Hawai'i's Fifth Column: Anti-Americanism in the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement

(c) Copyright 2004 - 2005 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved


Most Hawaiians of native ancestry are not sovereignty activists, and probably not favorable to either version of Hawaiian sovereignty. They are proud to be Americans and totally uninterested in re-establishing Hawai'i as an independent nation. They also do not want an apartheid partitioning of Hawai'i that would occur through the creation of a race-based (tribal) government under the Akaka bill.

This essay focuses on various degrees of anti-Americanism among both the independence activists and supporters of the Akaka bill. Mild forms of anti-Americanism include quiet resentment against the U.S. because of the overthrow and annexation; accompanied by frustration that time has moved on and it's fruitless to try to undo the past after more than a century. But to ease the resentment for historical grievances and achieve some degree of reconciliation, reparations are owed in the form of billions of dollars of money and land. Such reparations might be funneled through a "Native Hawaiian" tribe under the Akaka bill, which would also provide some degree of self-governance. More virulent hatred against the U.S. is seen in on-going political and anti-military activities intended to push the U.S. out of Hawai'i and rip the 50th star off the flag. For many years activists have used international forums to challenge American sovereignty in Hawai'i. It seems quite logical they will form partnerships with nations hostile to the United States to engage in anti-American political activity. Some Hawaiian sovereignty activists may even perform acts of espionage or sabotage, either to weaken the U.S. in hopes of forcing it to withdraw from far-away expendable Hawai'i, or in return for foreign government recognition of Hawaiian independence.

Historical definition: "fifth column. A clandestine subversive organization working within a given country to further an invading enemy's military and political aims. [First applied in 1936 to the Franco supporters and sympathizers in Madrid by General Emilio Mola who was leading four rebel columns of troops against that city.]" American Heritage Dictionary, 1969.

This is a lengthy essay. Parts of it may not be of interest to some readers. The order of topics follows a continuum from patriotic Americans, to anti-Americans who might engage in treasonous acts to bring about Hawaiian sovereignty. Scroll down to find the topics that interest you.

Here are the major topics in the order they appear below:








Some ethnic Hawaiians who want to create an Akaka tribe are loyal Americans. They are mistaken in thinking that Hawaiians are similar to American Indians. But they are correct that it is entirely proper under U.S. law for loyal Americans who happen to be Indians to belong to Indian tribes. It is certainly possible for tribal members to be loyal Americans, despite their tribes' historical grievances against the U.S. For example, Navajo "code-talkers" risked their lives as soldiers in World War II, using their native language like a secret code which the enemy could never break.

There are several issues here which need to be distinguished, because Senators Inouye and Akaka, and OHA, are fond of intermingling and obfuscating them. Have there been ethnic Hawaiians who served with bravery and heroism in the U.S. military? Absolutely yes! Are there ethnic Hawaiians who are loyal and patriotic toward America? Probably the vast majority are. Would those people support the Akaka bill? The dead ones can't speak, and most of the live ones will never speak or vote on this topic, but probably most either oppose the bill or don't care. Can we rely on the fact that many, perhaps most, ethnic Hawaiians are loyal and patriotic toward America; to draw the conclusion that all ethnic Hawaiians are loyal and patriotic? Obviously not. Are most of those who support the Akaka bill loyal and patriotic toward America? We will never know, but it is clear that many supporters of the bill see it as a temporary way of getting money and land from the U.S. even while hating the U.S. and continuing to work toward independence. So it is entirely possible that some supporters of the Akaka bill, who join the tribe after the bill passes and who receive federal government benefits, might nevertheless engage in espionage or sabotage against the U.S.

Many ethnic Hawaiians have served with distinction in the U.S. military, including some who suffered severe wounds or died for our country. Herbert K. Pilila'au of Wai'anae got the Medal of Honor for his heroic death in the Korean War. For the citation, see:

A huge transport ship was named after him, and has been actively participating in the war in Iraq. In December 2003 USNS Pililaau arrived in Honolulu to pick up another load of supplies for delivery to Kuwait. While the ship was docked, more than 30 proud members of Private Pilila'au's family from Wai'anae were given a tour of the ship with lunch onboard. To read a description of the ship and the family's day onboard, including photos, see:

A review of Asian/Pacific Islanders who received Distinguished Service Crosses during WWII led to upgrades to the Medal of Honor, reflecting the fact that racial discrimination in the 1940s might have prevented the men from receiving the highest award to which their heroism entitled them. In June, 2000 President Clinton awarded 22 Medals of Honor for such WWII service. Twelve of those new Medals of Honor were awarded to ethnic Hawaiians.

The American public has become increasingly nervous that some Indian rights activists sound rather anti-American. The Hawaiian sovereignty movement has gotten a (well-deserved!) reputation for being anti-American. The Akaka bill asks Congress to give special privileges and (eventually) lots of land and money to ethnic Hawaiians. Supporters of the bill feel a need to overcome the growing perception that ethnic Hawaiians are anti-American.

On July 15, 2002 the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a "National Roundtable Discussion" organized by committee members Dan Akaka and Dan Inouye. The topic was supposedly a celebration of the patriotism of American Indians in general. But in reality most of the event was propaganda for the Akaka bill. Most of the speeches focused on the patriotism of ethnic Hawaiians who had served in the U.S. military.

Ethnic Hawaiian Brigadier General Irwin K. Cockett, Jr., United States Army, Retired gave a speech summarizing the contributions of ethnic Hawaiians in the U.S. military. It is filled with interesting historical tidbits. He told how George Kaumualil of Kaua'i, and Thomas Hopu, enlisted in the U.S. Navy during the War of 1812 and served on the USS Enterprise that fought against the HMS Boxer. He noted that In 1818 two anti-Spanish privateers, the Santa Rosa and Argentina, recruited 80 Hawaiians in Honolulu for an attack on Spanish-held San Francisco; the Hawaiians, armed with long spears, led the assault on the Presidio of Monterey and were the first to haul down the Spanish Flag. He told about the contributions of ethnic Hawaiians in both world wars, the Korean War, etc. See:

Senator Akaka told his own story about how he was in a high school military unit at Kamehameha School and witnessed the bombing of Peral Harbor; and later as a draftee serving on Tinian Island in the Pacific he watched the airplanes take off carrying the atomic bombs for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

But some of that "evidence" is simply irrelevant to either American patriotism or to the Akaka bill. For example, General Cockett noted that George Kaumuali'i and Thomas Hopu had served on an American warship in battle in 1812. But of course 1812 was 86 years before Hawai'i became a part of America. In 1810 Kamehameha finally intimidated King Kaumuali'i of Kaua'i into knuckling under to Kamehameha's rule. George Kaumuali'i, son of the King, had just been stripped of his future in Hawai'i. With no more battles available for fighting in Hawai'i, Kaumuali'i and Hopu, two young adventurers in search of action, ran off to the nearest war they could find. Likewise the 80 Hawaiians who fought for America in 1818 against the Spanish in San Francisco. Hawai'i offered them absolutely no use for their spears and their desire to be warriors. So far as we know, none of these men abandoned their Hawaiian citizenship to become Americans. It was fun, not patriotism. There is also no evidence that any of the ethnic Hawaiians who who did feel patriotic toward America (some of whom died heroically in America's wars) would have supported the Akaka bill.

Ethnic Hawaiian adventurers, like adventurers of other races, eagerly join up with other nations' armies just for fun. "Have spear, will travel." For example, consider Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana'ole, heir to the throne if the monarchy had continued. After being released from prison for his role in the attempted Wilcox counter-revolution of 1895, Mr. Kuhio went off to South Africa on an adventure. He did not remain in Hawai'i to fight against annexation alongside his deposed Queen, Lili'uokalani. He went to South Africa to join the Boer War, fighting as a soldier in the British army on behalf of one colonial power (England) fighting the descendants of another colonial power (the Dutch) to see who would control the indigenous people of a nation halfway around the world. He spent 2-3 of the most crucial years in Hawaiian history, 1899-1902, on his "excellent adventure." Why did he abandon his own homeland in its time of great need? Maybe as a rifle-toting "freedom fighter" with Wilcox in 1895 he developed a taste for violence? Maybe he was an adventurer? A "cowboy"?

It is disturbing that In his speech referenced above, Senator Akaka twice used the phrase "as long as Hawaii is a part of the United States," suggesting that the time might come when Hawai'i is no longer part of America. Remember, this is Senator Akaka himself, author of the bill that bears his name, hinting that the Akaka bill might be merely a temporary measure on the way toward independence. In the following quote he is clearly using the word "sovereignty" to mean "independence" and not the Akaka bill. Review this quote carefully: "Opposition to the legislation comes from two quarters: those who advocate independence for Hawaii, and those who ... characterize such legislation as race-based. ... As long as Hawaii is a part of the United States, the United States must fulfill its responsibility to Hawaii's indigenous peoples. ... Misinformation is being spread in Hawaii regarding this bill as precluding sovereignty for Native Hawaiians. This cannot be further from the truth. This legislation deals with the United States' legal and political relationship with Hawaii's indigenous peoples within the context of federal law. As I stated before, as long as we are Americans and as long as Hawaii is a part of the United States, I firmly believe the United States must fulfill its responsibility towards its indigenous peoples. This bill accomplishes that goal."



