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Honolulu Thomas Square renovation unveils huge floodlit statue honoring Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III on July 31, 2018 (175th anniversary of Hawaiian Kingdom Sovereignty Restoration Day). Tall new flagpole permanently flies Hawaiian flag exclusively, round the clock. Similarity to Southern states erecting statues honoring Confederate generals decades after they lost the Civil War, for purpose of resisting federal government and asserting race-supremacist nationalism. History-twisting perverse English translation of state motto spoken by King in 1843 is carved in new stone wall demarcating Hawaiian Kingdom side of park. Large lava-rock so-called altar also erected.

Honolulu Thomas Square Sovereignty Restoration Day July 31, 2018

(c) Copyright 2018 by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved


A huge statue to a Hawaiian King has been erected in Thomas Square, a public park in Honolulu, together with a very tall flagpole where the Hawaiian Kingdom flag will fly 24 hours a day without any U.S. flag in sight. A large cubical pile of lava rocks, referred to as an "ahu" (or altar), has been erected there; and all these elements are on one side of a newly built long wall, 4-feet high, which effectively separates a huge portion of the park into a shrine to the Hawaiian Kingdom. The state motto -- a single sentence in Hawaiian spoken by the King 175 years previously in response to a British royal proclamation restoring sovereignty to him -- has been etched into the wall, together with a twisted English "translation" implying that the Kingdom still lives as the rightful independent nation of Hawaii. These new elements in a renovation of the park are very important in the politics of Hawaiian secessionist ethnic nationalism. We should compare the reasons for erecting the new historical monument in Honolulu 175 years after the event it allegedly celebrates, with the reasons why huge memorial statues to Confederate generals were erected in the South decades after they lost the Civil War, and why current efforts to remove those Confederate statues are being resisted by a resurgent white nationalism. Today's Hawaiian ethnic nationalism is motivated by a desire for secession from the U.S. and assertion of racial supremacy over a multiracial population, very similar to what the defeated Confederacy was trying to do with its statues.

Honoring historical heritage can be a political weapon to undermine a multiracial social structure while promoting an agenda for future racial supremacy. That's what happened in the Southern states decades after they lost the Civil War. White nationalists resented the military occupation by U.S. troops enforcing the "reconstruction" process of promoting Negro voting rights and land ownership. Those white nationalists spent lots of government money erecting statues to honor Confederate President Jefferson Davis and numerous Confederate generals, especially Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Those huge statues looming over public squares and "monument boulevards", plus flying the "Stars and Bars" Confederate battle flag and incorporating it into official state flags, were intended to intimidate the Negros less violently but just as effectively as the Ku Klux Klan's burning crosses and white-hooded night riders. Deep respect for Southern heritage and for the men who died in service to their hoped-for nation has been used right up to the present day to lend legitimacy and respectability to racist sentiments.

In response to modern racial sensitivity and a more assertive "Black Lives Matter" movement, Southern politicians in recent years began removing Confederate statues. White nationalist racists defended the statues, calling upon public respect for history, a proud Southern heritage, and lamentation over a "lost cause." In August 2017 rioting broke out in Charlottesville Virginia as white nationalist racial supremacists carrying torches and flags staged a march to surround and protect a famous statue of General Robert E. Lee in a downtown park. Their opponents were blocking the march and protesting against them. Both sides wielded flags and sticks; the police did very little to separate the opposing sides or maintain the peace; and one woman was killed when a marcher fleeing the scene used his car as a weapon to push through a crowd that he may have feared was attacking him.

This webpage provides an analysis of the Hawaiian Kingdom shrine that now occupies the makai (ocean) portion of Thomas Square in downtown Honolulu. Full text of several news reports are included at the end. It's very hard to respect a proud heritage, and to show respect publicly, in a way that does not lend itself to the bad intentions of demagogues. I, Ken Conklin, affirm that Keuikeaouli Kamehameha III was my favorite Hawaiian king, for reasons I will briefly explain in the course of this analysis. But I deplore the motives behind the construction of this shrine, and the way the secessionist Hawaiian nationalists will use it.

A media release posted by the Parks Department on the website of the City and County of Honolulu at the end of December 2018 entitled "Flag pole at Thomas Square acts as solar compass" provides the sort of mystification and claims of symbolic meanings which the sovereignty activists so dearly love, asserting that the statue and the King's arm and the walkways are aligned with the rising sun on the winter solstice and the NSEW compass points. Wow! (See below for full text of the news release).

Some powerful politicians who have no Hawaiian native blood are responsible for erecting the Thomas Square statue and for personally contributing their money and prestige to other Hawaiian nationalist activities. Here are some webpages describing them and their motives.

Fifth Columnists Peter Carlisle [former Mayor of Honolulu] and Jay Fidell take leading roles in July 4, 2017 street theatre trashing the holiday. Why they deserve contempt for it.

Webpage posted October 31, 2013
The Lili'uokalani Cult -- A scary but true Halloween story. Hawaiian secessionists try to inspire winners for 21st Century battles by conjuring the ghosts of 19th Century losers. [Renovation and rededication of Lili'uokalani statue on state Capitol grounds, including changing the inscription to make it seem she was never overthrown but remained Queen of Hawaii until her death 24 years later]

NATIVE HAWAIIANS AS THE STATE PET OR MASCOT: A Psychological Analysis of Why the People of Hawaii Tolerate and Irrationally Support Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism



Thomas Square is a large square-shaped public park in downtown Honolulu, across Beretania Street from the Honolulu Art Museum, across King Street from The Blaisdell Center, and across Ward Avenue from Straub Hospital and First Insurance Company.

