Wage & Profit

Dec. 27, 2018 Class One  Study Materials

Jan.  10, 2019 Class TwoD

2019 Classes

Imperialism in Hawaii sparks protests

By Mark Maxey

PADEN, Okla. - “14 million rounds a year spew into the vast Hawaii area of Pohakuloa” Danny Li, told the students on July 5, 2018. The People’s School of Marx-Lenin Study (PSMLS) had a full class that night as Li talked on the imperialistic militarization happening currently in Hawaii. “Through the Freedom of Information Act, they did uncover active uranium waste being left exposed,” Li said. Several Indigenous groups have sprung up in protests recently over this issue in Hawaii

 Li taught the class as a guest lecturer and spoke specifically on the RIMPAC 2018 exercises. RIMPAC Facebook pages say, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) is the world's largest multinational maritime exercise and is occurs every two years on and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. It’s mission is to be the world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2018 is the 26th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

 Li stated, “it is the most insidious military activity happening without much media or tourists knowledge. Since after World War 2, America has treated the Pacific Ocean by Hawaii as their own personal lake.” He went on to include the lost knowledge that Hawaii was illegally annexed to the US in 1898. This is yet another example of the gross imperialism of the United States. Imperialism is a policy of extending a country's power and influence through diplomacy or military force.

 The US is trying to woo China with inclusion in this year’s military exercises, CNN reports. But was disinvited due to their militarization of islands off the South China Sea. Though some local Indigenous Hawaiians openly oppose the RIMPAC training.

 One such local groups are the DMZ Hawaii. DMZ Hawai’i / Aloha ‘Aina is a network of organizations and individuals working to counter the military’s negative social, cultural and environmental impacts in Hawai’i. 

 Eight activists from the International Women’s Network Against Militarism (IWNAM) and its Oʻahu-based Hawaiʻi chapter, Women’s Voices Women Speak (WVWS) visited Hawaiʻi Island from February 16–18, 2018 to witness and protest the ongoing use of Hawaiian land for live-fire military training at Pōhakuloa Training Area (PTA). WVWS Facebook page also has very useful related information.

 Cultural Survival stated militarism and colonialism are inseparable forces which have shaped modern Hawai'i. Over a hundred years since the U.S. military participated in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i in 1893, militarism continues to distort the cultural and political environment like a magnet pulling at particles of iron. Militarism in Hawai'i is the product of "manifest destiny," the racist ideology which drove the U.S. expansion into the Pacific and the Caribbean in the nineteenth century.

Li also spoke briefly on the implications from the Smith Act. Let’s be honest, under the manifest destiny rule of our government, and with white supremacy raising up under nationalism, being a communist might bring added stressors. Attorney General Jeff Sessions latest remarks reflect that this theory is still in the purview of our government. It was not that long ago that the Smith Act swooped up many low key minor players in communism in America. Many communists were brought to trial.

Li concluded the talk speaking of the UN 1990’s Decade of the Indigenous people. It is the hope of the instructors of PSMLS and PCUSA to educate its members so they are better equipped to fight imperialism. Locally one can also help by talking to peers and others about how the Indigenous culture of Hawaii does not want RIMPAC to happen on their islands.

You can re-listen to the July 5th class with Danny Li here.


Oklahoman Mark Maxey is a Yuchi Indian, enrolled in the Muscogee Nation, and has a degree in radio/TV/film. He is a member of the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981/AFL-CIO. He’s worked as an administrative assistant, petroleum landman, barista, staff writer, paralegal, content producer and graphic designer.

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