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Signs come out Saturday

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    A small group of sign-wavers protests the COVID-19 vaccine Saturday at the intersection where Kuhio Highway becomes Kaumuali‘i Highway at the Lihu‘e Civic Center “round building.”

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Beau Acoba of Tsunami Taiko beats out an Asian anti-hate message Saturday during the sign-waving rally coordinated by the YWCA of Kaua‘i on the lawn of the Historic County Building on Rice Street in Lihu‘e.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Several hundred people line Rice Street fronting the Historic County Building with a message of stopping Asian hate Saturday, coordinated by the YWCA of Kaua‘i.

LIHU‘E — Two groups of sign-wavers greeted motorists in Lihu‘e Saturday.

The first group included several hundred people speaking out against the slew of hate crimes against Asians, coordinated by the YWCA of Kaua‘i, and included a program that was opened by kumu hula Puna Kalama Dawson and her halau, a mural featuring muralist Trysen Kaneshige and Bethany Coma coordinated by StopAAPI.org and Mo‘olelo Murals doing their work under the beat of Tsunami Taiko.

“Look at the headlines,” said Renae Hamilton-Cambeilh, executive director of the YWCA of Kaua‘i. “There are examples of hate almost daily. We did the same thing for Black Lives Matter. We’re doing it for Asians, and I would like to do one for the Asian American Pacific Islander communities.”

The effort was supported by the many groups that the YWCA supports, including the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i, whose members not only heralded the Zonta message but overlapped into the AAPI arena.

“This is a powerful message,” said Rose Kurita, one of the hundreds of sign-holders. “It needs to be put out there.”

The number of sign-holders grew as the morning went on, the group attracting horns and engine revs from passing motorists.

“I wanted to get the message out there,” said Angie Green, who joined Kurita in the crowd of people. “I did see something on the web, but I didn’t know where it was. We are so fortunate to live in Hawai‘i where everyone gets along. When the first generations of our people got here, they integrated with each other, and our parents never taught us about discrimination.”

Others in the collection of supporters included Tiffany Sagucio, a University of Hawai‘i student and the reigning Miss Kaua‘i Filipina, who spearheaded the Black Lives Matter movement that drew thousands to the Historic County Building. She was joined by the queen’s sponsoring organization, the Kaua‘i Filipino Community Council, and Randy Francisco of the Kaua‘i Filipino Chamber of Commerce.

“I’m walking for my mother, Mildred Miyeko Nishimura,” said Lacey Love of the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i. “She was interned in one of those intern camps in 1943. I just found her internment number. Yes, she adopted me.”

Down the hill at the intersection where Kuhio Highway turns into Kaumuali‘i Highway at the Lihu‘e Civic Center “round building,” a smaller group, none wearing face masks, decried the COVID-19 vaccines, one sign saying, “Happy Easter. We want you to be safe.”

•••

Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

9 Comments
  1. Major Lee Hung April 4, 2021 1:21 am Reply

    When is the Stop the Haole Hate protest scheduled? Asking for a friend.


  2. RGLadder37 April 4, 2021 2:57 am Reply

    What was the protest? Specifically. The professional sports games will soon be letting in fans. And Hawai’i is seeing no tourist arrivals. Are they requesting more tourist?


  3. Confused April 4, 2021 3:51 am Reply

    So are we saying that the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in Hawaii are victims of hate crimes in Hawaii on par with African Americans on the mainland ? I don’t agree. Removing discussion of internment camps during WWII – which any sentient being would recognize was a wrong and horrific episode in history driven by misplaced fear – I find it hard to believe hate crimes against this community in recent decades is the problem. That said, I agree those communities have received the short straw for a long time, but it’s socio-economic rather than racial. If we want to right those wrongs, it’s time to think long and hard about how Hawaii’s addiction to tourism perpetuates that problem, starting with what our current set of state and local leaders are doing. I don’t believe it’s racial hatred. It’s greed. Focusing on race is misleading.


  4. Titus April 4, 2021 10:47 am Reply

    I made the Happy Easter message sign. We who destroyed your livelihood and crucified in the name of safety want you to die safely. My wife holds a explanatory sign (on the right). “It is not about safety, is about CONTROL”


    1. Lawrence April 4, 2021 1:40 pm Reply

      People exactly like you and your wife are the reason why US economy took a hit this last year. Thankfully now we have an intelligent and compassionate team running the country replacing the malignant narcissist who is at the head of your Cult. Don’t embarrass yourself any further, Titus…


    2. David Presley April 4, 2021 2:06 pm Reply

      Titus,
      Respectfully, I disagree. There are over 500,000 dead Americans. How do you put that death toll into your theory on control? What is your counter-proposal? What would you have done differently?

      I firmly believe in our 1st amendment right of free speech. However, whining like a 14 year old is not helpful to anyone and does not move forward a debate on our countries response to the pandemic. What would be helpful is ideas for the next one. Lessons we learned on this one. What do you have?


  5. jkh April 4, 2021 2:40 pm Reply

    Renae Hamilton-Cambeilh sure does like to complain about race a lot.


  6. YuCalJoe April 5, 2021 6:43 am Reply

    When is the protest against protesting scheduled?


  7. Mona April 5, 2021 7:52 am Reply

    Love Jesus, be safe, respect our Kaua’i safety plan during this time,,,


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