This parcel was close to the ocean in 1843, before landfill was done. It is called "Thomas Square" in honor of Admiral Thomas of the British navy, who landed here on July 31, 1843 with a proclamation from the British government restoring sovereignty to Hawaiian King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III following a 5-month-long rogue British military occupation. Later that day, at 1 PM the King, with Dr. Judd walking next to him, led a procession of chiefs and dignitaries from Thomas Square to the recently completed Kawaiaha'io Church. The King and Dr. Judd stood side by side on the church steps. Dr. Judd read in a loud voice, in fluent Hawaiian, the English-language proclamation restoring sovereignty; whereupon the King gave a one-sentence response: "Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono" which became the motto of the eventual State of Hawaii, officially translated as "The life of the land is preserved in righteousness." However, the word "ea" means not only "life" but also "sovereignty"; so in the context of those events, the phrase "ke ea o ka aina" should be translated as "sovereignty." The King's one-liner actually means: Sovereignty has been preserved (or restored) because it was righteous (to do so).

The parcel was named "Thomas Square" in honor of Admiral Thomas, and the streets on two sides of the park were named "Beretania" (the Hawaiian-language transliteration of "Britain") and "Victoria" (in honor of Queen Victoria who was responsible for the proclamation restoring sovereignty and who thereafter had a close relationship with Hawaiian monarchs for the rest of the century)

Five months earlier a rogue British warship captain had seized control of the government as a way of foreclosing on delinquent debts owed by Hawaiian chiefs to British merchants. The Hawaiian King reluctantly ceded sovereignty to Britain under threat of naval bombardment. American missionary medical Doctor Gerrit Judd, who was the King's closest advisor, took action while the King was suffering alcoholic depression. Judd, risking his life, wrote a petition to Queen Victoria by candlelight inside the Royal Mausoleum, using the casket of the recently deceased Queen Ka'ahumanu as a writing desk, asking for sovereignty to be restored. Judd tracked down the King and demanded he sign the petition, and arranged for an American sailor to get it delivered. As a result, 5 months later, Admiral Thomas arrived with a proclamation restoring sovereignty to the King.

Notice that Kauikeaouli played virtually no role in the restoration of his monarchy. Neither did any other native. The Caucasian missionary doctor from America, Gerrit Judd, was the real hero who risked his life to write the petition, rousted the drunken and depressed King and made him sign it, recruited an American to deliver it. The Caucasian Queen Victoria granted the petition, and the Caucasian British Admiral Thomas delivered the restoration proclamation to Honolulu. Judd marched alongside the King from Thomas Square to Kawaiaha'o Church while native chiefs followed along behind; Judd stood next to the King on the church steps and read the English-language petition out loud in fluent Hawaiian; and only then did the King say his famous one-liner. Nevertheless, as Mayor Kirk Caldwell said at the dedication ceremony for the statue: "This is King Kamehameha III's place at Thomas Square, and it's fitting that it have the statue of Kamehameha III, not Admiral Thomas. He gets the name, but he doesn't get the statue." The only place Admiral Thomas' name can be seen is on the old wooden sign at the corner of Ward and King streets that announces the park's name. No doubt the Hawaiian activists will put in a bill at city council to change the name of the park to something like "Sovereignty Restoration Park" hinting more at their hoped-for future than at the actual history.



Kamehameha The Great had only three "official" children. Their mother was Kamehameha's sacred wife Keopuolani (there were more than 20 other official wives plus numerous concubines). She was the high chiefess with greatest mana (spiritual power) in all Hawaii. She had the kapumoe -- the prostrating taboo, which required anyone near her to lie face-down in the dirt or be punished with immediate death. Their first child was a son, Liholiho, who became King Kamehameha II upon the death of Kamehameha the Great in 1819. Liholiho, together with Keopuolani and favorite wife Ka'ahumanu and high priest Hewahewa proclaimed an end to the old religion later in 1819. The Christian missionaries from New England arrived many months later, in 1820. Liholiho died of measles in London in 1824. The second child was a boy, Kauikeaouli ("born in the dark cloud" [of death] but revived by chants to the gods), who became King Kamehameha III in 1825 when the (unexpectedly) dead body of Liholiho arrived back in Hawaii. The third child was a girl, Nahi'ena'ena, who as a teenager made a baby with Kauikeaouli both as a love-child and in fulfillment of her sacred genealogical duty; but she died a few months later of a broken heart after the baby died and the missionaries kept telling her it's a sin to have sex with her brother.

Kauikeaouli reigned for 29 years, following the death of his older brother Liholiho Kamehameha II until Kauikeaouli's death in 1854. None of the 7 other monarchs ruled for anywhere near that long during the 83-year history of the Hawaiian kingdom. As the surviving son of Kamehameha The Great, and ruling monarch, he initially held absolute power and he owned all the lands of Hawaii as his personal property by right of conquest. In 1840 he gave up authoritarian power by proclaiming the Kingdom's first Constitution; and beginning in 1848 he proclaimed the Great Mahele, dividing up the lands into Crown lands (which remained his personal property); Government lands (for roads, schools, etc.); and fee-simple private lands which he initially gave in extremely large parcels to high-ranking chiefs, subject to certain rights guaranteed by the King to the commoners who were living upon or farming smaller parcels inside the chiefs' larger parcels.

