NOTE: After I asked Daniel Berman, the photographer whose photo of Marc Hokoana at an Olympia gun rally I pictured here, for permission to use this image, he demanded that I remove it. I did so as soon as I read his demand. The image is located here for viewing. It depicted Hokoana decked out in what appears to be hunting gear carrying what appears to be an assault rifle at an Olympia Guns Across Ameria rally. I regret that Berman refused permission to feature this important photograph here as a public service. But he owns the copyright and has the right to make such a demand.
Berman appears to harbor alt-right sympathies himself as you can see from this tweet he published in which he claims falsely that reporting Hokoana is suspected of critically wounding UW employee Josh Dukes, is libelous. It appears Berman may be a better photographer than libel attorney. Another aspect of this tweet is false since I’d sent an e mail to him 2 1/2 hours before he tweeted this, asking permission to use the photo:
— Daniel Berman (@bermanphotos) January 25, 2017
Marc K. Hokoana, age 29, a known pro-gun activist, can be seen in video and still photographs at the scene shooting a protester. Hokoana is originally from Lacey, WA and graduated from Timberline High School in 2006. He is also a UW alumnus. At Researchgate.net he declares an academic interest in biology and physiology. He lives in Lacey currently.
Eyewitnesses who saw him that night told me he was aggressively provoking protesters and appeared intoxicated. He appears in a photo that evening accompanied by a woman. He recently married Elizabeth Freeland, who appears to be the same person seen that night.
The Seattle Times identified the victim as Josh Dukes, a computer security engineer on campus. He is a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The group established a fund to support the victim’s medical and legal fees. It’s raised $42,000. I contributed and hope you will as well.
I have tweeted King County prosecutor’s, Dan Satterberg about the status of his investigation. I also asked why he’d been released without any charges filed. Maintaining radio silence only protects alt-right institutions like Breitbart and Donald Trump himself from shouldering their share of responsibility for inciting this sort of violence. None of my tweets have been answered.
A review of Hokoana’s online presence indicates he or his family has Hawaiian roots. On Facebook, he Likes Donald Trump, Breitbart News and Breitbart editor, Ben Shapiro. At the Guns Across America rally at which he was pictured, he told Daniel Berman:
“It’s important to have this exposure and for the public to see people with guns that don’t fit the stereotype of old white racists who own guns.”
There has been a great deal of alt-right fake news concerning this incident. Some claim the shooting was directed against Yiannopolous and was some sort of left-wing conspiracy. This should lay that canard to rest.
Finally, the apologia offered by UW president Ana Marie Cauce explaining why she permitted this zoo on her campus is thoroughly unconvincing:
In the weeks leading up to the event, I received calls and emails from many who wanted this event canceled, some of which cited the potential for disruption and conflict. My team and I consulted extensively with UWPD and Seattle Police beforehand, and while no credible threats were received, I gave serious consideration to the calls and emails and consulted with legal scholars and the UW division of the Attorney General’s Office.
So why did I allow the event to go on? First, there is the legal right of our student groups to invite speakers, even a controversial one whose message is anathema to many, including me. We are bound by the law. But beyond that, canceling the event would have sent the message that a risk of disruption or conflict can be used to overwhelm our rights. That would empower those on the extremes willing to resort to such tactics. And while canceling this event would have meant canceling a speech by someone whose views I personally find repulsive, the next time it could be a speaker whose views are more in line with mine, but anathema to someone else. Then there would be silence, with all the real discussion happening underground where arguments could not be examined, or critiqued openly.
…This night did not define our day or our community.
Here and across our country, yesterday showed us that our nation is fraught with deep divisions. But even as we are united in our pain after last night, I also hope we are united in our resolve to make the world safer and better. The UW must be a place where passionately expressed views can be aired, where we can argue about our differences in a manner that is respectful and informed, and where we also look for, and find, common ground. We all need that, especially now.
The title of her statement, “violence has no place in our democracy” is naive. She forgets Malcolm X’s classic statement: “violence is as American as apple pie.” Further, Cauce herself literally gave a place to violence by permitting the speech at the University. If she believes the shooting will not “define” the University, she is deeply mistaken. And how permitting Yiannopolous to speak accompanied by this campus shooting makes “the world safer and better” is beyond me. It would’ve been far wiser to err on the side of caution and cancel the event.
Yiannopolous essentially incited a riot before the event via Facebook. He almost gleefully advocates carrying guns on campus. Further, Cauce permitted a gun-toting lunatic and University alumnus to enter campus and shoot an unarmed protester, nearly killing him. She enabled a public health menace to the campus community. This is unfathomable and unconscionable. But apparently, none of this has crossed her mind. At least not from any of her public statements.
Thanks to several local Seattle activists for their help in reporting this story.