(c) Copyright 2008 - 2009
Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
All rights reserved
WHAT HAPPENED ON APRIL 30, 2008 AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT
On Wednesday April 30 a group of ethnic Hawaiians calling themselves the "Hawaiian Kingdom Government" took over the grounds of Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu. This is a relatively new group of Hawaiian sovereignty zealots -- there are many such groups, some of which have been around for decades. These goons entered the grounds in the morning, after state workers had already arrived to work inside the Palace and the state Archives. They chained and locked all the gates, posted "no trespassing" signs, and patrolled the grounds. They allowed only ethnic Hawaiians to enter the Palace grounds thereafter (at least one drop of Hawaiian native blood required). State workers left the Palace and Archives, possibly out of concern they might be subjected to harassment or might even become virtual hostages locked inside a virtual prison. Neither the state sheriffs nor the city police took any action to arrest the perpetrators or to take back control of the Palace grounds. Both daily newspapers seemed generally sympathetic to the perpetrators' cause, while mildly chastising them for inconveniencing the state employees and the tourists who had hoped to visit the palace. There were dozens -- perhaps hundreds -- of newspapers and TV stations throughout the U.S. and abroad who published news reports on the same day the event occurred, thus validating the fact that this event was considered important. Links to a few news reports and commentaries are provided below, including USA Today, Time Magazine, CNN, Fox News Channel 12 in Oregon, NBC News Channel 5 in Chicago, The Charlotte (North Carolina) Observer, Singapore News (Malaysia), New York Times (which included mention of Akaka bill which NYT previously supported in an editorial). This webpage will not attempt to sort out the details of what did or did not happen. Larger issues deserve examination.
Three things must be emphasized.
This takeover of the Palace grounds was an actual attempt at insurrection. This was an attempt by a group of Hawaiian sovereignty activists to take permanent control of the government of Hawaii. This was not a protest -- there was no particular event at that time that could arouse passions to provoke a short-term protest. The hooligans who took over the Palace grounds explicitly stated that they were taking over the government permanently, and repeated that statement on later days.
The Palace is regarded by sovereignty activists as the capitol of a still-living Kingdom of Hawaii, as evidenced by the fact that the U.S. flag is never allowed to fly there (except for one month following the September 11 2001 attack that demolished the World Trade Center in New York; and then there was a huge outcry of protest for allowing the flag to fly on the Palace, resulting in the resignation of the chairperson of the group that runs it). The excuse for not flying the U.S. flag is that the Palace is a period-piece museum to showcase the Kalakaua/Liliuokalani reigns; however, megabucks are now spent on air-conditioning the palace, and that certainly disproves the theory of the period-piece museum that cannot fly the U.S. flag without violating the aesthetics of going back to the period of 1884 to 1892.
For about three decades the general public has treated the Palace with great deference and "sensitivity" to the feelings of ethnic Hawaiians who mourn the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893. Whether the mourning is heartfelt or cynical political demagoguery is open to debate, but is irrelevant. Hawaii's people have been very tolerant and gracious toward sovereignty activists seeking to rip the 50th star off the flag (secession) and/or to split apart the State of Hawaii by creating a race-based government (Akaka bill). So now a bunch of racist hooligans have every reason to feel confident they can take over government buildings and grounds with no fear of tear-gas, billy clubs, or arrest.
The fact that the insurgents did not use weapons to attack anyone would seem to make them "non-violent" and therefore sympathetic in the eyes of Hawaii's "liberals." But the insurgents were in fact guilty of the violence of denying access to people who have every right to enter the grounds. Their so-called "non-violence" would have provoked whatever violence might have been needed to remove them and re-open access to the Palace grounds, including billy clubs and tear gas if necessary.
The issue here is not about whether the methods used by these "protesters" were violent or non-violent. This was not a protest, it was an assertion of political power to control the government. It was an attempt to undermine the sovereignty of the State of Hawaii and the United States of America. It was an assertion of a right to hold political power based on race -- an assertion that such power was already rightfully theirs and merely waiting to be reasserted. That's a very dangerous concept which deserves to be defeated promptly and very visibly in a way that will discourage future repetitions. State sheriffs, city police, and politicians at both levels failed miserably and are likely to fail again next time such an insurgency is perpetrated.
This takeover of the Palace grounds included the denial of access, based solely on race, to several buildings owned and operated by the State of Hawaii. Therefore it was a gross violation of civil rights. Yet federal and state agencies responsible for protecting civil rights have remained silent, along with private civil rights groups.
Why have we not heard from the U.S. attorney, or federal civil rights enforcement agencies? When Arkansas Governor Faubus stood in the schoolhouse door 50 years ago to prevent Negroes from entering a school, President Eisenhower federalized the National Guard to force desegregation.
Why have we not heard from the NAACP, or Japanese American Citizens League? African Americans on the mainland would normally be at the forefront protesting against racial segregation; against being excluded from government-owned facilities on account of race. Japanese would normally object (although humbly and respectfully) to being excluded by race -- for example, the just a few blocks from the Palace is the Pacific Club, where Japanese were forbidden to be members or even to eat lunch with a friend who was a member and had invited them. Impoverished Japanese plantation workers -- some of whom were the ancestors of today's residents of Hawaii -- worked hard on the sugar plantations to yield profits that went to pay the debts for the building of Iolani Palace and the coronation ceremony King Kalakaua held there.
So why do we hear no protests from Black and Japanese ethnic political organizations? Perhaps it's because during the late Kingdom period, and throughout the Territorial period and even during the early years of Statehood, Caucasians were politically and economically powerful and used that power to oppress and discriminate against Blacks and Japanese. The habit is ingrained of feeling resentful toward Caucasians. Hawaiian sovereignty zealots might therefore get a wink and nod from Blacks and Japanese happy to see Caucasians getting their long-deserved comeuppance. But today Caucasian institutions do not discriminate against anyone -- indeed, there are no Caucasian institutions. The great majority of Hawaii's people are Asian, and so are the great majority of politicians. Japanese in Hawaii have higher average income than Caucasians, and dominate many government agencies and corporations.
Blacks and Japanese (and Chinese, Filipinos, Koreans, and even non-Hawaiian Polynesians) need to realize that today is not 1880, 1920, or even 1950. Today the greatest threat to unity, equal rights, economic wealth, and political power for Blacks and Japanese no longer comes from Caucasians, it comes from the highly visible and politically aggressive Hawaiian sovereignty activists seeking race-based political power and special rights because they are "indigenous" (i.e., have a drop of the magic blood).
This was not the first time a goon squad has used force to take control of Palace grounds in the name of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Something similar happened on Statehood Day 2006. A group of citizens possessing a government-issued permit tried to celebrate Statehood Day at the very place where the transition from Territory of Hawaii to State of Hawaii took place with great joy and official celebration in 1959. But a group of Hawaiian sovereignty activists, well-equipped with banners, boom-boxes, and megaphones, disrupted the event. They threatened a high school band, forcing fearful parents and teachers to put the kids back on the bus before they could play any patriotic music. Then the sovereignty zealots swarmed the adults who wanted to celebrate Statehood Day, standing nose-to-nose with individual celebrants while shouting, cursing, spitting, and swearing. And no sheriff or police officer was anywhere to be seen.
ORDER OF CONTENTS
SOME NEWS REPORTS AND COMMENTARIES FROM MAINSTREAM MEDIA REGARDING THE EVENTS OF APRIL 30, 2008
COMMENTARIES RELATED TO THE FACT THAT THIS WAS AN INSURRECTION AND NOT A PROTEST, AND THAT THERE HAVE BEEN SIMILAR INCIDENTS AT THE PALACE IN RECENT YEARS
HARD EVIDENCE THAT THIS WAS AN ATTEMPTED COUP -- THE "HAWAIIAN KINGDOM GOVERNMENT" HAD PREVIOUSLY SOUGHT AND OBTAINED "DIPLOMATIC RECOGNITION" FROM THE HONORARY VICE-CONSUL OF ITALY IN HONOLULU, ON FEBRUARY 28, 2008. "HAWAIIAN KINGDOM GOVERNMENT" CONTINUES ITS PRESENCE AT THE PALACE LONG AFTER APRIL 30.
WHY THE GENERAL PUBLIC SEEMS TO TOLERATE HAWAIIAN RACIAL SEPARATISM AND ETHNIC NATIONALISM, AND HOW THE MEDIA ENCOURAGE IT.
REACTIONS BY OTHER HAWAIIAN SOVEREIGNTY GROUPS TO "THE HAWAIIAN KINGDOM GOVERNMENT" TAKEOVER OF IOLANI PALACE
SOME NEWS REPORTS AND COMMENTARIES FROM MAINSTREAM MEDIA REGARDING THE EVENTS OF APRIL 30, 2008
The Honolulu Advertiser allows access to its archives for free for a maximum of 90 days; after that customers must purchase an article. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin allows unlimited free access to all its online archives going back for more than a decade. Listed first are items from the two Honolulu newspapers. After that are a few of the many items from the rest of the U.S. and around the world.
Updated at 2:53 p.m., Wednesday, April 30, 2008
'Iolani Palace access restored after appeal from DLNR
The back gate to the Iolani Palace grounds was opened around 2:15 p.m. today in response to a request from Gary Moniz, head of law enforcement for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
All entry to the grounds had been blocked since early this morning by a Native Hawaiian organization that erected no-trespassing signs, saying the grounds are the property of the "Hawaiian Kingdom."
But since Moniz spoke with the group, anybody is now free to come and go through the back gate.
The Hawaiian group that has occupied the grounds since early this morning say they plan to leave by 5 p.m. today and return tomorrow.
About 70 people with the "Hawaiian Kingdom Government" gathered on palace grounds beginning at 5:30 a.m. today.
Shortly after noon, Honolulu Police Chief Boisse Correa and HPD spokesman Maj. Frank Fujii approached the palace grounds and asked to speak with the leader of the group, Mahealani Asing Kahau.
They were allowed onto the grounds and spoke with Kahau, surrounded by members of the sovereignty group.
The police officers were not wearing uniforms. Fujii wore an aloha shirt, and the chief was wearing a suit.
In response to a question, Fujii said that Correa is part-Hawaiian.
That meeting broke up after about 20 minutes.
Afterward, Kahau said Correa had advised her that arrest warrants were being prepared for possible use by officers with the state DLNR in the event they do not leave the palace grounds.
She said they would not resist if arrested. But she said if they're arrested, they will return to the palace tomorrow.
Before the back gate was reopened this afternoon, signs were posted on the gates and only kanaka — those with Hawaiian bloodlines — along with media were being allowed entrance to the grounds.
Officials with the state DLNR and sheriff's deputies stayed off the palace grounds. They watched from outside the gates but did not make any arrests or enter the grounds.
The Hawaiian organization says it is the rightful owner of the palace and it is time to assume and resume its official seat on 'Iolani grounds.
Security guards representing the Kingdom have been posted at each gate and they are giving out applications to those wanting to be recognized by the organization.
DLNR is in charge of the 'Iolani grounds.
Louise Kim-McCoy, spokeswoman for the sheriff's department, said they are monitoring the situation.
Shortly before 2 p.m., about 40 to 45 faculty and students from Halau Lokahi Public Charter School arrived at the palace grounds, some to document the events taking place today from the Hawaiian perspective and others to offer spiritual support for the group, according to teacher Hina Wong.
Updated at 3:20 p.m., Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Palace's executive director releases statement
'Iolani Palace access restored after appeal from DLNR
This statement was released shortly before noon today by Kippen de Alba Chu, executive director of 'Iolani Palace: A group has identified itself to us as the "Hawaiian Kingdom Government" and has blocked access to Iolani Palace grounds. They have delivered a written message to palace officials claiming the grounds as the seat of their government.
While we respect the freedom of Hawaiian groups to hold an opinion on the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, we believe that blocking public access to Iolani Palace is wrong and certainly detrimental to our mission to share the palace and its history with our residents, our keiki and our visitors.
As a matter of historical record, we wish to point out that the original seat of government of the Hawaiian Kingdom was not Iolani Palace. The palace was the royal residence. Government activities were carried out in the original Courthouse (now demolished), then later in Aliiolani Hale
Claiming that Iolani Palace was the seat of government actually supports those who overthrew the Hawaiian kingdom. It was they who intentionally renamed the palace to be their "Executive Building" to show that by seizing this symbolic structure and utilizing it for mere offices and meeting rooms, they were now in control, and the alii were powerless.
The Provisional Government (January 1893-July 1894) and later the government of the Republic of Hawaii (July 1894-Aug. 1898) worked openly to wipe out physical vestiges of the alii in the palace by auctioning off its contents, thus further cementing the perception of the palace as a purely government building.
The removal of government functions from the palace and its restoration as the place of residence of the Hawaiian alii were, in fact, significant steps to acknowledge its true and proper position.
It is historically wrong for any individual or group to state that the palace is to serve as a government building.
We welcome any group who would like to celebrate the history of Iolani Palace and Hawaii's monarchy in a historically appropriate manner that embraces all visitors.
Updated at 3:23 p.m., Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Senator wants answers on palace takeover
The office of state Sen. Will Espero released his statement to the media this afternoon regarding the takeover of 'Iolani Palace:
This morning as I was coming to work, it was strange to see the Iolani Palace entrances locked and guards manning the area.
I went to one of the entrances to go to the Iolani Palace grounds and was not allowed to proceed because I was not Hawaiian. Apparently, individuals with the Kingdom of Hawaii had taken over the state property. As Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, I was concerned that our law enforcement division — the sheriffs and the Honolulu Police Department — were not present. During discussions with two of the Kingdom of Hawaii guards, I was informed that the state had been notified that these actions were going to occur. My questions to the state administration are:
Why were these individuals allowed to take control of Iolani Palace grounds?
I was informed the State Archives staff were told to go home, causing a disruption of government operations. Why was this allowed to happen?
In light of information that the state knew about the takeover in advance, where were law enforcement?
I understand the concerns of some Native Hawaiians and I am sensitive to the issues that affect them. Moreover, I support peaceful protests. However, when their actions affect state government operations and personnel, our state leaders must be held accountable for their action or inaction. The DLNR controls the state property that is under siege, and the sheriff's office protects state property, yet as of noon it appears the state has done nothing to remove these individuals. I have placed calls to Laura Thielen, director of DLNR, and Sheriff John Lum, and am awaiting their response
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Group occupies Hawaii palace
Members say protest will go on today but gates will stay open
A Hawaiian sovereignty group occupied the grounds of 'Iolani Palace, locked the gates and blocked non-Hawaiians from entering for about eight hours yesterday to protest the U.S.-backed overthrow of the Hawaiian government more than a century ago.
The protest was conducted by the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, one of several groups that claim to be the successor government of Hawai'i. The group said it will return to the palace today but will not lock the gates.
No arrests were made yesterday and the protest ended peacefully with the group removing the locks it had placed on the gates at around 5:30 a.m.
Extra security will be on hand this morning to ensure the gates will not be locked again, said Laura Thielen, head of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, which has jurisdiction over the palace grounds.
A number of symbolic protests have been staged on the palace grounds to draw attention to Native Hawaiian issues, some with the consent of palace officials. But yesterday's action went further than most by actually locking the gates to the palace grounds and shutting down not just the former residence of Hawaiian royalty but also the State Archives Building.
Thielen said it has not been decided what, if any, charges would be filed against the group or its members. "That depends. We'll remain assessing the situation and see what happens," she said.
"We wanted to have a peaceful end to the protest. We wanted to make sure that the open area remained open to the public, and we wanted to make sure that these historic buildings remained safe and secure," Thielen said.
Honolulu Police Department Chief Boisse Correa, wearing a suit, arrived on the property at around noon accompanied by police spokesman Maj. Frank Fujii in an aloha shirt. Correa sat cross-legged on the grass and spoke with Mahealani Kahau, leader of the group, for about 10 minutes and left without speaking to reporters.
Kahau said Correa told her that because palace grounds are under the jurisdiction of the state, HPD is not required to take any action against the group.
"HPD is going to stay away because ... he (Correa) is still a friend of the Hawaiian kingdom and he understands our beliefs. He support," Kahau said.
Sen. Will Espero, D-20th ('Ewa Beach, Waipahu), blasted the administration of Gov. Linda Lingle for failing to stop the action.
"As chairman of the Public Safety Committee, I was concerned that our law enforcement division — the sheriffs and the Honolulu Police Department — were not present," Espero said in a news release.
Espero said he was told by those at the gates that the state knew in advance that the Hawaiian Kingdom Government would be taking action.
Espero said that while he supports peaceful protests, "when these actions affect state government operations and personnel, our state leaders must be held accountable for their action or inaction. The DLNR controls the state property that is under siege, and the sheriff's office protects state property."
'NOT GOING TO GO AWAY'
The palace was shut down to business for the day and roughly 35 employees sent home except for two security officers. The state archives office also was closed to the public for the day and about 10 employees sent home.
Thielen and Lingle spokesman Russell Pang said neither they nor other state officials knew members of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government would lock the gates to the palace grounds.
Kahau and other leaders of the group began meeting with state officials earlier this week. Kippen de Alba Chu, executive director of Friends of 'Iolani Palace, said he and DLNR officials were given papers from the Hawaiian Kingdom Government on Monday "claiming that they are the legitimate government and not subject to state law."
"This is the seat of government; we're not going to go away," Kahau said. "The Hawaiian Kingdom Government has resumed its lawful status as the functioning government."
Between 50 and 70 people claiming to be part of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government arrived at the palace grounds at about 5:30 a.m. yesterday and began locking each of the roughly eight entrances. They also placed signs stating, "Warning! No Trespassing; This is private property" on the famous wrought-iron gates surrounding the palace.
Group security guards stationed at the gates allowed in people with Hawaiian blood and members of the news media. Non-Hawaiians were told they would be allowed entry only if they "registered" with the government.
