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. Intrinsic to our work is support for the human rights of Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) and promotion of aloha ‘aina (love for the land). The name of the network derives from the acronym “DMZ” for “demilitarized zone” to describe the spaces that have been reclaimed and liberated from militarization. The network works toward four goals:
1. Stopping Military Expansion in Hawai’i.
2. Cleaning up, restoring and reclaiming military controlled land in Hawai’i.
3. Promoting the development of environmentally sustainable, socially just and culturally appropriate economic alternatives for Hawai’i.
4. Seeking just compensation for the military use of Hawaiian land and for damages to the environment and communities caused by decades of military occupation.
While the demilitarization movement in Hawai’i traces its roots back to the Hawaiian pro-independence movement of the 19th Century, its recent history begins in the 1970s with the convergence of Hawaiian rights, anti-war, and environmental movements into the movement to protect Kaho’olawe from Navy bombing exercises. The Kaho’olawe movement stopped the bombing and won the partial clean up and return of the island, but elsewhere in the islands, communities continued to struggle to reclaim their lands from military occupation.
In the 1980s, the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific movement became a Pacific-wide force for peace, social justice and demilitarization. Hawai’i activists played a key role in the formation and leadership of this network.
In 2000, the American Friends Service Committee Demilitarization Subcommittee sponsored a conference “Rethinking Militarism in Hawai’i”. This was the first meeting to bring together activists and community leaders from various military-impacted communities to strategize and build a movement to address the impacts of militarization in Hawai’i. A loose network was formed to coordinate information and activities. In 2002, the DMZ Hawai’i / Aloha ‘Aina network was established, with its first issue to confront the military expansion in the wake of September 11, 2001. Since then, DMZ Hawai’i / Aloha ‘Aina has been active in various efforts to resist military expansion and demand the restoration and return of military occupied lands in Hawai’i and in solidarity with international struggles for peace, justice and demilitarization.
What We Do
The DMZ Hawai’i / Aloha ‘Aina network is guided by the ancient Kanaka Maoli prophesy, Ka Pule Wanana o Kapihe:
E Iho Ana o Luna All that is above shall be brought down
E Pi’i Ana o Lalo All that is below shall be lifted up
E Hui Ana na Moku The islands shall be united
E Ku Ana ka Paia The walls (of the structure) shall stand
- We work to confront powerful and oppressive institutions through research, analysis, public education, strategic communications, and direct action.
- We support efforts to build the power of grassroots communities to change social conditions through training and popular education, organizing and campaigns.
- We work to unite the islands, communities and constituencies in Hawai’i and globally that may be separated by distance and difference to create a broader movement.
- We engage in actions that confront unjust conditions and institutions and support efforts to develop sustainable alternatives.
Who We Are
Groups that have been active in the network include: the American Friends Service Committee Hawai’i Area Program, ‘Ohana Koa / NFIP, Malu ‘Aina, Ka Pakaukau, KAHEA, Life of the Land, Malama Makua, Hui Malama o Makua, ‘Ilio’ulaokalani, Hui Ho’okipa, Save UH / Stop UARC Coalition, Kipuka, Na Imi Pono, Kaua’i Alliance for Peace and Social Justice, World Can’t Wait, and other groups and individuals.
- Funding Exchange
- Pohaku Fund
- Hawai’i People’s Fund
- Unitarian Universalists Fund for Social Justice
- A.J. Muste Institute