Why was no statue erected for 175 years to honor the very important longest-reigning King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III, who benevolently gave up total power and land ownership in the best interests of his nation, especially considering that many statues have been erected to honor many other Hawaiian kings, queens, princes, rebels (Robert Wilcox), and even foreigners like China's President Sun Yat-sen and U.S. President McKinley?

The answer is simple. Hawaiian activists for many decades have regarded Kauikeaouli's benevolence as a political mistake. The activists point out that in other Polynesian nations like Samoa and Tonga, the only people allowed to own land are Polynesian natives. Creating fee-simple land ownership in Hawaii resulted in natives selling or otherwise losing most of the land and, thereby, losing political power. Proclaiming a constitution with equal rights under the law regardless of race resulted in natives losing power. Hawaiian activists give high praise to Prince Kuhio who, as Hawaii's Territorial Delegate for 20 years, secured passage of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act in 1921 which set aside 200,000 acres of land to be owned communally by the government for exclusive use of ethnic Hawaiians with at least 50% native blood quantum who can lease the land for one dollar per year for housing or farming but can never own or sell the land. Hawaiian activists give high praise to "Frenchy" DeSoto and John Waihee III who persuaded the Constitutional Convention of 1978 to create the Office of Hawaiian Affairs with the requirement (since ruled unconstitutional by federal courts) that only people with native blood could vote for or be elected as OHA trustees. Thanks to Kauikeaouli there was nothing in the Hawaiian Kingdom like the racially exclusionary Hawaiian Homelands or the racially exclusionary OHA (as OHA was originally established). Thanks to Kauikeaouli Caucasians, some from Europe but most from America, became powerful cabinet ministers, department heads, judges, and members of the Kingdom legislature (some appointed by the Kings and some elected by the chiefs and commoners). Today's Hawaiian sovereignty activists don't like that sort of thing at all, so they have been reluctant to celebrate Kauikeaouli whose embrace of multiracialism drew protest from some native chiefs, including a petition from David Malo, one of the foremost native scholars, who complained about white men ruling over natives.



Admiral Thomas' name is not mentioned in any of the new signage in Thomas Square. Indeed, the only place where his name is mentioned is in the old wooden sign at the corner of Ward and King streets which merely announces the name of the park. As Mayor Caldwell is quoted as saying (full text of news report below): "This park is special. This is King Kamehameha III's place at Thomas Square, and it's fitting that it have the statue of Kamehameha III, not Admiral Thomas. He gets the name, but he doesn't get the statue," said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. So Admiral Thomas is on the brink of becoming a Soviet-style non-person in Hawaii's ongoing ethnic cleansing of the history of the Hawaiian Kingdom. See webpage "Happy holidays -- not so happy anymore! Ethnic cleansing of Hawaiian history" at

There's one main reason why in 2018, 175 years after Sovereignty Restoration Day, a huge bronze statue has now been erected to honor the man who was King at that time. The reason is that today's Hawaiian sovereignty activists hope for a modern-day restoration of the sovereign independence of a nation of Hawaii; and Thomas Square is now a focal point for promoting it.

Thomas Square is being renovated under a plan that is taking several years in three phases. What happened in July 2018 is the completion of phase two. The newly established elements in the park are both explicitly and symbolically designed to proclaim that the Kingdom of Hawaii was never extinguished; that its sovereignty will be restored in practice as well as under "international law."

There is now a very long wall running about halfway across the width of the park from Ward to Victoria, and located perhaps 1/3 of the way between King and Beretania, on the King Street side of the fountain and banyan tree, creating a sort of apartheid regime to separate what might be called the Hawaiian Kingdom portion of the park from the portion for general recreational use for craft fairs, dog training, food vendors, toilets, etc.

Let's describe the 4 Hawaiian Kingdom elements newly erected in Thomas Square park. Several news reports are copied farther down in this webpage which provide more detail.


1. The wall

The wall itself stands about 4 feet tall -- sufficiently high to prevent anyone from using it as a bench.

In one line of horizontal etching in stone is the King's famous one-liner, in Hawaiian, in quote marks:

"Ua mau ke ea o ka 'āina i ka pono"

(yes, with modern-day 'okina and kahako which were invented by UH professors in recent decades and which the King never heard of or saw in writing). But underneath the King's one-liner is another one-liner expressing the feelings of today's Hawaiian secessionists and, by its placement on this wall and with the King's name after it, giving the false impression that it is an accurate translation of what the King said.

Are you ready for this blatant falsehood? Etched in stone, it asserts that the Hawaiian Kingdom never ended. It remains alive today as a sovereign, independent nation. The sentence conveys the impression that Kauikeaouli spoke not only a fact but a prophecy. The alleged translation says:


The sovereignty of the kingdom continues because we are righteous -- King Kamehameha III, 1843.


The actual words spoken by the King in Hawaiian make no mention of the "kingdom" and no mention actual or implied of the word "we". The King neither said nor implied that concept, although the secessionist crazies believe that as their fundamental value -- that Hawaii remains a sovereign independent nation because of the [claimed] righteousness of the [ethnic] Hawaiians.

