Ken O’Keefe is a former Marine, US citizen, human shield in Iraq, and activist on board the Mavi Marvara. He renounced US citizenship at the US Embassy in Vancouver, Canada. on March 1, 2001. Now holding Irish, Hawaiian & Palestinian citizenship; but ultimate allegiance is given to all life and to planet Earth. A lawfully declared world citizen; O'keefe explains: meaning my ultimate allegiance is to my entire human family and to planet Earth.
I was born in July of 1969, I have worked as an entrepreneur, marine conservationist, and Human Rights Activist. Born in California, I renounced my American citizenship on March 1, 2001 in Vancouver Canada. I now proudly hold Irish, Hawaiian and Palestinian citizenship. although my ultimate allegiance is to all people and thus I am in truth a world citizen.
Before I was conscious however I served in the United States Marine Corps. During the 1991 Gulf War I was ordered, along with several hundred thousand other service members, to take experimental injections and pills that have since been identified as a factor in "Gulf War Syndrome", many have subsequently died from this condition. I also have reason to believe that I/we were exposed to Depleted Uranium while in Kuwait and on the border of Iraq.
As a Marine I spoke out openly about abuse of power by my "superiors" and as a consequence I paid a heavy price. I realised that honour and integrity were virtues which are often punished rather then rewarded and the Marines supplied me with my first serious taste of injustice. This experience taught me one central lesson, just how precious freedom is. Upon my discharge for the Marines I vowed to never relinquish my freedom again and to defend freedom without fear.
Upon my discharge from the Marines I commenced to an ongoing course of study in the areas of anthropology, history, politics, ecology, various forms of law with emphasis on human rights law. I have been profoundly impacted by authors such as Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn along with many others. Books that forced me to confront my own indoctrination and ignorance about the hidden America; The Auto-Biography of Malcolm X, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Black Like Me, Animal Liberation, The Universal Kinship, Diet for a New America, Necessary Illusions, A peoples History of the United States, and The End of Nature. There are so many more but I list these for the benefit they can offer to anyone seeking the truth.
My love of the sea moved me to found a scuba diving company that was more of a marine conservation organization that was self funded, the company is Deep Ecologyin Hawaii. This company was responsible for the saving of dozens of endangered Green Sea Turtles and the formation of a legitimate Marine Sanctuary on the North Shore of Oahu where we were based.
While in Hawaii I became a Hawaiian national and served as a legislator within theLawful Hawaiian Government. I have authored two laws, one that bound the Hawaiian Government to non-violence, the other outlawing WMD in Hawaii.
In 2004 I was a guest of peace organizations in Japan who sponsored me for a speaking tour on human rights and peace. This invitation was timed to coincide with the Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversaries. While in Japan I met with dozens of survivors and I was deeply moved by what they shared. To say nuclear war creates hell on Earth is no exaggeration whatsoever, I said then what I shall say as long as the point is necessary, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the two greatest acts of terrorism this world has ever experienced.
In 2002 I founded the Truth Justice Peace Human Shield Action to Iraq and in 2004, P10K. Both of these direct actions acknowledge the huge disparity between the value of Western life vs. everybody else, the greatest example being the less then 3000 people who died on 9-11, vs. the well over one million Iraqis and Afghani's who have died (based on false premises no less) as retaliation. Disproportionate does not even begin to explain this horrid hypocrisy and injustice. But in this reality we as Westerners have tremendous power for good, should we ever truly decide to use it. I shall continue to work with those who see this reality and are ready to act on it it intelligently.
In the Fall of 2008 I served as a Captain and 1st Mate with the Free Gaza Movement, a direct action in which 46 people successfully challenged the Israeli siege of Gaza. We did so by sailing two boats into Gaza in defiance of the Israeli siege that collectively punishes the Palestinian people and blatantly denies the inherent human right to travel.
As of February 2009 I have founded Aloha Palestine, a company dedicated to ourchasing a ship capable of carrying hundreds of passengers at a time between Cyprus and Gaza. My business partner is Lauren Booth (Tony Blair's sister in law), details of this venture can be seen at our site.