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Monday, November 14, 2011

A Man and His Guitar Show Obama & Co. How to Occupy With Aloha

Posted By on Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Occupy Oakland is being evicted from Frank Ogawa Plaza (again). And as the movement continues its struggle to remain lodged in city centers across the nation, thousands of miles from the U.S. mainland one man and his guitar on Saturday did arguably more than anyone at the protests so far in getting the message heard, literally, by the power brokers of the world.

Makana, a Hawaii-based slack guitarist, performed at a dinner reception at the ongoing APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) conference, where Obama and leaders from Pacific-bordering countries are meeting to discuss issues such as free trade, military strategy, and energy use -- issues that most of the Occupy protesters would like to have a say in.

Realizing that most of the attendees weren't really paying attention, Makana unbuttoned his jacket to reveal "Occupy with Aloha" written on his t-shirt and started playing a song he wrote called "We Are the Many," according to news reports. Further to his amazement, no one, including Obama, responded in any disagreeable way to the lyrics. Emboldened, Makana continued to play the song over and over for another 45 minutes.

Here's the song in its entirety:

Later on when questioned by a CNN anchor whether he feared for his safety, Makana replied gracefully by saying that if anything happened to him just for singing a song, then "something is seriously wrong."

Whether the song made any impression on world leaders or their decision making is uncertain, but at least for Makana, to be able to do what he did, definitely felt "epic."

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Ian Wang


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