Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Black Lives Matter!

Almost 100 people joined a loud and spirited march through Waikiki (Honolulu’s main tourist district) in response to the outrageous decision in Ferguson on Tuesday evening.  

As protesters arrived, a university professor who arrived early remarked:  “I thought there might only be 5 of us, but I was ready to march anyway because I just had to.”  

As protesters gathered there was an emotional speak-out.  A 76 year-old woman who had been the first Black girl to integrate an all-white Baltimore high school in 1954 choked as she said she didn’t expect that 50 years later she’d still be fighting for those rights.  A Vietnam Vet condemned the murdering police:  “This is not what we fought for!   No one should fight for this country!”  A Black youth denounced the racism he’s experienced in Hawai`i, where he’s been "called nigger more often than anywhere else” but then said how heartened he was to see such a diverse group standing up against the outrageous Ferguson decision. 
When the march left the park chanting “No Justice!  No Peace!” a Black man across the street tried to join up but was restrained by police.  The march crossed over and he joined.  As the march approached the police substation the shout went up:  “Hands Up!  Don’t Shoot! and protesters made chalk outlines of unarmed victims at the door of the station.

All along the march tourists lifted their cameras, go-pros and cellphones to snap pictures.    A protester remarked:  “I never come to Waikiki – but this is really the place to demonstrate!   Pictures are going to spread around the world!"    Others talked together about the gut-level anger they felt over the decision and the need they felt to be out on the streets to stand with people across the U.S. who are protesting the decision.    A woman said she was so sickened by the Ferguson decision that she couldn't sleep, but then was heartened when she received an e-mail at 2am announcing a protest.  

Many people along the route clapped or chanted along with the protesters and some joined the march.  Others appeared not to understand what it was all about and stood with mouths open.   A few yelled “fuck off”, made racist remarks, or fearfully shielded their children, but no one could miss that people in Hawai`i – of all races, ages and ethnicities, are outraged over the racist Ferguson decision.  

As the protest ended there was a sense of pride and comradery as people shared experiences and e-mails and talked about the need for strong movement of resistance against the epidemic of police brutality and murder.  
Following are photos from the protest:

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