The "official" translation of the King's one-liner has been, for many decades: "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness" and that is the official state motto. A plaque on the back side of the wall provides this official translation and notes that it is the state motto. There is even an environmental activist group whose name is "Life of the Land." The sovereignty activists are correct that the official translation is wrong because the phrase "ke ea o ka 'aina" -- although its word-for-word translation is "the life of the land" -- in the context of the events of 1843 should be simply the word "sovereignty." So a good interpretation of the entire sentence, without political gamesmanship, would be: Sovereignty has been preserved [or restored] because it was righteous [to do so].


2. The statue

The bronze statue's body is 12 feet tall, and stands atop a cubical base that is about 4 feet tall. The statue alone cost Honolulu taxpayers $250,000. The King's body is headed toward McKinley High School, although his head is turned toward his left so he is looking toward the flag, and his arm is outstretched toward the flag. His right foot is planted on the cubical base, but his left foot is a step forward and raised atop a low support. The King is dressed in some sort of military garb or uniform, including epaulets on the shoulders. The statue has 4 floodlights to keep it illuminated at night.


3. The flag and pole

The large Hawaiian flag is near the top of a very tall white flagpole -- perhaps 4 times as tall as the top of the statue. The flag is intended to fly 24 hours per day, every day, regardless of weather.


4. The "ahu"

There is a pile of large black lava rocks neatly assembled in the shape of a cube about 4 ft. on each edge, with a few smaller, off-color or occasionally white rocks as needed to fill spaces between the larger rocks, for stability. A small garden is on one side of the rockpile, while various leis and plants are placed on the top as ho'okupu (offerings). This sort of rockpile is usually referred to an an "ahu" which means "altar" -- the word is intended to convey the impression that the rockpile has a spiritual significance.



** Headline: Thomas Square statue has same purpose as Confederate statues

A statue to my favorite Hawaiian King, Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III, was unveiled in Thomas Square on the 175th anniversary of Sovereignty Restoration Day. Sadly it has the same motives as erecting statues to Confederate heroes, in Southern states, decades after they lost the Civil War -- celebration of secessionist attitudes, defiance against the U.S. government, and assertion of race-supremacist nationalism. Hawaiian activists disrespect Kauikeaouli by making him their poster-boy for anti-American secessionism when in fact the King offered a Treaty of Annexation to the U.S. in 1854.

Some Hawaiian activists say they seek to restore a multiracial nation. But actually they do ethnic cleansing of history, refusing to acknowledge the hero of Sovereignty Restoration Day, Rev. Dr. Gerrit Judd, the King's closest advisor. He risked his life writing the petition to Queen Victoria, demanding the King sign it despite alcoholic depression, and getting an American sailor to deliver it.

Kauikeaouli's greatest achievements were to proclaim a Constitution establishing racial equality under the law, and the Great Mahele creating private property. But today's Hawaiian activists reject both, demanding racial supremacy under a theory of "indigenous rights", and communal land tenure in "Hawaiian Homelands."



1. Erecting a statue of King Kamehameha III in 2018, many decades after Hawaii became a Territory and a State, has the same motive as erection of statues of Confederate generals in Southern states decades after they lost the Civil War. The purpose of the statues was not merely to commemorate history and celebrate a proud Southern heritage, but rather to rally patriotism toward the losing side in a historical struggle, to rally defiance against the U.S. national government portrayed as military occupiers, and to rally support for attitudes favoring supremacy of one race above all others. Statues of Confederate leaders and generals like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson have been removed from public display in Southern states even while we are erecting a statue demanded by our own Hawaiian secessionists demanding race-based political power.

2. Some Hawaiian independence activists say their movement is about a nation, not a race. They point out that the Kingdom of Hawaii was multiracial with equal voting and property rights. But in celebrating this sovereignty restoration holiday from 1843, they systematically exclude the hero of the day, a U.S. medical missionary with no native blood who served as the King's closest advisor. Rev. Dr. Gerrit Judd almost single-handedly saved the Kingdom's sovereignty in the days following the British takeover, by writing the successful appeal to the British government. He did so in secret, at risk of his life, by candlelight at night in the Royal mausoleum, using the coffin of Queen Ka'ahumanu as his writing desk, at a time when the King was suffering alcoholic depression. He demanded that the King sign it, and he found an American sailor to hide it and get it delivered. When Admiral Thomas landed months later at what is now Thomas Square and delivered the British proclamation restoring sovereignty to Kamehameha III, it was Rev. Dr. Gerrit Judd who marched side by side with the King in solemn procession to Kawaiaha'o Church. Dr. Judd stood on the church steps next to the King and read the English-language proclamation loudly in fluent Hawaiian, whereupon the King uttered his famous one-liner: "Ua mau ke ea o ka 'aina i ka pono." But today's sovereignty activists conveniently forget the hero Rev. Dr. Gerrit Judd. There were many non-native heroes of the Hawaiian Kingdom. But today's sovereignty activists display their true colors when they engage in ethnic cleansing of Hawaii's history. They seek an independent Hawaii with racial supremacy for ethnic Hawaiians, where Caucasians and Asians would be only second-class citizens under a regime of special "indigenous rights."

3. Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III is my favorite monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom; but today's sovereignty activists reject his most important beliefs. He gave up absolute power to create a Constitution and the rule of law, using concepts and language recommended to him by his closest advisors, who came from America. The first sentence of that first Constitution said "Ua hana mai ke Akua i na lahuikanaka a pau i ke koko ho'okahi, e noho like lakou ma ka honua nei me ke kuikahi, a me ka pomaika'i." In English, it can be translated into modern usage as follows: "God has made of one blood all races of people to dwell upon this Earth in unity and blessedness." But leaders of today's sovereignty movement deny that the Kingdom embraced the concept of equality under the law, because they envision a future restored nation whose institutional structure would be racial supremacy for ethnic Hawaiians under a new theory of "indigenous rights" never imagined during the days of the Kingdom. Kauikeaouli had absolute ownership of all the lands of Hawaii by right of conquest by his father, which he freely gave up to create private property rights in the Great Mahele beginning in 1848, using concepts and language recommended to him by his closest advisors, who came from America. But leaders of today's sovereignty movement trash the Mahele, crying that the natives lost their land -- their vision for the future is communal ownership of land with ethnic Hawaiians in charge (for example, the Department of Hawaiian Homelands). So why are we erecting a statue to Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III? Only because he happened to be the monarch of Hawaii at a time when Hawaiian Kingdom heroes of American ancestry, and the British Queen, succeeded in giving him back the sovereignty that had been taken unrighteously by a rogue naval captain.

4. Full text of the 1854 Treaty of Annexation offered by Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III to the U.S., is available on pp. 402-405 of the Morgan Report at

5. See "Hawaiian religious fascism. A twisted version of a beautiful creation legend provides the theological basis for a claim that ethnic Hawaiians are entitled to racial supremacy in the governance and cultural life of the Hawaiian islands."
"The Aloha Spirit. How aloha for all, manifested in the twin pillars of unity and equality, can overcome Hawaiian religious fascism which is the theological basis for a claim to racial supremacy."

6. For several years July 31 was actively celebrated as a national holiday: Ka La Ho'iho'i Ea (Sovereignty Restoration Day). Today's sovereignty activists like to say it was a national holiday for all the remaining years of the Kingdom. However, a book friendly to the activists' general viewpoint says otherwise. Helena G. Allen, "The Betrayal of Liliuokalani" (Glendale CA, Arthur H. Clark Co., 1982), p. 61, says the following:

"In the afternoon Kamehameha III went in a solemn procession with his chiefs to Kawaiahao Church ...A ten-day celebration of Restoration Day followed, and was annually observed. The last of the Restoration Day celebrations came in 1847. The missionary element in the government were thereafter to declare the celebrations 'too expensive.' ... A thousand special riders, five abreast ... were followed by 2500 regular horsemen ... arrived at the Nuuanu picnic ground in a pouring rain, with spirits undampened. ... It was to be the last of such Hawaiian festivities ..."



So, what's that big cubical rockpile doing there? Who authorized THAT?

Hawaiian sovereignty activists love to build these rockpiles which they call "ahu" implying that they are religious "altars." The best-known one was built (without a permit, of course) on the grounds of Iolani Palace on January 17, 1993 to commemorate (protest) the revolution that overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy 100 years previously. It's still there to this day, occasionally changing size as the activists choose. Another was built at the UH Manoa administration building to protest the UH patenting of a genetic variation of kalo [the taro plant is the elder brother of ethnic Hawaiians according to Kumulipo creation legend; so the activists say tampering with its DNA would be tantamount to genocide against ethnic Hawaiians]. Others were built smack in the middle of the access road to the summit of Mauna Kea, to block construction of the 30-meter telescope. In all cases the protesters claim the right to build an "altar" without needing any government permission, as an exercise of religious liberty (guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, of course! [but which they say has no authority in Hawaii]).

These rockpiles are nothing more than 3-dimensional graffiti. They are a form of vandalism. They should be removed. Millions of dollars have been spent, and careful planning has been done, to beautify Thomas Square. No stage for the Royal Hawaiian Band, no renovated toilet or concession stand, no walking path, have been allowed without careful planning and government approval. Homeless are not allowed to pitch their tents or stow their shopping carts full of ugly junk in Thomas Square. Yet there stands a big black pile of rocks in a place where there never was one before, and the crazies are allowed to get away with it.

If I and a group of patriotic friends were to go to Thomas Square and erect our own permanent flagpole and fly the American flag -- as an exercise of Constitutionally protected freedom of speech -- the police would certainly come and take it down; and if we keep doing it, we would get arrested. So come on, Mr. Mayor, clean up Thomas Square and get rid of this three-dimensional graffiti.



Iolani Palace Rockpile -- Religious Shrine Or Political Symbol?

Concluding 2 paragraphs of the webpage about the Iolani rockpile:

Let's understand that the 'Iolani rockpile is a living political commemoration of a historic event. The rockpile has been added to as time goes by, and also subtracted from (perhaps people occasionally place rocks or personal mementos in the pile to be incubated or suffused with mana until they are removed and taken back home). Families from other islands and from the mainland have had their own rocks placed in this pile (somewhat like Jews asking for a tree to be planted in Israel in their name). At times there have also been cowrie or conch shells, or coral, visible among the lava rocks.