The group did not enter the palace itself, where two 'Iolani Palace personnel stayed in place throughout the day, Thielen said.
The state leases the palace to the nonprofit Friends of 'Iolani Palace.
At about 2 p.m., DLNR law enforcement chief Gary Moniz met briefly with Kahau. Shortly thereafter, the gates to the grounds were reopened.
Thielen, who arrived on the scene a short time later, said the group's members would be allowed to stay through the day, like all other members of the public.
Kahau and her group stayed on the site until about 4 p.m.
"We'll be here at 6 o'clock in the morning," Kahau said, as others in her group began packing up.
Kahau said the members of her group were unarmed and that they neither intended to occupy the palace itself or get themselves arrested.
"We've been told that warrants are being issued to have us arrested," Kahau said around noon, shortly after a huddle with Correa. "Let it be known that when they come we're going to leave graciously but we're going to be back tomorrow."
The Hawaiian Kingdom Government is one of the lesser known groups that claim to be the legitimate representatives of Native Hawaiians. The group does not recognize U.S. or Hawai'i state authority.
Other sovereignty groups include the Reinstated Hawaiian Government headed by Henry Noa, and the Independent and Sovereign National State of Hawai'i (Nation of Hawai'i) headed by Dennis Pu'uhonua "Bumpy" Kanahele.
The Hawaiian Kingdom Government is one of the few groups to have an actual office from which its leaders hold regular hours.
For at least the past two years, it has operated out of an office at 210 'Iolani Ave. According to its Web site, its goals include quality housing for the Hawaiian people and lowering the cost of education and healthcare for residents.
CALLS OF SUPPORT
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs several years ago granted $10,000 to the group for a meeting that took place on the palace grounds to discuss the issue of nationhood for Native Hawaiians.
Chu, of the Friends of 'Iolani Palace, said the Hawaiian Kingdom Government asked to take over the old 'Iolani barracks, also known as Halekoa, and the Kana'ina Building, formerly the archives building and now occupied by Chu and his staff.
In response, "I said we have a lease agreement with the state," Chu said. The agreement calls for the Friends group to occupy and maintain the palace for five years.
Kahau said that her group does not want to occupy the palace "because that's a sacred place."
The group received several calls of support from the leaders of other sovereignty organizations yesterday, Kahau said, including Kanahele and Noa.
"They all support what we're doing today," Kahau said. "We're walking the same path with them."
Several members of Hui Pu, a loose-knit group of sovereignty organizations, came to the palace to show support.
Andre Perez, a Hui Pu member, said "all Hawaiians seeking self-determination and self-governance should support these kinds of actions."
** It was shocking to many people that the Honolulu Chief of Police would come in civilian clothes and sit on the grass chatting with the leader of the hooligans rather than arresting her.
Left: A photo showing them conversing was published in Hawaii Reporter on May 30, 2008 at
Right: Two days later the Honolulu Star-Bulletin published a closely similar cartoon showing the police chief sitting humbly at the feet of the hooligan leader who herself was seated on the Kingdom throne. The cartoon was originally at
Group of Hawaiians occupies Iolani Palace, vows to return
Native Hawaiians occupy palace grounds
STORY SUMMARY »
Iolani Palace, home of Hawaiian monarchs and one of Honolulu's most popular attractions, was closed for several hours yesterday as a Hawaiian sovereignty group occupied the grounds peacefully. State sheriffs and special agents responded as members of the self- described Hawaiian Kingdom Government turned away the public beginning around 9 a.m. Several dozen state workers and tourists were inconvenienced. The protest ended after 2 p.m., but the group promised to return this morning.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Palace blockade group must not get free pass
It's simply intolerable that a group proclaiming itself to be a Hawaiian government should be able to lock down a state-owned landmark as important as 'Iolani Palace without repercussions.
And yet the enforcement branches of both state and city government so far have communicated just such a message in media reports around the country: We tolerate it.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Sovereignty group back at palace — minus locks
By Gordon Y.K. Pang
A Hawaiian sovereignty group yesterday spent a second day peacefully occupying the mauka lawn of 'Iolani Palace, claiming once again to be the legitimate government of Hawai'i.
But unlike most of the first day, non-Hawaiians were not blocked from entering the property by the group identifying itself as the Hawaiian Kingdom Government. The palace and Hawai'i State Archives, both shut down to business on Wednesday, were open to the public yesterday.
Group members, who began disbanding about 4 p.m., said they would be back again today and every day for the foreseeable future.
Leader Mahealani Kahau and other officials of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government would not speak to media, saying they were inaccurately and unfairly portrayed regarding their actions yesterday.
The group's actions are not a protest or demonstration but a reoccupying of its legitimate seat of government, security officers who would not give their names told The Advertiser.
The unidentified members also denied putting up locks at any of the palace gates on Wednesday, insisting that while they closed gates, the only locks that were up were placed by state personnel.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Land and Natural Resources, which oversees the palace grounds, disputed that claim, stating that the only state-owned lock that was on throughout the day was a permanent one at one of the mauka gates.
Group members spent much of their day sitting and chatting on the lawn. At noon, the group put out a buffet table and ate lunch.
Tourists, meanwhile, strolled the short distance from the 'Iolani Barracks to the palace for tours, many of them oblivious to the occupation nearby. About a half-dozen Japanese tourists rode around the historic palace on Segways, took a brief look around, and left.
Nate and Sarah Jeffs, first-time Hawai'i visitors from Salt Lake City, were among those unaware of the action being taken by the Hawaiian Kingdom Government.
"I'm sure if they feel their case is legitimate, it's good for them to try and be heard," Nate Jeffs said. "Maybe blocking off access isn't the right venue to go about that."
Jim and Ann Aitken of 'Aina Haina were at the palace accompanying relatives who are visiting from the Mainland.
Jim Aitken said he thinks Hawaiians should be channeling their energies toward helping others such as the homeless along the Wai'anae Coast, many of whom are Hawaiian. "Rather than taking this place away from everybody," Aitken said. "This belongs to everyone now."
Marialena Kalamau, of Kapolei, who identified herself as a member of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, said much of the public has misinterpreted the situation.
"If you know the culture, how Lili'uokalani was overthrown, then you would understand the urgency of the Hawaiian people," Kalamau said. Her mother, Dixie Kalamau of Nanakuli, also an organization member, said the purpose of the group is to "get back what is rightfully ours. We're going to start here and we're going to work our way whatevers."
She added: "The white man came and made us think the government was overthrown — it was not."
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Law spelled out to protesters
Sovereignty group at palace must pay to park, DLNR warns
By Gordon Y.K. Pang
Officials with the Department of Land and Natural Resources are telling a Hawaiian sovereignty group that has gathered daily since Wednesday on the grounds of 'Iolani Palace that they need to abide by the same parking and other park rules as everyone else.
Members of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government were told yesterday that their cars would be ticketed if they did not feed their meters. The organization also was told it would need to obtain a permit to assemble if it intends to return to the palace lawn on Monday as it has announced.
"We've made it clear to them that if there are any violations, we are going to enforce our existing rules and whether they understand those rules or had read them previously is irrelevant," said Laura H. Thielen, the state's Land Board chairwoman and head of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Mahealani Kahau, described as "head of state" for the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, said her group has applied for a permit to assemble next week, but stressed that it attached language from the Hawaiian Kingdom civil code and penal code.
"We're complying with our civil code and penal code," Kahau said yesterday afternoon. As for whether she and her staff will begin feeding parking meters on the site, Kahau said, "if it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't. Everything we do is under kingdom law."
The group has occupied the mauka lawn of the palace over the past three days, stating that it is the legitimate government and that the palace grounds are its "seat of government."
Up to 75 of its members have spent the daylight hours of the past three days, in the words of the group's leaders, "conducting business" on the property, although they have not entered the palace itself. On Wednesday, for about eight hours, it also blocked access onto the grounds to non-Hawaiians.
A number of the group members have parked at metered stalls on the property and not fed the meters but have not been cited, according to state officials.
Thielen said two of her top lieutenants — Parks Division Administrator Dan Quinn and Conservation and Resources Enforcement Division Administrator Gary Moniz — met with leaders of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government yesterday morning to detail the specific rules the group needs to follow if it intends to stay over a longer period of time.
Among the areas covered by the state administrators were "parking rules, assembly rules, (and) noise levels," she said.
The two administrators also explained areas that contain burials or cultural or historical objects that the public is asked to stay away from "in order to protect those resources," she said.
The group also was instructed on the procedure for applying for a permit to conduct a First Amendment rally, required when there are gatherings of 25 or more people.
"They also discussed the consequences for failure to follow the rules, which include civil penalties and petty criminal misdemeanor (charges)," she said.
Thielen said group leaders were agreeable to the rules. "They understand what the consequences are," she said, noting that yesterday's talk was one of a series that have been held with the group since Wednesday.
The group submitted an assembly application to DLNR yesterday, but it was returned because it was incomplete, Thielen said.
Kahau insisted that the application will point out that the group will abide only by its laws. "They said we need to abide by administrative rules, and we said we will abide by Hawaiian Kingdom law, which they are also subject to," Kahau said.
Group officials have asked for office space at the Kana'ina Building as well some free parking stalls. "We told them that request cannot be accommodated, that these are public park lands," Thielen said. "They need to abide by the rules like anybody else."
Thielen said she understands the group's position that it has a right to the property. "We have told them that if they want to claim ownership to the area, the venue they would have to take that to is the courts," Thielen said.
Kippen de Alba Chu, executive director of Friends of 'Iolani Palace, which has the lease to maintain and run the historic facilities as a museum, said the Hawaiian Kingdom Government's presence has been disruptive. Some palace volunteers uncomfortable with the presence of the group chose to stay home this week.
Meanwhile, parking was at a premium through the week, he said. That issue began to ease yesterday afternoon when state officers began citing cars that were illegally parked, Chu said.
"Some of their (Hawaiian Kingdom) cars got cited and then they moved them off the property," he said.
Group members have criticized the media for unfair reporting of the situation. For instance, the group vehemently denies placing locks on any of the gates to the palace grounds on Wednesday.
But Thielen said it's clear to her that the group placed chains and locks on the gates when they arrived Wednesday morning and began turning people away.
State law enforcement officers who arrived at the palace at 6 a.m. Wednesday "observed there were cables and locks around the gates for the four main vehicle access gates, that people had brought in a gate for one of the pedestrian gates, and had other areas closed and barred," Thielen said. "These were not the state's cables or locks."
** Personal note from Ken Conklin, regarding the routine presence of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government at Iolani Palace, and its routine use of free parking space reserved for Palace staff.
On Friday March 14 I spent 2 hours at Iolani Palace being interviewed outdoors by 3 students and a film professor for a film being produced by UH for the 50th anniversary of statehood. It was friendly and went well. When I arrived I tentatively parked in the meter-free area in front of the Palace reserved for palace workers. I parked next to a van with a plaque on the door which said
210 Iolani Avenue Suite 3, Hon, HI 96813
The plaque also had the well-known reddish Kalakaua crown on it.
The van had Hawaii license plate # PGN 496 (interesting that they submit to the authority of the state)
A Hawaiian-looking woman approached me to ask who I am and why I was parking there. I explained it was for the filming for UH. She said "You can't park here, you have to park on the street." I asked her "How come the Hawaiian Kingdom gets to park here?" She got a little huffy and said it's because they have a permit from [unclear who. DLNR maybe?] She said "Do I have to call security?" I drove away and parked on the street and walked back for the interview. Had to return to the car halfway through filming to put more money in the meter (maximum one hour). After my interview the Royal Hawaiian band showed up for its regular Friday noon concert. They began with Hawaii Pono'i sung by a very loud and zealous soprano; and no Star-Spangled Banner. If anyone knows the bandmaster, please ask him to always play the Star-Spangled Banner or America the Beautiful on every occasion when Hawaii Pono'i is played -- ESPECIALLY at the Palace.
USA Today Wed, 30 Apr 2008
A Native Hawaiian group has locked the gates of Iolani Palace and taken over the grounds of the major downtown Honolulu tourist attraction.
Native Hawaiian Protesters Seize Palace
Fox 12 Oregon Wed, 30 Apr 2008
HONOLULU -- A Native Hawaiian group briefly occupied the grounds of a historic palace in downtown Honolulu on Wednesday, saying it would carry out the business of what it considers the legitimate government of the islands.
Native Hawaiian Protesters Seize Palace
NBC 5 Chicago Wed, 30 Apr 2008
A Native Hawaiian group briefly occupied the grounds of a historic palace in downtown Honolulu on Wednesday.
Native Hawaiians Occupy Palace
Time Magazine Wed, 30 Apr 2008
A Native Hawaiian group that advocates sovereignty locked the gates of a historic palace Wednesday in downtown Honolulu, saying it would carry out the business of what it considers the legitimate government of the islands
Native Hawaiians blockade historic palace
CNN.com Wed, 30 Apr 2008 7:18 PM PDT
A group of native Hawaiians occupied the grounds of the old Hawaiian monarchy's royal residence Wednesday, vowing to stay and do the business of the kingdom's government.
Hawaiian sovereignty seekers take over palace in Honolulu
The Charlotte Observer Wed, 30 Apr 2008 3:40 PM PDT
A Native Hawaiian group that advocates sovereignty briefly occupied the grounds of a historic palace in downtown Honolulu on Wednesday, saying it would carry out the business of what it considers the legitimate government of the islands. Unarmed security guards from the Hawaiian Kingdom Government group blocked all gates to the grounds of the palace, which is adjacent to the state Capitol. They ...
Hawaiian sovereignty seekers take over palace in Honolulu
AP via Yahoo! Singapore News Wed, 30 Apr 2008
A Native Hawaiian group that advocates sovereignty locked the gates of a historic palace in downtown Honolulu on Wednesday, saying it would carry out the business of what it considers the legitimate government of the islands. State deputy sheriffs weren't allowing anyone else to enter Iolani Palace grounds as unarmed security guards from the Hawaiian Kingdom Government group blocked
New York Times, May 3, 2008
** NOTE: The New York Times two years ago editorialized in favor of the Akaka bill; and in this news report it links the Akaka bill with this insurrection, both being ways to achieve "self-determination." In my opinion (Ken Conklin, website editor) passing the Akaka bill would deliver money and political power to people like those who took over the Palace. The long-term result of passing the Akaka bill would be to empower the secessionists, allowing them first to get reparations under the guise of federal aid to an Indian group, and then to use the money and power to pursue total independence.
Occupation of Palace Area Invigorates Native Hawaiian Movement
By JANIS L. MAGIN
HONOLULU — A Native Hawaiian independence group laid claim this week to the nation’s only royal palace and the state land surrounding it, raising anew the issue of self-determination for the islands’ native people.
Several dozen people from the group, the little-known Hawaiian Kingdom Government, were at the Iolani Palace grounds in downtown Honolulu on Friday, two days after locking the public out for several hours. On Thursday, the palace, which is also a museum where tours are given, reopened without incident.
The group believes it has the right to take back from the government more than one million acres in the Hawaiian Islands it claims were illegally seized during the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, 11 years after the palace was built.
“We are here; we’re not going to go,” said the group’s leader, Mahealani Kahau, who had a security detail of a half-dozen men surrounding her Friday on a corner of the lawn behind the palace where they had erected a tent. Ms. Kahau said members of her group planned to return to the 11-acre palace complex, a public park abutting the Hawaii Capitol, every day except Saturdays and Sundays.
As many as a dozen groups promote independence for Hawaii’s native population, but each has a different view on how to achieve self-determination.
In 2000 the United States Supreme Court, ruling in Rice v. Cayetano, found unconstitutional the restriction that only Native Hawaiians could vote in the statewide election for the nine trustees of the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the agency charged with administering programs that benefit Native Hawaiians.
The decision appeared to re-energize the various sovereignty movements, but failed to unite them.
“That’s one of the major problems, even among those who are for independence,” said Kekuni Blaisdell, a retired doctor who has been involved in the Native Hawaiian independence movement for 24 years and coordinates a network of independence groups. “We lack unity, and we realize that.”
The groups disagree over several issues, including proposed federal legislation that would give federal recognition to the estimated 400,000 Native Hawaiians in the United States.
A version of the bill passed the House in October, but has not been scheduled for a vote in the Senate. It has the support of both of Hawaii’s United States senators, as well as Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Four years ago, the office began a heavily publicized campaign — called Kau Inoa, or Place Your Name — to register everyone of Hawaiian ancestry in the nation.
Hawaiian Kingdom Government and some other Native Hawaiian groups view the Office of Hawaiian Affairs as an arm of a state government they do not recognize. They also part ways with the office on the issue of ceded lands, more than 1.2 million acres in crown lands that were ceded to the federal government when the United States annexed the republic of Hawaii in 1898. The land passed to state control when Hawaii was admitted to the union in 1959.
In mid-January, the state reached a $200 million settlement with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs that would transfer control of 209 acres on Oahu and the Big Island to the office. But the Legislature rejected the deal, and the state has agreed to renegotiate.
On Jan. 31, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that the state could not sell or transfer any ceded lands “until such time as the unrelinquished claims of the Native Hawaiians have been resolved.”
Hawaii’s attorney general, Mark J. Bennett, said the state filed an appeal with the United States Supreme Court on Tuesday. The state argues that the 1959 Admission Act granting Hawaii statehood gave the state the right to manage and sell those lands.
But some sovereignty groups, including Ms. Kahau’s, believe those lands still belong to Native Hawaiians. Ms. Kahau and members of her organization met on Monday morning with Kippen de Alba Chu, executive director of the Friends of Iolani Palace, which manages the historic palace, to also lay claim to the state archives building adjacent to the palace. In the past, Mr. Chu said, the group has served his office with eviction notices.
The Friends of Iolani Palace leases space in the archives building from the State Department of Land and Natural Resources, which manages the palace grounds.
