By Angela Sorace, staff writer
|The speaker, C.J., as she prefers to be known,
is a middle-aged member of the nonprofit organization, World
Can’t Wait, and she was trying to mobilize HPU students
and bystanders to join her in marching about two miles down Beretania
Street to Thomas Square, in a protest against the Bush administration.
C.J. is at the limit of self-sustenance. She is a waitress at
a restaurant and a clerk at Revolution Bookstore and shares rent
with a roommate. “I live on tips, but consider myself lucky
compared to most people here today,” she said. She added
that she shops only for essentials and doesn’t have a family
to support her.
C.J. believes that the Bush administration is neglecting the
social problems afflicting the United States because of its involvement
in an illegal war, and that it is using immigrants as scapegoats
to take the public’s mind off Iraq.
Amnesty is not the problem,” said C.J. “The government
is the problem. We must force Bush to resign or be impeached.
We can do that by receiving funding from prominent people, and
becoming big enough to be recognized by the government.”
The next presidential elections will be in 2008, when a new head
of state will be chosen democratically by American citizens.
This reporter wondered, why the rush to drive out Bush?
Sophomore Marisa Castro, a 26-year-old HPU nursing student, said: “After
Iraq, Iran is going to be next, and Iran has nuclear weapons.
Not only that, the draft will be back because of the declining
number of people who will apply for the army.”
Bush is the real terrorist,” Castro added. “If you
had troops coming to your country and put everything in shambles,
would you think they were bringing democracy and freedom? I would
say no! The Bush agenda is not for Americans. Education is expensive,
there is no health care, and we are fighting an illegal war.”
Castro has neither health insurance nor parents to support her
living expenses. She works two jobs, and the paycheck barely
covers food and rent. “I’d rather pay for food than
insurance,” she said.
A political conscience should be established at HPU, Castro said.
At least six HPU students and four bystanders joined the feeder
march from Fort Street Mall.
It is the first time we are reaching out to HPU students,” said
C.J., “and I’m satisfied by the number of students
Two international students joined the march and attended the
festival. Saleh Azizi, 22, a freshman in international business
at HPU, came to the United States from Sweden, where he lived
with foster parents. His father was killed in the first Gulf
War. Azizi doesn’t know if his mother and the rest of his
family are alive.
Here, people join the army for money,” Azizi said. “They
kill people so their country gets more oil for more cars. In
Sweden, not many pay taxes to the military, but here it’s
different,” Azizi said.
In international business, you learn that what happens to a country
will affect other countries too,” he added. “What
happens in the U.S.A. will affect the world.”
Haweya Egal, 23, from Sweden, is a freshman biology major at
HPU. She skipped her biology class to come to the rally. “The
class is so big that the professor won’t even notice I’m
gone. The rally is worth it,” Egal said. About WCW, Egal
said, “I don’t know much about it, but so far I like
Feeder marches from the University of Hawai‘i-Manoa, Punahou
School, the Convention Center, the UH Medical School, and HPU
converged on Thomas Square at 3:30p.m. for a festival of music,
slam poetry, dancing, and speeches.
About 400 participated in the marches and the rally at Thomas
Square. About half of the crowd was under 30 years of age, and
the rest included Vietnam veterans.
WCW organized similar rallies across the United States, making
Oct. 5 a day dedicated to mass resistance of the Bush administration.
A number of local groups supported the rally, including Code
Pink, U.S. PIRG, support groups for Lt. Aaron Watada, Suzanne
Swift, GI resisters, as well as scientists from the University
of Hawai‘i’s Kewalo Marine Laboratory.
Speakers at the rally included Eric Seitz, attorney for Lt. Aaron
Watada and Rev. Neil McPherson, pastor at Church of the Crossroads.
Dr. Michael Hadfield, professor of zoology at UH-Manoa, and director
of the Kewalo Marine Lab, denounced the government’s attacks
on scientific research and education.
Annelle Amaral, vice president of External Affairs for Planned
Parenthood Hawai‘i, condemned the Bush administration’s
attacks on choice.
According to WCW’s pamphlet, the Bush administration enforces
a culture of greed, intolerance, and ignorance.
People look at this and think of Hitler,” reads the pamphlet, “and
they are right to do so. The Bush regime is setting out to radically
remake society very quickly, in a fascist way, and for generations
According to its Web site, WCW started mobilizing the public
in the summer 2005. Its first major protest across the country
was Nov. 2, 2005, the anniversary of Bush’s reelection.
To learn more, visit www.worldcantwait.net.