A`ole Superferry Inspired by Molokai Activists

“It was extremely gratifying to see so many people come out from all walks of life and be able to turn back the tide of powerful corporate interests that have their way with the residents and the environment,” Trujillo said.

While the demonstration was mostly peaceful, there was an incident that almost escalated to violence, according to Trujillo. On the first voyage of the Superferry protesters surrounded a car that was unloading. The driver pushed his way, and some sat on top of the car, which didn’t stop the driver from trying to brake through the barricade. This infuriated the crowd, which started to pound on the car. A police officer intervened and was able to help the car to return behind the dock’s gate.

“That was unfortunate and not really part of who we are, but it’s just a symbol of the frustration that Kauai residents feel,” Trujillo said.

Kauai still doesn’t have a TRO preventing the Superferry from docking at Nawiliwili Harbor. But Trujillo said he is elated that the governor has stepped in and requested the Superferry to cease operations to Kauai until the court has made a decision.

“We are hoping for some more good news this week, so we don’t have to call citizens to come down to the docks again,” Trujillo said.

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A Superferry representative said in a press conference last week that the protests on Kauai and Maui did not make him have any second thoughts about the company’s environmental position.

The Coast Harbor notified Superferry officials that they could not assure a safe passage for the Superferry into Nawiliwili Harbor. Although the represantive said the company appreciated the support from the Kauai Police Department, the Department of Transportation and the Coast Guard, he said it was unprecedented, as far as he knows, that the Coast Guard could not secure a harbor.

According to the representative, despite the success the protesters had last week in stopping the Superferry, the company is “solidifying the support around the state and in the community.”

The representative said construction of a second boat is on schedule, and the company is committed to provide a service to Hawaii residents.. He also said they “have had excited residents of the Big Island calling to see if we can start service there sooner.”

In a press release last week the company said “Hawaii Superferry’s environmentally friendly, energy-efficient, specially designed catamarans meet or exceed government standards for protecting Hawaii’s islands and the ocean.”


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