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Monday, November 14, 2011

“We are the Many” — Makana serenades APEC pols

Excerpt, news editing, added notes by Carolyn Bennett

… Encores full ‘score “We are the many” today on the Democracy Now news program — 

We will occupy the streets. 
We will occupy the courts. 
We will occupy the offices until you do 
the bidding of the many, not the few [ Makana ].

The time has come for us to voice our rage                            Against the ones who’ve trapped us in a cage
To steal from us the value of our wage
From underneath the vesture of law
The lobbyists at Washington do gnaw
At liberty, the bureaucrats guffaw
And until they are purged, we won’t withdraw
We’ll occupy the streets
We’ll occupy the courts
We’ll occupy the offices of you
’Til you do
The bidding of the many, not the few 
Our nation was built upon the right                                                Of every person to improve their plight
But laws of this republic they rewrite
And now a few own everything in sight
They own it free of liability
They own, but they are not like you and me
Their influence dictates legality
And until they are stopped we are not free
We’ll occupy the streets
We’ll occupy the courts
We’ll occupy the offices of you
’Til you do
The bidding of the many, not the few 
You enforce your monopolies with guns                                    While sacrificing our daughters and sons
But certain things belong to everyone
Your thievery has left the people none
So take heed of our notice to redress
We have little to lose, we must confess
Your empty words do leave us unimpressed
A growing number join us in protest
We occupy the streets
We occupy the courts
We occupy the offices of you
’Til you do
The bidding of the many, not the few 
You can’t divide us into sides                                                         And from our gaze, you cannot hide
Denial serves to amplify
And our allegiance you can’t buy
Our government is not for sale
The banks do not deserve a bail
We will not reward those who fail
We will not move till we prevail
We’ll occupy the streets
We’ll occupy the courts
We’ll occupy the offices of you
’Til you do
The bidding of the many, not the few.

As 21 APEC member economies leaders dined in Honolulu on the weekend, renowned musician Makana began his serenade. He opened his suit jacket to show his t-shirt message ‘Occupy with Aloha’ and sang subtly, subliminally ‘We are the Many.’

In the Democracy Now interview, Makana recounted his APEC experience.  “I showed up and did my gig,” he said, “and as I looked around, I thought about the song I just wrote called ‘We are the Many.’  It was an incredible experience to sing the words, those words, to that room of people. I didn’t belt it out. I started very subtly and subliminally …

‘Ye come here, gather ‘round the stage.
The time has come for us to voice our rage.’…

“Then I realized, ‘Wow! I didn’t get in trouble!’ so I played it again. I made a different version of it and ended up playing it for about 45 minutes.

“To be able to sing that there [a hall of APEC’s powerful] was an epic feeling. It felt right.

“… I found it odd that I was afraid to do it at first. I found that disturbing; that’s why I did it.”

Breaking through

“I didn’t like the idea of being afraid to sing a song that I created. I’ve never been afraid to sing anything. If that’s what we’ve come to in the world — where we’re afraid to say certain things in the company of certain people — I think that’s a dangerous place to be. For me to move out of that space [of fear], I had to sing the song. That’s what I did.”

Prolific singer songwriter and guitarist Makana was born on Hawaii’s Oahu Island and began singing at the age of seven. He was performing professionally at Honolulu’s Duke’s Canoe Club at age 15 and has since produced his own shows in many of Hawaii’s other significant venues. “Makana” was his debut album (1999). It won the Best World Music Album Award at the Hawaii Music Awards. Musician Makana contributed to the Grammy-nominated album Hawaiian Slack Key Kings and the same year (2006) produced his fourth album “Different Game.”

Makana tours the world with regular performances in the United States, including Hawaii. He has made six solo tours of Japan. In Germany, he opened for three Santana concerts performing for audiences of thousands in world-class venues including Frankfurt’s Opera Platz.
Makana has also performed at mega festivals. In 2001, he was the only solo artist to headline the main stage at the WOMAD Festival (World of Music, Arts and Dance) in Reading, England.  In 2005, by invitation of the Director of Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, Makana represented Hawaii in China. In addition to multiple concerts in Shanghai, he produced and headlined an extravagant cultural showcase from Hawaii at the Tianjin Opera House.

Sources and notes

“Occupy Honolulu: Hawaiian Musician Makana Performs Protest Song to World Leaders at APEC Summit,” November 14, 2011, http://www.democracynow.org/2011/11/14/occupy_honolulu_hawaiian_musician_makana_performs
Born Matthew Swalinkavich, Makana [called ‘Hawaii’s Guitar Hero’] is a U.S. singer- songwriter and slack-key guitarist. On November 12, 2011, he turned his performance at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation dinner meeting of member state leaders  into a political protest by opening his suit jacket to reveal a t-shirt reading ‘Occupy With Aloha’ and for three quarters of an hour singing his composition ‘We Are the Many.’
The name “Makana” is also a mountain located on northern shore of the island of Kauai. This mountain rises 1,115 feet (340 m) above Limahuli Valley.
Makana is a Hawaiian language term meaning “gift” or “reward” and is often used as a person’s name or as part of a name.
Slack-key guitar is a finger style genre of guitar music that originated in Hawaii. Its name refers to its characteristic open tunings: the English term is a translation of the Hawaiian kī hō’alu, which means ‘loosen the [tuning] key’. Most slack-key tunings can be achieved by starting with a classically tuned guitar and detuning or ‘slacking’ one or more of the strings until the six strings form a single chord, frequently G major.
An open tuning in guitar is one where the strings are tuned so that a chord is achieved without fretting, or pressing any of the strings. With such a tuning, other chords may be played by simply barring a fret or through the use of a slide. Open tunings are common in blues music and some rock and folk music. They are particularly used in steel guitar and bottleneck guitar playing.”

Makana biographical and guitar notes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makana_(musician); http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makana
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC is comprised of 21 members referred to as ‘member economies.’ The term ‘member economies’ is used because the APEC cooperative process is predominantly concerned with trade and economic issues, with members engaging with one another as economic entities.
APEC’s 21 member economies are: Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; The Republic of the Philippines; The Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; United States of America; and Viet Nam.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation began as an informal dialogue group in 1989 and has since become “the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region.”  An APEC Secretariat was established in 1993 in Singapore to support the activities of the forum.  http://www.apec.org/FAQ.aspx
News from weekend APEC meetings
Senior officials from the 21 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum worked [in November] to finalize their recommendations to Ministers and Leaders this week as they met for the final time this year. APEC aims to promote sustainable growth and facilitate job creation by deepening regional economic integration.
Honolulu, United States, November 10-11, 2011, APEC Finance Ministers issue statement committing “to strengthening recovery, reinforcing stability and opening markets.”
Ministers pledged to address risks to the global economy to restore confidence, financial stability and sustainable growth.
Ministers acknowledged that growth and job creation have weakened in the region, particularly in advanced economies, while inflation remains elevated in many. Capital flow volatility has intensified in response to heightened risk aversion.
Ministers reaffirmed their shared interest in reforming the financial sector to better meet the needs of APEC economies.
APEC Finance Ministers also considered analysis and perspectives from the President of the Asian Development Bank, the President of the Inter-American Development Bank, the Managing Director of the World Bank Group, the Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, and the APEC Business Advisory Council.

“APEC Leaders Week 2011, APEC Ministerial Meeting,” Honolulu, Hawaii, United States November 11, 2011, http://www.apec.org/Press/News-Releases/2011/1110_FMM.aspx


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