This blog is about Hawaii's status as an independent country under prolonged illegal occupation by the United States, and the history, culture, law & politics of the islands.

By Scott Crawford, Hana, Maui

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What really happened at the ʻAha, part II

From the Hawaii Independent:

Whitewashed press releases, a sinister state bill and a flippant disregard for the rules of the convention

Editor’s note: As one of the 154 kānaka maoli who agreed to participate in the state-sponsored, Naʻi Aupuni-initiated Native Hawaiian ʻAha, Kaʻiulani Milham had a front row seat at the month-long proceedings. What follows is the second installment of a multi-part, first-hand account that highlights various and consistent affronts to democratic processes that ruled during the ʻAha proceedings. Read Part I here.


The vivacious Makalehua group’s “In it to win it” mantra came into play in important ways during the second week of the ʻAha.

But what exactly was the “it” they were in it to win?

Setting up shop in a side room off the main meeting hall, Makalehua members installed a pair of privately-owned printers—Naʻi Aupuni officials neglected to foresee that drafting a constitution would necessitate such things as printers and paper—to produce early drafts of documents and hana ka hana (work the work) of the ʻAha.

In the midst of this hurried activity, Makalehua member Makana Paris, the ʻAha’s vice chair,  was overheard whispering that certain participants had been appointed to an ʻAha communications team, which would be in charge of disseminating information about the ʻAha to the public. Having committed to fostering an atmosphere of free prior and informed consent during the nation-building exercise, the fact that the members of this important team seemed to have been decided on without the participation of the plenary was concerning.

Read the rest…

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