Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Young guitarist brings the Occupy movement to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and to President Obama, with song.

Courtesy of Think Progress:

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum is currently being held in Honolulu, Hawaii, bringing together many of the world’s leaders in both the public and private sectors. Last night, APEC held a gala attended by President Obama and his wife in addition to a number of other world leaders. 

Hawaiian guitarist Makana, who had previously played at the White House in 2009, was slated to play at the gala. Rather than play his normal routine, Makana decided to make a statement. He opened his suit jacket to reveal a shirt that read “Occupy Aloha.” He then proceeded to play a protest ballad title “We Are the Many,” wherein he blasted corporate lobbyists and called on Americans to occupy “the streets.” He played this protest song for 45 minutes in a room full of the world’s elite.

This article was sent to me by a Hawaiian, who says that Makana's act of protest is a big story on the islands, and that there is even talk of making his song the official anthem of the Occupy movement.

Here is the song for your enjoyment.


  1. Anonymous6:01 AM

    Wow, thank you so much for sharing that, Gryph. The song says it all, and so eloquently. I will be sharing it far and wide.

  2. Moving and intelligent. May I just suggest that you notice the photograph that appears when he sings, near the beginning, "at liberty the bureaucrats guffaw."

  3. Anonymous6:39 AM

    That is getting posted everywhere.
    Amazing and true.
    All I can think as I watch is...how beautiful.

  4. That is fandamtabulous!
    This young man has spoken truth to power and done it in a way that cannot be ignored!
    YES, I hope that become the anthem for the Occupy Movement. It should go global.
    This is my second Thank you to you this morning! Keep going!

  5. Anonymous6:52 AM

    Mahalo Nui Loa, Makaha!

    Aloha from Alaska

  6. That was awesome! Thanks for posting!

  7. Anonymous7:21 AM

    His voice seems older than he is.

    Actual talent, real American. And it's not country or Christian also.

  8. I just shared it on facebook. We are the many.

  9. Not What You Want To Hear7:24 AM

    Thank you for posting this, Gryphen. And for your continued coverage of OWS. I am feeling somber today after hearing that the Zucotti camp was torn down, but I should have expected it. This is nothing compared to what the powers that be can and will do to try and crush this movement. I just pray to God that there are some people involved in the movement who are anticipating what the authorities will try to do and are making advance plans to circumvent it. Because the authorities will seek to use sudden, ruthless means that attempt to shock, disorient, and terrify OWS protestors.

    Read Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine" to get an idea of what we're facing here. She lays out the blueprint for how authoritarians seize and maintain control.

  10. Anonymous7:44 AM

    I love it. Shades of Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie Jr., and Joan Baez. :))

  11. Anonymous7:45 AM

    If this song is available for sale, please make a note to let us know. I just looked on iTunes and it's not there. I'm hoping it gets put up with the proceeds going to help the movement.

  12. Anonymous8:02 AM

    Humor and Determination Key to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Recovery


  13. Anonymous8:05 AM

    Beautiful song. Thanks for posting it.

  14. Anonymous8:08 AM

    @ 7:45
    Try his website. http://makanamusic.com/

  15. MadMs8:10 AM

    I second 7:45AM. How do we get this to I-Tunes with proceeds going to OWS?

  16. Makana Rocks!

    This is it folks. The Age of Aquarius is upon us. It's sink or swim time.

    Great powerful voices such as this young man give me hope that we are gonna swim, swim, swim to the stars!

  17. Anonymous8:12 AM

    Exclusive: Gabrielle Giffords' Husband Mark Kelly Says She Feared She Would Be Shot


  18. Anonymous8:28 AM

    @Anon 8:08


  19. Not What You Want To Hear8:30 AM

    Ok, I feel a little better about what transpired this morning, after reading this article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-leadership/occupy-wall-street-zuccotti-park-and-the-history-of-force/2011/11/15/gIQAalBlON_story.html

    They have the riot gear, the weapons, and the helicopters, yes. But it really is their last resort. Their takeover of the media, their think tanks, their crass insistence that every fucking thing we do in our lives should be a financial transaction just hasn't taken root the way they wanted it to. So many people are waking up.

