Kingdom citizens occupying 'Iolani Palace

Rec'd via email...

From: Mahealani Wendt <mawendt @>
Subject: Kanaka Maoli Occupation of Archives & Palace
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 09:23:57 -1000

Late breaking news: It is reported by an on-scene observer, an NHLC staffer, that approximately 100 Kingdom of Hawai`i citizens have barricaded and are guarding entrances to the Archives and `Iolani Palace. They are refusing entry and exit to anyone who is not kanaka maoli. Many DLNR enforcement officers are on the scene.  They feel it is time to take steps to take our country back. Let us hope everyone stays safe. xxx Mahealani

Update: Here's the Advertiser breaking news:
A Native Hawaiian organization this morning is blocking entry into the Iolani Palace with no-trespassing signs, saying the grounds are the property of the "Hawaiian Kingdom."

About 70 people with the "Hawaiian Kingdom Government" gathered on palace grounds beginning at 5:30 a.m. today.

Signs are posted on the gates and only kanaka — those with Hawaiian bloodlines — along with media are being allowed entrance to the grounds.

The organization says it is the rightful owner of the palace and it is time to assume and resume its official state 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.

And here's the Star-Bulletin breaking news:
A group calling itself the Kingdom of Hawaii chained and locked all gates to Iolani Palace this morning, barring the public, tourists and government workers from the area.

Two men at the gate fronting the state Capitol, Harris Fuller and Kimo Kamakeeaina said they were sheriffs in the Hawaiian Kingdom government and would not let non-Hawaiians nor people who were not “citizens of the kingdom” enter.

The gates had large yellow signs claiming that entering the area would be considered “Criminal Trespass” by the Hawaiian Kingdom government.

Laura Thielen, chairwoman of the state’s board of Land and Natural Resources, said the property is controlled by the state’s land department and officials were talking to the protesters.

Thielen said about 35 people barred the public from entering the grounds, claiming sovereign rights over the area.

“The Department of Land and Natural Resources, state parks, which manages the palace with the Friends of Iolani Palace is closing the area,” Thielen said in a statement. “DLNR enforcement officers are working to fully assess the situation and are talking without the protesters to peacefully end the protest. We will continue to update the public as we get more information.”

Update 2: Got confirmation that it is this Hawaiian Kingdom Government taking this action. Also that they plan to be there for the long term, and the report that they are letting only Hawaiian Kingdom citizens enter is inaccurate, they are welcoming all supporters to join them, and inviting everyone to come on down to support.

Update 3: Here's a bit more detailed update from Andre Perez...

From: <kanikapu @>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 14:17:45 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Hui_Pu] **UPDATE** Kanaka Maoli Occupation of Archives & Palace

Aloha aina,

Just got back from the palace.. It's Mahealani and about 75-100 of her people. They do not have gates barricaded at all. They just have several security personnel at each gate and are controlling access.. They have signs posted at the gate that says something like - property of Hawaiian Kingdom Government or something similar. They were very friendly and amiable to me. They are well organized with radios and comm. headsets for their security.

So far, cops wont touch it. Sheriffs came and were given documents and left.

Spoke with Mahealani and her Chief of Security, Keala Tau'a.. They said they are reclaiming rightful ownership and plan to occupy or basically stay for good. They hope to set up an office in one of the archive buildings. The Star Bulletin is reporting that they are only allowing citizens from their Hawaiian Kingdom Government onto the palace grounds. This is NOT TRUE! They are welcoming ALL HAWAIIANS and supporters to join them.. They told me to let people know to come down...

This could be a catalyst for something powerful. I'm gonna go down after work to kako'o..


Update 4: Ian Lind also checked things out for himself and posted this brief report.

Update 5: KITV4 News video of Mahealani Asing news conference explaining the reasons for their actions. (Among other things she notes that they are totally unarmed.)

AP article on Yahoo News. Longer AP article in Seattle PI. CNN Wire item. Canada Free Press has an piece by Malia Zimmerman. Google News results for related articles.

Update 6: On Google News main page, this item is currently one of the top three items featured under the U.S. section (earlier it was the top item), with 299 articles listed, mostly versions of the AP story. This event got major worldwide media coverage.

I'll be out tomorrow so unfortunately I won't be around to continue to update as events unfold, but I'll try to catch up tomorrow night when I return.

Update 7: Photos from Pono Kealoha. Photos from Lynette Cruz.

And this first-hand perspective from Lynette:
i just sent around pono's photos. we pretty much covered the same ground, except for the students in front of the flag! those were great photos, pono! mostly we were both videotaping. that footage probably won't be ready to send around until tomorrow or friday.

mahealani asing mentioned that chief of police boise correa was advised by others not to enter the gate into the palace grounds because 'they might hold you hostage'. and his response was 'that's ridiculous! these people aren't terrorists or violent. besides, she's my cousin.' i thought that was funny. so he came onto the grounds next to the archives and behind the queen's statue and sat with mahealani for 10 minutes or so. they talked. he leaned over and gave her a hug. then he stood up and hugged or shook hands with the members of mahealani's group. then he left. i asked mahea what the outcome of the meeting was. she said he told her that the police wouldn't arrest them. since this was considered a state park, the state (not the city) had jurisdiction so he would direct the police to leave. she mentioned, too, that state law enforcement would probably come and try to arrest them. 

they might get arrested, or if they were offered the opportunity to leave, the group would leave rather than be arrested. but they would make sure that state law enforcement knew they would be back tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, until the issue was resolved. they don't want to occupy the palace, itself, nor did they try to.  the newspapers have it wrong.  the hawaiian kingdom government has entered into dialogue with kippen chu, ED of the friends of iolani palace, about use of the kanaina building. he, apparently, has to confer with the board of the friends.

we got all this down on tape, so you can see it later. i thought the whole thing was rather well done.

CNN has a story that provides a lot of good historical background.

Here's Thursday's full Advertiser article and Star-Bulletin article.

Posted: Wed - April 30, 2008 at 09:34 AM    
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Published On: May 01, 2008 07:47 AM
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