The domain name OccupyAPEC.com has only existed since Thursday, so there isn’t much yet on the website.

But owner Michael Daly, a Waikiki portait artist and free speech activist, plans to have content up later this week that will reflect his concerns about the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that is coming to Honolulu next month.

It doesn’t hurt that the Occupy Wall Street protest is gaining steam worldwide.

He wants the content to do three things:

• “promote the people’s APEC activities and protests of peace and aloha”;
• “document and record APEC news in Honolulu”; and
• “provide information about APEC 2011, especially its hostile nature as it relates to the 99 percent of people who suffer under (an) oppressive economic global agenda that (does not) include our voice.”

“I am deeply concerned about globalization and forces that are suppressing people,” he explained. “I see this conference as being part of that global initiative in the Pacific region.”

Daly lives in Honolulu — the center of that region, he says.

“So I wanted to link in with the already existing Occupy Wall Street movement. … I’m concerned about global economic suppression.”

APEC Sucks!

Daly, who paints portraits nightly on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki, concedes that he is only in the beginning stages of putting together his website.

But he is no stranger to activism.

Most recently, Daly has testified against a $75,000 gift from Waikiki businesses to the Honolulu Police Department to purchase foot patrols.

Daly, 56, believes Waikiki corporate interests have colluded with the Honolulu City Council to sweep homeless people from streets and crack down on street vendors. (Read more about that at http://www.savewaikikisidewalk.com/).

“The sidewalk is public property and must be maintained as a conduit for free speech and peoples’ expressive exchange as well as being a public sidewalk transit way, but it is not a free ride for international corporates to get people from one credit card machine to another,” he said.

Daly said he hopes to link to groups like Occupy Honolulu and Occupy Oahu that have cropped up recently around town.

He also wants to link OccupyAPEC.com directly to like-minded sites such as APECsucks.com.

Staying Off the Streets

Daly, who was born in Australia, lost his job with the Cheesecake Factory in Waikiki a year ago.

But Daly, who has a background in art as well as activism, pulled himself together, found a small room and turned to portraiture.

Daly’s charcoal portraits include Duke Kahanamoku and Bradley Manning, the Army private in custody for allegedly leaking to Wikileaks. The work can be viewed here.

On his latest project — OccupyAPEC.com — he said, simply, “We all need to understand how we fit into APEC’s global agenda.”

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