Protesters are trying to legalize anarchy
From Samuel Wilder King II, February 7, 2020
A bill will be heard this coming Tuesday that will attempt to prohibit the State Attorney General from investigating non-profit organizations engaged in "civil disobedience." This is undoubtedly a bill being pushed by protesters against the TMT, whose tax exempt non-profit organizations have been collecting donations, giving out tax write-offs, and using the money to finance an illegal blockade which has cost the state over $15,000,000. All this to stop a telescope that will provide millions of dollars in scholarships and STEM education to Hawaii's keiki.
Please submit testimony in opposition to this insane bill.
SB42: Text, Status
Here is what I submitted:
I am writing in strong opposition to SB 42.
Nonprofit organizations enjoy tax exempt status because they provide a benefit to our community. If they are breaking the law they have violated that trust and should be investigated.
Claiming that lawlessness is in fact "civil disobedience" is in the eye of the beholder, making this law almost impossible to enforce. The only nobility in civil disobedience is in accepting the consequences of one's actions.
In the instant case, tax exempt non-profit organizations have been backing the Mauna Kea protesters. These protests have involved the use of force in the form of a blockade of a public road. This is an act of violence, and these non-profits are not government entities imbued by the governed with the right to use such force.
Moreover, the Mauna Kea protests have involved a campaign of bullying, intimidation, lies and deceit, using Russian Internet Troll-style tactics. I have described this in more detail here:
This bill would give carte blanche to political organizations to sow chaos in our communities. We saw the slippery slope caused by the failure to enforce the law and arrest the Mauna Kea protesters happen in real time, culminating in a telephone pole being cut down with a chainsaw to prevent a renewable energy project from moving forward.
The enforcement costs at Mauna Kea alone are over $15,000,000. Instead of providing further protection for these anarchists, the legislature should be conducting its own investigations and recouping money from the donations these non-profits have received to back the Mauna Kea protests, so that taxpayers are no longer on the hook for their block party.
The preamble is also ridiculous. Nonprofits engaging in illegal blockades of public roads should feel intimidated by the Attorney General. I want my Attorney General to be enforcing the law and investigating groups engaged in highly coordinated illegal activity.
The protesters have weaponized social media and caused millions of dollars in damages to Hawaii's people. We deserve to know how these entities are spending their tax-free money, and we should be getting $15,000,000 back.
Mahalo for your time.
Samuel Wilder King II
You can submit testimony by creating an account on the legislature's website and submitting testimony, or by emailing testimony to the members of the Senate Hawaiian Affairs Committee:
Please come testify at the public hearing on this bill as well, which is before the Hawaiian Affairs Committee on Tuesday, February 11, at 1:16PM in conference room 016.