Ms. Kahau said the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, which has created government ministries and claims to have registered several thousand Native Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians as its “citizens,” plans to move its operations from a small leased office on the edge of downtown to the palace grounds whether or not it is successful in gaining access to the archives building.
“The building doesn’t make us the Hawaiian kingdom,” she said. “It’s us who makes it.”
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 4, 2008
Hawaiians’ grievances don’t excuse protest group's actions
by Jennifer Olani Cravalho
He mea kaumaha loa -- a tragic event. That's what I believe transpired Wednesday at Iolani Palace. The actions of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government -- occupying the palace grounds and closing the gates to the public -- were disrespectful, not only to those who work and volunteer at the palace but also to the people of Hawaii, to visitors and to the great legacy of the Hawaiian monarchy.
As a native Hawaiian, I understand that there are hurt feelings and great sadness when it comes to the overthrow of the monarchy, but the Hawaiian Kingdom Government went too far, and it was very reminiscent of when 13 men took possession of Aliiolani Hale on Jan.17, 1893.
I reached the palace Wednesday morning around 8:45 a.m. for a class and was immediately met with a closed gate guarded by three men. After asking to pass through I was immediately asked, "Kanaka maoli?"
What does it matter if I'm native Hawaiian or not, the palace is for the people, not an intrusive group of 50-plus claiming they have a right to it. It's shocking to think that the group, whose members claim to have aloha in their hearts, showed so much intimidation behind locked fences.
The gang at Hawaiian Kingdom Government should get their facts straight.
» Government business of the Hawaiian kingdom was conducted in the old courthouse (until it was demolished) and then at Aliiolani Hale. It wasn't until after the overthrow in 1893 that Iolani Palace was used for governmental purposes by the Provisional Government, Republic of Hawaii, Territory of Hawaii and then state of Hawaii.
» The reason an American flag does not fly above Iolani Palace is because the palace is restored to the Kalakaua period, when he was the sovereign. Please don't say otherwise.
» Barring people from coming onto palace grounds because they are not "Kanaka maoli" is divisive and considered racial profiling.
If the Hawaiian Kingdom Government is so intent on taking back Hawaii for Hawaiians, why not use some of that $10,000 that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs gave it, and put it toward educational programs -- first for their members and then for the children. I mean no disrespect to the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, but you cannot fight for your cause without knowing all the facts. You need to accurately know where you come from in order to know where you are and to then figure out where you are going.
The final thing I have to say to the Hawaiian Kingdom Government is, while you've had your 15 minutes of fame at the expense of the folks at Iolani Palace, they will continue to step up and do the job you seem so unwilling to do -- help educate with aloha and share the rich history of the Kingdom of Hawaii with na kanaka, na malihini a me na keiki.
Jennifer Olani Cravalho lives in Aiea.
Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, May 15, 2008
Sovereignty group head barred at palace grounds
Entering old archives building apparently violated permit terms
By Mary Vorsino
Advertiser Urban Honolulu Writer
The head of a Hawaiian sovereignty group occupying the 'Iolani Palace grounds was escorted off the property yesterday and told not to return this week after apparently violating the terms of her permit.
No one was arrested and no other members of the group were asked to leave.
Mahealani Kahau, identified as the "head of state" for the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, said she was told to leave the palace grounds or face arrest about 2 p.m. after earlier in the day going into the Kana'ina Building and asking for a letter. The white, federal-style building is between the palace and Hawai'i State Library and is also known as the old state archives building.
Kahau said the letter was from a Maui supporter who mistakenly sent it to the Kana'ina Building. Kahau was told by the staff in the building, where the offices of the Friends of 'Iolani Palace are located, that the letter had been returned to its sender.
Speaking several hours after she and others in her group entered the building, Kahau said that as many 50 state enforcement officers converged on the palace grounds and told her that if she didn't leave she would be arrested. She was told that going into the Kana'ina Building violated her permit terms.
"It's shameful for them to make a small little thing so big," Kahau said, adding she did not know the permit precluded her going into the building. "It's public."
Kahau said she was told to not return to the grounds until after tomorrow, when the current permit expires and a new one is issued. She said since no one else was told to leave, the other members of her group will be on the palace grounds today.
The group is in its third week of occupying the palace grounds. The land where the Kana'ina Building and palace are located is overseen by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, which has posted several officers near the palace since the Hawaiian group blocked the entrances to the grounds earlier this month.
DLNR Director Laura H. Thielen declined comment yesterday on the commotion, saying a news release on the incident and whether it affects the permit for the group would be issued today at the earliest.
"We're assessing the situation," Thielen said.
Kippen de Alba Chu, executive director of the Friends of 'Iolani Palace, said his staff told him about Kahau and some other members of her group asking for the letter.
Chu was not involved in the incident.
He said he later saw Kahau with three or four of her security people at Likelike Mall, the lane between the Hawai'i State Library and the palace grounds, with state DLNR law enforcement officers speaking to her from within the palace gates.
"According to their permit, they're not supposed to enter Kana'ina Building," Chu said. "And so that triggered the trespass warning, and so that's when DLNR acted."
Chu said it's difficult to assess what kind of impact the presence of the group has had on attendance at the palace although he noted some potential visitors have called asking if it is open during the group's presence on the grounds.
On April 30, the group blocked access to the palace grounds for about eight hours, shutting down the state archives building as well as the palace tour operations. Chu said some of his volunteer docents chose to stay away the remainder of the week because they felt uncomfortable by the presence of the group. But those volunteers returned last week, he said.
Kahau's group is one of several organizations which claim to be the rightful Hawaiian government and do not recognize the authority of the Hawai'i state or U.S. government rule.
Those other organizations have had a mixed view to the action taken by Kahau's group.
Dennis Pu'uhonua "Bumpy" Kanahele, head of the Independent and Sovereign National State of Hawai'i (Nation of Hawai'i), said he does not recognize the Hawaiian Kingdom Government as the official authority of Hawai'i, but said he supports their action.
"I do support their intent, which is to go there to claim the kingdom," Kanahele said. He confirmed that he personally phoned Hawaiian Kingdom Government staff to express his support.
Henry Noa, prime minister of the Reinstated Government of Hawai'i, said he did not phone in his support of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government's actions as Kahau had stated.
Nonetheless, Noa said, the palace grounds occupation has focused attention on the sovereignty movement and given each of the groups a chance "to present information to our people so that they can be better informed about the differences."
David Keanu Sai, acting minister of the interior for a group known as Acting Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom, said on the organization's Web site that many have incorrectly associated his group with Kahau's.
While the Acting Government is provisional and exists until a true Hawaiian government can be reconstituted, the Hawaiian Kingdom Government "organized themselves without any basis in Hawaiian constitutional law," Sai wrote.
Sai's group has been attempting to regain control of Hawai'i through international law.
Leaders of Hui Pu, an umbrella group of different Hawaiian independence organizations, visited the palace grounds on the first day of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government's action and said they support its intent.
USA TODAY, May 15, 2008
Native Hawaiian group: We're staying
By Dan Nakaso
HONOLULU — Native Hawaiians claiming to be the "seat of government for the Hawaiian Kingdom" vow to indefinitely occupy the grounds of historic Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu, as state officials consider possible penalties against them.
About 70 members of the organization known as the Hawaiian Kingdom Government chained the gates of the palace April 30 and barred non-Hawaiians from the palace grounds, a popular tourist attraction.
Though the palace quickly was reopened to the public, Hawaiian Kingdom Government members show no signs of leaving.
Mahealani Kahau, who calls herself head of state of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, said the news media have misrepresented the organization as a Hawaiian "sovereignty group" or even "protesters."
"We're not protesting against anything," Kahau said. "We're not a sovereignty group. We are the seat of government for the Hawaiian Kingdom. We are here assuming and resuming the Hawaiian seat of government, and we are proceeding as the seat of government."
After the Hawaiian Kingdom Government unlocked the gates of the palace grounds, state officials issued Kahau a permit to occupy the palace lawn during the day, and the public is once again able to visit the palace. The application for the permit was signed by "Her Royal Majesty, Mahealani."
Laura H. Thielen, the head of Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources, which has jurisdiction over the palace grounds, said attorneys are considering legal action against the Hawaiian Kingdom Government for chaining the palace gates and refusing access to non-Hawaiians.
Native Hawaiian groups have occupied Hawaiian beaches and other public places in the past in protest over perceived injustices to Hawaiian people, but rarely in such a high-profile location.
After Hawaii became a U.S. territory in 1898, Hawaiians were barred from speaking Hawaiian in school and condemned for dancing hula and following other cultural practices, said Jon Van Dyke, a law professor at the University of Hawaii who is a consultant to Hawaii's Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Though Hawaiian culture now thrives in the school system — "Hawaiian studies" is a requirement for fourth-graders in public and some private schools — government-sanctioned entitlements continue to be slow in coming for many Hawaiians, Van Dyke said.
Congress issued an apology in 1993 acknowledging that the U.S. government illegally overthrew the Kingdom of Hawaii a century before.
Van Dyke said many Hawaiians are growing frustrated as they await passage of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007, commonly known here as the Akaka Bill, after its sponsor, Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.
Akaka has proposed similar bills since 2000. The current bill would establish a process for Native Hawaiians to gain federal recognition, similar to what more than 500 Native American tribes have on the mainland, Van Dyke said.
The bill, passed by the House of Representatives, will be considered by the full Senate this year, said Regan Lachapelle, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
The Hawaiian Kingdom Government, which does not recognize U.S. or Hawaiian state authority, is one of the lesser-known organizations that claim to be the legitimate representatives of Native Hawaiians. Others include the Reinstated Hawaiian Government and the Independent and Sovereign National State of Hawaii.
The Hawaiian Kingdom Government has an office from which its leaders hold regular hours. According to the organization's website (www.higovt.org), its goals include quality housing for the Hawaiian people and more affordable education and health care for residents.
Honolulu officials' handling of the Iolani Palace situation has been both criticized and applauded.
H. William Burgess, a Honolulu attorney and member of the Hawaii Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, called the actions by the Hawaiian Kingdom Government "outrageous."
"It harms the interest of the people of Hawaii when (government officials) sit there idly and allow thugs to take over an important treasure that all of us own," he said.
"There is an acknowledged wrong that needs to be resolved," Van Dyke countered. "Our local officials have always appreciated the frustration that Native Hawaiians have."
Kahau maintains that members of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government will return to the palace grounds each day indefinitely.
The permit, she said, "is just to satisfy them," she said, referring to the local government. "We are obeying the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom."
Nakaso reports for The Honolulu Advertiser. Contributing: Gordon Y.K. Pang, The Honolulu Advertiser; Gannett News Service.
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, May 16, 2008
** reader commentary
'Iolani Palace requires respect, decorum
Only one royal family is legitimate heir — House of Kawananakoa
By Edith Kawelohea McKinzie
The cornerstone of 'Iolani Palace was laid on Dec. 31, 1879, during the reign of His Majesty King David Kalakaua (1874-1891) and commemorating the 45th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Kapi'olani.
'Iolani Palace served as the formal residence of the royal family, which included the queen's sisters, Princess Po'omaikelani, Princess Kinoiki Kekaulike and her three children, Prince David Kawananakoa, Prince Edward Keli'iahonui, and Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana'ole.
In spite of self-proclaimed titular assertions to royal status by Nalayne Mahealani Asing, the kingdom of Hawai'i has only one royal family — the House of Kawananakoa — whose living descendants are the legitimate heirs to the Kalakaua Dynasty by ali'i rank as having the highest chiefly lineage and by constitutional right of succession conferred upon Prince David Kawananakoa. If anyone has the right to camp on the palace grounds and conduct government business, it would be the Kawananakoa family, namely Princess Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawananakoa, its senior ranking member, and no one else.
True to her chiefly birthright as the granddaughter of Prince David Kawananakoa and Princess Abigail Wahiika'ahu'ula Campbell Kawananakoa, Princess Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawananakoa holds great passion in all matters concerning 'Iolani Palace.
In 1966, her mother, Princess Lili'uokalani Kawananakoa, founded The Friends of 'Iolani Palace to prevent demolition plans that would have razed the palace and paved the way for a parking lot for the new state Capitol building.
As a matter of royal obligation, Princess Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawananakoa continues her family legacy to protect and preserve 'Iolani Palace, and as president of The Friends of 'Iolani Palace from 1971 to 1998, was the catalyst for that monumental restoration project of 'Iolani Palace, our nation's only royal palace.
As her heritage dictated, and as a result of her tireless leadership and selfless efforts, 'Iolani Palace is now recognized as a world-class edifice and museum of distinction.
Furthermore, under her stewardship of The Friends of 'Iolani Palace, control and use of the palace grounds was guided by formal and consistent policies for many years. Use of the property was not only through the Department of Land and Natural Resources, but also through the Friends, which having entered into a contract/lease agreement with DLNR, remains liable and ultimately responsible for anything that happens on these royal premises.
With this in mind, the civil right to assemble in peaceful protest is constitutionally provided for.
However, while we traverse the grounds surrounding 'Iolani Palace, we must all be ever mindful of its sanctity and carry ourselves with proper respect and decorum, as a matter of royal obligation — that reflects well on who we are as Hawaiians.
Edith Kawelohea McKinzie is a retired instructor in Hawaiian language, literature and culture at Honolulu Community College, has been an instructor/ lecturer for the University of Hawai'i College of Continuing Education and is the author of "Hawaiian Genealogies" (Vols. 1 and 2). She wrote this commentary for The Advertiser.
Hawaii Reporter, May 17, 2008
State to Hawaiian Kingdom Government: No More Illegal Activity at Iolani Palace
Permit to occupy Iolani Palace grounds will not be renewed unless group complies with state's conditions; Group Says State Has No Jurisdiction Over Their Members
By Malia Zimmerman
[** Note by Ken Conklin: This aticle includes several important photos which are not displayed on this webpage. Copy/paste the URL to see the article with photos included.]
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources hand delivered a letter on Friday from department director Laura Thielen to a group calling itself the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, telling the group leader Mahealani Kahau that its members can no longer obtain a permit to remain on Iolani Palace grounds until the department is assured the group’s members will abide by conditions set forth by the state agency. The group's permit expires this weekend.
See the letter here: DLNR letter to Hawaiian Kingdom Government
On April 30, between 35 and 70 members of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government surrounded Iolani Palace, refusing to let state employees either enter or exit the historical site, saying the palace and surrounding grounds are property of the "Hawaiian Kingdom."
Protesters formed a human chain to block all five entrances and exits to the palace and locked the palace gates with their own locks, state officials to Hawaii Reporter. Only the media and those with an Office of Hawaiian Affairs registration card or proof of their Hawaiian ancestry were let inside. After the group occupied the palace grounds from about 5:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., state law enforcement cut the locks. The group with its own Hawaiian “sheriffs” has remained on site consistently since that day. No arrests have been made despite flagrant violations of state law.
That day, several state employees were prevented from working, and school children, residents and visitors were unable to visit and tour the palace.
Thielen says her department has worked to accommodate the group's wish to remain on palace grounds. Her law enforcement division spent two days meeting with members, and then subsequently issued a temporary assembly permit with map outlining the public areas where they can legally conduct their activities and special conditions of the permit.
However, Thielen says several Hawaiian Kingdom Government members have violated permit conditions by setting up a tent, collecting money on state property for their group and attempting to enter Iolani Palace without permission. In addition, the group’s leader filed for an extension of the permit but without filling out the paperwork completely.
The group's leader who calls herself "Her Royal Majesty, Mahealani" and signs legal documents this way, told the media that the Hawaiian Kingdom Government is assuming its rightful position as the head of the Hawaiian Kingdom and are self governing group not under the jurisdiction of the state of federal government. She says they have no intention to leave the palace grounds.
The palace, a Hawaiian national treasure built by King David Kalakaua, housed the last two Hawaiian monarchs, including Kalakaua and his successor Queen Liliuokalani. The palace web site explains its historical significance: “During the monarchy period, the Palace was the center of social and political activity in the Kingdom of Hawaii. Though its grandeur was neglected after the overthrow of the monarchy, restoration began in the 1970s through efforts of concerned individuals. Restoration and preservation continues, and, as a result, today's visitors to this National Historic Landmark in downtown Honolulu enjoy one of the most precise historic restorations and learn much about Hawaiian history and heritage."
Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday, May 17, 2008
Permit denied for assembly at palace
Hawaiian Kingdom Government broke rules, DLNR says
By Gordon Y.K. Pang
The state yesterday denied a permit to a Hawaiian sovereignty group that wanted to continue to occupy part of the 'Iolani Palace grounds, as it has been doing since April 30.
State Land Board Director Laura H. Thielen denied the group an assembly permit yesterday, saying it had broken the rules of previous permits issued to the group.
"Based on their behavior over the last week, we cannot rely on the assurances that they've provided us because they have violated the permit conditions after full explanation of what those conditions prohibit," Thielen said.
The group violated permit conditions by collecting money and entering buildings that were off limits, Thielen said.
The Hawaiian Kingdom Government, one of several Hawaiian sovereignty organizations that claim to not recognize the authority of either the U.S. government or the state of Hawai'i, has been occupying the mauka lawn of the palace since April 30.
On that day, it locked the gates of the palace grounds for about eight hours and blocked entrance to all but Native Hawaiians and the media, effectively shutting down tours at 'Iolani Palace as well as operations at the Hawai'i Archives Building that sits just behind the palace.
The Hawaiian Kingdom Government will still be allowed to go to the palace grounds, but they will not be allowed to assemble more than 24 people, put up tents or use a sound system as of Monday.
On Wednesday, Hawaiian Kingdom Government leader Mahealani Kahau and several other organization members entered the Kana'ina Building, the former archives building on the palace grounds that houses the Friends of 'Iolani Palace, the nonprofit that operates the palace as a museum.
Kahau was escorted off the grounds later that day and told not to return for the rest of the week. The group was not allowed to enter the Kana'ina Building or the 'Iolani Palace, according to Thielen.
