To organize is to live and breathe the struggle of struggle. Kiaʻi on Mauna Kea, and across all of Hawaiʻi know this. Organizing is a line of labor that commands all of a person, their life, their genealogy, their love. I learned this from kiaʻi on Mauna a Wākea. While protecting the Mauna brings many lessons, its lessons are work. The way we work often shapes the way we understand the world. In a perfect world the kind of labor you do and the profit you make does not constrict you from life giving services and resources. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, in fact we live far from it. But, workers movement and justice movements at large seek to transform these harmful societal dynamics of labor. While wage labor or paid work is often examined with nuanced understandings of the intersections between gender, race etc, we often forget that these dynamics also play out through justice work, or activism. Justice movements often tend to replicate the very unhealthy power structures that they seek to destabilize and deconstruct. Movement building requires organization, and with organization often comes division of power. Without clear intentions and mechanisms to prevent oppressive power structures within justice work, the gendered element of justice work can, and does become harmful. Puʻuhonua o Puʻuhuluhulu on Mauna Kea currently represents a site of justice work where these power dynamics are taken into account, and are actually addressed.
Hamid, Sarah Michal
"The Power of Puʻuhonua o Puʻuhuluhulu: Intersections of Gender and Justice Work on Mauna Kea,"
Horizons: Vol. 5
, Article 2.
Available at: https://kahualike.manoa.hawaii.edu/horizons/vol5/iss1/2