The politics-as-usual game here on Maui--big money corporate rule, paid off politicians giving away land and water rights to the highest bidder or to their friends--is being seriously jeopardized this election cycle 2014.
And thankfully, the most evil (defined as against life) and vilified player in the corporate agri-chemical world today, banned in countries all over the globe, is right in our backyard with Monsanto doing their pesticide/GMO business as usual. They call it farming. They say it is regulated and safe. They say they are feeding the world. They are necessary for Maui's economy. Untruths!
They think if they write these untruths enough, send their public relations team to repeat them enough, claim industry sponsored "research" that "proves" their pesticides are safe and GMO corn is equivalent to non-GMO corn, their word will constitute the truth. Like some science fiction religion, this is how they create their twisted version of the "truth." You've read the Monsanto version of the truth dozens of times in local papers.
So why do I say I am thankful Monsanto is here--albeit temporarily? It's because their presence and practices awakened this county.
And thanks to the SHAKA Movement, which organized this with input from 20,000 people who signed the petition. In numbers alone, this represents 50 percent of last elections' voters. It's true that not all the signatures got validated, but all the people who signed the petitions are motivated to stop the madness of what is happening with GMO and pesticide use here.
And this is what the moratorium initiative going to the ballot in November will do--allow us to halt their misuses of the land and begin to implement real solutions that create a healthier food system and economy for these islands.
This is a wakeup call to the established order that a community of concerned and active citizens is going to vote them out along with voting in the moratorium.
Who is this community of people that have come together to create a powerful alliance to actually speak the truth to their power?
This alliance in the community is represented by "Ha'iku hippies;" sovereignty and anti-GMO activists; the fed-up, smart women of the MOM Hui, a group of mothers and allies who organize and educate throughout the islands; Babes Against Biotech; watch dogs in the legislature; students who know about the dangers of GMOs, parents who see their children sickened by suspected pesticides; teachers who want the best for the children; chefs and health workers afraid for the safety of the people; farmers who want pesticides and GMOs out of food production, and instead, legislate money to be invested to create the transition of land use to organic and regenerative practices using natural methods.
Old and young, haole and Hawaiian--all cultures, religions, ages and backgrounds have come together to scream "nuff already" and to go forward with intention and aloha. Imua!
So look out, politicians, they are coming to vote you out. Sen. Roz Baker might very well find herself unseated by Terez Amato for her stance on GMO labeling and support of agri-chemical corporations. Mayor Alan Arakawa, so called "neutral" on the issue, is known to have signed a Memoradum of Understanding with Monsanto. Ask yourself, how is that neutral?
And by the way, I was never threatening or rude in any way when I asked the mayor to sign the petition. It was just another media spin game when he said he felt threatened and criticized by me. This guy's political days are numbered.
Council members will be replaced. Courtney Bruch, a well-respected activist in this community, is running for the Upcountry seat. John Fitzpatrick, a University of Hawai'i biology instructor who was born and raised here, is running for the South Maui seat. And long-time activist Nikhilananda is running for the East Maui seat. These challengers are real choices and advocates for right action.
This alliance opposes the continued corporate corruption of the 'aina, and also proposes solutions to support the changes necessary that will provide jobs for hundreds of people who will work to restore food sovereignty to this land. They represent the truth. It is the truth and the will of the people at this time of awakening and activating to bring about life, producing change on a local level.
To do what is right, what is pono and what is our kuleana that supports future generations.
So be a part of this movement, speak truth to power, be unafraid, educate yourself, register voters, talk to your friends and neighbors, vote, and participate in this vision for the islands that we all are creating. Land for the people not the corporations, pure food, water and air. Let's create a sustainable life, honoring the ancient traditions and the mana of this sacred 'aina.
I love farmers--all you local family farmers. Many of you have worked the land for generations. Thank you for producing real food.
And remember, Monsanto is no friend of yours unless you are a council member, senator, Supreme Court judge, head of the FDA, Gov. Neil Abercrombie or that kind of business-as-usual politician.