"Over the past two weeks, Mahealani Kahau and members of the organization have demonstrated that they will not comply with permit conditions," Thielen said. "Accordingly, we cannot process your application until we receive satisfactory assurances that all members of the organization will comply with permit conditions."
Kahau, after being escorted off the grounds Wednesday, said she was trying to retrieve a letter to her that she believed had been delivered to the Kana'ina Building. She said she did not know she had violated the permit and called it "shameful for (DLNR) to make a small little thing so big."
Thielen said she is open to issuing new permits if the group abides by the permit rules.
"Monday, they may come back and discuss with us what kind of assurances they want to provide, but, in the absence of any permit, they're bound by the regular rules of the park as any citizen," Thielen said.
VIOLATING PERMIT RULES
State rules governing parks and other public places prohibit groups of 25 or more from gathering and using sound systems and tents without a permit. The Hawaiian Kingdom Government assembled up to 75 supporters and used sound systems and tents during its 2 1/2-week presence on palace grounds.
Efforts to contact members of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government about the denial of their permit were unsuccessful.
From May 1 through yesterday, members of the group have spent each weekday on the back lawn "conducting business," according to members of the organization. They obtained five-day permits on May 5 and 12 and were attempting to get one for the week of May 19.
Thielen, who heads the Department of Land and Natural Resources that oversees the palace grounds, said three infractions of the permit occurred the week of May 5, including the setting up of a tent outside the permitted area, money-collecting by the organization, and attempts by group members to enter the palace itself.
Group members have said they were given bags of quarters by supporters who passed by. The group parks its vehicles in metered stalls nearby, and the quarters were to feed the meter, the group said.
Asked what specific assurances she is seeking from the group, Thielen told The Advertiser that one thing would be the signatures of other members of the group beside Kahau, who has signed the applications identifying herself as "head of state" for the Hawaiian Kingdom Government.
"We'd want the leadership of the organization to sign on to the permit conditions and the understanding that if they violate them, we will not be issuing them further permits," Thielen said.
Thielen said there may be other considerations.
Law enforcement officers from DLNR's Conservation and Resources Enforcement Division, also known as DOCARE, have "had a presence" on the palace grounds since April 30, Thielen said, although she declined to give specific numbers.
Prior to April 30, the DLNR relied on Friends of 'Iolani Palace, which has a lease to operate the palace as a museum, to patrol the grounds with some assistance from state sheriffs at the neighboring state Capitol, Thielen said.
DOCARE had been going to the palace "on an as-needed basis," she said.
Asked if her agency intends to bulk up security staffing at the palace on Monday morning, Thielen said: "Anytime we have a period of uncertainty, we're prepared."
'NOT DOING ANY HARM'
Longtime Hawaiian activist Kekuni Blaisdell, who identifies himself as a Hawaiian national, said he does not subscribe to the views of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government but nonetheless called it "outrageous" that DLNR would deny the group a permit.
"They're not doing any harm to anyone at all," Blaisdell said. "They're peaceful and nonviolent."
He added: "I believe that it is important for us kanaka maoli to continue to resist what is clearly to me the illegal occupation of our homeland by the United States and its subsidiaries such as the state of Hawai'i."
Kahau and others in her group have stated repeatedly that they are not protesters, but are occupying the grounds of the palace as the rightful government of Hawai'i. Members of other Hawaiian activist groups have said they support the Hawaiian Kingdom's right to occupy the palace grounds even if they do not support their views.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 17, 2008
Exit Iolani, state tells Hawaiian protesters
The state told a native Hawaiian sovereignty group yesterday that they can no longer protest on the grounds of Iolani Palace, something they have been doing for two weeks.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources refused to issue the group a permit to continue the protest, citing alleged violations of the state's original permission
The group, called the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, had been gathering at the palace on weekdays since April 30, when they blocked the gates of the palace and said they were re-establishing a Hawaiian government on the grounds. The group stopped blocking public access to the palace later that day, but their protest attracted national media attention.
On May 2, the group applied for a public assembly permit that was granted with conditions, according to a letter from Land Board Chairwoman Laura Thielen. Yesterday, she said the group did not meet the conditions and the state stopped processing the group's application for next week's assembly permit.
In a letter hand-delivered to the group yesterday, Thielen noted that on Wednesday the group's leader, Mahealani Kahau, entered the offices of the Friends of Iolani Palace, violating a condition that barred members from entering the building. Thielen also noted that a tent was set up outside of the group's permit area; the group collected money; and that some members attempted to enter Iolani Palace. Thielen said those actions were violations of the permit conditions.
Late yesterday afternoon, state conservation law enforcement officers were at the palace grounds, but there was no sign of Kingdom members. The phone number to the Kingdom office posted on the group's Web site was disconnected.
Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, May 18, 2008
Palace grounds occupation criticized
Royal societies say actions of group not pono in sacred place
By Lynda Arakawa
A group representing the four Hawaiian royal societies yesterday publicly criticized the actions of a Hawaiian sovereignty group that has been occupying the 'Iolani Palace grounds.
'Aha Hipu'u said while it supports Hawaiians' right of expression, the sovereignty group Hawaiian Kingdom Government should stop its occupation of the palace grounds, calling it a sacred place.
"We don't support what they're doing there," said Bill Souza, incoming chairman of 'Aha Hipu'u. "The way they went about it (and) the way they continue doing it is not pono."
'Aha Hipu'u members said in a written statement that they "strongly denounce the actions of this group as well as its claims to be heirs of the Hawaiian kingdom."
The Hawaiian Kingdom Government, one of several Hawaiian sovereignty organizations that do not recognize the authority of the state or the U.S. government, has been occupying the palace grounds since April 30.
That day, it locked the gates to the palace grounds for about eight hours, shutting down palace tour operations and the Hawai'i Archives Building, which is behind the palace.
Representatives of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government could not be reached for comment yesterday.
'Aha Hipu'u is made up of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, 'Ahahui Ka'ahumanu, Hale O Na Ali'i O Hawai'i and Daughters and Sons of Hawaiian Warriors — Mamakakaua.
About 60 to 70 'Aha Hipu'u members took a scheduled tour of 'Iolani Palace yesterday as part of their three-day convention and chose to issue their statement at the palace, Souza said.
He said the grounds of 'Iolani Palace are sacred and must be respected.
"We're not against people (expressing themselves), but we have to be very careful when it comes to places like ... 'Iolani Palace, which Hawaiians hold very dear," Souza said.
"We don't want to be Hawaiian against Hawaiian," Souza said. "That's not what we're all about. We're about doing what is pono, and we want to remind them that we think that that action they're taking right on the palace grounds is not pono."
The state on Friday denied an assembly permit to the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, saying it had broken the rules of previous permits given to the group.
From May 1 through Friday, group members have spent weekdays on the palace lawn "conducting business," according to members. The group got five-day permits on May 5 and 12 and tried to get another for the week starting tomorrow.
State Department of Land and Natural Resources director Laura H. Thielen had said the group violated permit conditions by collecting money and entering buildings that were off limits, but said she is open to issuing new permits if the organization complies with permit rules.
On Wednesday, Hawaiian Kingdom Government leader Mahealani Kahau was escorted off the palace grounds after she and other group members entered the Kana'ina Building, the former archives building on palace grounds. Kahau has said she didn't know she violated the permit and was trying to retrieve a letter to her that she believed was delivered to the building.
Organization members have said they are occupying palace grounds as the rightful government of Hawai'i. Members of other Hawaiian activist groups have said they support the Hawaiian Kingdom's right to occupy the grounds of the palace even if they don't support their views.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 18, 2008
Hawaiian activists echo Hungarian's operetta
The recent action of Hawaiian activists blocking non-Hawaiians to the grounds of Iolani Palace reminded me of the operetta, "The Flower of Hawaii," which my wife and I saw in Vienna in 1967.
The popular operetta, composed by Hungarian-born Paul Abrahams, was first performed in 1931 in Berlin. Life obviously echoes art, for the operetta's story deals with Hawaiians plotting to overthrow U.S. rule in order to restore the Hawaiian monarchy. Haoles were not allowed in Iolani Palace. "Die Blume von Hawaii" is a fine musical treasure, with modern implications.
Charles E. Frankel
Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, May 19, 2008
Palace group isn't leaving
'Nothing will stop us,' leader says after loss of occupation permit
By Suzanne Roig
The Hawaiian Kingdom Government sovereignty group vowed yesterday to continue occupying 'Iolani Palace grounds despite having its permit application rejected.
"We are not protesters," said Mahealani Kahau, who said she is the head of state for the Hawaiian Kingdom Government. "We're not hiding who we are. Nothing will stop us from doing what we are doing under Hawaiian Kingdom law."
Laura H. Thielen, state Department of Land and Natural Resources director, said the group violated permit conditions by entering a building that was off limits. To receive a permit to occupy the grounds, as the group has done since April 30, Thielen said yesterday that names, signatures and assurances will now be required from the full leadership of the group. Previous permits were issued based on an agreement with a single leader.
The state's additional requirements were put in place because on Wednesday, Kahau and others entered the Kana'ina Building, the former state archives building on the palace grounds. The building now houses the Friends of 'Iolani Palace, the nonprofit that operates the palace as a museum.
Thielen said the permit the group was operating under does not give permission to enter the buildings. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources manages the palace.
"Those buildings are fragile," she said. "The group was told they are not permitted to demonstrate inside these buildings. We cannot jeopardize the conditions of these buildings."
Kahau said the group would never attempt to enter the palace because that's sacred, but the Hawaiian Kingdom Government wants to be able to use the Kana'ina building.
The four Hawaiian royal societies on Saturday criticized the action of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government and urged the group to stop occupying the palace grounds. The societies include the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, 'Ahahui Ka'ahumanu, Hale O Na Ali'i O Hawai'i and Daughters and Sons of Hawaiian Warriors — Mamakakaua.
But Kahau said the royal societies are not recognized under the Hawaiian Kingdom Government. "They're a foreign corporate entity," Kahau said. "When they come to us as individuals, that's one thing, but not as a (royal society)." She added, "I cannot listen to them as a group."
The Hawaiian Kingdom Government is one of several sovereignty groups that does not recognize the authority of the state or the United States government. On the first day it occupied the palace grounds, it locked the gates for about eight hours, shutting down the palace tour operations and the Hawai'i Archives Building.
Group members spent weekdays, from May 1 through Friday, on the palace lawn, saying they were conducting business. The group received five-day permits on May 5 and May 12.
Thielen said: "I want assurances from the leadership of the group that they will follow the permit conditions and if they do not, then they won't receive the permit."
Honolulu Advertiser, BREAKING NEWS/UPDATES, Updated at 10:57 a.m., Monday, May 19, 2008
Sovereignty group returns to Iolani grounds
By Dave Dondoneau
Thirty-three representatives of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government gathered in a circle on Iolani Palace grounds at 7:05 a.m. this morning, joining hands and saying a prayer and singing before eventually coming together for a private meeting and declining all interviews with the media.
On Friday, the Department of Land and Natural Resources denied the group's request for a right to assemble permit that is required for all groups of 25 or more.
The group applied for a new permit this morning, and that permit request is still pending, said DLNR spokeswoman Debra Ward.
There are no meetings scheduled between the head of DLNR and the group, Ward said. But she said an update on what DLNR intends to do in the case is expected this afternoon.
The sovereignty group's representatives have been staying on palace grounds during the work week since April 30 when they initially laid claim to the grounds and denied public access to them for nearly eight hours.
Since the first week, Hawaiian Kingdom representatives have applied for and received permits to assemble on the premise on a weekly basis.
However, DLNR officials said the group and its leader, Mahealani Kahu, who is the head of state for the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, violated the permit conditions last week by entering into a building that was off limits.
To receive a new permit this week the DLNR is requiring the names, signatures and assurances of the full leadership group.
This morning's gathering of 33 was monitored closely by DLNR law officials who were parked in the adjacent parking lot less than 100 yards away.
Following the group's closed meeting, Kahau briefly met with a DLNR enforcement officer and hugged him.
It's not clear at this time if the Hawaiian Kingdom applied for and received a new permit.
Hawaiian Kingdom representatives have said in the past they will continue to occupy the grounds indefinitely.
A handful of them started funneling onto the property before 6 a.m. and Kahau arrived at 7 a.m. with a lei around her neck.
After brief greetings, the representatives met for 55 minutes. Many of their vehicles had license plates reading "Hawaiian Kingdom Government," and a number rather than state of Hawai'i plates.
Also, as of 8:30 a.m., the representatives hadn't put any money into the parking meters on the grounds.
Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Sovereignty group gets permit
State says leaders had to agree not to post guards at palace gates
By Mary Vorsino
Advertiser Urban Honolulu Writer
A Hawaiian sovereignty group occupying the 'Iolani Palace grounds was granted a permit yesterday, after being denied one last week for breaking rules.
The state said yesterday that leaders of the group had to agree to certain conditions for the new permit, including no longer posting members of the group at the gates to 'Iolani Palace.
"They have told us they intend to comply, and we will hold them to that," state Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairwoman Laura H. Thielen said yesterday before the permit was granted.
On Friday, Thielen denied a new permit for the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, saying its members had broken the rules set by previous permits by collecting money on the property and entering off-limits buildings.
The group applied again yesterday.
Members of the group could not be reached for comment.
The group has been occupying palace grounds on weekdays since April 30. The state requires a permit for more than 25 people to assemble on the grounds. Yesterday morning, some 33 people with the group were at their usual spot behind the palace. The group joined hands, then sang and joined in a prayer.
Members of the group at the site declined comment.
Thielen said eight or nine leaders of the group were asked to sign a list of conditions before she would consider their new permit application. She said the conditions were all the same as the original permit, except for the one asking the group to stop posting guards at the palace gates because they intimidated people.
The Hawaiian Kingdom Government is one of a number of Hawaiian sovereignty organizations that do not recognize the U.S. government or that of the state of Hawai'i. Some of the vehicles driven by its members have their own kingdom license plates.
Police spokesman Maj. Frank Fujii said no citations have been issued because of the non-state plates. It is illegal to drive a vehicle without valid plates.
The group started its public demonstration on April 30 when it locked the gates of the palace grounds for about eight hours and blocked entrance to all but Native Hawaiians and members of the media, shutting down tours of 'Iolani Palace as well as operations at the Hawai'i Archives Building.
From May 1 through yesterday, members of the group have spent each weekday on the lawn behind 'Iolani Palace "conducting business," members of the organization have said. Other than the permit issued yesterday, the group has obtained five-day permits on May 5 and 12, DLNR officials said.
Without a permit, the Hawaiian Kingdom Government was still allowed on palace grounds yesterday, but no more than 24 people were allowed to assemble. Yesterday morning, during the prayer, there were 33 people gathered. And in the afternoon, there were also 33 people on the grounds. During the day, the numbers dwindled.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 20, 2008
** Photo caption contradicts article text below, and both the caption and content of the Star-Bulletin article contradict the Advertiser report above.**
At Iolani Palace yesterday, Mahealani Asing, left, the head of state of the self-proclaimed Hawaiian Kingdom Government, had a meeting with supporters. At around 9:20 a.m., the group left the grounds. Hawaiian officials return to palace **
About 20 members of the self-proclaimed Hawaiian Kingdom Government returned to Iolani Palace yesterday, pitched a small tent and spent the day strolling the grounds.
The group applied for a permit to hold a group event on the grounds, but as of the close of business yesterday, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources had not made a decision on the application.
Friday, the state denied a second permit after the group violated the rules of the first permit, which is needed for all groups of more than 25 using the grounds.
At least 12 cars with license plates claiming to have been issued by the Hawaiian Kingdom yesterday were parked in public parking stalls with expired meters.
The group has been coming to the Iolani Palace grounds since April 30. Deborah Ward, spokeswoman for the DLNR, said yesterday that the permit application was "under review."
Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, May 29, 2008
No problems with group on 'Iolani Palace grounds
No problems have been reported this week with a Hawaiian sovereignty group occupying 'Iolani Palace grounds, a week after the group was briefly denied a new permit for breaking rules.
The Hawaiian Kingdom Government was granted a permit this week, and has followed all rules of the permit, said state Department of Land and Natural Resources spokeswoman Deb Ward.
On May 19, the group was denied a permit through the late afternoon after the state said the group repeatedly broke rules by collecting money on the property and entering off-limits buildings. The group got a new permit after agreeing to certain conditions.
The group must reapply for the permit every week.
The Hawaiian Kingdom Government, one of a number of sovereignty organizations that do not recognize the U.S. government or that of the state, has been occupying palace grounds on weekdays since April 30. It has gotten permits to do so weekly since May 5.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 14, 2008
State proposes new palace rules
By Rosemarie Bernardo
Public hearings will be scheduled soon on new proposed rules that specifically ban "unauthorized occupation" of Iolani Palace and other buildings on the grounds.
The state Board of Land and Natural Resources approved the draft rules yesterday, a little more than a month after a group blocked access to palace grounds during a protest.
Daniel Quinn, administrator of the state Parks Division, said the state has been talking for years about creating rules for the palace grounds.
But the protest by the Hawaiian Kingdom Government on April 30 "was certainly a wake-up call," Quinn said.
Current rules for the use of the Iolani Palace State Monument fall under general rules that apply to all state parks.
Some of the proposed rules prohibit obstructing public access to the grounds and harassing or intimidating visitors.
On April 30 the group led by Mahealani Kahau blocked public access to the palace grounds, stating they were re-establishing a Hawaiian government. State officials said the groups used padlocks and chains to block the gates. Guards from the group also were posted at the gates. The group denied the state's claim.
Some volunteers who were uneasy about the protest stayed home for the rest of the week, said Kippen de Alba Chu, executive director of the Friends of Iolani Palace, which supports the new rules.
Hopefully, with the rules, groups who come to the grounds come with a greater amount of respect for both the structures as well as the grounds themselves, Chu said.