There are common core attitudes held by all sovereignty activists, including supporters of the Akaka bill. White sailors from England who "discovered" Hawai'i in 1778 brought diseases which soon wiped out 95% of native Hawaiians. White missionaries from America "forced" native Hawaiians to adopt religious views contrary to native culture, and smoothed the way for colonialism. White businessmen from America colonized Hawai'i and eventually conspired with the U.S. government to overthrow the native government. The United States staged an armed military invasion in 1893 which overthrew the monarchy, and established a puppet regime. After a few years the puppet regime was able to get Hawai'i annexed to the United States despite a written protest signed by nearly all ethnic Hawaiians. The puppet regime both before and after annexation made Hawaiian language illegal and suppressed the native Hawaiian culture. Hawai'i is now under military occupation by the United States. Native Hawaiians are oppressed and their culture is trivialized by a tourist industry using it to reap huge profits.

This is the version of history that all sovereignty activists believe to be true. Many elements of that story are false or exaggerated, including elements that became part of the apology resolution passed by Congress in 1993 to commemorate the centennial of the overthrow of the monarchy. The historical grievances, plus current victimhood claims, are spelled out in greater detail in some of the legislation providing racially exclusionary benefits to ethnic Hawaiians in the areas of housing, education, and healthcare. For a detailed analysis of 29 false and twisted statements of grievance in the preamble of a healthcare bill, see:

Independence activists cite the apology bill as a confession of a crime, and demand independence as the only rightful restitution. The Akaka bill incorporates the apology resolution as justification for providing "reconciliation" in the form of federal recognition of a "Native Hawaiian" tribe. University of Hawai'i Professor Haunani-Kay Trask is famous for her vitriolic public statements expressing those historical grievances and also denouncing American culture and foreign policy; and she does not hesitate to make racist verbal attacks in public against white students:

The University of Hawai'i Center for Hawaiian Studies is a propaganda factory indoctrinating the next generation of ethnic Hawaiian leadership. Many other academic departments work closely with CHS to ensure that their own lecture halls are filled with Hawaiian students and their own students and professors will have field activities, research opportunities and grants available to them: Political Science, History, Anthropology, the biological sciences, teacher education, the Law school and Medical school, etc. In 2001 the newly hired President Dobelle gave the keynote speech to the first annual convention of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, pledging to politicize UH by harnessing it as a vehicle to help turn the dream of Hawaiian nationhood into reality; and he then gave a massive cash infusion to CHS. UH is a hostile work environment for anyone seeking a balance of views on Hawaiian sovereignty. Academic freedom regarding Hawaiian sovereignty is nonexistent for both professors and students, some of whom have suffered blatant intimidation to enforce political correctness.

The theory of history as grievance is also taught as fact to children from kindergarten through grade 12 in many of Hawai'i's public schools. Some of these schools are extremely zealous in their support of Hawaiian sovereignty. They indoctrinate the children with religious beliefs supporting the view that ethnic Hawaiians have a geneological, family relationship with the lands of Hawai'i and with the gods, and therefore ethnic Hawaiians are entitled to racial supremacy in political power. For a webpage examining zealotry in the sovereignty movement, and the role of the creation story in providing a theological basis for racial supremacy, see:
For an explanation of how the school system is being used to promote ethnic nation-building, see:

If someone truly believes his native land has been colonized, invaded, and forcibly annexed by a foreign country whose people are of a different race, he would naturally be angry against that country and race. If the land, culture, and language were stolen, the thieves should pay reparations, and be punished and deported. If the foreign occupier takes over huge portions of the homeland for use as military bases, and conducts military training activities that burn and pollute the sacred land, and stations nuclear weapons and tens of thousands of troops on those bases for many decades, the natives become bitter and feel justified in doing whatever it takes to expel the occupier from their homeland.

If the natives are brothers to the land, and both the natives and the land are descended from the gods, then the natives are entitled to racial supremacy in land "ownership" and management. The religious theory supporting Hawaiian racial supremacy is believed by all sovereignty activists. For a description of that theory and its role in politics, see:

Thus there is a common core of beliefs underlying both the independence viewpoint and the tribal viewpoint.

The underlying unity of the independence and tribal viewpoints became clear during two "red shirt" marches in the Fall of 2003. Some degree of anti-Americanism was also shown, although it was downplayed in order to broaden the base of support and to permit the participation of Governor Lingle and other "establishment" politicians.

A huge pro-apartheid march and rally were held in Waikiki on Sunday September 7, 2003. Somewhere between 5,000 - 10,000 ethnic Hawaiians and their supporters wore red shirts symbolizing (a) the blood that unifies and defines who is Native Hawaiian, and (b) the schools of red fish ‘aweoweo whose rare appearance portends a period of great change, and (c) the ominous red cloud that is the name of the lead organization in the march, 'Ilio'ulaokalani. That march and rally were sponsored by Kamehameha Schools and other large ethnic Hawaiian institutions to protest two lawsuits seeking to overturn Kamehameha's racially exclusionary admissions policy. That same Sunday OHA had scheduled a rally at Kapi'olani Park to support the Akaka bill and to get ethnic Hawaiians to sign up for a registry of ethnic Hawaiians. So the march traveled from Ala Moana park through Waikiki to Kapi'olani Park, displaying unity. For news reports and photographs, see:

For the three days of Sunday November 16 through Tuesday November 18 2003 another series of carefully planned marches and rallies (featuring the same red shirts) protested three lawsuits. A hearing had long been scheduled in the U.S. District Court in Honolulu for Monday November 17, in the Arakaki 2 lawsuit seeking to abolish OHA and DHHL as being unconstitutional. In addition a hearing was scheduled for that same Monday for one of the Kamehameha School lawsuits to abolish the school's racially exclusionary admissions policy, and a second lawsuit against the admissions policy was set for a hearing on Tuesday. For newspaper reports and photographs, see:

At both of these rallies, and numerous other Hawaiian sovereignty rallies, dozens (perhaps hundreds) of Hawaiian (Kingdom) flags are always carried and displayed (often upside-down to indicate distress or emergency). But there is never a single U.S. flag. It would be inconceivable for anyone to carry a U.S. flag in any such event. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and Kamehameha Schools, (who aggressively promote these events and demand passage of the Akaka bill to save their programs) always like to say they are not anti-American. They say they are merely using the provisions of American law to ask the American Congress to pass a bill; and they are seeking their rights as "indigenous" people of the United States, comparable to the Indian tribes and Alaska natives. But OHA, Kamehameha Schools, and other organizations in control of these marches know that the mob would never tolerate the presence of an American flag, because the propaganda for many years has been that America colonized Hawai'i, staged an armed invasion, overthrew the monarchy, suppressed the language and culture, illegally annexed Hawai'i to the U.S., stole the land, and illegally conducted the statehood vote of 1959. Thus, any display of respect for America would be very unwelcome. These activists resent living under U.S. law where the 14th Amendment equal protection clause makes it unconstitutional to have racially exclusionary government programs like OHA and DHHL, and where even a private benevolent institution like Kamehameha Schools is given a hard time by the U.S. Office of Civil Rights and U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

On August 6, 2005 a rally of about 15,000 ethnic Hawaiians plus their leftist supporters (including the Governor of Hawai'i) staged a red-shirt rally at 'Iolani Palace to protest the decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that Kamehameha Schools' racially exclusionary admissions policy is illegal. Several photos became available showing the blatantly anti-America attitude of participants. See: "Anti-American Hawaiian activist protesters -- photos and links to explanatory webpages" at:

Some people with no native ancestry are active supporters of Hawaiian sovereignty. Some of these non-natives support total independence; some support the Akaka bill. The independence supporters tend to be political leftists who also support other leftist causes such as environmentalism, demilitarization, and gay rights. Some non-native supporters of the Akaka bill are professors, lawyers, bankers, and bureaucrats who earn high salaries providing services to institutions serving racially exclusionary beneficiaries and need the Akaka bill to defend their racial policies against legal challenges.