Following the tradition of twelve years, it would be quite appropriate for anyone to add a personal memento to the rockpile, including those whose hearts rejoice that the monarchy was overthrown. In keeping with the theme of the rockpile, personal mementos added to it should be focused on the Hawaiian revolution of 1893. Those who appreciate the landing of U.S. peacekeepers to prevent rioting and arson during the revolution should feel welcome to place small U.S. flags deep in the holes among the rocks, or perhaps to add new rocks with "Hawai'i USA" chiseled into them. Small stones with appropriate messages would make a merry sound as they clink-clank down through the rockpile like marbles in a pachinko or pinball game. Alternatively, a new monument could be built nearby as a shrine to honor the spiritual values of Aloha For All and of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the free expression of religious and political views in public places and prohibits the establishment of any government-sponsored religion.



** At the bottom of this compilation is a lengthy essay from "Red Nation" [A propaganda blog for Native American causes] which clearly displays the close emotional/conceptual connection between the Thomas Square displays for Sovereignty Restoration Day, and the typical Marxist analysis about colonial domination, capitalist exploitation, plus resistance to the Mauna Kea telescopes, etc. It's lots of fun to read. Be sure to tell state rep Kaniela Ing about it.

KHON TV2 news, July 26, 2018

Thomas Square reopens with prominent new addition

By: Web Staff

HONOLULU (KHON2) - Thomas Square has been undergoing renovations for nearly two years.

This week, the public got its first full look at the improvements.

With phases one and two complete, the temporary construction walls surrounding the park came down Monday.

The park features a new irrigation system, grass, walkways, and flagpole.

The costs for phases one and two add up to roughly $2.8 million (Phase I: $1,319,963.05, Phase II: $1,479,828.80 estimated).

Another significant addition: a statue of King Kamehameha III, commissioned by the Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts.

"Kamehameha III is the longest-ruling alii. As part of the director of the Culture and Arts, that's part of my task. I manage the city's $11 million art collection, and we have no art for this wonderful king, who started the Royal Hawaiian Band, and the Honolulu Fire Department, which is still in existence today," said Misty Kelai, executive director, Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts. "I like to say he's the people's king, alii lokomaikai, a generous king. Of course, Thomas Square with Kamehameha III, because this is where Thomas Square that the Hawaiian kingdom was restored in 1843."

The $250,000 statue remains covered, and will be unveiled at a dedication ceremony on Tuesday, July 31, which is also the 175th anniversary of La Hoihoi Ea, Sovereignty Restoration Day.

"Actually, that is a very modest cost for a 12-foot bronze statue. I met the artist yesterday. We were at Thomas Square doing the lighting. I said, aren't you proud? He cried. He said he didn't care if he made a dime, that it was the most honor that he has to make this statue. It's the largest piece he has ever made, and Thomas Jay Warren has been in the sculpture bronze business for over 30 years, so he is super, super excited," Kelai said.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Saturday July 28, 2018

Statue dedication at Thomas Square will celebrate historic day

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

Native Hawaiian groups and royal societies will join Mayor Kirk Caldwell and other officials Tuesday at Thomas Square as they dedicate a 12-foot-tall bronze statue of King Kamehameha III and a flagpole that will fly only the Hawaiian flag.

The ceremony will take place on the 175th anniversary of La Hoihoi Ea, also known as Sovereignty Restoration Day. On that date in 1843, British Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Richard Thomas ordered the Union Jack flag lowered in favor of the Hawaiian flag after wresting authority over the islands from Lord George Paulet, a Royal Navy officer who held Hawaii for five months under a military occupation, and handing it back to Kamehameha III.

To honor Thomas, Honolulu's first park under the monarchy was given his name.

Native Hawaiian groups and royal societies will join Mayor Kirk Caldwell and other officials Tuesday at Thomas Square as they dedicate a 12-foot-tall bronze statue of King Kamehameha III and a flagpole that will fly only the Hawaiian flag.

** Photo URL

The ceremony will take place on the 175th anniversary of La Hoihoi Ea, also known as Sovereignty Restoration Day. On that date in 1843, British Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Richard Thomas ordered the Union Jack flag lowered in favor of the Hawaiian flag after wresting authority over the islands from Lord George Paulet, a Royal Navy officer who held Hawaii for five months under a military occupation, and handing it back to Kamehameha III.

To honor Thomas, Honolulu's first park under the monarchy was given his name.

The statue, which depicts the king in Western military garb, was created by Oregon artist Thomas Jay Warren for $250,000 through the Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts.

The statue and flag, as well as a signage wall explaining what happened on the historic day, are part of the first two phases of a three-phase repair and improvement project at Thomas Square initiated by Caldwell. Completed improvements include a new irrigation system, lawns and walkways.

Caldwell wanted to create an entirely new master plan for the park but was constrained by the City Council, which required that funds in the city budget for Thomas Square be used only for repair and improvements, not for a total revamp. Council members Carol Fukunaga and Ann Kobayashi, who represent the surrounding communities, opposed the plan, stating they were worried Caldwell was trying to commercialize the park.

On Friday, Caldwell insisted that was not his intent, saying he wants to "work with the community to activate the park."

Concerns have been raised by some in the Hawaiian community that a pathway of markers forming the Hawaiian flag was being removed in the renovation. Misty Kela'i, head of the Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts, said the path will be restored as part of the project's third phase.

Kumu Ainsley Halemanu, who will conduct the opening prayer Tuesday, said Kamehameha III deserves the recognition. "He had to deal with the rest of the world coming to Hawaii," Halemanu said. "He made the great transition from the old to the new."

