert to begin. Thousands more saw our banner.
Hawai`i is at the center of research and development for drone warfare and surveillance. Williams Aerospace in Ewa manufactures drones. UH-Manoa and HPU are both involved in drone research. Drones are based at Kaneohe and are being tested at Pohakuloa. Yet many people don't know what they are -- or that they are used to assassinate people and for surveillance.
We'll continue to concentrate on stopping drone warfare and drone surveillance through the months of April and May as part of the national Campaign (see the national website atwww.worldcantwait.net). Join us in leafleting outside of the talk by Bill McKibben on climate change on Thursday evening, April 24th. We'll be at the reception at the Sustainability Courtyard between 5-6pm and then at the Art Dept Auditorium where he's speaking. After the talk we'll be getting leaflets out at the on-campus Earth Day concert. We're planning more leafleting events, protests, and a press conference later in April and during the month of May. Stay tuned.
The week before, on April 10, 15 people joined a signholding to protest the LANPAC (Land and Power in the Pacific) Symposium and Exposition being held at the Sheraton Hotel in Waikiki.
As thousands of people in cars, on bicycles, and riding tourist trolleys passed by the banner and signs lining Kalakaua Avenue, many gave a thumbs up, shaka, or waved. One trolley driver yelled a loud "Ku`e!"
Several hundred leaflets were given to tourists at one of the busiest corners in Waikiki. Many were puzzled as to why we were protesting in the heart of the tourist area, but when they heard that the military had organized an international conference to further militarize the Pacific many thanked us, including 2 soldiers and 4 tourists from the Middle East who took extra leaflets to give to their friends. A few still asked what drones were, and there were many who said they felt safer with drones. One even said she was against all wars, and was so thankful that we now had drones to keep wars from happening!
This action the first of many that World Can't Wait-Hawai`i has called in solidarity with the national Spring Months of Action to End Drone Killings, Surveillance, and Global Militarization.