Chu said the palace should be treated differently from other state parks. "It should have different rules because of the historic nature," Chu added.
Kahau could not be reached for comment. The Hawaiian Kingdom Government has obtained week-to-week public assembly permits since April 30 to be on the grounds.
In mid-May the state had refused to issue the group a permit because the group entered the offices of the Friends of Iolani Palace, a violation of their permit. Since then the group has been complying with permit conditions.
"As long as they comply with permit conditions, they may continue to request permits to meet, barring any other events which may take precedence," said Board of Land and Natural Resources Chairwoman Laura Thielen.
Some of the permit conditions for the group are incorporated in the new proposed rules.
Some of the rules in the draft for a new subchapter of administrative rules approved by the Board Land and Natural Resources yesterday for Iolani Palace included violations such as:
» Obstructing public access to the grounds, buildings or structures.
» Unauthorized occupation of any structure on the grounds, including but not limited to, Iolani Palace, Coronation Pavilion, Kanaina Building, Iolani Barracks Building and the Kekauluohi (Archives) Building.
» Engaging in any activity so as to obstruct or impede pedestrians or vehicles, or harass or intimidate visitors, volunteers or employees traversing or on the premises either verbally or with physical contact or barriers; including but not limited to hindering or interfering with the public's use of one or more of the entry gates to the premises or building entrances.
Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday, June 14, 2008
State proposes stricter protections for palace
By John Windrow
The state is proposing new rules regarding protection of 'Iolani Palace and its grounds.
Representatives for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Friends of 'Iolani Palace said the proposed rules have been under discussion for several years, but that recent activities on the palace grounds by a sovereignty group have been a "wake-up call" to take measures to ensure that the historic palace and its grounds — the 'Iolani Palace State Monument — are properly protected.
The Hawaiian Kingdom Government — one of several Hawaiian sovereignty organizations that say they do not recognize the authority of the U.S. government or the state of Hawai'i — has been occupying the mauka lawn of the palace since April 30.
Kippen de Alba Chu, executive director of the Friends of 'Iolani Palace who spoke at yesterday's DLNR meeting, said the proposed rules would be designed specifically to protect the palace and its grounds "which are also historically significant and contain burials of high-ranking ali'i."
The proposed rules would be more stringent than rules and regulations for state parks, which are the rules that apply to the palace now, said DLNR spokeswoman Deborah Ward.
Among other measures, the proposed 'Iolani Palace rules would:
Prohibit obstructing public access to the palace or its grounds.
Bar any access to the burial mound on the grounds.
Prohibit occupying buildings or structures on the grounds.
Prohibit impeding pedestrians or harassing visitors, volunteers or employees.
Other activity extras such as music, loudspeakers and tents awnings would be allowed with a permit, which would be issued on first-come, first-served basis.
Laura H. Thielen, chairwoman of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, said the Hawaiian Kingdom group will continue to receive permits to gather at the palace as long as it abides by permit conditions. The group had a permit that was in effect through yesterday.
"We have been discussing developing specific rules for 'Iolani Palace for some time in order to enhance the historic character of the area and the educational mission of the Friends of the 'Iolani Palace," Thielen said in a written statement.
The department will hold public hearings on the proposed rules.
Ward said a permit to allow the group to be on the grounds next week was being processed yesterday.
Mahealani Kahau, who has described herself as the head of state for the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, said her group had not been notified of the proposed rules yesterday and had no comment.
"We conform to Kingdom law," she said. "We have never wavered on that."
On April 30, the Hawaiian Kingdom group locked the gates of the palace grounds for about eight hours and blocked entrance to all but Native Hawaiians and the media, effectively shutting down tours at the palace as well as operations at the Hawai'i Archives Building that sits just behind the palace.
Since May 1 group members have spent weekdays on the palace lawn, saying they were conducting business.
Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, June 15, 2008
Palace stands as emblem for all cultures
By Kippen de Alba Chu, executive director of 'Iolani Palace
Each week Editorial and Opinion Editor Jeanne Mariani-Belding hosts The Hot Seat, our opinion-page blog that brings in elected leaders and people in the news and lets you ask the questions during a live online chat. On The Hot Seat last week was Kippen de Alba Chu, executive director of 'Iolani Palace, the grounds of which are currently being occupied in protest by a group called Hawaiian Kingdom. Here is an excerpt from that Hot Seat session. To see the full conversation, go to The Hot Seat blog at www.honoluluadvertiser.com/opinion
and click on "The Hot Seat." (Names of questioners are screen names given during our online chat.)
Joyce: What's your take on the occupation of the palace? Could things have been handled differently?
Kippen de Alba Chu: We are unclear as to the purpose of the ongoing occupation of the palace grounds. In hindsight, things could have been handled differently in regards to the April 30 locking of the palace gates. There were many issues that the various law enforcement agencies had to confront, and because of the ongoing investigation, it's hard to say exactly what could have been done differently.
Ata: The Hawaiian Kingdom talks about kingdom law. Is there such a thing called kingdom law and does it still exist today?
de Alba Chu: That depends on who you ask. Since we operate within the framework of the state of Hawai'i and the U.S., we currently abide by these laws.
K QT: Why do you only fly the Hawaiian flag over 'Iolani Palace? What about the American flag?
de Alba Chu: The decision to fly only the Hawaiian flag is not a political one, although we understand that people may construe it as such. Since 'Iolani Palace is a restoration to the era of the Hawaiian Kingdom of the late 1880's and early 1890's, the Hawaiian flag is part of that restoration. In effect, the flag that we fly is a replica of the kingdom flag, with official hoist-to-fly proportions of 1:2 (identical to the current British flag). This differs from the proportions of the current state of Hawai'i and U.S. national flags, which are 2:3. In practical terms, the kingdom flag is actually longer than the current state flag, if compared side by side. For example, the flag over 'Iolani Palace is 4 feet high and 8 feet long. A state flag would be 4 feet high and only 6 feet long.
It is customary for historic sites throughout the U.S. to fly the flag that best represents the particular era that they are interpreting to the general public. This is why there are different flags displayed at many historic sites throughout the country that are appropriate to their interpreted time periods. The following are just a few examples of where the current U.S. flag is not displayed alongside the historic flag: The Alamo in San Antonio flies the Republic of Texas flag; the Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg, Va., flies the British Union flag; and the White House of the Confederacy in Montgomery, Ala., flies the first national Confederate flag.
Bill Punini Prescott: Protesters continue to use "sacredness" as one of their arguments concerning land, building, etc. Inasmuch as Kamehameha III abolished the Hawaiian gods and kapu system in 1819, has anyone inquired as to what religion or god makes anything around or in 'Iolani Palace sacred?
de Alba Chu: The use of the word "sacred" or "sacredness" has taken on a nonreligious context in regards to 'Iolani Palace and the grounds. The definition of the word includes "worthy of reverence or respect," and it is in this context that we want all people to view this historic site. Protesters use "sacred" because this is where Queen Liliuokalani was overthrown and where she was imprisoned.
Paikea: I recently went on a tour of 'Iolani Palace and was disappointed by the emptiness of some of the rooms. Why aren't there more furnishings?
de Alba Chu: After the overthrow of the monarchy, Provisional Government officials inventoried the contents of 'Iolani Palace and sold at public auction whatever furniture and furnishings were not suitable for government operations. These objects were dispersed around the world. Efforts by the Friends of 'Iolani Palace with help from the public have recovered many lost objects from 38 states and four foreign countries. Yet after more the 40 years of searching, some of the largest pieces of furniture are still missing. Our Web site, www.iolanipalace.org/history/mostwanted.html, lists some of our "most wanted" objects.
Other palace artifacts have been acquired, but remain in storage because of a lack of available conservation funds for repair and restoration. It is through the help of the public that we are able to return 'Iolani Palace to its former splendor. The Pulama Ia (Cherished Objects) program allows interested individuals or organizations to sponsor all or part of the restoration of a specific object in the 'Iolani Palace collection. If you would like more information about this program or would like to sponsor treatment on a palace artifact, please call the curator at 522-0834 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kamaaina: Seeing 'Iolani Palace in the news recently has made me interested in visiting the palace again. But is there anything new?
de Alba Chu: In 2000 we opened our basement galleries, which include displays of the royal crowns, ancient regalia, jewelry and medals of the monarchy. The past five years also have seen a number of objects put back into period room displays. Once funding has been secured, recovered artifacts undergo conservation treatment and are put on display in their original locations. Most recently a beautiful Japanese wood panel screen, a gift from Japanese Consul General Irwin to King Kalakaua in 1885, was restored and placed in the Music Room.
Kamaile: What new exhibits are in progress at 'Iolani Palace?
deAlba Chu: Plans are currently under way for textile refurnishing of the rooms in the private living quarters, these include the King's Bedroom, the Queen's Bedroom, and the Music Room. With the help of federal and state grants, nationally recognized experts were contracted to help with preliminary planning. This project will add draperies, carpets and 17 upholstered pieces of furniture restoring the rooms to their former splendor.
Ladyluck: Do you think the group that occupied 'Iolani Palace had a legal right to do so? From what I understand they were letting in only Native Hawaiians. How could they tell just by looking who was Native Hawaiian? You folks did a good job in handling a sensitive situation.
de Alba Chu: According to the state Attorney General's Office, the group has a constitutional right of free speech. However, it is our understanding that the locking of the gates requires an actual eyewitness and accurate description of the person who actually did the locking in order to prosecute. The state's investigation is ongoing. The group did not have the right to restrict access to only Hawaiians, and this was NEVER done during Kalakaua's time. The king actually welcomed different ethnic groups on the grounds and actually had the palace open for tours at times.
Micah: What is the role of the palace today and what do you feel that role should be?
de Alba Chu: The Friends of 'Iolani Palace has worked tirelessly for over 40 years and at great expense to restore and refurnish 'Iolani Palace to reflect its appearance during the late monarchy era. The Friends also has strived to educate local residents and visitors on the high level of sophistication, refinement and worldliness of the Hawaiian monarchy at a time when Americans regarded us as merely "barbarians in the middle of the Pacific."
With the construction of 'Iolani Palace, King Kalakaua sought to enshrine his noble vision of welcoming the world to Hawai'i in a building befitting a modern and progressive kingdom. To outsiders, Kalakaua was proclaiming that Hawai'i was an equal among the family of nations. To his own people, Kalakaua sought to embody the transition from the ancient to the modern. As such, 'Iolani Palace, its furnishings, and the activities that occurred on its grounds during the monarchy period beautifully represent this juxtaposition of western and Hawaiian ideals and values.
Each of us who calls these Islands home has a connection to the palace. Kalakaua created a structural tapestry of various cultures from his circumnavigation of the Earth, yet retained a Hawaiian soul within its walls. Many of us who live here, regardless of race or length of residency, can and do identify with Kalakaua's worldly vision. The building that Kalakaua erected to be a showplace in the Pacific always has been a place of welcome and hospitality to people of all nationalities, whether resident or visitor to these Islands.
If Hawai'i is the crossroads of all the world's cultures, then 'Iolani Palace is its emblem. The Friends of 'Iolani Palace exists to preserve, restore, interpret, share and celebrate the unique cultural, historical and spiritual qualities of 'Iolani Palace and its grounds for the benefit of Native Hawaiians, the people of Hawai'i, and the world. That is the role of 'Iolani Palace today.
On June 19 Associated press distributed a "news report" to hundreds of newspapers and other media. Here are some of them:
Also Charlotte Observer, the same article at
The Washington Times
Hawaiian group demands restoration of the monarchy
By MARK NIESSE, Associated Press Writer
Thu Jun 19
Surrounded by royal guards and the occasional tourist, Her Majesty Mahealani Kahau and her government ministers hold court every day under a tent outside the palace of Hawaii's last monarch, passing laws and discussing how to secure reparations for the Native Hawaiian people.
Kahau and her followers are members of the self-proclaimed Hawaiian Kingdom Government, which is devoted to restoring the Hawaiian monarchy overthrown in 1893. Nearly two months ago, they stormed the gates of the old Iolani Palace, and they have politely occupied the grounds ever since, operating like a government-in-exile.
"We're here to assume and resume what is already ours and what has always been ours," said Kahau, who is a descendant of Hawaii's last king and was elected "head of state" by the group.
The Hawaiian Kingdom Government, which was founded seven years ago and claims 1,000 followers, uses its own license plates and maintains its own judicial system. In recent years, members have voted to dissolve the state of Hawaii, its land titles, welfare programs and public schools. They also claim the right to confiscate all bank assets in Hawaii.
The organization's actions do not carry the force of law, and the state has mostly taken a hands-off approach. It has not confiscated any of the license plates, for example, or arrested anyone for using them.
Hawaii has about 200,000 Native Hawaiians out of a population of 1.3 million. The Hawaiian Kingdom Government is just one of several native organizations that claim sovereignty over the islands, tapping into a strong sense among Native Hawaiians that they were wronged by history.
More than a century ago, a group of sugar planters and other businessmen, most of them Americans, overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy with the support of U.S. military forces. Queen Liliuokalani was imprisoned at the ornate Iolani Palace, built in 1882 by her brother, King Kalakaua. Hawaii was annexed by the United States in 1898 and became a state in 1959.
*** Ken Conklin's note: The above paragraph has falsehoods and distortions. The revolution was not "supported" by the U.S. There were 162 U.S. peacekeepers wh came ashore to protect American lives and property, and prevent arson and riot. However, they were not needed, and remained in barracks. They did not take over any buildings and did not give any assistance to either side. The ex-queen was indeed imprisoned in the palace, but that happened two years later after the U.S. peacekeepers had long-since left Hawaii; after the Wilcox attempted counter-revolution when guns and bombs were found in the flower bed of Liliuokalani's private home and documents were found inside that home already signed by her naming her cabinet ministers and department heads for her expected new government. ***
"We are definitely trying to correct a wrong that we feel has been done to us as a people," said Hawaiian Kingdom Government spokesman Orrin Kupau.
On April 30, members of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government trooped onto the palace grounds in the heart of Honolulu and shut the gates behind them, leading to a few tense hours before they finally reopened the entrance.
Every day, Kahau and about a dozen of her government officials meet in the tent. Every evening they fold up their tent and go home, returning in the morning.
State officials have largely ignored them, and police have made no arrests. The Hawaiian Kingdom Government has said it has no intention of resorting to violence.
Every week, the Hawaiian Kingdom Government obtains a public-assembly permit that allows it to occupy the grounds of the palace, a museum and popular tourist attraction next door to the state Capitol.
As far as the state is concerned, the Hawaiian Kingdom Government is treated the same as any other group that wants to conduct activities on public ground, said Deborah Ward, spokeswoman for the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
"As long as they comply with the permit conditions, they may continue to request permits to meet," she said.
Those conditions prohibit the Hawaiian Kingdom Government from interfering with access to the palace, harassing pedestrians, collecting money, posting banners or entering several government buildings. State authorities gave Kahau a warning when she went inside one of the buildings to collect her mail.
It is unclear how the organization's members intend to oust the state government. They also want reparations in the form of housing, low-cost health care and cash. The kingdom slapped a $7 trillion fine on the Hawaii state government in 2007.
A professor of international law who favors Hawaiian independence, Francis Boyle, said he believes the Hawaiian Kingdom Government has a valid claim.
"The essence of sovereignty under international law is people living on their land and asserting their rights, and that's what the Native Hawaiians are doing. They've made a lot of progress," said Boyle, a professor at the University of Illinois. "This is the way to go."
A state agency, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, is pursuing something far short of a restoration of the monarchy. It is pressing for federal legislation that would give Native Hawaiians a degree of self-government similar to what many American Indian tribes have. The hope is that Native Hawaiians will also regain some of their ancestral land.
The legislation has passed the U.S. House and is pending in the Senate.
"There's got to be a legal way in which to try to get these issues resolved," said OHA Administrator Clyde Namuo.
On the Net:
Hawaiian Kingdom Government: http://www.higovt.org
Honolulu Advertiser, June 20, 2008
'SACRED' CAN'T DESCRIBE NONRELIGIOUS THINGS
On the Hot Seat, 'Iolani Palace Executive Director Kippen de Alba Chu responded to the question regarding use of the word "sacred" by protesters there by writing that the use of the word "sacred" or "sacredness" has taken on a nonreligious context in regard to the palace and the grounds.
Sounds like a definition for sacrilege to me. And he goes on to say the definition of the word includes "worthy of reverence or respect." What the definition leaves out is "accorded holy things; venerated; hallowed." I wonder how our religious followers feel about that?
What's wrong with a nonreligious descriptive word like "respect?" Respect not sacred, as we respect our national and Hawai'i state flags. Using the word "sacred" to describe a non-religious environment is misleading.
My concern over the use of "sacred" by protesters goes beyond 'Iolani Palace. The word is also used to describe piles of rocks, holes in the ground, etc., by protesters in their effort to deny our soldiers full access to training areas, and they need to be challenged.
Bill Punini Prescott
The London Telegraph, June 30, 2008
Queen of Hawaii demands independence from 'US occupiers'
By Catherine Elsworth in Los Angeles
The United States is an illegal occupying force that should hand the 132 islands of Hawaii back to the monarchy overthrown more than a century ago, according to members of a Native Hawaiian sovereignty movement.
For almost two months, the self-proclaimed Hawaiian Kingdom Government has peacefully occupied the grounds of the Iolani Palace, residence of the islands' last two monarchs, operating a shadow government from a tent erected in its stately grounds.
Her Majesty Mahealani Kahau, a descendant of Hawaii's last king who was elected "head of state" by the group, and her ministers gather each day to debate how to achieve their goal of restoring Native Hawaiian rule.
"We are here, we are real, we are in business," declares the group's website, which outlines its aim to "remove all laws, policies, rules and regulations" of the "occupying power" and "return Hawaii's independent status".
