Peace Rallies coming to Kaua’i

The Green Party of Kaua’i and other individuals on the island have scheduled five rallies on Saturday Feb. 15 to urge President Bush not to wage war on Iraq.

Two rallies are planned on the North Shore, one in Waimea, one in Puhi and one in Lihu’e. They are being staged to coincide with peace rallies planned worldwide on the same day, according Claire Mortimer, chairwoman of Green Party of Kaua’i.

Mortimer said there “will be people on every continent” demonstrating against plans for war against Irag being made by the Bush administration.

“The activities on Kaua’i are simply a part of a bigger day of actions for peace worldwide,” Mortimer said.

The Kaua’i rallies also will coincide with a rally planned on O’ahu the same day. Demonstrators have planned a march from Aloha Stadium to the Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Mortimer said.

“Let the (United Nations’) inspectors do their jobs (in trying to find weapons of mass destruction),” Mortimer said. “To date, none of the inspectors and Mr. (Kofi) Annan (Secretary-General) have found any justification for war against Iraq.”

In recent news accounts, Annan has called for Iraqi cooperation with UN inspections and has said war is not inevitable.

The first Kaua’i rally is scheduled near the Big Save supermarket in Waimea at 9 a.m., followed by one in front of the Kaua’i Community College in Puhi at 10:30 a.m. and a third rally at noon at the intersection of Kapule Highway and Ahukini Road near the Lihu’e Airport, Mortimer said.

Two other rallies are anticipated to be held the same day on the North Shore, one at noon at Kula School and another in Kilauea, Mortimer said.

Caravans of vehicles could be making make runs through Kaua’i neighborhoods, as well.

Participants from all the rallies are then expected to gather on the lawn in front of the All Saints Episcopal Church in Kapa’a for the day’s largest rally at 1:30 p.m., according to Juan Wilson, a member of the Green Party of Kaua’i.

Wilson said the group expects 25 to 50 people could turn out at each of the Kaua’i rallies.

“I would hope the rally in Kapa’a would have a few hundred,” Wilson said. “That is a big deal on this island. We will see.”

Jahfolibah, entertainers from Kaua’i, and Blu Dux, a blues musician from the island, are scheduled to provide entertainment at the Kapa’a rally.

The United For Peace and Justice Organization (www.unitedpeace.org) has coordinated demonstrations and rallies throughout the world and set for Feb. 15, to avert an “imminent war in the Middle East,” Wilson said. The protest organizer’s Web site lists over 70 organizations in the United States as members, including environmentalists, socialist groups, gay organizations, Muslim and Jewish groups, feminist groups, African-American organizations, a wide range of peace groups and Catholic organizations.

Wilson said the Green Party of Kaua’i is asking rally participants to bring posters and signs expressing their “deep feelings about the U.S. planned war against Iraq.”

The idea behind the rallies was brought up by Dux and was advanced by the Green Party of Kaua’i, which has its headquarters its in Wailua.

Mortimer said two members of the Kaua’i Green Party joined delegations that met with Hawai’i’s congressional members.

Staff writer Lester Chang can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225) and lchang@pulitzer.net

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