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Nonviolent protesters occupy Univ. of Hawaii admin bldg, demand end to military R&D center

Nonviolent protesters have occupied the administration building of the Univ of Hawaii, calling for end to military weapons development facility.
hawai\i.jpg
Honolulu, Hawaii
Contact: Kyle Kajihiro 808-542-3668; Ikaika Hussey 808-221-2843
Thursday, April 28 2005
10:30 am

Nonviolent protesters move on Univ. of Hawaii administration building, demand end to secret military research center

Honolulu, HI – A group of nonviolent protesters have entered Bachman Hall, the University of Hawaii administration building, and have demanded an end to the University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) project, which would establish a secret military research facility to conduct Navy weapons development. The group -- consisting of students, faculty, and concerned community members -- has prepared a formal statement of legal, moral, health, cultural, and political reasons why UARC should be dropped. They have prepared a formal letter to the US Navy for Interim President David McClain to sign stating that UH is withdrawing its UARC application, because of the substantial public concern over increased secret military research. The nonviolent protesters have stated that they will not leave Bachman Hall until Mr. McClain publicly declares the end of UARC.

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MORE Full text of student/faculty/community demands follows:

28 April 2005
University of Hawaii at Manoa
O‘ahu, Hawai‘i

To: The people of Hawai‘i
Cc: University of Hawaii Interim President David McClain

Aloha ‘?ina k?kou:

We, the students, faculty, and community are the ‘?hana of the University of Hawaii.
The health and security of our public institution of higher learning, and the community it serves, is our chief concern.

We are assembled here with a simple demand: that the highest authority of our University of Hawaii, Interim President David McClain, formally end the University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) project, which threatens the soul of our university and endangers the health and welfare of our community with secret military weapons research.

Frustrated by the UH Manoa Chancellor’s lack of transparency and honesty about the UARC, and concerned that the Administration is already determined to establish the UARC over the serious concerns and overwhelming opposition from all sectors of the campus and community, we are compelled to resort to nonviolent civil resistance to save our university. We remain steadfast in our opposition to the UARC project for the following reasons:

1. UARC would be involved in military weapons related research that is incompatible with the strategic plan, core values and educational mission of UH.
2. UARC compounds the historical injustices committed by US forces against Native Hawaiians and fuels military expansion and its negative impacts on the land and people of Hawai’i. The Kuali’i Council, the body representing the interests of Native Hawaiians on the UH Manoa campus, testified before the Board of Regents: “Since the American military has done more to damage our ancestral lands than any other entity, we cannot support the establishment of a UARC at the University of Hawai’i.?
3. Military secrecy subverts academic freedom and public accountability. Research programs need not be classified to be deemed “privileged?, and thus secret. The tragic history of secret military research programs does not permit us to trust that the UARC will be safe or beneficial, as proponents argue.
4. UARC is bad business for UH; it diverts resources from other research opportunities, imposes restrictions on the types of research pursuable, and places constraints on publishing. UARC may be in violation of Federal Acquisition Regulations that require full and open competition for major federal contracts.
5. UARC is implicated in and tainted by the Navy criminal investigation of alleged mismanagement of classified research contracts. The military ‘pork barrel,’ coupled with secrecy and possibly dangerous technologies makes UH more susceptible to ethical lapses.
6. Recent audit reports indicate that the UH Administration is currently unable to adequately handle existing research contracts.
7. UARC would be a major shift in direction for UH and the beginning of UH's demise – a mark on UH's reputation forever.
8. UARC is substantially different from existing faculty driven research. UARC would be like a marriage between UH and the Navy to provide the Navy with research on demand: “problem solving? vs. true research that expands human knowledge.
9. The process has been flawed, with the UH Administration pursuing secretive discussions for more than two years and failing to inform or involve the public until after significant decisions had been made and provisional board approval had been given.

For these reasons, and for others which may exist in the consciences of the people, we resolve to remain in Bachman Hall until such time as Interim President David McClain declares an end to the UARC proposal. Such a declaration is essential to the survival and prosperity of our community’s institution of higher learning. Until Mr. McClain makes that declaration, we will occupy and demilitarize Bachman Hall. We call out to all members of the UH community, the people of Hawai’i and people of the world to join us in demanding that UH President McClain stop the UARC now. Make education the priority, not war.


Aloha ‘Åina,
Save UH/Stop UARC Coalition
www.stopuarc.info
_www.stopuarc.info
 
 


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