Hawaiians Fight For Their Land and Lives Against Biotechnology

Hawaii.

A beautiful word that brings to mind unsurpassed pristine nature, beautiful people . . . and poisons.

Monsanto and the biotech gang use Hawaii and Hawaiians to test some 70 different poisons. No other state in the country is exposed to so many different poisons.

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The activist and author, Imani-Altemus Williams, reminds us that Hawaiians are no strangers to Western oppression in her article, “The struggle to reclaim paradise.” But today’s oppressors may be worse than the original oppressors because the food they produce is genetically modified—a barbaric and sacrilegious concept to indigenous Hawaiians—and then the land and the genetically modified plants are saturated in chemical poisons.

Hawaiians are fighting back against the Biotech giants and the pro-biotech U.S. government. Justin Zern photographed two recent protests, one in Kauai and the other in Molokai. Justin’s photos (Thank you, Justin!) capture the spirit and the passion of the people who are fighting for their ‘āina—Land—and their lives.

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Matt Yamashita tells the story of Mercy Ritte in his documentary Molokai MOM: Standing Up to GMO. After a windstorm kicked up poisons from a nearby test plot and covered Mercy’s home and property in poison, her son became sick. Monsanto assured her she had nothing to worry about. She knew better than to believe Monsanto and their lies.

Molokia MOM is an inspiring work of love—love for Hawaiians’ ‘āina and children!

Sitkans had the privilege of viewing Molokia MOM on May 17, 2013.

Following the movie, we Skyped with Imani-Altemus Williams. Mahalo Nui Loa to Mercy, Imani, Justin, Matt and all the other passionate Hawaiians who are fighting for their land and their children.

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Sitkans and Hawaiians have a lot in common. We share the whales, we share abundant and beautiful nature, we share an ongoing history of Western exploitation, and we share the responsibility to stand up for the Earth and to stand against Monsanto and the biotechnology industry. We have an amazing opportunity to join Hawaii and the rest of the world on May 25 on Castle Hill where we will join our hands, hearts, and spirits as we March Against Monsanto.

And long after the March, when David and I are tired from running across America in protest of the biotech industry, we will draw strength from good people like Lorilani Keohokalelo-Torio who wrote, “Na ‘uhane (Spirit) of all the Ancestors of all the Native Peoples will carry you across America… we are all here to kokua (help).”

We give you a coast to coast thanks, Lorilani, but you need to know this: you, your sisters, brothers, and Ancestors, are already carrying us!

Photo Credits: Justin Zern

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