Shows: September 30, 2019

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Joanna Pruett / Aloha Joann

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Cecilia Lim, New York based community artist and organizer discusses ancestral memory and the fight for climate justice from as a filipina in diaspora. APF Radio also talked with Joanna Pruett, a Native-Hawaiian-Chinese woman living in New York about answering the call to defend Mauna Kea and building ohana in New York City.

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Ancestral Memory and the Fight for Climate Justice

Over the past week, from Jakarta to New York, Global Strike reported that 7.6 million people mobilized to strike for climate action, a more just world, and an end to fossil fuels, one of the main contributors of climate change. Cecilia Lim discusses the environmental issues in Queens, New York, growing up in the diaspora, global capitalism's effect on climate change, organizing in Queens and her most recent project, Remember Y(our) Connection / Tandaan Ang Ating Ugnayan: Filipino Wisdom in the Face of Climate Change.

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Finding Ohana and Protecting Mauna Kea in New York

For Native Hawaiians, Mauna Kea is the sacred center of the island: a place of worship, a portal to the ancestral realm and celestial home to Hawaiian deities. Mauna Kea is also a dormant volcano and although most of the volcano is underwater, at 33,500 feet, it is the tallest mountain in the world when measured from its underwater base. Unprecedented views of deep space and cosmic objects, clear skies and easy access to the mountaintop means that it has become a prime target for monied interests and astronomers. The Thirty Meter Telescope, or TMT, is one of them. TMT is a $1.4 billion project would be the largest visible-light telescope designed and developed by partnerships in the United States, Japan, China, India and Canada and includes universities like the University of California and is largely funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

There are already 13 observatories on the mountain-- the construction and maintenance of which have already contributed to more traffic, sewage and chemical spills, pollution, and the disruption of cultural and religious practices. Another telescope, this one more massive than the existing ones, funded primarily by foreign corporations and institutions, is one that has echoed the violent displacement of Hawaiians and the taking of land during colonial times. The struggle over Mauna Kea is decades long. In 1950, Mauna Kea was part of lands ceded as part of a land trust with Native Hawaiians. So, there is also a long history of not only protecting and defending sacred land, but also fighting for Native Hawaiian sovereignty. In 2015, Mauna Kea protectors the procedural issue of whether the permit for the TMT's construction comported with due process. In 2018, the Supreme Court of Hawaii ruled that the telescope construction permit was valid. And since July of 2019, and now for approximately 3 months, protectors have peacefully resisted the construction of the TMT. A reported 35 elders were arrested on the third day of protecting the sacred mountain.

Frontline and longtime protectors have inspired action from Mauna Kea to New York City. From the APF Radio archives, you'll hear an excerpt with Pualani Case discussing the call to action to protect sacred land and water. Audio from a Mauna Kea rally at Union Square in New York and discussion with Joanna Pruett a massage therapist and reiki healer, who, inspired by Pualani Case and other protectors, organized her first rally alongside indigenous communities and supporters in New York City and has since organized a series of actions throughout the city as an act of solidarity to the Mauna Kea protectors and across indigenous struggles.

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This program is brought to you by Olivia Canlas of the APF collective.

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