Well-meaning non-natives often feel sorry for ethnic Hawaiians because of the historical grievances, and therefore support either independence or the Akaka bill or "whatever the Hawaiians want." Ethnic Hawaiians have become Hawai'i's favorite racial group, partly because of the grievances and partly because Hawaiian culture is the core that holds together Hawai'i's rainbow of races and cultures. Ethnic Hawaiians as a group are a sort of state mascot to be petted and pampered. Like all forms of racial profiling or stereotyping, there are many individuals in the group who do not want or deserve to be stereotyped, but they are included nevertheless. See:

The question whether there are loyal and patriotic Americans who support the Akaka bill is somewhat similar to the question whether there are loyal and patriotic Americans who criticize U.S. foreign policy in Iraq or Israel. The answer to both questions is "Yes, of course." But when the critics of American foreign policy get shrill, and they never have anything positive to say about America, one does begin to wonder about their love for America. The corresponding question regarding the Akaka bill is more clear. Perhaps it might be true that most Americans who are critical of the Bush administration's foreign policy are loyal and patriotic Americans who fear we have lost our way and want to bring us back to our idealistic principles. But it is very clear that most supporters of the Akaka bill are not like that. In their hearts most supporters of the Akaka bill would like independence. They keenly feel those historical grievances against the U.S., but they realize as a practical matter that America will not let go of Hawai'i, at least not anytime soon. Meanwhile the Arakaki lawsuit threatens to dismantle OHA, and other lawsuits against Kamehameha School threaten to desegregate it. The only way to keep the government money flowing and to preserve racial exclusion for beneficiaries is to pass the Akaka bill. Hawaiians feel entitled to huge reparations for historical grievances, so the Akaka bill is a small downpayment. Perhaps it is appropriate to paraphrase the Bible: it is as difficult for a supporter of the Akaka bill to be a loyal and patriotic lover of America, as it is for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle.



If it's hard for a supporter of the Akaka bill to be a loyal and patriotic American, it is by definition impossible for a Hawaiian independence activist. The whole idea of ripping the 50th star off the flag is anti-American, in the same way as the secession of the Confederate States in 1860 was anti-American. To this day there are still Southerners who say "The South shall rise again!" There are still Southerners who feel insulted when someone calls the war of 1860-1865 the "Civil War." The more genteel lovers of the Confederacy call it "The War Between the States" because they consider that states' rights trumped the right of the United States to remain unified. They treat "United States" as a plural, not a singular; thus they say "The United States ARE prosperous" rather than "The United States IS prosperous." The more zealous partisans of the Confederacy still refer to that war as "The War of Northern Aggression" because the North invaded the South, pillaged and plundered, and refused to allow the Southern states to exercise self-determination (just as Hawaiian activists say the U.S. invaded Hawai'i and continues to occupy it).

Readers might want to review the previous material about the use of the schools as madrassas to indoctrinate children with attitudes of Hawaiian racial supremacy and attitudes of historical grievance against the United States. But in addition to using the education system as an anti-American propaganda tool, some independence activists have tried to seek independence for Hawai'i by following procedures within the U.S. financial, political, and legal systems.

For example, Bumpy Kanahele styles himself as head of government of the Nation of Hawai'i. His "nation" consists of a large and interesting website whose webmaster is a white man living in Hana, and a small "village" on land leased from the State of Hawai'i in Waimanalo. The lease was extorted as a settlement under Governor Waihe'e (also a Hawaiian sovereignty activist) as a "gentleman's agreement" (conspiracy to rip off the State?) to end a politically uncomfortable long-term protest in which some of Kanahele's people illegally occupied a public beach and other highly visible areas in Waimanalo. Since completing a prison term for harboring a fugitive, Kanahele has changed his public image to "working within the system." For example, at a meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Honolulu, he provided "security" (i.e., he told his friends not to interfere with the meeting) in return for permission to distribute literature inside the convention hall about Hawaiian independence. His most recent caper was to file a protest with bank regulators, and a lawsuit, in an attempt to block the merger of Bank of America and FleetBoston in order to try to extort a payoff of money he claims was owed to his group by Bank of America to help found a bank for his Hawaiian nation. See:

Another way independence activists operate within U.S. domestic systems is to quietly or publicly refuse to pay taxes to the federal and state governments. If Hawai'i is not legitimately part of the U.S., then citizens of the nation of Hawai'i do not owe taxes to the U.S. And if the State of Hawai'i is merely a puppet regime under a belligerent U.S. occupation, then Hawaiians do not owe taxes to the State either. For example, in November 2003 it was announced that 30 Honolulu bus drivers had been arrested for tax evasion based on claims of Hawaiian sovereignty. From 2000-2004 numerous stories were published about a Honolulu tax preparation company that had prepared about 5000 tax returns, many of which asserted Hawaiian sovereignty claims. One sovereignty claim that even non-ethnic-Hawaiian newcomers can try to use, even while freely admitting they are U.S. citizens, goes like this: since Hawai'i is not a part of the United States, therefore money earned from jobs in Hawai'i can be exempt from tax under the foreign earned income tax credit. Another ethnic Hawaiian, attorney Hayden Burgess (alias Poka Laenui), often states publicly on radio and television programs that he has not paid federal or state income taxes since 1979, based on Hawaiian sovereignty arguments. Although he does not directly encourage others to evade taxes, that is the clear implication of his propaganda and his praise of the bus drivers and other tax resisters. Tax evasion is a way for a few individuals to feel good about their own "witnessing" for the movement; but if enough people begin not paying taxes, it could actually destabilize the government. For tax evasion as a component of independence activism, see:

Another way some independence activists work domestically within the United States is to publish articles and give speeches to politically liberal organizations likely to support their view of history. These activists state historical, legal, and moral arguments for independence, laying a guilt-trip on the American people and pleading for independence. For example, the Rev. Dr. Kaleo Patterson published an article in February 2001 in a national magazine (Christian Social Action Magazine) of the United Methodist Church entitled "Hawaiians Yearn Still for Freedom." The full text of the article remains available on the organization's website as of August 2004 at:
and was summarized in a short article in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin as follows:


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Saturday, March 3, 2001

Independent Hawaii backed in Methodist magazine

Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- A magazine of the United Methodist Church, President Bush's denomination, features an article advocating "decolonization and total independence" for the state of Hawaii. The article in Christian Social Action, published by the Methodists' General Board of Church and Society, is by the Rev. Kaleo Patterson, executive director of the Hawaii Ecumenical Coalition. Patterson contends Hawaii's status as one of the 50 states has been "emptied of any legal or political legitimacy," and accuses the United States of separating "a friendly nation from its history, cultural roots, land, language and destiny. Hawaii today is literally a kidnapped nation." The magazine's issue, on the theme of colonialism, includes other articles criticizing the "lack of political autonomy and freedom" for Puerto Rico, a U.S. commonwealth, and advocating self-determination for Guam, a U.S. territory. In response, Mark Tooley, a Methodist and member of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, said Christian Social Action and its sponsoring board "are an embarrassment to the United Methodist Church and should be put out of business."


Many churches in Hawai'i have politically liberal ministers and congregations who strongly endorse Hawaiian sovereignty as part of "liberation theology" morality. The United Church of Christ issued an apology to Native Hawaiians for its role in condoning the overthrow of the monarchy, and gave money and land as "reparations." The American Friends Service Committee (Quakers) has been very active in supporting Hawaiian sovereignty, demilitarization, and gay rights (the three topics are indeed related in Hawaiian culture and history). To read more about the role of religious leaders and churches in pushing Hawaiian sovereignty today, and what happened to Rev. Kaleo Patterson's quest to become Pastor of historic Kawaiaha'o Church and use it as a sovereignty platform, see:

Most of the liberal churches are also "peace" churches; i.e., they are anti-military. They think U.S. foreign policy in Iraq, Israel, and around the world is immoral. But in addition to opposing the use of military force for current U.S. (immoral) foreign policy, they also oppose the whole idea of military force. Another group of political liberals are the environmentalists, who are also anti-military. And of course the Hawaiian sovereignty activists oppose the U.S. military's presence in Hawai'i. Thus, all these groups cooperate in opposing the existence of military bases in Hawai'i and especially the use of Hawaiian lands for live-fire training. For example, see a large webpage about anti-military sovereignty activity related to Makua Valley:
Another example similar to Makua is the lawsuit filed in August 2004 by three Hawaiian activist groups against the transformation of a combat unit to a Stryker brigade. The activists had presented religious, cultural, and environmental objections to this transformation during the course of hearings on an environmental impact statement. As soon as the EIS was published, the activists then filed their lawsuit. One of the main points in the lawsuit was a demand that Stryker brigades should be removed from Hawai'i. See:

Anti-military sentiment among sovereignty activists, and a desire to achieve international recognition of Hawaiian independence, combine to raise the question whether independence activists might cooperate with foreign governments hostile to the U.S. to engage in espionage or sabotage against military bases in Hawai'i, in return for recognition. This topic will be dealt with at the end of this essay, because it is the most extreme sort of anti-American activity along the continuum we are exploring. Readers who simply cannot wait that long might like to read the "treason question" webpage at this time:

During the mid-1990s there was a popular T-shirt worn by Hawaiian sovereignty activists, imprinted with the slogan "Last star on, first star off" (referring to the fact that Hawai'i is the 50th state, and thus the 50th star on the U.S. flag). That slogan got attention in relation to a proclamation read from the steps of ‘Iolani Palace on January 16, 1994, purporting to be a declaration of independence. The slogan also got national attention in an article in the Baltimore Sun of August 8, 1998, regarding a Hawaiian sovereignty march in Washington D.C. on the 100th anniversary of Hawai'i's annexation to the United States. Interestingly, both of those articles are made available on the very large website of an organization claiming to be the "Nation of Hawai'i." Here they are:



Proclamation of Restoration of the Independence of the Sovereign Nation-State of Hawai`i

January 16, 1994

** photo caption **
`Iolani Palace
Iaukea Bright, wearing a "Last Star On, First Star Off" t-shirt, publicly reads the Proclamation of Restoration from the `Iolani Palace pavilion

** Excerpts **

Today, We, the Kanaka Maoli, proclaim our Right of self-determination as a People in accordance with Article 1 (2) of the United Nations Charter, and join the World Community of States as an Independent and Sovereign Nation-State...

