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On August 31, 1995, forty-two persons who belonged to various churches and religious and community organizations participated in a "Witness for Justice" tour of the Nation of Hawaii's Pu`uhonua O Waimanalo village.

The purpose of this visit was to understand first hand the situation involving the arrest and imprisonment of Nation leader Mr. Dennis "Bumpy" Kanahele. We listened to the issues and concerns from members of the nation. We heard from Mr. Hayden Aluli, attorney for Mr. Kanahele.

We believe Mr. Kanahele when he says that he has become, and continues to be, committed to the principles of non-violence. Along with the hundreds of reputable persons who have written on his behalf, we do not believe him to be a "danger to the community." Moreover, we do not believe that Mr. Kanahele is a "flight risk." Everything he stands for is here in his homeland.

Further, we read the letter from the Rev. S. Michael Yasutake, Ph.D., Director of the Interfaith Prisoners of Conscience Project of the National Council of Churches, which concluded that according to its criteria for determining who is a "political prisoner," Mr. Kanahele is indeed a political prisoner or a prisoner of conscience. We would not argue the justice or injustice of the particular charges brought before Mr. Kanahele. However, we have come to believe that his denial of bail and his continuous incarceration without having been proven guilty of the charges are a violation of his Constitutional rights and a serious miscarriage of justice.

It is incredible that a nation as big and powerful as the United States of America would react in such fear of Mr. Kanahele and the things for which he stands, and that the United States of America would seek to silence him and remove him from his people and his community.

We ask all who stand for the First Amendment right of freedom of speech, and the right of every citizen for equal justice before the law, to join us in petitioning the Federal Court of the United States of America to grant Mr. Kanahele his:

  1. Right to bail
  2. Release from imprisonment

Rev. Kaleo Patterson - Hawaii Ecumenical Coalition
Rev. Donna Faith Eldridge - Hawaii Council of Churches
Julia Matsui-Estrella - Pacific Center for Theology and Strategies
Rev. Tom Van Culin - St. Matthews Episcopal Church
Rev. Wally Fukunaga - Community Church of Honolulu
Dr. Rev. Teruo Kawata - Community Church of Honolulu
Martha Mesendick - Church of the Crossroads
Larry Jones - Hawaii Ecumenical Coalition
Rev. Sam Domingo - Harris United Methodist Church
Rev. Dan Nebres - Moanaloa Congregational Church
Mark Hamamoto - Church of the Crossroads
Tania Tom Hoon - Hawaii Ecumenical Coalition
Rev. Mike Young - First Unitarian Church
Roger Furrer - American Friends Service Committee
Toyo Nakamura - Nuuanu Congressional Church
C. Kent Coarsey - Wesley Foundation
Mark Rishardson - Wesley Foundation
Takeshi Osada - Sendai Christian Student Center
Kagami Shima - Sendai Christian Student Center
Kyle Kajihiro - Hotel Workers Organizing Committee
Mary Choi
Nancy Alec - American Friends Service Committee
Rev. Jim Ledgerwood - First United Methodist Church
Nalani Olds - Hawaii Ecumenical Coalition
Kikue Takagi - Church of the Crossroads
Davianna McGregor - Kanaka Legal Defense Fund
Pua Aiu - Papa Ola Lokahi
Kahilahila Hunt
Mohala Aiu - Hawaii Ecumenical Coalition
Kaleleonalani Napoleon - UH Student
Elia Loya - Church of the Crossroads
Amy Mizuno
Daniel Kekoanui Burnell - Hawaii Ecumenical Coalition
Mark Patterson - Kaumakapili Church
Haaheo Guanson - UH Spark Matsunaga Peace Institute
Roger Estrella - New Fellowship
Yola Meyers Forbes - Kalaikamanu Hou Church
Sue Kaneshina - Iao Congregatinoal Church
Dr. Norman Jackson - Hawaii Conference, United Church of Christ
Rev. Kimo Mersberg - Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches
Pastor Ron Fujiyoshi - Olaa Congregational Church
June Shimokawa - Harris United Methodist Church

(Churches and organizations listed for identification only)

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