The group, which claims 1,000 followers, is demanding the dissolution of the State of Hawaii and the return of land and bank assets totalling billions of dollars.
Hawaii has about 200,000 Native Hawaiians, or kânaka maoli, out of a population of 1.3 million. The Hawaiian Kingdom Government is just one of a number of sovereignty groups, many with similar names, waging independence campaigns.
All aim to "right the wrong" inflicted on Native Hawaiians in 1893 when a small, mostly American group of sugar plantation owners and other businessmen overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy with the support of US troops sent ashore from a Navy warship.
The then monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, gave up her throne "to this superior force of the United States of America" and was imprisoned in the Iolani Palace in Honolulu, built by her brother King Kalakaua. In 1898, Hawaii was annexed by the United States and in 1959 became the 50th US state.
"The Hawaiian kingdom was unlawfully taken over by a coup d'etat and then those that took it over formed an illegal government and then ceded Hawaii to the United States," said Leon Siu, minister of foreign affairs for the Hawaiian Kingdom, another sovereignty group that shares many of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government's aims.
"There was never a lawful transfer of either jurisdiction or title, therefore what we are doing is asserting that the Hawaiian Kingdom still exists." Mr Siu said he was engaged in discussions with several countries as well as the United Nations as part of a bid to achieve "international recognition of our nation", in part by reviving treaties Hawaii had with other nations, including Britain, in the 19th century.
Sovereignty groups cite the so-called "Apology Resolution" signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993 which acknowledged the 100th anniversary of the overthrow and apologised to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the US.
"The legal cause for the restoration of the kingdom is air-tight," said Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, who has been advising Hawaiian independence groups since 1992.
In addition to devising a draft constitution for one group, the Nation of Hawaii, Professor Boyle sued the US in the US Supreme Court in 1998, demanding the restoration of Hawaiian independence and reparations "for all the harm inflicted on the Kingdom of Hawaii".
He said rather than dismissing the case as "something totally frivolous" the court met several times to discuss it before determining the kingdom "was a non-recognised sovereign that does not have access to the US courts".
"Based on this experience I simply told them that we would have to wait until the Kingdom of Hawaii has achieved substantial diplomatic recognition and then I could file something in the international court of justice."
He described the occupation of Iolani Palace as "a very significant step in terms of their struggle to restore their kingdom their dignity and their land" and remains confident that Hawaii will at some stage achieve independence.
"Native Hawaiians operate in accordance with the Aloha spirit, which is similar to Mahatma Gandhi's Satyagraha force, and I take the position that if Gandhi can throw the mighty British Empire out of India with Satyagraha, Native Hawaiians can throw the mighty American empire out of Hawaii with Aloha."
Sovereignty groups reject as divisive and inadequate legislation being pursued by the state's Office of Hawaiian Affairs that would grant Native Hawaiians partial self -governmence akin to that of American Indian tribes.
The State of Hawaii has so far turned a blind eye to the peaceful gatherings of Hawaiian Kingdom Government. No-one has been arrested and members have been careful not to break any laws. "As long as they comply with the permit conditions, they may continue to request permits to meet," Deborah Ward, of the state's Department of Land and Natural Resources, told the Associated Press.
The State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources proposed new rules for the Palace and Grounds, and held a series of public hearings so the public could make comments on the rules. A webpage provides the proposed new rules (including a map of the Palace grounds and buildings), together with the testimony of Ken Conklin:
Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Aunt plans appeal to no-contest plea in child abuse case
By Jim Dooley
A woman who calls herself the "Royal Minister of Foreign Affairs" for the sovereignty group Hawaiian Kingdom Government has pleaded no contest to eight counts of assaulting children in what prosecutors called a "house of torture."
Rita Makekau, 52, quietly entered the no-contest pleas Friday in Circuit Court but said yesterday she plans to appeal on the grounds that state courts don't have jurisdiction over her.
Deputy Prosecutor Lori Wada had earlier called Makekau "the worst offender" of three defendants charged with committing "heinous atrocities" against five children.
Wada said Makekau struck the children in the teeth with a hammer, breaking and chipping their teeth. She also struck them in the head with a wooden spoon and with a kitchen knife, causing "cuts, bleeding and scarring."
A boy was regularly forced to sleep under the Leeward Coast house "with the dogs," according to court files.
"Life was torture for the children," Wada said in August. "No child should have to endure the cruelties that these children did."
Makekau's co-defendants, Gabriel Kalama, 31, and his wife Barbara Kalama, 28, pleaded no contest in August to charges including second-degree assault, abuse of a family member and child endangerment.
The victims, all siblings, were cousins of Barbara Kalama and nieces and nephews of Makekau.
The Kalamas originally acted as foster parents of the children but became their legal guardians in September 2000. The abuses occurred from 2004 to 2006, according to court records.
"The children were never taken to a doctor or a dentist until they were finally removed from the house" by state officials in February 2005, Wada said.
According to court files, the Kalamas and Makekau sometimes fed the children dog food sprinkled with hot sauce. Sometimes they were fed leftovers from meals eaten by the Kalamas and their own four biological children.
Court files show that police learned of the abuse after one of the children told a friend at school what was happening to him.
The children, now 18, 17, 15, 13 and 10, are living together with a foster family and are reportedly doing well.
Makekau said yesterday she has reached an agreement with prosecutors to serve five years in prison — if she loses her claim that the courts have no jurisdiction over her.
Jim Fulton, executive assistant to city Prosecutor Peter Carlisle, said the plea agreement calls for Makekau to be sentenced to a minimum of five years in prison. The state could seek as much as 41 years in prison, he said.
Makekau was interviewed on the grounds of 'Iolani Palace, where members of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government have been daily protesting the authority of state and federal government in the Islands. Makekau calls herself "her Highness Rita Kulamika Makekau, Royal Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Hawaiian Kingdom Government."
The group began its protest in May and is not affiliated with another Hawaiian rights organization that occupied 'Iolani Palace briefly on Statehood Day in August.
Makekau said she is not admitting guilt in the abuse case but entered the no-contest pleas out of concern for the children she's accused of abusing.
"I was thinking of the children," she said yesterday.
If the case went to trial, the children would have been called to testify against her in court, she said.
"I didn't want that. I didn't want them to have to relive the past," she said.
Fulton also pointed out that the presiding judge in the case, Virginia Crandall, has already rejected Makekau's claims that she is not subject to the jurisdiction state courts.
Makekau is free to appeal that decision to a higher court, he said.
Makekau and the Kalamas are to be sentenced by Crandall on Nov. 24.
In an affidavit filed in the case in February, Makekau said, "I'm an official of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, I'm a Kanaka Maoli and I'm under the jurisdiction of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government law."
"I believe the State of Hawai'i, Inc., has no judicial precedence nor Hawaiian usage over me," the affidavit said.
Yesterday, Makekau said the criminal case has not affected her status as foreign minister of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government.
"I haven't been convicted," she said.
COMMENTARIES RELATED TO THE FACT THAT THIS WAS AN INSURRECTION AND NOT A PROTEST, AND THAT THERE HAVE BEEN SIMILAR INCIDENTS AT THE PALACE IN RECENT YEARS
See a 302 page book:
"Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State"
The entire Chapter 1, and detailed Table of Contents, are available free of charge at
Order direct from publisher at
Hawaii Reporter, May 1, 2008
Domestic Insurgents - Not Protesters - Seized Control of Iolani Palace Yesterday
On Bloodless Coups, Hawaiian Publicity Stunts, And What They Mean For The Rest Of Us
By Daniel P. de Gracia, II
On April 30, some 70 unarmed Hawaiian Kingdom Government personnel seized control of a historic, state-owned palace not more than a stone's throw away from the 76 legislators, governor and lieutenant governor and thousands of state employees working in the State Capitol.
Claiming to be the legitimate government of Hawaii, the HKG personnel declared that Iolani Palace was theirs and that they were taking back control of Hawaii.
As chains were shackled around the gates of Iolani Palace and HKG personnel walked in circuits around the spacious park grounds in black BDU pants and aloha shirts like sentries, nearly every local and national media outlet referred to them as protesters. But truly, what were they protesting?
In speaking with the Hawaiian Kingdom Government representatives, I got the impression that they weren't protesting but rather attempting to launch a bloodless coup d'etat in which the people of Hawaii would rally to them against the legitimate governance of the State of Hawaii and the United States of America.
It's an irrefutable fact that on June 27, 1959, the Territory of Hawaii voted on three propositions, the first of which asked, "Shall Hawaii immediately be admitted into the Union as a State?" 132,773 people voted yes to Proposition One, and only 7,971 voted no.
The second asked to affirm whether or not, "The boundaries of the State of Hawaii shall as prescribed in the Act of Congress approved March 18, 1959 and all claims of this State to any areas of land or sea outside the boundaries so prescribed are hereby irrevocably relinquished to the United States." 132,194 people voted yes, and only 7,654 voted no.
Proposition Three asked the people to affirm whether or not "All provisions of the Act of Congress approved March 18, 1959 reserving rights or powers to the United States, as well as those proscribing the terms or conditions of the grants of lands or other property therein made to the State of Hawaii are consented to fully by said State and its people." 132,281 people voted yes and 7,582 people voted no.
If you ask me, the people have already spoken by vote, Hawaiians included: there is nothing illegitimate about the State of Hawaii or the United States of America because the people by overwhelming majority voted yes to be a part of this country.
Those who claim that Hawaii lost sovereignty must face the fact that any dispute between the Hawaiian people and the supposedly "evil" American government could have been settled on June 27, 1959 by the Hawaiian people voting no to all three propositions. It was not.
The people who resist recognizing this historic, democratic decision through actions such as those taken by the Hawaiian Kingdom Government in capturing Iolani Palace are not protesters, but are domestic insurgents who rage against the majority will of not just Hawaii, but the United States of America of which this state is part of.
There are a number of unanswered questions which plague my conscience as I consider what happened yesterday:
Why was the takeover and subsequent siege by unarmed individuals of a State owned facility and its surrounding perimeter allowed to persist for so many hours?
Why were government functions allowed to be disrupted?
Why is it that Governor Lingle or Lieutenant Governor Aiona, upon seeing that the HKG personnel were being interviewed by numerous reporters, did not go out to make televised public statements to discourage others from engaging in similar acts of lawlessness?
Why is it that trained, well-armed State Police and Honolulu Police Department officers stood face to face for a standoff that lasted hours against unarmed HKG personnel without arresting them?
Why is it that HKG personnel were allowed to leave without being arrested?
Why does the American Flag not fly over Iolani Palace?
While some may argue that the people who seized Iolani Palace yesterday were sheepish and nonviolent, ultimately this attempted bloodless coup by HKG will serve to inspire the more hostile and violent opponents of the State of Hawaii and the United States of America to follow suit with actions that involve more than just chains and yellow "No Trespassing" signs.
The message that our local authorities have projected is that it is not only okay to take control of buildings, but that sedition goes unpunished and carries no deterrent in the State of Hawaii. Today, we face people who chain a building. What will happen if tomorrow gunmen attack the Capitol, Washington Place, or Honolulu Hale and take hostages?
The historical precedent certainly exists for individuals to resort to force as a means to demand sovereignty for a particular group of people. On March 1, 1954, four Puerto Rican nationalists attacked the U.S. Congress while in session and took hostages, demanding independence for Puerto Rico. If things continue the way they do in Hawaii, I wouldn't be surprised if violent Hawaiian sovereignty groups, anti-Superferry environmentalist maniacs or straight up terrorists tried the same thing here.
We need to make an example of those who resort to such actions not to be harsh or cruel, but to discourage and deter future attacks against our buildings and people. We also need to dramatically increase the security presence around our Capitol.
At best, security at the Hawaii State Capitol District can be described as shockingly lax. There are no entry control points to screen individuals, no concrete barricades to prevent car bombers, no x-ray machines, no metal detectors, no regular foot patrols by Honolulu Police or State Police. The State Police who manage the flag flying at the Capitol won't even fold the American and Hawaii flags properly. Is it any wonder that people like Mahealani Asing Kahau and her HKG forces were able to seize control of Iolani Palace?
There is also no excuse for the weak response that our authorities showed regarding the Iolani Palace incident. The minute that Iolani Palace was seized, the police should have immediately secured and sealed off the area to prevent HKG personnel from escaping or additional persons from getting in. Federal agencies such as Homeland Security, FBI, and even the Department of Defense should have been immediately notified, considering the fact that these individuals were inciting an overthrow of the United States of America.
Police officers should have been placed at critical positions in buildings that have elevated angles on Iolani Palace. The Governor should have personally ordered HKG personnel to turn themselves in to law enforcement for arrest, and failing their compliance, law enforcement should have gone "tactical" and invaded the complex armed with less than lethal equipment including CS gas, rubber bullets, and tasers.
The benefit of utilizing a massive, if not overwhelming response to hostile takeover of our government facilities is that it has an intimidating effect on those who would participate in such behaviors and an inspiring effect to those who oppose such individuals, knowing that we don't take lightly attacks on Hawaii or the United States of America. The public should have gone to sleep yesterday having seen the HKG personnel arrested, not with the cautionary note from Civil Defense that their men had dispersed without arrest and might return the next day.
We need to treat groups like HKG and others blooming around Hawaii like domestic insurgents and put their names on the National Terrorist Screening Database. When we see them taking control of Iolani Palace and other government facilities, we shouldn't call them "protesters" we should call them "terrorists" and deal with them the same way we'd deal with al Qaeda operatives taking over one of our buildings.
I for one am tired of seeing America shamed in the State of Hawaii by a deceived yet ultimately vocal minority of belligerent, domestic insurgents. Make no mistakes: those who feel the way I do about America are not warmongers or Big Government "shock and awe" elitists, but rather people who know that a peaceful America requires a strong America.
To the domestic insurgents out there who want to overthrow Hawaii and the United States in favor of going back to the days of monarchy we who believe otherwise say this: "We're Americans, we're Americans, and we'll never surrender, you will!"
Daniel Paul de Gracia II, MA is a political scientist specializing in international relations and a former candidate for State Representative who now works for Rep. Rida Cabinilla, D-Ewa. He lives in Waipahu. His comments do not necessarily reflect the policy or opinions of the Office of Rep. Cabanilla. Reach him at mailto:email@example.com
Newsbusters blog, May 2, 2008
Media Downplay Hawaii Uprising, Back Hawaiian Apartheid Bill
By Matthew Vadum
A real-life secessionist movement seizes a historic American landmark and major media outlets treat the uprising as a curiosity of mere passing interest. Meanwhile, that same media gives a thumbs-up to a seditious, balkanizing plan for Aloha State apartheid.
AP's Mark Niesse reported yesterday, "Native Hawaiian sovereignty advocates" who are members of the group known as the Hawaiian Kingdom Government occupied the grounds of the palace of Hawaii's final monarch, Queen Lili`uokalani. "Hawaiian activists have long used the palace as the site for protests of what they call the United States' occupation of the islands, but never before had they physically taken control," wrote Niesse.
Pacific Business News reported that the "protesters" surrounded the Iolani Palace in Honolulu, chained palace gates, posted no-trespassing signs, and told "palace officials that the palace is their rightful seat of government." The PBN story noted that "Only those with Hawaiian blood, as well as news media, were initially allowed onto palace grounds."
The Honolulu Advertiser reported that the "sovereignty group" claimed its actions were "not a protest or demonstration but a reoccupying of its legitimate seat of government." CNN called the occupiers simply a "group of native Hawaiians."
Are members of groups like the Hawaiian Kingdom Government serious insurgents or fringe-element kooks who are best ignored? Only time will tell, but one thing is for certain: a Hawaiian segregation bill will only make things worse, guaranteeing more such occupations and perhaps future violence.
Many mainstream media outlets have treated the pro-segregation, pro-secession bill, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), that would create a new government for "Native Hawaiians" in Hawaii, as just another bill. A sunny piece called "Freshman senators hold key to Native Hawaiian bill's hopes," appearing in The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper focused on Congress, noted cheerfully that "the bill has a fighting chance."
Both Honolulu papers, the Advertiser and the Star-Bulletin have editorialized in favor it.
Der Stürmer The New York Times salivated over the bill (which Akaka keeps reintroducing with each new Congress). In an editorial called "A Chance for Justice in Hawaii," the NYT says fears about the bill are all hype:
The bill's central aim is protecting money and resources - inoculating programs for Native Hawaiians from race-based legal challenges. It is based on the entirely defensible conviction that Native Hawaiians - who make up 20 percent of the state's population but are disproportionately poor, sick, homeless and incarcerated - have a distinct identity and deserve the same rights as tribal governments on the mainland. The Akaka bill does not supersede the Constitution or permit Zimbabwe-style land grabs. It explicitly forbids casinos, a touchy subject in Hawaii. Any changes a Hawaiian government seeks would have to be negotiated with state or federal authorities. As has always been the case on those eight little islands, everyone will have to find a way to get along.Of course, to find out what's really in the bill it's necessary to read George Will. Will scathingly criticized the legislation and pointed out that Akaka doesn't even deny the bill could set the stage for Hawaii to exit the Union. Will wrote:
Today, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, when accurately described, is opposed by a large majority of Hawaiians and supported by only a bare majority of the approximately 240,000 Native Hawaiians in the state. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka, is a genuflection by "progressives," mostly Democrats, to "diversity" and "multiculturalism." It would foment racial disharmony by creating a permanent caste entitled to its own government -- the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity -- within the United States. The NHGE presumably would be exempt, as Indian tribes are, from the Constitution's First, Fifth and 14th amendments. It would, Akaka says, negotiate with the state of Hawaii and the United States concerning "lands, natural resources, assets, criminal and civil jurisdiction, and historical grievances." Reparations? We shall see. Independence -- secession? "That could be," Akaka, 83, has said, depending on "my grandchildren and great-grandchildren."