We, the Kanaka Maoli, claim all our Land, Natural Wealth, Resources, Minerals, and Waters, which have always resided and will always reside within the hands of the Kanaka Maoli...

The current citizens of the Independent and Sovereign Nation of Hawai'i consist of all those who are descendants of the Kanaka Maoli prior to the arrival of the first westerners in 1778, and those persons, and their descendants who have lived in Hawai'i prior to the illegal overthrow, invasion and occupation of January 17, 1893...

The Independent and Sovereign Nation-State of Hawai`i will establish procedures for according citizenship by means of naturalization to all people who are habitual residents of Hawai`i as of today's date.

We, the Kanaka Maoli, fully support and subscribe to all of the Rights of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights for all of the people living in our Independent and Sovereign Nation-State of Hawai`i, and hereby adopt these protocols on behalf of the citizens of the Independent and Sovereign Nation-State of Hawai`i.

We, the Kanaka Maoli, pledge that our commitment will continue, until the illegal occupation ends, the revival of the culture of our Independent and Sovereign Nation-State of Hawai`i has been fortified, the Aloha Spirit is once again fully restored, and the Spirit of Justice, Freedom and Liberation shall once again bring Peace on Earth for all Humanity.



Poverty and discontent flourish in paradise

Native Hawaiians mark a century of hardship, domination

August 8, 1998

By Erin Texeira
Sun Staff

WASHINGTON -- The travel brochures show sunny beaches and hula dancing, but some say there is much the fliers don't show: poverty, unemployment and high incarceration rates among native Hawaiians.

In Hawaii, the image of paradise is more complicated than it may at first appear, according to hundreds of native Hawaiians gathered in Washington this weekend to mark 100 years since the islands were declared a U.S. territory.

Some want to secede from America. ("Last Star On, First Star Off" reads a popular T-shirt.) Some want monetary and land compensation to native Hawaiians. And some want the same rights and privileges as Native Americans.

"There is not one voice," said Mililani Trask, a lawyer who heads Ka Lahui Hawaii, the state's largest sovereignty organization. "It's what you would expect in a democracy. There are many different opinions."

Yesterday, under a warm midday sun, about 150 native Hawaiians and onlookers gathered on the steps of the Capitol to dance and pray. Unlike past years, when ceremonies were often marked by anger, organizers of the Aloha March yesterday focused on fostering unity and spreading the word about the plight of native Hawaiians.

The Aloha March will reconvene this morning, after an overnight prayer vigil, for speeches and dancing at the northwest corner of the Peace Museum in Washington.

"More than anything, this is a spiritual surge for us," said Puanani Rogers, who traveled from Kapaa, Hawaii, to dance in the ceremony. "It's time for us to heal from what the U.S. has done to us. They've taken our lands and killed us. It's genocide."

Twenty percent of Hawaiians consider themselves native; most are ethnically mixed, with Japanese, Chinese and Filipino ancestry.

Native Hawaiians are more likely than whites -- or any other group -- to be unemployed, in prison and poor. Rates of suicide and infant mortality are significantly higher. Life expectancy for native Hawaiians is the lowest of all state residents.

Flight to the mainland

Many feel that social and economic hardship -- housing is expensive and lucrative jobs scarce -- forces them to leave the islands, and nearly as many Hawaiians live on the mainland as on the islands.

Nearly 25,000 live in the Baltimore-Washington-Virginia area, a high concentration, likely because many are enlisted in the military or seek jobs with the federal government.

"I'm living here because I can't afford to live there," said Bob Lubguban, 49, who makes Hawaiian art and drums and lives in Easton. "So many of my family members are having a hard time. So many have moved away because they can't make it over there. Here, you have choices."

Ku'uipo Domingo, a 58-year-old homemaker from Hyattsville, said she left Hawaii three years ago to be with her husband. "We would like to see our land given back to the Hawaiian people," she said yesterday. "At least we would have something to give to our children."

Activists often liken the plight of native Hawaiians to that of Native Americans -- but complain that, because of distance and lack of interest, few have bothered to see Hawaii for what it really is. "When we go to Hawaii, we see the happy hula girls in grass skirts. We see the palm trees," said Riley Cardwell, one of the organizers of the march. "That's not the real Hawaii." Trask said, "The image has been pushed because there are multimillion-dollar industries that rely on that image of Hawaii as paradise."

A bitter history

Hawaii had been a sovereign nation, with treaties recognizing that sovereignty with a score of European nations, until the United States set its sights on it in the late 1890s.

In 1893, the United States established a sugar colony there and five years later declared it a territory.

What is commonly not acknowledged, Trask said, is that most Hawaiians opposed the move -- some 30,000 signed petitions -- and the annexation likely happened counter to international law.

By the time Hawaii was voted the 50th state in August, 1959, many residents supported the move for better economic and political opportunity.

For many in the sovereignty movement, the 1898 annexation remains the source of bitterness.

In mid-1993, activists picketed President Clinton as he attended a fund-raiser on Waikiki Beach.

Four months later, nearly 101 years after what many Hawaiians deem an invasion, Clinton officially apologized for the overthrow of Hawaii and for "the deprivation of the rights of native Hawaiians to self-determination."

Sovereignty movement

That apology sparked activism in the state's sovereignty movement, and the resurgence has been building for several years, Cardwell said.

Although Trask's organization boasts the largest number of members -- estimates range from 20,000 to 25,000 -- there are more than 100 sovereignty organizations in the state, with dozens more splinter groups.

Alongside the movement for self-rule is a resurgence of interest in Hawaiian culture. Schools increasingly teach children the Hawaiian language, and dances, songs, and history are now a more integral part of the tourist stops.

"We want everyone to know -- we are who we were," Rogers says. "Please tell everyone to ask questions, do some reading, learn about us. We have so much education to share."



One Hawaiian independence activist who has worked both domestically in the U.S. and also internationally is (David) Keanu Sai. His focus has been entirely on "legal" theory. He has extensively studied the domestic laws of the Kingdom of Hawai'i, although sometimes he has suppressed information about Kingdom law which turned out to be devastating to his theories when the truth was exposed. For example, he claimed for many years that voting rights in the Kingdom were only for ethnic Hawaiians, plus those few newcomers who were naturalized or (later) denizized. He claimed the rule of "jus soli" (birth in Hawai'i confers status of fully equal citizenship) was not part of Hawaiian Kingdom law; until he was forced to acknowledge the findings of attorney Patrick Hanifin:

He followed a convoluted procedure to declare himself at various times the Regent Pro-Tem of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and the Minister of Interior, and the Ambassador. He helped create the "Perfect Title" land title company which did title searches. The theory was that because the overthrow and annexation were illegal, all title transfers since 1893 were improperly recorded under improper government seals at the Bureau of Conveyances, but Keanu Sai as Regent Pro-Tem had the authority to condone and to "perfect" the chain of title transfers (for a fee, of course). He also claimed that ethnic Hawaiians have a continuing right to assert ownership of any one parcel of land up to a certain size for their own residence and subsistence farming, so long as the parcel deed is not properly registered and the parcel is not occupied by a Hawaiian Kingdom subject. Eventually, after collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in title search fees, and messing up thousands of titles and title transfers, he was found guilty of a felony in a jury trial and his company was disbanded. The land title scheme was a very useful ploy to get many people to believe in his theories of a continuing, living Hawaiian Kingdom and to try to assert the existence of the Kingdom through the land title recording process of the State of Hawai'i. For a large webpage about the Perfect Title scam, see:

Keanu Sai filed two lawsuits against the United States directly in the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the Supreme Court had original jurisdiction in cases where a foreign government (Hawai'i) sues the United States. His theory was that the Supreme Court should order (writ of mandamus) the President to enforce a treaty between the U.S. and the Kingdom of Hawai'i that had promised perpetual friendship and commercial relations. When those lawsuits were dismissed, he then moved to the international level, filing a claim at an arbitral tribunal associated with the world court at the Hague. After the Hague case failed, he then filed a "complaint" against the U.S. at the United Nations Security Council. Here's a newspaper report summarizing some of those activities:



Whatever Happened... An update on past news

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Saturday, October 27, 2001

Isle ‘illegal occupation' lawsuit hit dead end

by Pat Omandam.

