Last year I remember coming across a video that was posted on YouTube of the lead attorney of Earthjustice, Paul Achitoff, counseling activists on how to give testimony. (Earthjustice along with the Center for Food Safety has recently been added to the anti-GMO law on the Big Island because they are going to “fight the evil corporations,” but are really going after small papaya farmers at best.) The video was instructing the general public to “To be concise, civil, and respectful.” That video has now been removed but the remnants of what was said is still alive on the internet.
It’s really odd that these activists somehow missed his message on this because they haven’t quite figured out what it means to try to be civil or respectful. Just take a look at a recent post from Hawaii News Now Facebook post on the damage caused by Hurricane Iselle to the papaya farmers. It’s clear that they are nasty and not doing what Achitoff counseled them on. They are of the same cloth as the Shaka Movement who claim to want a moratorium but really, when has a law ever been temporary???
When our politicians start siding with these kind of people, they aren’t sincere about increasing food sustainability and food security. Let’s face it, the ugly truth is that they want to continue to harm a local industry made up of hundreds of small family farms in the name of misinformation and fear mongering. When we need to come together to look at solving problems, these are not the people who should be heeded for they only have a single agenda and that is to take tools and give nothing back in return.
I will always say farmers voices first and foremost. I don’t mean the farmers who have a tiny 2 acre farm and is exempted from food safety laws but the real multigenerational farmers that have been in our islands for decades! The radical, rude, and disrespectful activists can take their protests outside and away from the discussion table. Many of them portray themselves and “save the earth” environmental greenies but under that facade is an awful truth of who they really are. This is not local style and the farmers should no longer be subjected to any of this. Any leader who is happy to associate with these kind of folks shouldn’t be elected to office either!