  20. This is huge news here on Maui. We LOVE Makana! And Maui LOVES our President, who definitely understands "Aloha."

    Peace, all. Great comments today! Thanks for posting this, Jesse. And Mahalo for covering OWS.

    OCCUPY Aloha!
    Obama Landslide in 2012!!!

  21. Not What You Want To Hear said.

    I just emailed my son at OWS in NYC your message. I think it needs to go viral because you put it so succinctly.

    "They have the riot gear, the weapons, and the helicopters, yes. But it really is their last resort. Their takeover of the media, their think tanks, their crass insistence that every fucking thing we do in our lives should be a financial transaction just hasn't taken root the way they wanted it to. So many people are waking up."

  22. I wasn't going to watch this, but now feel it's mandatory.

  23. Anonymous10:41 AM

    BREAKING NEWS – Judge Orders Protesters Be Allowed Back in Park With Their Belongings


  24. Mama99r11:19 AM

    It's so hard as I'm trying to explain this to my 15-yr old who is already aware he doesn't have the future he thought was his birthright...and when I see the OWS protesters with a baton to the pancreas or a policeman's foot on one's neck, I fear for what's ahead...still, it's solidarity and shared belief and the fact that we ARE the 99%. An anthem like this may be just the galvanizing force we need. Thank you.

  25. Anonymous12:15 PM

    For those requesting purchasing this song...good luck.
    He is offering it free to download. I suspect if you want to give money to the cause, you could march down to the nearest Occupation, and donate.
    That's not snark, he just really seems to believe that music is for sharing.
    You could also take the time to go to his website and Thank him for his gift.

  26. Anonymous12:22 PM

    BREAKING NEWS – Judge Orders Protesters Be Allowed Back in Park With Their Belongings


    10:41 AM
    So what now? Are the police going to go through the piles of stuff that is now garbage and return all the belongings they took?
    And they wonder why my 69 year old mother walks round calling them Pigs.
    I'm sorry, I know they too are the 99%, it's just too bad more of them don't know it.
    Ehren Watada gave Bush the finger and told him his war was illegal and he refused to participate in it. When an action is illegal, people with morals don't participate!
    PS, And YAY! for the Judge.

  27. Anonymous12:23 PM

    Thanks for sharing. Also great accompaniment to start my state's process of recalling Scott Walker.

    We Are the 99%!


  28. Anonymous3:11 PM

    Regarding the NYC court's ruling against OWS eviction from the park: Allegedly the demonstrators were evicted from the park because it was private property. If this is the case, what does Mayor Bloomberg have to say about if and when they can return to the park? Is he the owner of the property?

  29. Anonymous4:12 PM

    Mahalo nui for posting this Gryph!

    I was surprised that Makana did this, what with all the security we endured for APEC, but very pleased he did!

    Also, too, please note, his shirt says Occupy With Aloha (not occupy Aloha).

    mahalo piha Gryph and Makana!!

  30. Anonymous6:05 PM

    Very Talented young man, and great lyrics!

    Love it!

  31. Anonymous6:08 PM

    Wonderful message!

    And the kid has a great voice!

  32. Anonymous6:15 PM

    Much, much better than I was expecting. This song should be the song that represents the movement and used at each demonstration. It provides an uniform message of what the movement wants to reverse, but doesn't provide any solutions which it doesn't have to provide. There is no one solution, but many, that will be required to reverse the years of unfair legislation aimed at helping corporations and the rich. This song is the call Republicans and the Koch Bro. should be a fearing.

  33. Anonymous3:48 AM

    Fantastic song and singer! I grew up with the amazing songs of Bob Dylan and this kid has got him knocked.

    His voice is very reminiscent of Donovan in "Catch The Wind".

    I predict that this young man is looking at a record contract and that this song is going to go viral. Let's hope so. His song totally embodies the message of Occupy Wall Street.


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