Question: What ever happened to the case where Perfect Title co-founder Keanu Sai sued President Clinton in high court back in December 1997?

Answer: There were two failed attempts to resolve the so-called illegal occupation of Hawaii through the U.S. Supreme Court, explained Sai, who serves as self-proclaimed acting regent of the Hawaiian Kingdom. On Nov. 17, 1997, Sai filed a writ of mandamus with the U.S. Supreme Court against President Clinton to compel him to execute the treaties entered between the United States and the Hawaiian Kingdom in the mid-1800s. Sai said that petition was amended after jurisdictional issues were raised, but ultimately the Supreme Court denied it a hearing on March 23, 1998. The second attempt to address the issue was made on August 6, 1998, when Sai filed a complaint in the U.S. high court against the United States for treaty violations. That complaint was denied a hearing on May 18, 1999, he said. Sai said these futile efforts to address the illegal occupation prompted the Hawaiian Kingdom to concentrate its efforts at the international level. In December 2000, Sai appeared before the World Court's Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, Netherlands, to get the panel's ruling on whether it has the jurisdiction to settle a dispute between a Hawaiian nationalist and the acting Hawaiian Kingdom. The international panel on Feb. 5 of this year ruled there is no dispute between the parties capable of submission to arbitration. And, in any event, the Tribunal can't consider the merits of the case because the U.S. is not a party to the proceedings and has not consented to them.


For a webpage about Keanu Sai's hoax of a "case" at the "World Court" see:

Other Hawaiian independence activists have been working at the international level for many years, including medical doctor and professor Kekuni Blaisdell, attorney Hayden Burgess alias Poka Laenui, and attorney Mililani Trask.

Poka Laenui tends to work quietly, behind the scenes. He is a disciple of Johan Galtung, founder of the European University Center for Peace Studies (EPU) in Stadtschlaining, Austria. Poka has sponsored several visits to Hawai'i by Mr. Galtung in conjunction with the local Spark Matsunaga Institute for Peace. He has made trips to the United Nations in New York, and various international organizations elsewhere. On his regular two-hour Saturday night radio broadcast (sponsored by the "Hawaii National Broadcast Corporation"!!), Poka did a one-hour interview with one of the judges from the Nuremberg trials of 1945, discussing the war crimes of President Bush. Poka was principal author of a resolution that passed the Senate of the State of Hawai'i in 2001, calling into question whether the Statehood plebiscite of 1959 was properly conducted under "international law," and calling upon the United Nations to come to Hawai'i to revisit the issue. For text and discussion of that resolution, see:
For additional information about Poka Laenui's sovereignty views, including international issues, international law, the Statehood of Hawai'i, etc., see his website at:

Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell has a long history of Hawaiian independence activism. He helped organize the revival of the Kingdom holiday Ka La Ho'iho'i Ea in an annual commemoration at Thomas Square on or near the date when Hawaiian sovereignty was restored by Admiral Thomas of the British navy on July 31, 1843 (Ua mau ke ea o ka ‘aina i ka pono). Unlike some independence activists who condede that people of no native ancestry were subjects of the Kingdom with fully equal rights, Dr. Blaisdell insists that only ethnic Hawaiians can have full rights in a restored independent Hawai'i. Thus, he and his followers engage in ethnic cleansing of Kingdom holidays, refusing to acknowledge the non-native heroes of the Kingdom. See:

In 1993, the 100th anniversary of the overthrow, Dr. Blaisdell organized an international "tribunal" of leftists and "international law" scholars (Ka Ho'okolokolonui Kanaka Maoli, The Peoples' International Tribunal) to visit Hawai'i and hold a "trial" (empty chair for defendant United States) finding the U.S. guilty of violating international law.

Kekuni Blaisdell has attended many meetings of Pacific island nations, including delegations from colonial territories seeking independence (such as "Kanaky" -- French Territory of New Caledonia). Some of the groups hosting such meetings are NGOs (non-governmental organizations), some of which are sponsored or supported by the United Nations, and some of which have United Nations "rapporteurs" in attendance who write reports to be sent to official United Nations agencies. For example, in 1997 Dr. Blaisdell was unable to gain official observer status at such a meeting, so he attended a "parallel" (unofficial, informal) meeting at the same place and time, in Rarotonga, which was also attended by Deputy Secretary-General of the South Pacific Forum Secretariat. He was successful in getting the forum to pass a resolution calling upon the United Nations to re-inscribe Hawai'i on the list of non-self-governing territories eligible for de-colonization. See:

Attorney Mililani Trask has been active for many years both locally in Hawai'i (as one of the founders and long term governor of Ka Lahui sovereignty group) and also internationally. She served as a trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, but failed to win re-election. She hosted a visit to Hawai'i by Rigoberta Menchu of Guatemala, the the Nobel Peace Prize winner for her work on indigenous rights -- the concept was that ethnic Hawaiians in Hawai'i suffer the same sort of violations of their "indigenous rights" as the indigenous tribes of Guatemala (who were burned out of their lands and murdered by government troops). During the early 2000s Mililani Trask served a 3-year term as one of only 16 directors worldwide of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. At the behest of Hawaiian activists, the Hawai'i Legislature during the 2003-2004 biennium passed a resolution inviting that Forum to hold its next annual meeting in Honolulu. In May 2004 Mililani Trask led a delegation of 18 Hawaiian independence activists to New York for two weeks of meetings. See:

In addition to the above activists, Niklaus Schweizer, the honorary Swiss consul in Honolulu, has also been active in local organizations favoring Hawaiian independence. He is Professor of German at the University of Hawai'i, and has no ethnic Hawaiian ancestry. But he is an honorary member of The Royal Order of Kamehameha I (only ethnic Hawaiians can be full members), and a member of the board of directors of the Friends of ‘Iolani Palace. He frequently shows up at Hawaiian sovereignty events, and participates in forums at the UH Center for Hawaiian Studies. It should be noted that the Swiss Confederation had a full-blown treaty with the Kingdom of Hawai'i ratified in 1864, and today's independence activists consider all such treaties to be still fully in force because the overthrow and annexation were illegal under "international law."

Speaking of ‘Iolani Palace, it was formerly the Capitol of the Kingdom of Hawai'i. Following the overthrow of 1893, it became the Capitol of the Provisional Government and the Republic of Hawai'i. Following Annexation in 1898 it became the Capitol of the Territory of Hawai'i, and then of the State of Hawai'i. The U.S. flag flew proudly there for 80 years (1898 to 1978) until the new state capitol building opened. Since 1978 ‘Iolani Palace has become a period-piece museum, restored to its appearance during the days of King Kalakaua and Queen Lili'uokalani. It is used as a propaganda showplace to "educate" localpeople and tourists from around the world about the "illegal" overthrow of the monarchy and the "imprisonment" of the ex-queen (following the attempted Wilcox counterrevolution two years after the overthrow in which the ex-queen had knowledge of guns stored in the flower bed of her nearby private home). Since 1978, the U.S. flag has never been allowed to fly over ‘Iolani Palace, except for one month following September 11, 2001 -- and that one month produced a storm of controversy from the independence activists. They regard the Palace as the Capitol of a still-living Kingdom of Hawai'i which they fully expect to be restored to operational authority within the foreseeable future. To read about controversies regarding the flying of the American flag at ‘Iolani Palace and elsewhere in Fall 2001 (including a controversy over Poka Laenui's refusal to allow employees to fly the U.S. flag at a mental health clinic he runs in Wai'anae), see:

Hawaiian sovereignty independence activists like to compare the political status of Hawai'i to the political status of Puerto Rico and Guam. Those two entities were acquired by the United States at roughly the same time as Hawai'i, during the Spanish-American war. Since Puerto Rico and Guam are not (yet) states, it is possible they could eventually become independent instead of becoming states. Hawaiian activists cheer whenever the subject of United Nations action or a political status plebiscite is raised regarding Guam or Puerto Rico, because they hope similar action might be possible in the case of Hawai'i. Some activists for Hawaiian sovereignty are also active in the movement for independence in Puerto Rico and Guam, and there is considerable exchanging of information and inspiration among the three independence movements. While February 24, 2004 is remembered by historians as the golden anniversary of the Great Statehood Petition of 1954, the Hawaiian sovereignty activists and Puerto Rican nationalists celebrated a date less than a week later as the golden anniversary of a terrorist attack on Congress. On March 1, 1954 four Puerto Rican independence terrorists seated in the visitors' gallery shot and almost killed 5 members of Congress on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. An essay praising and justifying this "brave and noble revolutionary effort" was circulated among Hawaiian independence activists and is provided on a webpage.

