12 November 2015

Customary international law supports Kingdom of Hawai'i

Committee of Hawaiian Nationals/FREE HAWAII

Recap of Ho’okuikahi Part 2

MAHALO NUI to those who attended the 2nd Part of Ho’okukahi, the Pacific Peace Forum four-part series from the Coalition of Hawaiian Nationals, held on October 2nd. 

Brief Recap of Ho’okuikahi Part 1 – We honored Queen Lili’uokalani then covered the question of the identity and characteristics of Hawaiian Nationality. A Hawaiian National (a.k.a. Hawaiian Subject) is a person who professes allegiance to the Hawaiian Kingdom, the nation in continuity. Hawaiian nationality is not confined by ethnicity (native Hawaiian, indigenous, aboriginal, kanaka maoli). We emphasized that by professing our Hawaiian nationality we assert and become self-evident proof that the Hawaiian Kingdom still exists. The more those who consider themselves Hawaiian nationals present themselves, the more our nation becomes visible, viable and substantial…to ourselves and to the world. 
Recap of Ho’okuikahi Part 2 – 
Princess Ka’iulani - We honored Princess Ka’iulani and the role that she played during the crisis of the US-backed coup of her country, the Hawaiian Kingdom. Naomi Wong read a couple of short speeches given by Ka’iulani upon landing in New York on her way to Washington, D.C. Those speeches quickly dispelled the “barbarian princess” label spread by annexationists to damage Ka’iulani's credibility. Her words, her demeanor and her beauty immediately won over the American press and public. By the time she reached Washington, President Grover Cleveland had already withdrawn from the U.S. Senate the treaty of annexation (signed a few weeks earlier by his predecessor, President Harrison). That 'Treaty of Annexation’ or any other was never ratified by the US Congress. Princess Ka’iulani’s mission to stop the annexation was accomplished. 

Doctrine of Discovery - Then we spoke about the various edicts issued by Catholic popes that formed the “Doctrine of Discovery” giving license to European explorers to conquer, colonize and exploit lands inhabited by non-Christians; and the devastating effect it had and continues to have in the world today. 

We mentioned how the Episcopal church, where many of our ali’i were members, played a key role in service to the Kingdom. We also commended the Episcopal Church of America for repudiating and revoking the Doctrine of Discovery in 2011.

More specifically, we discussed how Hawaii's monarchs utilized international law to successfully position the Hawaiian Kingdom — as an enlightened, law-abiding, sovereign, Christian, neutral nation — to be safe from the imposition of the "Doctrine of Discovery” for 80 years. 

But by 1893 forces of greed and colonialism combined to ignore the rule of law, treaties and standards of international relations, and blatantly violated the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom. These violations continue to affect Hawaii today through the illegal imposition of United States rule and continuing abuses like GMO, the Rail, TNT/Mauna Kea, Ho’opili, and other actions that deny the people of the land from determining the use of their lands and resources. 

• That set the stage for the topic for discussion: “What Is Our Vision?” 

• Based strictly on customary international law, the reinstatement of the sovereign nation of the Hawaiian Islands and the lawful governing entity called the Hawaiian Kingdom is highly feasible. 

• The primary challenge to achieving reinstatement is overcoming the political and psychological resistance both internally and externally. 

• Steven Biko, martyr from the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa said: "The greatest weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the minds of the oppressed.” 

• If we are to stand up as a nation, we have to overcome the oppressive unbelief and defeatism that had been seared into the minds of our people for a hundred years. 

• If we can overcome that, the external resistance will be overcome as well.  

• We need to reset our thinking as we work toward the reinstatement of our nation. 

How would we do things differently?

In an interactive dialog,  
• We contrasted the characteristics of Hawaiian society…people first (people driven) which led to the establishment of an enlightened governing system; land distribution system; and a peaceful social order…

• As opposed to Western society with money (trade) being the primary driver, which leads to laws and institutions legalizing land theft, exploitation, conflicts and an oppressive social order.

• Hawaii under the Hawaiian Kingdom would be different because the priorities (values) would be different. Hawaiian laws and our style of governance embody and reflect Hawaiian values. 

• Good examples are the legacies left by our Ali'i: Kamehameha Schools, Queen Lili’uokalani Children’s Center, Queen’s Medical Center, Kapiolani Medical Center, Lunalilo Home, etc….all focused on serving the needs of their people.

• Good examples over the years are the actions taken by Hawaiian patriots: the 1897 Ku’e Petition; the Protect Kaho’olawe ‘Ohana, many protests over land issues, the many actions to reinstate the Hawaiian Kingdom following the US Apology in 1993, ku’e actions to protect our aina, iwi and sacred sites, most recent example, the protection of Mauna Kea from the TMT… 

• A nation with the good of the people as its highest priority would obviously operate very differently from the current US/State of Hawaii system.

What are our goals?
Full restoration of the Hawaiian Islands as an independent country
Restoration of the lands to the proper title holders
Restoration of the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom
Dedication of the lands to growing food
Elimination of systemic poverty
Government policies prioritized to what benefits the people instead of the dollar
Aloha Aina; aloha i ke kahi, I ke kahi; kapu aloha …as the fundamental guiding principles of the nation
A people, healthy, productive, thriving and happy
Lands fruitful and productive
Engaged in trade and peaceful interaction with nations 

The discussion was very lively and helpful in setting the vision for the nation. Everyone was very encouraged and eager to continue and spread the discussion to involve more participants. 

The session was recorded on video and we are working on getting it posted online soon. We also hope to set up a live-streaming capability before our next Ho’okuikahi, as well as ways in which people can be interactive in this vision-casting stage for the envisioning of our nation. 

Aloha Aina, 
Leon Siu 
Pilipo Souza
Coalition of Hawaiian Nationals

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