The birth of Occupy Wall Street–the loose, mostly grassroots uprising that argues against the influence of multinational corporations in our government–has been well-covered in the press. But I recently learned that its local cousin–Occupy Wall Street Maui, which is just about one year old now–owes its existence (at least partially) to the paper you’re reading right now.
“Here on Maui, Occupy really began–after a couple false starts–in late September with a meeting called in Haiku, through a small note in MauiTime,” states a Sept. 9 press release from the organization. “About 25 people gathered–old-time peaceniks, Hawaiian sovereignists, environmentalists, political activists, anarchists, concerned citizens.”
There, the press release states, the activists talked and formed an ad hoc General Assembly.
“A week or so later, the very first Occupy Maui General Assembly was called, in Keopuolani Park, behind the MACC (Two weeks later the meetings moved to UH-Maui Freedom Lawn, where it has met weekly ever since),” stated the news release. “About 50 people came, started to form working groups, and Occupy Maui was launched. (The name was later changed to Occupy Wall Street Maui to honor the conviction of many Hawaiians that the islands are already an occupied nation.)”
Over the past year, the group has “picketed in solidarity with electrical and harbor workers, silently protested around Kaahumanu Center, run a weeklong festival at the Monsanto GMO plantation in Kihei, and blocked illegal evictions in Hana and Kahului.” We haven’t heard much from them lately, and now they’d like to change that.
On Monday, Sept. 17, Occupy Wall Street Maui activists (and anyone else who isn’t happy about Monsanto) will meet at the mauka side of the Mokulele and Piilani highways intersection in Kihei to wave signs and generally raise hell (well, as much as is typically allowed on Maui). For more info, check out Facebook.com/OccupyMaui.