ʻOihana Hale Waihona Puke Aupuni o ka Mokuʻāina o Hawaiʻi
Public Library System
Where you belong
Join us! Meet author Ron Williams who will read from his essay I ka Wā Mamua, ka Wā Mahope: Lāhainā Celebrations of Lā Hoʻomanaʻo ʻo Kamehameha I with questions and answers to follow.
In this wide-ranging collection of essays, Civil Society in West Maui pieces together key political controversies that have animated the social and political life of West Maui. The book is a recounting of struggles.
Working within the long shadow cast by the plantation system, and against those who now dominate life in West Maui, the book is concerned with acts of resistance, recovery, and inspiration. There have been amazing people and social movements whose stories must be told. Diverted streams have been restored. Attempts to destroy the landscape have been stopped. Sometimes the successes are grand, while sometimes they are on a smaller scale but have had a lasting impact on our society.
Sometimes the struggles fail in the face of overwhelming political and economic power. The playing field is not level and the less powerful, often local, people are at a disadvantage. But the struggles continue, and West Maui is better for it.
Taken together, the collection of essays offers a mosaic of perspectives on civil society in West Maui. Civil society is complicated and fragmented. There are tactics and resources that can be shared between people and groups: a social value can support several movements; a legal precedent can be used by others who are threatened; a technical access-to-information rule can improve how much people understand what is happening in their community.
Sometimes social movements succeed; sometimes they do not. The editor and writers hope the contribution of Civil Society in West Maui encourages people to recognize that such political activities have taken place—and that the struggles for a just society continue.
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