Our Recorded Abolition Presentation at First Unitarian

Our recorded abolition presentation

Two weeks ago I wrote about and shared the presentation my comrade Laurel and I gave at the Hawaiʻi State Harm Reduction Conference in January. We spoke about abolition and abundance and how the two are tied together with harm reduction. That webinar was the first I’d ever presented (and with 80+ people in attendance!), so I was extraordinarily scared while speaking for the hour. And in May, my comrade Aree and I were asked to speak and present on abolition again, this time for the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu. I wrote a preview on that speech in this post and below, but now I have the link to our recorded abolition speech I thought I’d share! I asked the hosts for our recorded abolition presentation because I find I black out when I’m publicly speaking and I forget what I said during. I also wanted to share this recording with all of you and anyone else who wasn’t able to attend the service. Please watch the video recording above and read what I wrote back in May below:

“It’s been a while since our Hawaiʻi Abolition Collective hosted or contributed to any direct actions or events (we most recently participated in the Free Ashley Now week of action last month and Megan wrote about our org for Being Hawaiʻi magazine!) and a few of my comrades and I have been itching to get back in gear! Ever since we were founded at the end of December, we immediately worked tirelessly to plan vigils in honor of our incarcerated loved ones inside (here’s our last one) during the height of COVID in Hawaiʻi as it seemed voices of support for their safety were silenced. We organized vigils outside of the Oʻahu Community Correctional Center and the Department of Public Safety to target different leaders we wanted to hold accountable. Shortly after our vigils and a fun abolitionist zoom pau hana that drew 50+ attendees, we lost a little steam in the direct action front. Many complicated and traumatic situations occurred at the same time with the catalyst being Iremamber Sykap’s murder by HPD (the family of whom is still awaiting their forms of justice). Those of us left in HAC still want to engage our communities in abolition work (political education, copwatching training, deescalation training, transformative justice, etc), so one of my comrades Aree and I are presenting a case for abolition at the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu’s monthly ADORE meeting on Sunday! The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu’s ADORE group has monthly meetings where they invite speakers to present on topics of interest and they discuss issues group members might be excited about or unfamiliar with. Thankfully the lovely people at First Unitarian are interested in learning about PIC abolition, so Aree and I will talk about a brief history of abolition and explain what abolitionists truly want and why these goals are beneficial for everyone. We will then lead audiences into today’s movements for community safety, accountability, and healing outside of the inherently racist and punitive legal system. We’ll share influences from revered abolitionists like Mariame Kaba and Ruth Wilson Gilmore and present possibilities of what a Hawaiʻi without prisons, policing, and the military will look like.”