A surprising number of nations have laws establishing racial supremacy. The government of Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) under the only President it has had since independence, Robert Mugabe, has been pushing multigeneration white settlers out of their land holdings in order to give the land to the indigenous inhabitants. Hawaiian activists take note of what is hapening in Zimbabwe, but apparently have no relationships with the native Zimbabweans. Closer to Hawai'i is Aotearoa (New Zealand), where the Maori, sharing their Polynesian race with native Hawaiians, have special political rights and race-based control over racially-designated lands. There are frequent cultural exchanges between the Maori and Hawai'i's "kanaka maoli," including televised discussions wistfully comparing Maori success in achieving special rights, with the slower pace of efforts in Hawai'i. For comparisons with Hawai'i, see:

The Pacific island nation of Fiji has had two violent military coups in recent years when native Fijians ousted democratically elected governments which threatened to give too much power to descendants of immigrants who came to work on the sugar plantations. Those immigrants were Asians, just like in Hawai'i (but from India rather than Japan or China). The Akaka bill, by creating a race-based government in Hawai'i, would begin the process of establishing ethnic Hawaiian supremacy comparable to what the native Fijians already enjoy by law. Obviously, Hawaiian independence would liberate Hawai'i's racial supremacists from the constraints imposed on them by the U.S. Constitution. For extensive information about legally enforced racial supremacy in Fiji, and how it compares with what Hawaiians activists are seeking, see:


On May 18-19, 2005 the East-West Center of the University of Hawai'i hosted the annual meeting of the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders. What made this year's meeting different is that the new President of Tahiti is Oscar Temaru, an activist seeking the independence of Tahiti from France. Hawaiian independence activists were not invited to attend the meeting, because they do not represent any official government. However, Hawaiian activists met informally with President Temaru, who made public statements of solidarity with them. According to Scott Crawford, independence activist who maintains many independence websites, on his blog for June 8, "Temaru doesn't consider the struggle by Hawaiians for full independence from the U.S, to be an unrealistic dream, given his own historical efforts. Temaru's ultimate victory came as a culmination of decades of activism that defined him as one of the most ardent spokespeople for full independence for his country. But he is equally passionate about the need for independence activists to bury their differences and work together in order to achieve that goal. About his meetings with Hawaiian leaders, which included Kekuni Blaisdell and Henry Noa among others, Temaru said, ". . . my message to them is first of all, to get united. They have to get united – there is no other strategy. Don't stay divided – this is what the colonial powers would wish! . . . they divide to rule. No matter what difference [Hawaiian independence activists] have between themselves, get together.""

An alternative newspaper on Maui published a major article reporting the visit of Temaru at the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders:

The permanent URL after June 22 will probably be

The Haleakala Times [an alternative newspaper on Maui]
June 8-21, 2005

'We all belong to the Pacific'
A conversation with Tahiti's President Oscar Temaru

by Gretchen Currie Kelly

All but unnoticed by the mainstream press in Hawai'i, Oscar Manutahi Temaru, the dynamic new President of "French" Polynesia, arrived in Honolulu in mid-May to participate in the 29th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders, an annual gathering of Pacific Island leaders who meet to review the work of the Pacific Islands Development Program, a project of UH's East-West Center.

Although the PIDP conference was the main focus of Temaru's visit, he was able to utilize some free time while on O'ahu to engage in discussions with Hawaiian leaders here regarding a subject of intense mutual interest – independence.

In a dramatic and roiling sequence of events that has spanned almost a full year, Temaru's Tavini Huiraatira – one of the political parties that advocates for independence for the five archipelagos, until recently known collectively as French Polynesia – won a general election and a presidency, lost it to the French-favored government of Gaston Flosse, a 20-year incumbent and personal friend of French President Jacques Chirac, and then regained power in a new election in March of this year.

Temaru was eager to meet with Hawaiian independence leaders to discuss a wide range of topics.

"We all belong to the Pacific," says Temaru, who sees the potential for Hawaii's role as a Pacific island nation as a significant one. He expressed interest in ongoing discussions between the two profoundly colonized indigenous nations (Tahiti as a French territory, Hawai'i as a U.S. territory and then a state) as vital to the emerging call for more indigenous autonomy throughout the Pacific region.

"The French don't want us to have a link with the other Pacific countries," maintains Temaru. "They want us to fly from Tahiti to Paris – and that's all. So we have to work on our relations with our brothers all over the Pacific, including Hawai'i. They are our closest cousins – brothers and sisters."

When asked what is now the appropriate name for his country, Temaru replied that, "the French introduced "French" Polynesia . . . that's not the name of our country. For now, we are promoting the term 'Tahiti.' We are awaiting the day when our country will be independent, and we'll call the country Te Ao Maohi . . . which means 'the Maohi world.' So that name – Te Ao Maohi – that will include these five archipelagos."

The term Maohi is analogous to Hawaii's Maoli and New Zealand's (Aotearoa) Maori and refers to the people – the indigenous inhabitants – of this region known as "Pasifika."

Here, events are taking place that were once considered unthinkable – such as the decisive movements of Tahiti to become free from the domination of France – and reflect a growing political confidence. As nation after nation undergoes populist efforts to wean away from colonial governments and elitist bodies, a pattern of Pasifika people-power is emerging.

After a brief, less than two-hundred-year interruption by the West of the region's dynamic, advanced and ancient civilization, Pasifika seem ready to take up the steering paddle once again.

Temaru doesn't consider the struggle by Hawaiians for full independence from the U.S, to be an unrealistic dream, given his own historical efforts. Temaru's ultimate victory came as a culmination of decades of activism that defined him as one of the most ardent spokespeople for full independence for his country. But he is equally passionate about the need for independence activists to bury their differences and work together in order to achieve that goal. About his meetings with Hawaiian leaders, which included Kekuni Blaisdell and Henry Noa among others, Temaru said, ". . . my message to them is first of all, to get united. They have to get united – there is no other strategy. Don't stay divided – this is what the colonial powers would wish! . . . they divide to rule. No matter what difference [Hawaiian independence activists] have between themselves, get together."

The members of the Union Pour La Democracy (UPLD), the coalition of six political parties and one union that brought about Temaru's presidency, are not in consensus about the issue of independence and how it might be sustained when achieved, but all were in accord about the need to replace the Flosse government, which after two decades in power had been seen by the majority of citizens to be corrupt and in need of replacement.

"We were not in agreement about some issues," explains Temaru, "but if we let Gaston Flosse alone, we stay divided and he will win the election . . . So we decided to work together . . . we cannot leave our country for more than twenty-five years under the control of this man. He was just doing whatever he wants."

Temaru's party didn't just roll into power without laying a lot of groundwork – they knew they needed to show the people of Tahiti that they had what it takes to run a government.

"We created our party near 30 years ago, and the aim of the party is to get our authority back from the French colonial power. In 1982, we decided to use the colonial institutions and to participate in the commune (city) elections, so I ran for the position of mayor of Faa'a. It was a strategy to show the people our capacity to manage such a city, and since that time, 1983 until now, I have been the mayor of that city, with all the problems that we had to face. We didn't get any support from the French for more than 20 years."

Faa'a, with a population of 30,000, is the largest city in Tahiti, which has a total population of about 250,000; 150,000 on the islands of Tahiti and Moorea, and another 100,000 in the outlying areas of the nation's five archipelagos. It's also Temaru's birthplace.

In Faa'a and in Papeete, the events that preceded Temaru's victory over a powerful, entrenched, pro-French government – for the second time in less than a year – were explosive, although free of violence. Tens of thousands of citizens marched in protest to the political maneuverings instigated by Flosse and his French supporters to deprive the people of Tahiti of their rightfully elected leader and to intimidate Temaru's supporters. In one desperate move, Flosse alleged – and a French court agreed – that the blue curtains in one polling district had unduly influenced voters. But the new election that was granted showed even bigger gains by the UPLD.

Temaru has consistently maintained that independence is not going to happen overnight; his government is focusing on creating economic stability and self-reliance in a country which has become heavily dependent on French aid. Temaru is looking fifteen or twenty years into the future for the emergence of a viable independence.

"The issue of the balance of trade is huge," says Temaru. "He [Flosse] left this country, our country, in that situation, so we have to develop our economy first. Try to find the balance. We just don't know how long it will take, but it is very important. Our main resources are tourism, aquaculture – black pearl – and agriculture, fishing. We have a huge fishing zone, but our fishing zone has been ravaged by the Japanese, Koreans, and others. They had a special deal with Flosse."

While in Honolulu, Temaru also met with tourism officials to explore options for his country. "I met the people of the tourist bureau here to study their strategy, and to see how we can use it in our country, but we have to be very careful – we don't want Tahiti to be like Honolulu. Too much is too much! Our goal in this area is to reach 500,000 tourists a year. That would keep our economy in balance. For the moment, we have 235,000 tourists a year."