Tuesday's ceremony begins at 10 a.m. It is separate from a La Hoihoi Ea observance planned for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Thomas Square. That event is organized by Hawaiian independence groups and others, and for decades has been held on the Sunday before Sovereignty Restoration Day.

Daniel Anthony, one of the organizers of Sunday's event, encouraged the public to attend both celebrations. He said he's happy city officials want to commemorate La Hoihoi Ea so more people can learn the significance of the date.

"It's important that they be honest and truthful in portraying the history," he said. "If they can convey the truth of the history, then we're going to work with them."

For more about Sunday's event, visit


KITV, Posted: Jul 29, 2018 5:44 PM HST

La Ho'i Ho'i Ea: Celebrating the 175th Anniversary of Sovereignty

By Lei Kaholokula

** Inline video

La Hoihoi Ea: The Annual Celebration of Hawaiian Restoration drew hundreds for a day of education, cultural sharing, community networking and free music.

The national celebration of La Hoihoi Ea was established in 1843 under Kamehameha III, Kauikeaouli. This national event, called La Hoihoi Ea, Sovereignty Restoration Day, gave birth to the popular proclamation by Kauikeaouli: Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono.

The sovereignty of the Hawaiian nation is restored by righteousness.

This celebration became one of the first national holidays of the Hawaiian Kingdom along with La Kuokoa, Hawaiian Independence Day.

KHON2 news, July 31, 2018

King Kamehameha III statue unveiled at newly renovated Thomas Square

By: Web Staff

HONOLULU (KHON2) - A special ceremony welcomed a new addition to Thomas Square Tuesday.

Song, dance, and speeches celebrated the unveiling of a statue of King Kamehameha III, which was commissioned by the Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts.

"Kamehameha III is the longest-ruling alii. As part of the director of the Culture and Arts, that's part of my task. I manage the city's $11 million art collection, and we have no art for this wonderful king, who started the Royal Hawaiian Band, and the Honolulu Fire Department, which is still in existence today," said Misty Kelai, executive director, Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts. "I like to say he's the people's king, alii lokomaikai, a generous king. Of course, Thomas Square with Kamehameha III, because this is where Thomas Square that the Hawaiian kingdom was restored in 1843."

The ceremony took place on July 31, which is also the 175th anniversary of La Hoihoi Ea, Sovereignty Restoration Day.

In 1843, the Hawaiian kingdom was under British control for approximately five months. On July 31, in a ceremony at what is now Thomas Square, Admiral Richard Thomas officially restored power to Kamehameha III by lowering the Union Jack flag and replacing it with a Hawaiian one.

"This park is special. This is King Kamehameha III's place at Thomas Square, and it's fitting that it have the statue of Kamehameha III, not Admiral Thomas. He gets the name, but he doesn't get the statue," said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

The statue was commissioned for $250,000.

"Actually, that is a very modest cost for a 12-foot bronze statue," Kelai said prior to the ceremony. "I said (to artist Thomas Jay Warren), aren't you proud? He cried. He said he didn't care if he made a dime, that it was the most honor that he has to make this statue. It's the largest piece he has ever made, and Thomas Jay Warren has been in the sculpture bronze business for over 30 years, so he is super, super excited."

Thomas Square had been undergoing renovations for nearly two years.

With phases one and two complete, the remaining construction walls surrounding the park came down last Monday, July 23.

The park features a new irrigation system, grass, walkways, and flagpole.

The costs for phases one and two add up to roughly $2.8 million (Phase I: $1,319,963.05, Phase II: $1,479,828.80 estimated).

Honolulu Star-Advertiser, August 1, 2018

Statue of Kamehameha III marks restoration of Thomas Square

By Dan Nakaso

Tuesday's dedication of a 12-foot-tall statue of King Kamehameha III in the middle of Thomas Square celebrated Hawaiian pride, provided a lesson in island history and honored a king who gave up his monarchy in the belief that justice would prevail.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell told those gathered that Tuesday's event at Thomas Square represented "our ongoing story of our people -- all of our people, whether you've got the koko of the Hawaiian blood or whether you showed up last week or you're one of the immigrant groups that came to work the plantations. We're all part of that story today."

The day marked the 175th anniversary of La Hoihoi Ea, or Sovereignty Restoration Day. The event honored the day that Hawaiian rule was restored under Kamehameha III in a modern-day ceremony that re-created the lowering of the British flag and the raising of the Hawaiian flag once again -- and for the foreseeable future -- over Thomas Square.

A newly unveiled $250,000 bronze statue by artist Thomas Jay Warren depicts Kamehameha III with "one foot planted firmly on the ground, perhaps in the past, and one foot raised in the direction of the future," Caldwell said. "His arm is raised to the flag, the Hawaiian flag, the only flag that will fly here 24 hours a day, seven days a week forever, by herself with no others."

The ceremony was timed to coincide with the exact hour that five months of British rule under Capt. Lord George Paulet was ended by Paulet's boss, Rear Adm. Richard Thomas of the British Royal Navy, said Puakea Nogelmeier, a retired professor from the University of Hawaii's School of Hawaiian Knowledge.

Months before, Paulet had threatened to attack Honolulu. In response, Nogelmeier said, Kamehameha III "decided to peacefully surrender the government to the British crown until Britain could review the setting. It was a hard yet brilliant political move relying on a higher level of justice."

