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Monday, February 1, 2016
Aha Participants Asked to Leave Weapons at Home
By Selected News Articles @ 6:40 PM :: 4688 Views :: Akaka Bill, OHA

Some information from Kuumealoha Gomes who is a facilitator of the ‘Aha

Provided to www.HawaiiFreePress.com by a confidential source. 

Kuumealoha Gomes:

Aloha mai kakou, and mahalo Ilima for asking me to clarify: first I did not include Andre because I thought that Ilima would share the info.

I am responding to you because of my long term relationship with you all, and my respect for the work that you do, that often I am not able to do, and my support for younger people taking the lead. That being said I appreciate the confidentiality and the opportunity to speak to you candidly.

Ok so in regards to the comment: " . . . your role as a government nai aupuni facilitator is to get a handle on the protesters.  Neither Linda nor Peter have the inside relations that you have to people in the movement . . ."  

Believe me  I thought about that and knew that some or all of you would think that and that I knew was the risk I was taking. But I trusted my naʻau, and knew I had to do this to give you information, that otherwise you would not have. No, I don't want kudos for this, that is the last thing I want or need; it is just that my observation after years of protesting is that information is powerful and safety of all is primary. I have seen this work in so many different places and will continue to support until the day I die that this strategy of outreach to protestors cannot be ignored. TRANSPARENCY and SAFETY is what it is all about.

No,  I was not asked to reach out to you all because of my knowledge of who you are all are. None of these people know me well enough to know that. In actuality the organizing team: Naʻi Aupuni, ComPac Communications (who is handling all the background stuff including setting up security and outreach to the media) , Akamai Communication (who is facilitating the participant email list),  and the facilitation team, initially were going to ignore the protestors and do what they needed to do to "protect the presenters".

You have to know that security was going to be very limited, but after threats between some of the participants, and as a result of participants themselves asking for safety, it prompted the organizer's consideration to increase security. If it is meant to keep protesters out, I have no knowledge of that discussion. Media is only allowed to be at that site on the first day in the opening plenary, and must leave by 9:30 a.m. For me, if it was serious enough to increase security to protect participants, then it is our kuleana to also give protesters information.

I suggested and fought for outreach to protesters, and It was Linda and Peter who supported me. I explained to everyone that from where I stand as someone who has participated in numerous actions since 1976, I personally know that safety, transparency, and respect for diversity of perspectives and each other no matter who we are, is a basic and fundamental value for who we are as Hawaiians.  I convinced the coordinators that if we are talking about safety, then it is the safety of everyone, including the protestors, that is our kuleana. I also stressed that transparency for security, private property boundaries, schedule of start and end times is important to share so you all have this info and can make your decisions about how and when you protest.

Because of my work at UH I was not able to meet with HPD to discuss security, and the inclusion of HPD only came about in the last week and a half. This move was made because of demands from many of the participants, and the fact that some were dropping out because of fear for their safety. You have to know that because of shootings into groups by terrorists/ and others on the American continent, these incidents have impacted how people feel in gatherings of this sort, and when internal threats are made by an obviously unstable person, who also threatens to bring a weapon, today folks take those things seriously. Bill Meheula, the attorney for NA, is the person who encouraged this extra precaution be taken.

Initially, I was not going to be involved in the outreach to you all, but when I saw who they thought were protesters, I decided to ask to do it, so you all got the info and then if you chose could give it to others. 

So, here is what I know: Kailua station HPD is involved and Sgt? or Major? Kiyabu is the police officer assigned to coordinate. I understand that Lloyd had asked him to also meet with you all so you could ask him questions.

As participants come through they must stop at Royal Hawaiian Golf Course (RHGC)  Security station, as does everyone who on any ordinary day must do. For the ʻaha purposes each car coming in will be recorded and only the participant listed on the roster will be admitted, if they are being dropped off, the driver will have to leave immediately after drop off. This is an agreement with the RHGC security, for management purposes. Kupuna needing kakoʻo already submitted the name of that person, who will also be allowed and will have a Kakoʻo name tag. Entrance into the venue will only be allowed after the participant receives his/her lanyard and name tag that is about 4x5 with name printed large and a large size pic of the participant. Due to the threat of weapons being brought in, each person will be warned (including all facilitators and others) and bags will be checked before they are admitted into the venue. The persons doing the warning is HPD plainclothes personnel. RHGC will have its own security personnel on property. HPD is limited to 2 - 3 personnel.

Iʻm not sure who is handling security at the entrance to the property (RHGC or HPD) I do know that protesters are being asked to stay at a particular location near the beginning of the property and before the RHGC security station.  Trespass signs are being posted by RHGC, and folks can be sighted for Trespassing. Lloyd is supposed to clarify this for the protesters. 

A police officer is regularly parked at the beginning as you turn on to Auloa; if you go there on an ordinary day you will see a police car parked on the side; RHGC hires police to be there regularly.

Hikers are being restricted access into the property due to maintenance of the trail; I donʻt know if this is due to the aha or not; we were just recently told this a few days ago by RHGC.

Okay, this is it. I hope this helps. If you want more details I suggest that you meet with Lloyd tomorrow at 10 a.m.

No, there are no helicopters, although I asked ….

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