Temaru's middle name, Manutahi, means sea bird – an animal whose flights of expansion and connection range thousands of miles across the Pacific's ocean of islands. Temaru, who believes that colonial borders should be no obstacle to indigenous people seeking their own voice, has soared beyond the limitations that once appeared to stand in his people's way, to emerge as a vibrant leader in this region where self-determination has become a watchword.

What are his goals for his country? "Whatever we decide," he says with conviction, "we have to ask ourselves if that will be good for the future generations. What will be the heritage? We want our kids to live in freedom and to be proud of ourselves, our tupuna, our culture."


The Honolulu Weekly, Vol. 15, No.3 of June 8-14, 2005, page 5 also contains an article (copied below) reporting on the conference at the East-West Center. Gretchen Currie Kelly, "Where Are The Hawaiians?" This article has a different spin, claiming that the East-West Center deliberately downplayed media coverage of this conference and did not invite the participation of Hawaiian activists, because the East-West Center, funded by the U.S. government, does not want to encourage the Hawaiian independence movement.


The Honolulu Weekly, Vol. 15, No.3 of June 8-14, 2005, page 5
(article not permanently archived on-line, so no URL)

Where are the Hawaiians?

The East-West Center didn't invite native Hawaiians to its conference of Pacific island leaders

by Gretchen Currie Kelly

On May 18 and 19, the East-West Center hosted an event that, had it taken place in any number of places around the Pacific, would have attracted a beehive of media activity.

But the eerie quiet—with no photographers or reporters in sight—belied the significance of this annual gathering of indigenous leaders for the 29th meeting of the standing committee of the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders.

In attendance for the first time was Oscar Temaru, the new president of Tahiti. The veteran independence activist has been at the center of drama and turmoil in a cliff-hanging 10-month sequence of events that saw him elected, only to lose his office and then regain it in a new election. For almost a year, Papeete erupted with protest marches and charges of French intrigue and interference in the affairs of the territory.

Temaru joined other dignitaries of the region, including chairman HRH Prince 'Ulukalala Lavaka Ata, prime minister of Tonga; the Honorable Jim Marurai, prime minister of the Cook Islands; His Excellency Kessai H. Note, president of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Honorable Sir Allan Kemakeza, prime minister of the Solomon Islands.

The Pacific Island Conference of Leaders is part of the East-West Center's Pacific Islands Development Program (PIDP), created in 1980 to "assist Pacific islands leaders in advancing their collective efforts to achieve and sustain equitable social and economic development consistent with the goals of the Pacific islands region's people." PIDP began as a forum through which island leaders could discuss critical issues of development with a wide spectrum of interested countries, donors, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

In the past few years, the region that comprises the Pacific's ocean of islands—indigenously referred to as Pasifika—has seen its political temperature heat to boiling at a number of pulse points. Tahiti's election fiasco was only one of many regional situations that reflect a growing grassroots political awareness and populist efforts to wean away from colonial governments and elitist bodies.

Tonga is another high-profile hot spot. The royal family's unabashed grasping for wealth at the expense of the increasingly struggling populace has sparked clashes. People marched in protest of the government's attempt to muzzle the press that dared to ask for accountability from the monarchy.

In striking juxtaposition to the rising temperatures and headline events around the region, the quiet mood of the conference had a somewhat forced note, with East-West Center officials balking at releasing information about the gathering, its attendees and its agenda.

The center's post-conference report indicated that topics discussed at the meeting included economic capacity building, policy dialogue on political transformation, diplomatic training, the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the region, resource and land ownership issues and disaster preparedness.

Before the conference, the dignitaries flew to Maui to tour the Pacific Disaster Center. Prince 'Ulukalala Levaka Ata explained that all the leaders in attendance were concerned, in the wake of the recent Indonesia tsunami, about creating new capabilities for dealing with natural disasters.

"In Tonga, we had the Disaster Center people come and do studies about the technology gap, to enable our scientists and people to talk through IT means to the Disaster Center," he said.

Significantly, the leaders concurred on a need for more research into development and institutional models that incorporate the traditions and cultures of the region, reflecting the emerging cultural positivism of Pasifika that seeks self-determined economic, cultural, social and political development, rather than institution based on colonial models that do not reflect "the Pasifik way."

The PIDP's dynamic director, Dr, Sitiveni Halapua, gave a keynote report that stressed the importance of broadly participatory, holistic development approaches that "care and provide for the material, cultural and spiritual needs of the people."

One observer noted that several of the visiting leaders expressed surprise at the fact that no indigenous Hawaiians—with the exception of Kumu Keola Lake who welcomed the leaders with a chant—had been invited to be part of the proceedings.

Rapa Nui representative Mahina Rapu declined to enter the conference chamber when she learned that no Hawaiians had been invited to participate. She spent the two days of the meeting outside the building.

"Linda Lingle is not an indigenous leader," Rapu said. "Where are the Hawaiians?"

Lingle is the designated representative from Hawai'i to the Conference of Leaders.

When questioned about how the East-West Center, which gets half its funding from the U.S. State Department, sees Hawai'i's role, director Charles Morrison made it clear that Hawai'i was not considered an indigenous entity in and of itself but rather as a conduit for information about the Pacific to the U.S. government.

"Hawai'i, by nature of its geography, is a very natural place for providing knowledge about the Pacific islands to the United States" he said.

He went on to speak about Hawai'i's strategic value to the Pacific region by virtue of the PIDP programs, the scholarships offered to Pacific students and the University of Hawai'i's activities available to Pacific islanders.

But to many of the leaders in attendance, Hawai'i has always been an integral part of the region, sharing geographic, common language and cultural ties with other Pasifika nations.

"We all belong to the Pacific," says Temaru, who sees the potential for Hawai'i's role as a Pacific island nation as a significant one. "We have to work on our relations with our brothers all over the Pacific, including Hawai'i. They are our closest cousins —brothers and sisters."


On June 13, 2005 the Honolulu Advertiser reported that a United Nations official has spent two weeks in Hawai'i visiting with Hawaiian independence activists, listening to their views and offering advice on how independence might be achieved.

Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, June 13, 2005
** Excerpts focusing on Hawaiian independence

Independence seekers urged to go to U.N.

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

A U.N. expert on indigenous peoples is encouraging those seeking an independent Hawaiian nation to press their case for self-determination at the United Nations, saying the body could provide an international forum to air their grievances. Julian Burger, coordinator of the Indigenous Peoples Unit of the U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, is speaking to college classes and Native Hawaiian groups as well as visiting key sites during a two-week trip sponsored by the Hawai'i Institute for Human Rights and other organizations. "Please come and make as much noise as possible," Burger told a gathering of Hawaiian independence movement leaders at the home of activist Kekuni Blaisdell last week. "Use the space that exists to talk about the problems, speak from your hearts, give the evidence ... make sure the story is known as widely as possible."

Asked what it would take to get the United Nations to accept Hawai'i as an independent member nation, Burger said he believes it would require the support of the U.S. government. "They could veto; they could hold it back," Burger said. "I think they could hold things up for you."

Blaisdell, convenor of the Kanaka Maoli Tribunal Komike and a separate group known as Ka Pakaukau, said he was inspired by Burger's visit. The United States won't relinquish its grip on Hawai'i unless compelled to do so, not something that will happen anytime soon, Blaisdell said. "That's why we have to appeal to the rest of the world, as well as to those with a conscience in the United States, to recognize who we are and to support re-establishment of our government under our control," he said. "We're calling on the United Nations to use its own law, international law, to support our cause."



The title of this section of this essay sounds like it belongs in a novel by Robert Ludlum or Tom Clancy. Are such treasonous activities, or even violence, actually plausible in Hawai'i?

As of summer 2005 there have been no reports of Hawaiian sovereignty-related espionage or sabotage. The sovereignty movement has a reputation of non-violence. The activists like to point to Queen Lili'uokalani's decision in the revolution of 1893 to surrender peacefully, under protest, rather than to shed blood. However, it should be noted that the Queen's peaceful surrender was not the final event in the drama. In 1895 Robert Wilcox staged an attempted counter-revolution, hoping to restore the monarchy. He used guns and bombs that had been stored in the flowerbed of the ex-queen's private home very nearby ‘Iolani Palace. People on both sides were killed. A military tribunal found over a hundred of Wilcox' men guilty of various crimes, and several were sentenced to death (the sentences were later reduced and then pardoned). Even today, activist "Uncle" Charlie Maxwell repeatedly raises the possibility of violence. He says "our backs are up against the wall." He demands money, land, and power as reparations for historical grievances. And then he warns people by reminding them that "Hawaiians were once a warrior people." See:

Remember that even though the supporters of the Akaka bill are seeking tribal recognition to make ethnic Hawaiians wards of the federal government within the framework of U.S. law, extensive evidence was presented above regarding the simmering feelings of anger toward the U.S. for historical grievances. Those historical grievances are incorporated into the preambles of every piece of federal legislation providing ethnic Hawaiians with healthcare, housing, education, etc. The festering wounds of history are constantly poked and prodded by sovereignty activists who love to portray Hawaiians as poor downtrodden victims entitled to huge government handouts as reparations for U.S. crimes against the Hawaiian people. Several film production groups busily churn out movies like "Betrayal" and "A Nation Within" showing guns, bayonets, and an American warship assisting the overthrow of a beloved Queen.

