Hawaii joins hands to protest off-shore oil drilling

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A clean energy movement.

Hawaii residents joined the rest of the nation to send a message that the U.S. should move away from its dependence on oil.

An estimated 35,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil have been spewing for 67 days now, while BP collects about half of that amount.

It's what fueled the protest in Waikiki Saturday. About 200 people took part in a mock oil spill.

They also joined hands as part of the worldwide "Hands Across the Sand" event showing solidarity against off-shore oil drilling.

Another beautiful day at one of the busiest beaches in the world and these protesters want to keep it that way, saying they don't want to see a similar oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, hit our shores.

And according to State Senator Mike Gabbard, Hawaii was spared back in 1977.

The Hawaiian Patriot, an oil cargo ship, went down about 300 miles off the coast of Honolulu.

"30-million gallons of oil and it was only because of the tradewinds and the ocean current that it pushed it that way and we avoided a great disaster," he said.

The Sierra Club, the Surfrider Foundation and many concerned residents, held signs and joined hands to send a message.

"You're really a part of something that's much bigger and it's something we should be proud of," Sierra Club Hawaii Chapter director Robert Harris said. "It's time to create a national policy and a national plan that moves us off of oil."

Black trash bags representing the spill were placed near the shore. A few women covered in chocolate syrup, show the cruel effects oil has on not just the ocean, but the many who use it.

"The tide has turned, with respect to things being affordable, there used to be a feeling that going green was a patriotic or virtuous thing to do, now it's just simple, great economics to go that way," Kaneohe resident John Graham said.

Eva Uran feels the same way. The 61-year-old Makiki resident says she's saved thousands of dollars from riding her bike everyday.

"I cant live without a bike, I can live without a car, I don't have a car, I don't have a truck, but I can't live without a bike," Uran said.

More importantly though, she says she's doing her part to pedal beyond oil and help save the environment.

There were only three steps to this event. It included heading to the beach at 11 a.m., in your time zone, joining hands for 15 minutes at noon, forming lines in the sand against oil drilling in our coastal waters and leaving only your footprints.

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