(Tuesday) August 30, 7pm, University of Hawaii Maui College, Pilina Building
Multi-purpose room; free
Retired Colonel Ann Wright is returning to the Valley Isle, and will discuss her experiences attempting to carry letters of support to the people of Gaza aboard the 2011 Gaza Freedom Flotilla’s US boat (christened “The Audacity of Hope”), as well as her recent trip to Korea’s Jejju Island (known as the “Island of Peace” or “Korea’s Hawaii”), where citizens are currently combating a proposed naval base. The lecture takes place on Tuesday (August 30) at the University of Hawaii Maui College (UHMC), and is sponsored by the school’s Peace Club and the Maui Peace Action group.
After having spent 13 years in the US Army and an additional 16 years in the Army Reserves, Wright has become a well-known citizen activist and has been arrested on numerous occasions for peaceful, non-violent protest. She holds a Master’s and law degree from the University of Arkansas and a Master’s degree in National Security Affairs from the US Naval War College. In 1997, Wright received the State Department Award for Heroism after being instrumental in helping evacuate 2,500 people during Sierra Leone’s civil war (the largest evacuation since the Fall of Saigon).
All this notwithstanding, Wright is perhaps most famous for her public resignation from the State Department on the eve of the 2003 Iraq invasion, and her outspoken decrying of the follies of the Bush Administration. She’s also, along with Susan Dixon, co-authored a book, Dissent: Voices of Conscience, which discusses the importance of dissent by featuring testimonials from intelligence agents, government lawyers, diplomats and active members of the military.
If you’ve yet to attend one of Wright’s talks, be forewarned that she’s a popular speaker, so you’d do well to arrive at UHMC early to snag a good seat [voicesofconscience.com]
In related news, the Maui County Veterans Council hosts a mahalo luncheon for US Senator Daniel K. Akaka, this Friday (August 26, 11am-2pm). Senator Akaka was the chairman of the US Senate Veterans’ Affairs committee for four years (having been replaced Washington state’s Patty Murray, Akaka now chairs the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs), and Maui vets want to honor how he’s helped local vets through his former position.
The event takes place at Maui Tropical Plantation. Luncheon tickets are just $5 each and can be purchased in advance by contacting Paul Laub, president of the Maui County Veterans Council, at 442-4250. [mauitropicalplantation.com]