But even if the movement remains non-violent, sabotage is a possibility. Remember that the U.S. military is seen as an enemy of the Hawaiian people, both historically and at present. In 1893 the U.S. military helped overthrow the Queen. Throughout the 20th Century the U.S. military burned, bombed, and polluted the sacred lands of Hawai'i -- Kaho'olawe Island (a living embodiment of the god Kanaloa) was used as a target island for Naval and Air Force bombardment for many years, and still has not been adequately cleaned up. Makua Valley (sacred -- the word "Makua" means "parent") was used for live-fire military training until a lawsuit by Hawaiian and environmental activists forced an environmental impact statement resulting in a settlement severely restricting such training there. Remember that independence activists see Hawai'i as being under a century-long belligerent military occupation, and they demand its removal. It would seem quite plausible to imagine non-violent sabotage of military bases and military vehicles by Hawaiian independence activists, along with pacifists and environmentalists. The obvious immediate benefit of sabotage would be to prevent military activity from taking place. The strategic political long-term objective of sabotage would be to make military planners in Washington feel that Hawai'i is an unreliable host for military bases, and the military should withdraw from Hawai'i. Then, once the military is gone, it would be easier to get a complete political divorce.

Espionage is also non-violent. Hawai'i has a high concentration of military bases and training areas for all five services. There are thousands of civilians working on those bases, many of whom may be morally opposed to U.S. policy in Iraq and Israel, and opposed to the American military presence in Hawai'i. A few anecdotes are relevant here. Hawaiian independence activists Keanu Sai and Hayden Burgess (alias Poka Laenui) were discussed at length in earlier sections of this essay. Both of them repeatedly state in public that they served in the U.S. military, until they realized they were "fighting for the wrong country." A family of activists live in Kane'ohe and are known for various resistance actions against local police and government, including refusal to have government license plates or drivers' licenses. The woman styles herself as "head of the Spiritual Nation of Ku" and has a cable TV monthly program. A daughter in this family, however, does have a drivers license, and license plates and insurance, because she works as a vehicle driver on the Marine Corps base. Quite strange. Also, Poka Laenui, on his weekly radio program, occasionally suggests that his (rabidly anti-American) listeners, especially in ethnic Hawaiian neighborhoods like Wai'anae where jobs are hard to find, should get jobs on the military bases. Very strange indeed.

In an earlier section it was pointed out that there is considerable Hawaiian independence activism at the international level, including meetings of worldwide non-governmental organizations and various agencies of the United Nations. Clearly there is "diplomatic" contact between Hawaiian activists and representatives of foreign governments. Some of those governments are hostile toward the United States, just as the Hawaiian independence activists are.

Diplomatic activity between Hawaiian sovereignty activists and governments of nations hostile to the United States could very well result in secret agreements for sovereignty activists to engage in espionage or sabotage in return for formal diplomatic recognition of Hawaiian independence. While most opposition to the Patriot Act among Hawaiian activists is due to their generally leftist political orientation and support for civil rights, some of that opposition is undoubtedly due to a fear that the Patriot Act could thwart their future ability to organize and carry out espionage, sabotage, and other forms of treason.

The Kingdom of Hawai'i had diplomatic relations with nations that are now opponents of the United States, including China; and a full-fledged treaty with Russia. There was also a treaty with Hong Kong (1884), whose foreign affairs have now been reabsorbed into China. A chronological list of Hawaiian Kingdom treaties can be found on the "Hawai'i Nation" website at

Today's sovereignty independence activists believe that Kingdom treaties and diplomatic relations are still legally binding, due to the illegality of the overthrow and annexation. And regardless whether a nation had relations with the Kingdom of Hawai'i prior to 1893, any nation today could choose to help Hawaiian independence activists, including the possibility of formally recognizing an independent Hawai'i, as a way of embarrassing the United States at the United Nations or other international forums. For example, mainland China regards Tibet and Taiwan as belonging to China. Next time the U.S. protests Chinese actions in Tibet, China could retaliate by filing a diplomatic protest over U.S. failure to allow self-determination for native Hawaiians. Next time the U.S. sends warships to patrol the Taiwan Straits, or sells military equipment to Taiwan, China could retaliate by sending a delegation to Hawai'i to meet with Bumpy Kanahele, Kekuni Blaisdell, or Poka Laenui and publicize an offer to give them guns (for pig hunting, of course).

The possibility of trading espionage and/or sabotage for diplomatic recognition is not at all far-fetched. In 1776 a few American independence activists decided they would take action against the belligerent military occupation of their homeland by Britain. Those American independence activists sent Ben Franklin to Paris to engage in diplomatic relations, and he persuaded the French to send thousands of troops, dozens of warships, and tons of guns and ammunition to assist the American revolution. In the early 1940s, while Germany was occupying northern France and running a puppet Vichy government in southern France, French patriots engaged in sabotage and espionage to help American and British forces liberate their country. Today there is speculation that the government of Saudi Arabia, and formerly the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan, might be providing safe haven, training facilities, and billions of dollars to help Al Qaida and other Islamist extremists attack America, Spain, Indonesia, and other countries -- some American citizens (of Arab ancestry and also not of Arab ancestry) have served as anti-American soldiers in this war with terrorism.

There are many websites, e-mail lists, and bulletin-board discussion forums that are anti-military and anti-American. Some of those are owned and operated by Hawaiian independence activists. One such forum that is especially troubling is called "Educate Hawaii," founded in 2002. It was created and is moderated by Preston Kealoha Yoshioka, who is very skilled at computer programming and website design and management (in Spring 2004 he had a job in California and frequently traveled to Japan and occasionally to Hawai'i). "Educate Hawaii" was also created in collaboration with Professor Kiope Raymond of Maui Community College, who teaches the introductory course Hawaiian Studies 107 whose content is provided by and monitored by the UH Manoa Center for Hawaiian Studies. Each semester Professor Raymond requires his students to register as members of the bulletin board, where they can read and post messages about Hawaiian sovereignty, Hawaiian culture, etc. Each section of the course has its own private password-protected area where students presumably exchange information about class assignments and perhaps participate in chat rooms. Students are presumably required to read selected items posted on the main public forum, and may also receive extra credit for being brave enough to post their own comments there.

The "Educate Hawaii" forums are extroardinarily anti-military and anti-American. That's why it's a good idea for loyal and patriotic Americans to get acquainted with what's there, and perhaps to post comments. As of July 2004 there were 382 registered users, who had posted about 3500 messages; but only a few participants were posting frequently (perhaps because it was summer vacation at the colleges). The ONLY participant loyal and patriotic toward America was Ken Conklin. Anyone can read what's posted there, even without registering. Registration is free, and allows people to post messages and be notified of replies. Please visit this forum and browse the topics, especially Military Presence in Hawaii, Native People's Issues, and Hawaiian Sovereignty. See:

Ken Conklin decided to do a survey of the members regarding "the treason question": "Would you spy for a foreign nation against the United States, in return for that foreign nation's help in "liberating" Hawai'i through diplomatic means?" Before asking the question, there were four paragraphs of explanation describing the history of American patriots collaborating with the French to win independence, as above, etc. Then the question itself was asked, with further elaboration.

The moderator, together with the most active and aggressive anti-American member, decided almost immediately to remove the question because it was too dangerous!

Perhaps the most interesting observation is that nobody ever said "no." Anyone patriotic toward America would be very glad to say no. At the time this question was posted there were over 300 registered members of this forum. But nobody on this forum said no (although, to be fair, perhaps the question was pulled before most of them had a chance to see it).

Obviously, the moderator and his most frequent contributor realized that nobody would answer "no." And answering "yes" might cause problems in future years for students who might want to get a job with the government, especially one requiring a security clearance.

The dangerous "treason question" including preliminary explanations and the later discussions leading to its removal, can be found at a webpage where it cannot be removed by the independence activists:

The Treason Question -- Would you help a foreign enemy of the United States by committing espionage or sabotage against the United States in return for that country recognizing Hawai'i as an independent nation and/or pressing the case for Hawaiian independence at the United Nations?


You may now

Visit the webpage: The Treason Question -- Would you help a foreign enemy of the United States by committing espionage or sabotage against the United States in return for that country recognizing Hawai'i as an independent nation and/or pressing the case for Hawaiian independence at the United Nations?



Email: ken_conklin@yahoo.com