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.
An unknown number of state employees who work in the state archives division are stuck inside.
Laura Thielen, director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, told the Hawaii Reporter, "A group of about 35 persons have barred the public from entering the grounds of Iolani Palace, claiming sovereign rights over the area. The Department of Land and Natural Resources State Parks, which manages the palace in cooperation with the Friends of Iolani Palace is closing the area. DLNR enforcement offices are working to fully assess the situation and are talking with the protesters to peacefully end the protest. We will continue to update the public as we get more information."
There are several different native Hawaiian groups claiming to be the only legitimate one all trying to accomplish the same thing by different routes, and most seeming to be at odds with each other.
For a pretty good analysis of the whole Hawaii soverignty fight check out the article "Famous Are the Flowers: Hawaiian Resistance Then--and Now" in the April 8 issue of the Nation by clicking here.
At its website the Kingdom of Hawaii states:
"The primary objective of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government is to expose the occupation of our nation within the framework of the 1907 Hague Conventions IV and V and our domestic statutes, and to provide a foundation for transition and the ultimate end of the occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Article 43 of the 1907 Hague Convention IV mandates that the occupying government, being the United States of America, must administer the laws of the occupied State, being the Hawaiian Kingdom, and any deviation of this mandate is a violation of international law. Presently, the Hawaiian Islands reluctantly serves as the HQ's for the largest of the nine unified military commands of the United States armed forces in the world, U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM)."
Recently Hawaii's status was raised at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. news release from the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues has this interesting tidbit on Hawaii:
Mr. FYFE, Kaoni Foundation, who spoke on behalf of the Hawaii Caucus, said that Hawaii rightfully belonged on the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. Indeed, a public law had been signed by United States President Clinton in 1993 -- the so-called “apology bill” –- that seemed to signify an acknowledgement that the indigenous peoples of Hawaii had never relinquished their sovereignty, and that the statehood plebiscite of 1959 had been fraudulent. He noted that, in 2008, the Supreme Court of Hawaii had barred the State from obtaining lands from the public land trust until the question had been resolved. Also, in 2008, the representative of the Russian Federation had asked the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination why Alaska and Hawaii had been excluded from the decolonization list. The representative of Romania had asked what steps were being taken to facilitate the self-determination of the Hawaiian people.
The following is from the Honollulu Star-Bulletin.
Hawaiian group locks gates of Iolani Palace
The Kingdom of Hawaii says it will not allow non-Hawaiians to enter
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.”
The Palace and the grounds were occupied in June 2006 by a group calling itself Hui Pu. At that time about two dozen native Hawaiian activists chanted, sang and hung banners and upside-down state flags from the second floor of Iolani Palace.
Ikaika Hussey, the leader of the group, said in 2006 that Hui Pu represented a coalition of native Hawaiians opposed to the federal recognition bill slated for passage in Congress. The group staged a symbolic reclamation of the royal throne before leaving peacefully after about two hours.