Makana tells the FULL STORY as well as sings the full version of the song, “We Are The Many.”
Makana’s guitar tech shot this with a camera phone during his performance for the World Leaders Dinner at APEC, which was hosted by the First Family.
Makana wore an “Occupy with Aloha” t-shirt under his black blazer and sang his newest song, “We are the Many,” an anthem of sorts for Occupy protestors.
He had to be extremely discreet as Secret Service had warned those on site that any phones used to capture photography or video would be confiscated. Since the technician has a guitar tuner app on the phone they were able to justify having it out, but grabbing video was not easy. They were under constant surveillance. Makana likes to have video of his every performance saying, “It’s my art and my right.”
About an hour into his set of generally ambient guitar music and Hawaiian tunes, he felt inspired to share some songs that resonated with the significance of the occasion.
He sang a few verses from “Kaulana Na Pua” (a famous Hawaiian protest song in honor of the anniversary of our Queen’s passing), then segued into Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” Sting’s “Fragile,” and finally his newest song “We Are The Many.”
Makana’s goal was not to disturb the guests in an offensive fashion but rather to subliminally fill their ears and hearts with a message that might be more effectively received in a subconscious manner. He sweetly sang lines like “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.” The event protocol was such that everyone there kept their expressions quite muffled. Now and then Makana would get strange, befuddled stares from Heads of State. It was a very quiet room with no waiters; only myself, the sound techs, and the leaders of almost half the world’s population.
If he had chosen to disrupt the dinner and force my message I would have been stopped short. He instead chose to deliver an extremely potent message in a polite manner for a prolonged interval.
I dedicate this action to those who would speak truth to power but were not allowed the opportunity.
The lyrics include, “Ye come here gather ’round the stage; The time has come for us to voice our rage.”
The morning before the performance, Makana said he was initially afraid about singing the piece, but decided to do it anyway because he believes APEC’s leaders are not representing common people.
“It was my message that they are occupying Hawaii right now and they need to do it with aloha and not just say it,” he said. “I don’t personally feel they’ve done that. They are not representing the people they purport to represent.”