AABCC Press Release 15 June 2007

Hawai'ian activists in Australia for protests against US-Australian war games

War is coming to Australian shores. Throughout June a US military force of 20,000 personnel complete with nuclear submarines, jet fighters and battleships will join with 13,000 Australian troops for the largest ever joint military exercises - Operation Talisman Sabre.

Resistance to the war games is coming from the ordinary people of Australia and the Pacific. Hundreds of people will gather in Yeppoon in a Peace Convergence from 15 to 24 June to non-violently oppose the exercises.

International representatives joining the protests include two activists from Hawai'i.

Terri Napua Keko'olani

Terri is a native Hawai'ian woman from the island of O'ahu. She represents DMZ Hawai'I, a country-wide alliance to demilitarize Hawai'i, and also Ohana Koa, the Hawai'ian chapter of the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific movement.

Terri has organised resistance against evictions of natives from their land, fought a freeway that destroyed many sacred sites just to connect Pearl Harbor to the Kaneohe Marine Corp Base, and occupied Kaho'olawe island to save it from US Navy bombs. She organised protests in Hawai'i against nuclear testing in Tahiti. Terri Napua works with indigenous people worldwide who oppose the militarising of their homelands.

Leimale Quitevis

Leimale is a native Hawai'ian woman from the island of O'ahu. She represents DMZ Hawai'i as a community member.

Leimaile is a singer and songwriter who has worked in the area of Hawai'ian education and as an advocate for the protection and perpetuation of native Hawai'ian culture and cultural values.

Leimaile is a traditional owner of the area covered by the US Army base called Schofields Barracks. She has served on that base as a cultural monitor, along with her husband Kamoa. While in that job they were exposed to depleted uranium.

They see their role as trying to protect their sacred lands, their children, water and food from the chemical and nuclear contamination caused by the munitions used on their traditional land.

Our Hawai'ian guests will be in Sydney and available for comment on Monday 18 June and Tuesday 19 June. They will be in Yeppoon between 20 and 25 June, and in Sydney again on 26 and 27 June.

For interviews, please ring Denis Doherty 0418 290 663 (mob) 9660 7562 (h) 9698 2954 (office)