Predictably, Akaka himself denounced Will for writing the op-ed, calling the factually accurate column "disgusting." Will had noted in the column that the racial purity panel the bill creates will determine who is a Native Hawaiian and therefore eligible to receive any entitlements or programs created by the new office.
My guess is Will got Akaka's goat when at the top of the op-ed he inserted this entirely appropriate quotation that associates the bill with Nazism:
"I decide who is a Jew around here." -- Hermann Goering in 1934, when told that a favorite Munich art dealer was Jewish.
But I digress.
Just about anybody who's anybody in the Hawaiian establishment supports this bill, including Hawaii's Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, who has visited Washington, D.C., repeatedly to lobby federal lawmakers. The Republican In Name Only (RINO) governor has been pushing for the legislation for years.
Passed in the fall of 2007 by the U.S. House of Representatives, the proposed Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007 (a companion bill to Akaka's legislation), introduced by U.S. Representative Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), could be taken up by the Senate as soon as this month. According to www.nativehawaiians.com, the measure is endorsed by: the Mexican American Legal Defense Education Fund (MALDEF); the National Council of La Raza; the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC); and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Congressional horse-trading has allowed Akaka-Abercrombie supporters to win the support of several Republican lawmakers. Four of the Senate bill's nine cosponsors are Republicans: Norm Coleman (Minnesota), Gordon Smith (Oregon), and both Alaska senators, Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski. Among the House bill's seven cosponsors are two Republicans: Tom Cole (Oklahoma), and Don Young (Alaska).
Senator John Kyl (R-Arizona) is the Senate's foremost opponent of the legislation. He calls it a "recipe for permanent racial conflict ... motivated by a desire to immunize government preferences for Native Hawaiians from constitutional scrutiny." Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) said the legislation "is about sovereignty. It is about race. We are taking a step toward being a United Nations and not the United States."Contrary to an article in The Nation, the GOP presumptive presidential candidate, Senator John McCain of Arizona, does not support the bill (though in 2005 he did send out confusing signals about it). Democratic Senators Hillary Clinton and Honolulu-born Barack Obama both support it.
It should also surprise no one that Hawaii's Kamehameha Schools, arguably the most powerful private entity in Hawaii, wants to safeguard its privileges and racially discriminatory admissions policy by supporting the measure the Akaka bill.
For more on the Akaka bill, the racial separatism of the Kamehameha Schools, and accusations of abuse of power that surround the Schools, read "Racial Separatism in the Aloha State: The Bishop Estate Trust and Hawaii's Kamehameha Schools," by Phil Brand, James Dellinger, and Karl Crow, which Capital Research Center (my employer) just published.
(crossposted at Capital Research Center's blog)
—Matthew Vadum is Editor of Organization Trends and Foundation Watch at the Capital Research Center.
Hawaii Statehood Day 2006 -- Celebration at Old Territorial Capitol Building (Iolani Palace) Disrupted by Hawaiian Ethnic Nationalist Wannabe-Terrorists
HAWAII STATEHOOD -- A Brief History of the Struggle to Achieve Statehood, and Current Challenges
HARD EVIDENCE THAT THIS WAS AN ATTEMPTED COUP -- THE "HAWAIIAN KINGDOM GOVERNMENT" HAD PREVIOUSLY SOUGHT AND OBTAINED "DIPLOMATIC RECOGNITION" FROM THE HONORARY VICE-CONSUL OF ITALY IN HONOLULU, ON FEBRUARY 28, 2008. "HAWAIIAN KINGDOM GOVERNMENT" CONTINUES ITS PRESENCE AT THE PALACE LONG AFTER APRIL 30.
Carmen Di Amore-Siah, Honorary Vice-Consul of Italy in Hawaii, wrote a letter on February 28, 2008, on letterhead stationery, with official-looking seals next to her signature, addressed to "Her Highness Kulamika Makekau Royal Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, saying "We acknowledge and recognize that the Hawaiian Kingdom exists and is operating at 210 Iolani Avenue in Honolulu, Hawaii 96783. We appreciate your visits to our office and appreciate the relationship that Italy has with the Hawaiian Kingdom and its currently operating government."
A photographic copy of that letter in its entirety can be seen at
Andrew Walden, editor of The Hawaii Free Press, obtained that copy of the letter, and contacted Luca Ferrari, Italian Embassy spokesperson in Washington D.C. Mr. Ferrari said Italy recognizes the sovereignty of the United States in Hawaii, and Carmen Di Amore-Siah, Honorary Vice-Consul of Italy in Hawaii, was greatly overstepping her authority. It turns out that Carmen Di Amore-Siah was basing her letter of recognition on things she had learned from the well-known history-twister Jon Van Dyke, Professor of International Law at the University of Hawaii.
Here's Andrew Walden's article published in Hawaii Reporter:
Hawaii Reporter, May 6, 2008
Italian Government Disowns Honolulu Consul Letter Recognizing Hawaiian Kingdom Government
Special from Hawaii Free Press
By Andrew Walden
The so-called “Hawaiian Kingdom Government” made international headlines last week with its takeover of Iolani Palace. But headlines are not the only outside support the Hawaiian Kingdom Government group is receiving. In a February 28, 2008 letter, Honorary Vice-Consul of Italy in Hawaii, Carmen Di Amore-Siah, purports to grant the Hawaii Kingdom Government group recognition by the Government of Italy.
In the letter addressed to Hawaii Kingdom Government and stamped “Italian Consulate” Di Amore-Siah writes:
“This office on behalf of the Italian Government in Hawaii acknowledges that there was a prior treaty that was not between the United States nor the State of Hawaii but between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the Italian government.
“We acknowledge and recognize that the Hawaiian Kingdom exists and is operating at 210 Iolani Avenue in Honolulu, Hawaii 96783. We appreciate your visits to our office and appreciate the relationship that Italy has with the Hawaiian Kingdom and its currently operating government.”
Speaking to Hawaii Free Press, Luca Ferrari, Italian Embassy spokesperson explained:
“If this letter is authentic, she is not acting within the authority of her office. These are personal opinions. To the extent that she is representing them as the opinion of the Italian government, that is certainly the big problem. To write it on official Italian stationary as representing the Italian government is unacceptable.”
Prior to its 1893 overthrow, the Hawaiian Kingdom had relations with numerous foreign countries, including a July 22, 1863 treaty with Italy.
The Hawaii Republic, which resulted from the overthrow of the monarchy, was granted diplomatic recognition by Italian King Umberto I, September 23, 1894.
[note from Ken Conklin: What Mr. Walden does not say, but should be perfectly obvious, is that the recognition of the Republic of Hawaii in 1894 supplants and makes moot the previous recognition of the Kingdom in the treaty of 1863. Thus even if Italy somehow fails to recognize the sovereignty of the United States in Hawaii following the Annexation of 1898 and Statehood of 1959, Italy's position would be that the Republic is the rightful government of Hawaii; not the Kingdom.]
As for the current policy, Mr. Ferrari explained: “The Italian government does not recognize any Kingdom of Hawaii what so ever. We have no relationship. Our relationship is with the United States. As far as we are concerned, Hawaii is one of 50 states.”
Apparently the Di Amore-Siah letter was triggered by the Hawaiian Kingdom Government group pretending to ‘cancel’ the 1863 treaty that the Hawaiian Kingdom had with the Republic of Italy after the Honorary Consul failed to respond to an earlier Hawaiian Kingdom Government letter. Di-Amore-Siah writes:
“I acknowledge that the former Treaty between the Italian Government and the Hawaiian Kingdom was enacted and valid for over a century. I also understand that this treaty was cancelled in August of 2007, for the Italian Government’s failure to acknowledge your prior correspondence in an affirmative letter of acknowledgement.
“We are grateful that the Hawaiian Kingdom has reconsidered the cancellation of the treaty.”
Contacted by Hawaii Free Press, Di-Amore responded with a short written statement. In it she wrote:
“The Italian Government as well as I, believe that this is not a simple matter it is a ‘complicated matter’ and many of the consulates will disagree on the question of the existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom…. The United States has exercised sovereignty over Hawaii since 1898, and the rest of the world (except, based upon my letter Italy) has accepted this both de facto and de jure. Some in our community do want independence and assert the continuing existence of the Kingdom. Ultimately it depends on what other countries decide.”
Asked if she had been in touch with other officials of the Government of Italy regarding this letter, Di-Amore-Siah responded: “They have it. I gave it to them weeks ago.” The letter indicates that a copy was sent to the Italian Consulate-General in San Francisco. Speaking for the Embassy in Washington DC, Mr. Ferrari says: “This is the first time we have seen this letter.”
Speaking to Hawaii Free Press off the record, a United States' State Department official with involvement in Italian affairs indicated he would take up the matter with the Italian ambassador. The official said: “I think they have some explaining to do there.”
Explaining her decision, Di Amore-Siah wrote:
“Many advocates have worked to assist Hawaiians in their efforts to recover land and resources, and most recently were successful in obtaining from the Hawaii Supreme Court a permanent injunction preventing the sale or transfer of any of the lands ceded to the United States by the State of Hawaii until the claims of the Native Hawaiians are addressed and resolved, in the case of OHA v. HCDCH, decided Jan. 31, 2008. You might want to read that case, because it gives an excellent overview of this topic.
“They hope that the Akaka Bill can be passed, which would lead to negotiations for the return of land and resources to a reestablished Native Hawaiian governing entity….”
“The basis for my opinion and the acknowledgement letter that I wrote is based upon my knowledge and an article that I assisted in writing in law school and my understanding of international law. The article is authored by -- Jon M. Van Dyke, Carmen Di Amore-Siah, and Gerald W. Berkley-Coats, Self-Determination for Nonself-governing Peoples and for Indigenous Peoples: The Cases for Guam and Hawaii.”
Mr. Ferrari has a different understanding of international law. He says: “The honorary consuls have very limited powers. They are never allowed to talk on behalf of the government. We are immediately launching an investigation. The Consul General in San Francisco will be in charge of the investigation.”
Did Angry Divorcee Lead Iolani Palace Takeover?
Letter from Honorary Vice Consul to ‘Hawaiian Kingdom Government’
Andrew Walden is the publisher and editor of Hawaii Free Press, a Big Island-based newspaper. He can be reached via email at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday May 7, 2008
** TWO Letters to editor
GO TO THE PALACE, SHOW SOVEREIGNTY SUPPORT
Now is the time for those who believe in the validity of ea (sovereignty) to go to the palace. Show your faith and trust in the rights of Hawai'i being an independent nation.
You don't have to choose Mahealani Kahau and her organization. You only go there to support the belief you have in the rights of the nation of Hawai'i. There at the palace not even OHA, DHHL or Kau Inoa can claim to be the "one." Only the people of Hawai'i can decide that.
So go to the palace. Show support, show unity for the kingdom/nation/country or whatever it will become once we decide. Just go.
Call your friends, 'ohana, fellow believers. Go so we can show proof that ea is valid, real for the people of Hawai'i. Hele, imua, go. Eddie would go.
APPALLED AT EDITORIAL ON PALACE LOCKOUT
I was appalled at the censorious, punitive tone of your editorial regarding the Hawaiian sovereignty group lockout of 'Iolani Palace.
Once again, a group of Native Hawaiians reminded us all that they have lost too much, and that they are grief-stricken and angry about those losses.
I loved the picture of Police Chief Boisse Correa sitting on the ground talking story with Mahealani Kahau. What would you have had him do? Order out the tear gas and make arrests? Or worse?
What has happened to the editorial board of The Advertiser, which used to advocate for compassion and justice?
Are you old enough to remember Kent State? Or the American Indian Movement?
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, May 9, 2008
Hawaiian group gets parking donations
Money will be used to feed parking meters for 'kingdom government'
By Dan Nakaso
Advertiser Staff Writer
Members of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government who spend their days on the mauka lawn of 'Iolani Palace have been given hundreds of dollars worth of quarters from Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians so they won't face parking meter fees and possible parking tickets.
"We've been given bags of quarters from heirs (to the kingdom) and people who support us," said Mahealani Kahau, "head of state" of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government. "Some are not even kanaka. I was given $150 worth of quarters from a pure Caucasian who supports the Hawaiian Kingdom 100 percent. He said, 'Please don't use your own money.' "
Some 50 to 70 members of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government occupied the palace grounds on April 30 and locked the gates, blocking non-Hawaiians from entering for about eight hours, said Laura H. Thielen, head of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, which has authority over the 'Iolani Palace grounds.
Kahau has since been issued a DLNR permit to use the palace grounds during the day, set up a canopy and use a public address system. The application for the permit, which expires Sunday, was signed by "Her Royal Majesty, Mahealani."
Thielen said members of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government must obey all laws, including feeding parking meters for their vehicles.
Yesterday, Kahau repeated her stance that members of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government plan to return each day indefinitely and said she will apply for another seven-day permit.
The permit, she said, "is just to satisfy them. I will comply with the Hawaiian Kingdom civil codes of 1869 and penal codes of 1859. We are obeying the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom."
Despite widespread media reports, Kahau said it is incorrect to call the Hawaiian Kingdom Government a "sovereignty group" or even "protesters."
"We're not protesting against anything. ... We're not a sovereignty group," she said. "We are the seat of government for the Hawaiian Kingdom. We are here assuming and resuming the Hawaiian seat of government and we are proceeding as the seat of government."
Officers from various state law enforcement agencies have been stationed on the palace grounds since members of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government have been at the palace, Thielen said.
Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Group returns to palace this week
Hawaiian Kingdom Government receives permit to gather
The Hawaiian Kingdom Government sovereignty group is back on the makai lawn at 'Iolani Palace for a third week.
The group, which claims to not recognize the rule of the U.S. government or the state of Hawai'i, yesterday applied for and received a second permit allowing it to hold a public assembly or gathering on state park grounds from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Friday.
The organization first gathered on the site on the morning of April 30, blocking access for a good part of the day to those doing business at the palace as well as the Hawai'i State Archives Building, which is also on palace grounds.
It allowed others to enter early afternoon under threat of arrest by the Department of Land and Natural Resources' law enforcement division. As many as about 75 members and their supporters have gathered during daylight hours on weekdays since, insisting that they are conducting government business there. They have not entered the palace itself although they have used the restrooms at 'Iolani Barracks.
The nature of the activity listed on yesterday's application was to " 'aha (gathering) for nationhood."
WHY THE GENERAL PUBLIC SEEMS TO TOLERATE HAWAIIAN RACIAL SEPARATISM AND ETHNIC NATIONALISM, AND HOW THE MEDIA ENCOURAGE IT.
NATIVE HAWAIIANS AS THE STATE PET OR MASCOT: A Psychological Analysis of Why the People of Hawaii Tolerate and Irrationally Support Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism
The Goebbels Award For Outstanding Use of Media for Propaganda Disguised As Fact -- Honolulu Star-Bulletin Wednesday April 23 2008, page 2 (The newspaper falsely stated that President Grover Cleveland signed a proclamation in 1894 that set April 30th as a day of prayer and remembrance for Queen Liliuokalani and the overthrown monarchy of Hawaii; and the newspaper refused to publish a correction despite being given proof of falsehood).
Here's a "news report" which certainly would have gotten a Goebbels award if the award had been invented back then.
The "news report" was entitled "Forced assimilation may hurt Hawaiians"
and was authored by reporter Gordon Pang in the news section of the Honolulu Advertiser of June 20, 2005
A webpage analyzes the article:
Forced assimilation may hurt Hawaiians -- Debunking a typical combination of junk history and junk science fueling the Hawaiian grievance industry, and protesting the use of so-called news reports as vehicles for propaganda
REACTIONS BY OTHER HAWAIIAN SOVEREIGNTY GROUPS TO "THE HAWAIIAN KINGDOM GOVERNMENT" TAKEOVER OF IOLANI PALACE
There are many Hawaiian sovereignty groups. Some of them claim to be the "lawful government" or the "Reinstated Hawaiian Kingdom." These groups sometimes have bitter quarrels over which of them is truly legitimate (of course none of them are). The situation is analogous to what happens when several different companies all claim to be the "real" one using the name "Famous Amos" or "Paradise by the Sea."
Keanu Sai is the head of one such group. He is essentially a con artist who uses erudite writing with an appearance of legal and scholarly authoritativeness. See a lengthy webpage about his "Perfect Title" scam at
and his "world court" scam at
The group who took over the Palace grounds has a name closely similar to the names of some other sovereignty groups. As a result, there was confusion among some people who were unsure exactly who had been so bold. Keanu Sai felt compelled to distance himself from the Palace takeover gang. Here's what he posted on his website two weeks after the takeover.
May 13, 2008
Aloha mai kakou (greetings):
The recent activities of certain individuals calling themselves the "Hawaiian Kingdom government" who temporarily took control of the `Iolani Palace grounds have caused an overwhelming number of emails to our account, voicing support, abhorrence, as well as honest inquiries. The writers of these emails have mistakenly assumed that these individuals are part of the acting Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Therefore, in order to remedy this confusion and misunderstandings we feel the need to make the following statement.
The individuals calling themselves the "Hawaiian Kingdom government" are not in any way affiliated with the acting government of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The acting Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom was established in 1995 to provisionally represent the Hawaiian state, which has been a subject of international law since being recognized in 1843. The acting Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom was established not as a permanent legal entity, but rather as a provisional government under the principle of "necessity." This is the norm in cases of occupation. Due to the fact of occupation, acting governments do not and cannot represent the nationals of an occupied state. It can provisionally represent only the state, which is the subject of international law. Thus the term "acting" and not "permanent."
