Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023 |
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• Why didn’t the Legislature step in?
• Environmental assessment to include passengers?
• Protest can achieve solutions
• Where’s the aloha?
• Next time, we’ll be better
For shame, Kaua‘i
In regards to the actions of some of our citizens protesting the Superferry, I was appalled and ashamed of the so-called peaceful protesters’ actions I witnessed on TV. First of all, I too had mixed emotions on the arrival of the ferry. Our infrastructure, as it stands right now, will struggle even more with the possible influx of more vehicles on the road. We all know how bad traffic is but that is neither here nor there, when it comes to what I saw on TV the other night. The lady — and I will use that term loosely — banging on the window of the vehicle at the harbor entrance, at a car that clearly had children inside, and the idiot trying to deflate the tires, what are you people thinking? Peaceful protest? I think not. Take a lesson from Dr. King, and do it right. Yes, peaceful protest, if that’s your desire, is your right. Mob mentality, you lost your credibility in my eyes, and I think in many others the other night, in your actions. Yes, it was clear some protesting clearly had it right in the quietness of just sitting quietly, hands clasped, showing a good form of civil disobedience, but the others screaming, ranting, banging on cars, well I hope you are proud of yourselves.
I give kudos to our police department, trying to get the situation under control, when approaching a large unruly crowd. Yes, it’s important to try and establish control and order, so violence does not escalate. Clearly the officer raising his voice and telling the crowd to get back was doing that, and in my eyes showed great restraint and professionalism in trying to get the situation under control.
Please, Kaua‘i, show a little restraint, class, and yes, ALOHA. Peaceful protest has its place.
Environmental assessment to include passengers?
What kind of assessment is to be made to assure the environmental safety of passengers on the Superferry? There seems to be no mention as to how the passengers are to be protected in the unfortunate event of the rapid sinking of the Superferry. At the high-cruising speed of 40 knots, travelling at night across the Kaua‘i channel, a collision with an errant, almost-submerged container (and there are many of these adrift in the Pacific Ocean), dead-head logs or a large whale could puncture one of the catamaran hulls. The result of the collision could be a catastrophic failure of a hull and the rapid sinking of the vessel. Remember a few years back when the U.S. submarine sank the Japanese training ship in very short time?
There are no lifeboats visible, except for a couple of small Zodiacs. Are there life vests available for each of 800 passengers and crew? If so, are all of the passengers notified as to life vest locations and procedures? Remember that this is required on trans-ocean airline flights, alerting the passengers where the life vests are, how to use them and what to do when oxygen masks appear.
Keep in mind that over the years, worldwide, there have been countless sinkings of ferry boats with major loss of life. Slim as it may appear, there is still the need for being prepared.
Protest can achieve solutions
I am disappointed that some people seem to have been seduced by the media portrayal of the Superferry protests. Rather than an irrational mob, what I witnessed at Nawiliwili was a strong and unified group of Kaua’i citizens standing together for what they believe in: The preservation of Kaua’i. I saw people of all ages, ethnicities and income levels, from kama’aina to malihini, participating in protest and direct action — activities with long and dignified histories.
Much of the criticism of the protests seems to be coming from people who are opposed to protest itself. But always being good boys and girls and doing what the boss tells us to do is exactly what leads our communities into powerlessness and hopelessness. That’s how we end up with over development and low wages and lack of access to beaches and a host of other problems facing the people of Kaua’i daily. Protest and direct action, on the other hand, can achieve solutions to problems facing the people. The historical examples are endless, such as the 40-hour work week, the eradication of child labor in the U.S., 10-minute breaks, overtime pay and so on, all of which were won by committed protest and direct action by working people over the course of generations.
Yes, protest and direct action are spirited, lively activities. Yes, sometimes things get rowdy — but didn’t things get even rowdier at Taste of Hawai‘i this year? The overwhelming feeling of the protests was one of community solidarity and optimism. We know that we can come together to address other issues, now, too, instead of just grumbling about them.
If you are standing on the sidelines now complaining about the protests, all I can say is: Too bad you missed it. But do come next time.
Where’s the aloha?
Big mahalo to Gerald Ruiz (Letters, 8/29). Way to go, cuz!
What has become of our Hawai‘i aloha and our Hawai‘i ohana?
Kaua‘i people, what a shame. You’re fighting among our own. All the local passengers on the Superferry wanting to spend the three- or four-day weekend here on Kaua‘i were very disappointed not being able to disembark. How about the families that had planned to board and go over to O‘ahu with their whole ‘ohana for the long weekend?
Think of the disappointed children who at last thought they were finally able to visit their cousins whom they couldn’t visit for a long time because their parents couldn’t afford the airfare for their whole entire family, let alone try rent one large vehicle for three days, plus the insurance.
Come on, Kaua‘i, don’t make anymore shame and disappoint our Hawai‘i ‘ohana.
Next time, we’ll be better
I was not at the docks on Sunday night when the so-called “riot” occurred. I do not condone these actions, and can understand why some are outraged.
However, I did show up on Monday night and was impressed with the solidarity shown between people of all ages and races who did not want the Superferry.
Kaua’i has not had this type of protest since … anyone remember? We are a little out of practice. Next time, we promise to be better organized and more peaceful. A hui hou,
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