Gregg K. Kakesako
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald
Nearly half a century ago, 32 people were arrested while protesting the mass eviction of Kalama Valley residents, including farmers and native Hawaiians, by landowner Bishop Estate to pave the way for suburban development in East O‘ahu. Among those arrested was community and anti-Vietnam War activist — and future journalist and playwright — Gary T. Kubota.
Kubota’s newly released book, “Hawaii Stories of Change,” is a collection of 34 oral history interviews with people who were on the front lines of the Kalama Valley eviction struggle, as well as with some who played supporting roles in the conflict and others who were involved in the native Hawaiian movement. The actions of the protestors in the arid 250-acre valley is considered by many as a pivotal moment in the “Hawaiian Renaissance” — a movement that began as a land struggle and eventually led to the effort for native Hawaiian autonomy.