Under the principle of necessity, the acting Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom must adhere strictly to the constitution and laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom as it stood prior to the landing of the U.S. troops on 16 January 1893. These laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom are those that existed before the bayonet constitution of 1887, which was the start of the revolution that eventually caused the illegal landing of United States troops in 1893. Any failure to strictly adhere to the legal order could result in legal liability. If the acting Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom fails to do so, it could stand trial for the willful violation of Hawaiian law when the government is lawfully restored. An acting government is very limited in what it may and may not do. Recognized doctrine on necessity (Mitchell and Other v. Director of Public Prosecutions and Another  L.R.C. 35, 88-89) provides the following limitations and the authority of an acting government:
As a matter of international law, a law between independent states, the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom was not extinguished when the United States unilaterally seized the Hawaiian Islands by a Congressional joint resolution during the Spanish-American War. Since then, Congressional legislation have been imposed in Hawai`i without first acquiring Hawai`i's sovereignty by either a treaty of cession or conquest. In fact, there were two attempts by the U.S. to acquire Hawai`i's sovereignty by treaties of cession, the first signed on February 14, 1893 and the other on June 16, 1897. The first treaty failed as a result of a Presidential investigation into the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom government, and the second failed as a result of protests by the late Queen Lili`uokalani and loyal Hawaiian subjects. Since 1898, the United States has treated the Hawaiian Islands as if it were annexed by cession and made a part of its territory. The notion that an independent state's sovereignty can be acquired by enacting a legislative joint resolution is to also believe in the idea that the British Parliament today could enact a British statute annexing the United States in order to reestablish the thirteen colonies. The legislation of every country has no legal effect beyond its own territory.
Not only did the Hawaiian Kingdom have over ninety legations (embassies) and consulates throughout the world in 1893, it had a legation in Washington, D.C., and consul generals in New York and San Francisco, as well as several international treaties with the United States. Hawai`i was not an American colony. Similar to the occupation of the Baltic States (Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia) by Soviet Russia in 1940 for Russian naval access to the Baltic ports, Hawai`i, as a neutral state, was illegally occupied during the Spanish-American war for naval access to Pearl Harbor, as well as Hawai`i's strategic location in the middle of the Pacific ocean. The situation today is governed by the international laws of occupation whereby the United States, as the occupying state, is mandated to administer the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the occupied state. The fact that the U.S. has not complied with international law does not render international law void, but rather persuasive evidence of the violation itself.
The organization calling itself the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, organized themselves without any basis in Hawaiian constitutional law. This is a very dangerous game to play, no matter how honest the intent, because it could be a violation of Hawaiian law itself and the international law of occupation. Other groups, as well, have also drawn up their own constitutions without first understanding the foundation of Hawaiian Kingdom constitutional and statutory law. Amnesia of Hawaiian state sovereignty, as a matter of international law, and Hawaiian Kingdom laws have become so pervasive that colonization and decolonization, as social and political theories, have dominated the scholarly work of lawyers, political scientists and activists regarding Hawai`i. This theoretical framework wrongly assumes that native Hawaiians are an indigenous group of people with a right to self-determination, rather than the majority of the citizenry of an already existing sovereign, but occupied, state.
The acting Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom is not part of the sovereignty movement or in any way affiliated with the worldwide indigenous peoples movement and self-determination. It operates on the legal presumption that Hawaiian sovereignty remains vested in the Hawaiian state, and therefore does not seek the de facto or de jure recognition of its sovereignty. Therefore, the acting Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom does not promote or support secession from the United States, because there exists no evidence of cession of Hawaiian sovereignty to the United States in the first place. Rather, Hawai`i was occupied by the United States for military purposes—a legal situation somewhat like the German occupation of Luxembourg and the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states during World War II, or the current United States occupation of Iraq.
Regarding claims by individuals to the Hawaiian Throne, it is a matter and subject of Hawaiian Kingdom constitutional law and does not depend on who may have the genealogy of certain Hawaiian chiefs. In 1917, Queen Lili`uokalani died without a proclaimed successor to the throne. The situation was similar to when King Kamehameha V died on December 11, 1872, and King Lunalilo on February 3, 1874. In those cases, the legislature was convened to "elect by ballot some native Ali`i of the Kingdom as Successor to the Throne," in accordance with Article 22 of the 1864 constitution. Because an election has not taken place since the death of Queen Lili`uokalani, the only way of establishing an acting government under the doctrine of necessity would be through a Council of Regency, which is established under Article 33. A Regent is not a monarch, and, by definition, temporarily serves in the absence of a Monarch.
Our purpose is to educate Hawai`i and the world community as to the legal history of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the international law of occupation, and its profound impact it has today on law, politics and the economy. After returning from international arbitral proceedings in the Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom case at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague, Netherlands, and the filing of the Hawaiian Complaint at the United Nations Security Council on July 5, 2001, the acting Council of Regency decided that I should pursue a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa to continue to expose the legal and political history of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the international arbitration proceedings, and the complaint filed with the United Nations Security Council. By entering graduate studies, it was thought that I should further develop my skills in international law and politics, as well as Hawaiian Kingdom constitutional and administrative law. Political Science teaches the foundations of international relations, political theory, and public law. The acting Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom also retained Professor Matthew Craven, Dean of the University of London (SOAS) Law Department, in 2002 to do a legal brief on whether or not the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom was extinguished by the United States. He found no evidence of extinguishment.
I have taught courses, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels, on these topics under the disciplines of Political Science, Anthropology and Hawaiian Studies, and others have also been teaching these topics in the same departments as well as the Department of Geography. In 2003, the Hawaiian Society of Law & Politics was established as a student organization at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa to "promote the development of curriculum on the subject of Hawaiian statehood under international law for the University of Hawai`i." The Society has successfully put on two academic symposiums and publishes the Hawaiian Journal of Law & Politics.
Kamehameha Publishing will publish a book with five select articles from volumes 1 and 2 of the Hawaiian Journal of Law & Politics, which will include my article titled "American Occupation of the Hawaiian State: A Century Unchecked." I plan to complete my Ph.D. in the Fall '08 on the topic of the continued existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and the role of Hawaiian constitutional and administrative law and the international law of occupation. I will also have my first and part of my last chapter of my dissertation published in an article titled, "A Slippery Path Towards Hawaiian Indigeneity: An Analysis and Comparison between Hawaiian State Sovereignty and Hawaiian Indigeneity and its Use and Practice in Hawai`i Today," in the Journal of Law and Social Challenges (San Francisco School of Law), vol. 10, Fall '08.
It is the acting government's hope that this information will clear up any misunderstandings and confusion as it works diligently to expose the illegality of the occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom and then to ultimately bring it to an end within the framework of recognized international laws as they apply to existing sovereign states. To do this, education is crucial if not foundational.
Me ka 'oia'i'o (Sincerely),
David Keanu Sai, Ph.D. Candidate (Political Science)
Chairman of the Council of Regency
acting Minister of Interior
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 22, 2008
Child abuser is freed for appeal
By Nelson Daranciang
A 52-year-old woman sentenced to prison for brutally abusing five children was allowed yesterday to remain free pending the filing of her appeal in which she plans to argue that state laws do not apply to her because she belongs to a Hawaiian sovereignty group.
State Circuit Court Judge Virginia Crandall sentenced Rita Makekau yesterday to a five-year prison term for abuse of a household or family member and eight counts of second-degree assault.
Makekau's acts of abuse against her sister's children included hitting their heads with knives and cans of dog food, their fingers with metal and wooden spoons and their mouths with a hammer.
Makekau, who claims to be the foreign minister of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government and calls herself Her Highness Kulamika Makekau, heir to the kingdom, pleaded no contest to the charges last month.
Crandall allowed Makekau to remain free on $41,000 bond pending the filing of her appeal that the laws of the state do not apply to her because she belongs to a sovereign government.
"That's another miscarriage of justice," said prosecutor Lori Wada.
Makekau's appeal is to be filed by Dec. 22.
Wada had asked Crandall to sentence Makekau to the maximum prison term for each of the charges and to run them back to back for a total of 41 years. She said the children were angry and upset over the sentence.
The abuse to which Makekau pleaded not contest happened in 2004 and 2005, after the state awarded custody of her sister's children to Makekau's daughter and son-in-law in Waianae. The children were 7 to 14 years old at the time.
Barbara and Gabriel Kalama, Makekau's daughter and son-in-law, pleaded guilty and no contest to abuse and assault charges in August. Crandall is scheduled to sentence them Monday.
The children, three boys and two girls, now 10 to 18 years old, are in foster care with other relatives.
Three of the children were in court yesterday but did not speak at their aunt's sentencing. However, a state social worker and their court-appointed legal guardian read statements from them.
The statements included allegations of abuse for which neither Makekau nor the Kalamas were charged.
"As you interview, more come up," Wada said, "because these children have no trust in anybody. Then they disclose more and more."
They allege that Makekau shoved a broomstick down their throats, held them underwater in the bathtub, pushed them down the stairs and held their hands over flames from the stove.
In their statements, the children said they squealed on each other to save themselves from getting beaten. They said they were made to wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants to school to hide their bruises and scars or were kept home from school.
Makekau has not admitted committing the abuse for which she was charged, claiming that her actions were to discipline the children. "When we were put here on earth, we are to discipline. The Bible says (not) to spare the rod on your children," she told the judge before her sentencing.
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, January 16, 2009
Child abuser's freedom at issue
Prosecutor objects to Makekau remaining on release pending appeal
By Jim Dooley
Circuit Judge Virginia Crandall will be asked at an upcoming hearing to reconsider her decision to allow convicted child abuser Rita Makekau to remain free while she claims on appeal that her membership in a Hawaiian sovereignty group makes her immune from state laws.
Crandall's decision last month came after Makekau pleaded no contest to eight counts of assaulting children in what prosecutors called a "house of torture" on the Wai'anae Coast. The ruling has been sharply criticized by city prosecutor Peter Carlisle and prominent Hawaiians.
In a motion asking the judge to reconsider, Carlisle argues that Makekau's appeal is completely without merit and meets none of the legal requirements that allow a convicted defendant to remain free while appealing.
Makekau, 58, claims that state courts have no jurisdiction over her because she is an official of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, a sovereignty group that has been protesting since May on the grounds of 'Iolani Palace.
Courts here have already repeatedly dismissed such arguments, Carlisle said.
"The probability of the appellate courts finding that the government of the state of Hawai'i is illegal and therefore the courts of the state of Hawai'i have no jurisdiction over (Makekau) is zero," he said in his motion.
Walter Heen, a retired judge who wrote one of the earlier decisions cited by Carlisle, said in a letter to the editor of The Advertiser this month that Makekau's appeal "is utterly without merit."
Heen, now a trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, wrote an Intermediate Court of Appeals decision in 1994 that dismissed a claim that the sovereign nation of Hawai'i still exists and that state courts therefore have no jurisdiction over a defendant.
Heen also decried Makekau's crimes "and the unashamed boldness with which she claims the right be known as the ruler of a nation."
Makekau calls herself "Her Highness Rita Kulamika Makekau, Royal Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Hawaiian Kingdom Government."
Another letter to the editor, from Ben Henderson, president of the Queen Lili'uokalani Children's Center, said "we were shocked by descriptions of the abuse Ms. Makekau inflicted on her five nephews and nieces, and appalled by her defense that state courts have no jurisdiction over her because she is a Native Hawaiian."
"Ms. Makekau's actions are not Hawaiian; they are not pono; and our queen would not have condoned this behavior," Henderson wrote. "There should be no immunity of any kind for the abuse of children."
Makekau was convicted in the abuse case along with her daughter, Barbara Kalama, and son-in-law, Gabriel Kalama. They abused and neglected the five children of Makekau's sister.
Prosecutors called Makekau the "worst offender" and said the "heinous atrocities" she committed included breaking and chipping the children's teeth with a hammer and using a knife to cause "cuts, bleeding and scarring" of the children's scalps.
One boy was regularly forced to sleep under the house with the dogs, according to court files.
"Life was torture for the children," deputy prosecuting attorney Lori Wada said. "No child should have to endure the cruelties that these children did."
Gabriel Kalama, 31, and Barbara Kalama, 28, pleaded no contest in August to second-degree assault, abuse of a family member and child endangerment. Crandall sentenced them to a year in prison and five years of probation.
The abuse occurred in 2004 and 2005, when the children were 10 to 14 years old.
They were removed from the home in 2006 and placed with foster families.
This week, their paternal aunt wrote a letter to Judge Crandall, protesting the delayed prison sentence of Makekau.
The aunt, who lives in California, said she wasn't told of the abuse until recently.
"We came to see the children last week. We had a great reunion with them. They are beautiful children and they have great personalities," she wrote.
"Judge Crandall, please let justice prevail and do not let Rita Makekau insult your intelligence and make a mockery of the judicial system," the letter said.
January 21, 2009
Woman's Appeal On Hawaiian Immunity Denied
Jugde Reverses Decision In Abuse Case
HONOLULU -- A woman accused of running a house of torture for several children is in prison Wednesday. A judge reversed her decision that she remain free during her appeal based on Hawaiian immunity.
Rita Makekau pleaded no contest to abusing four nieces and nephews at her Waianae home.
The children said, among other things, she struck their teeth with a hammer and scarred their heads with knives. Makekau was sentenced to five years.
Judge Virginia Crandall then shocked the legal community by allowing Makekau to remain free on an appeal based on the argument that the Hawaii Justice System doesn't apply to her as she sat surrounded by supporters Wednesday.
Prosecutor Peter Carlisle demanded Wednesday that she go straight to prison because the appeal has not chance of succeeding.
"It is a per se abuse of discretion according the Hawaii Appellate Courts," Carlisle said.
Crandall blasted back at Carlisle, saying until now, his office had not strongly objected to Makekau's freedom which she said was one of the reasons Makekau was willing to plead and spare the children a trial.
"The state's recent change of position and raising of new issues that could have been raised earlier has been very disrespectful of this court and the judicial process," Crandall said.
But after saying that, Crandall reversed her decision, finding that Makekau's grounds for appeal were too weak to allow bail.
Makekau's supporters said she did nothing wrong and was fooled into admitting things she didn't do by a system that illegally abuses native people.
Makekau was ordered immediately into custody. Her appeal and the parole board holding the keys to how much of the five years she will serve.
Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, January 22, 2009
Child abuser sent to prison to await Hawaii sovereignty appeal
By Jim Dooley
Convicted child abuser Rita Makekau began serving a five-year prison sentence yesterday after Circuit Judge Virginia Crandall reversed an earlier decision that allowed Makekau to remain free.
Crandall originally said Makekau could delay the start of her sentence while she pursued a claim of immunity from prosecution because of Native Hawaiian sovereignty.
But yesterday Crandall granted a motion from prosecutor Peter Carlisle to reconsider her earlier ruling and sent Makekau to prison.
Makekau, 58, pleaded no contest to eight counts of abusing five nieces and nephews in 2004 and 2005 in what prosecutors called a "house of torture."
According to court records, she broke and chipped the children's teeth by hitting them with a hammer and left scars on their scalps after cutting them with a knife.
The children, now 10 to 18 years old, were removed by the state in 2006 from the Wai'anae house where the abuse took place. Makekau's daughter and son-in-law, Barbara and Gabriel Kalama, also pleaded no contest to charges, including second-degree assault, child endangerment and abuse of a family member.
Makekau was "the worst offender," prosecutors said.
Collete Dhakwha, a court-appointed attorney representing the children, said after the hearing, "the children are overjoyed" by Crandall's new ruling.
"They are immensely relieved that they won't have to worry about her anymore," she said.
Crandall said the reconsideration motion that Carlisle's office filed contained convincing arguments that Makekau would be unlikely to prevail in her appeal and should begin serving her prison sentence immediately.
While agreeing to send Makekau to prison, Crandall said the prosecutor's objections to her earlier decision were filed late and were "very disrespectful of this court" and of the state Judiciary.
Carlisle said after the hearing, "I'm very satisfied with the ruling."
As for Crandall's comments about disrespect, Carlisle said, "I reviewed the entire record and transcripts and I'm satisfied that we did everything that we were required to do."
A spokesman for Makekau's sovereignty group, Hawaiian Kingdom Government, claimed after the hearing that Makekau "hasn't done anything wrong."
Makekau calls herself "Her Highness Rita Kulamika Makekau, Royal Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Hawaiian Kingdom Government."
The courts have no jurisdiction over Makekau, said the sovereignty group's spokesman, David-Wynn Miller. Miller said he is a "plenipotentiary judge, ambassador and postmaster" based in Milwaukee.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, January 22, 2009
Child abuser ordered to jail as judge blames prosecutor
By Nelson Daranciang
A state judge reversed herself yesterday and ordered a convicted child abuser to begin serving her five-year prison term while the case is on appeal.
But before state Circuit Judge Virginia Crandall ordered Rita Makekau into custody, she chastised Prosecutor Peter Carlisle for the way his office handled the case.
Crandall said the prosecution did not object to her granting Makekau bail pending appeal during plea negotiations, when Makekau pleaded no contest, when she was sentenced and when she asked for bail. Instead, Crandall said, the prosecution consistently left the issue of bail up to the court.
It was only after Crandall said Makekau can remain free on $41,000 bond last month that Carlisle objected and asked the court to reconsider.
"The state's recent change in position and raising of new issues that could have been raised earlier has been very disrespectful of this court and the judicial process," Crandall said.
Carlisle said he believes his office did exactly what it was supposed to do.
"The key here is a wrong has been righted. And this lady is in jail where she belongs," he said.
Makekau, 52, pleaded no contest to abuse of a household or family member and eight counts of second-degree assault in a plea deal with the state. The charges involve three nephews and two nieces.
The state says Makekau hit the children, who were 7 to 14 years old at the time, on their heads with knives and cans of dog food, on their fingers with metal and wooden spoons and in their mouths with a hammer. The children also said Makekau hammered them in their teeth, using a wooden spoon like a chisel.
She is appealing her conviction because she says is a member of a sovereign government not subject to state laws. Makekau claims she is the foreign minister of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government and calls herself Her Highness Kulamika Makekau, heir to the kingdom.
A spokesman said Makekau does not believe she did anything wrong, but pleaded no contest because the state threatened her with a longer prison term if she did not accept a five-year sentence.
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