In the interim Paulet appointed himself head of the Hawaiian government and destroyed Hawaiian flags, replacing them with the Union Jack in preparation to make Hawaii a British territory, Nogelmeier said.

But when Thomas arrived July 26, he decided "Paulet's actions were inappropriate and the occupation must end," Nogelmeier said.

And Thomas decided on a public ceremony to "document the restoration of the nation's independence and self-rule."

The event was held July 31, 1843, on a dusty patch of land between Honolulu town and Waikiki -- on what is now called Thomas Square.

"This is Kamehameha III's place at Thomas Square, and it's fitting that it have a statue of Kamehameha III, not Adm. Thomas," Caldwell said. "He gets the name but he doesn't get the statue."

As modern-day Honolulu firefighters dressed in period uniforms stood guard with gleaming axes next to the towering statue, Caldwell spoke admiringly of a king who formed the first fire department west of the Mississippi River, created the Royal Hawaiian Band and shared power with three branches of government when he did not need to.

Caldwell called Kamehameha III "our Ben Franklin" and "the generous king."

Kamehameha III "created a land system where he shared the lands with others," Caldwell said, and oversaw "the most literate group of people in any kingdom anywhere. There were hundreds of newspapers, not just one today."

Caldwell welcomed debate about the $250,000 cost for the statue of Kamehameha III. He noted the appearance of some Hawaiian flags in the crowd that flew upside down. And he admired the speed that an ahu -- or stone altar -- mysteriously appeared in the park Monday night near the Thomas Square flagpole.

"That is part of the story, too," Caldwell said. "Kids will ask, What is this man about? And the stories will be told, and we'll continue to thrive as a people through these intertwined stories."


>> Began: Dec. 12, 2016; reopened July 23

>> Work: New irrigation system, grass, walkways, flagpole, statue, signage wall

>> Phase I cost: $1,319,963.05

>> Phase II cost: $1,479,828.80

>> Cost for King Kamehameha III statue: $250,000 paid through the Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts

** Gallery of 10 photos:

** 4 of the photo captions:

The men of the Kawai'ulaokala halau danced to "He Mele no Kau­ikeaouli."

The Hawaii Civil War Roundtable Reenactors fired a salute Tuesday after raising the Hawaiian flag in place of the Union Jack during the dedication ceremony at Thomas Square that honored King Kamehameha III and marked the 175th commemoration of Sovereignty Restoration Day.

Firefighters Rob Wengler and Sam Taeu draped lei Tuesday over Kamehameha III's statue at Thomas Square.

People lay their ho'okupu of lei onto the ahi [ahu; rock altar] next to the statue of King Kamehameha III in the moments prior to the dedication ceremony.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser, August 2, 2018, EDITORIAL

History stands tall at Thomas Square

Thomas Square has been elevated a bit closer to the status it has deserved: a favored green oasis in the city, with its distinct historical context, the Hawaiian flag topping the new flagpole, now in plain view.

Tuesday was La Ho'iho'i Ea, marking the 175th anniversary of the return of sovereignty that this holiday commemorates. King Kamehameha III, Hawaii's longest reigning monarch, welcomed the role of Britain's Adm. Richard Thomas in the restoration of Hawaiian kingdom rule. Another officer's rogue claim on the kingdom for the British crown was rebuffed after five months.

A new 12-foot sculpture of the king was installed as an enduring reminder of his stature: He was the one who brought the realm into the modern era of constitutional government. The park, named for the admiral, looks refreshed, with more improvements on the horizon.

It is a welcome reopening of a city asset, its first public park, and in a position that bridges two artistic attractions, the Honolulu Museum of Art and the Neal Blaisdell Center.

The coming months and years will be a test of balancing interests, as Mayor Kirk Caldwell's administration rolls out its further vision for Thomas Square. The park should be better used than it had been, but should not become commercialized or so "activated" that it sacrifices its value as a quiet refuge for Honolulu residents.

This was the issue behind a fight between the mayor and members of the Honolulu City Council. The mayor had unveiled a plan for the square that sought to strengthen links between it and the museum on the mauka side and the NBC complex makai of South King Street.

Elements included a bandstand, or stage area, intended for regular use by the Royal Hawaiian Band, but also for a performance space for members of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra or other artists. There could be art showings on the Beretania Street side of the square, coordinated with the museum.

But perhaps the more controversial proposal was for a concession stand on the Victoria Street boundary, where food could be served. Plans to commercialize public spaces has raised hackles among some neighbors, both here and at Ala Moana Park.

In order to accomplish the upgrades to Thomas Square efficiently, the Caldwell administration had sought to transfer the square to the supervision of the Department of Enterprise Services, the same agency that oversees the NBC and the city's other rental venues.

The Council adopted a resolution in opposition to the transfer, a message that was received loud and clear. Instead of transferring the property, Enterprise Services signed a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Parks and Recreation to handle much of the maintenance and security needs for the square, using NBC crews.

However, Guy Kaulukukui, Enterprise Services director, said the parks department still retains the control over permits issued for Thomas Square events -- rightly, as this will help ensure that its park character is not overwhelmed by all-consuming events.

Meanwhile, $4.7 million is alloted for design and construction of further improvements over the next year. These include restoring the diagonal paths that re-establish the Union Jack walkway pattern, fountain improvements, lighting of the walkways and the central banyan tree, pedestals for art installations, new benches and trash receptacles, paving, landscaping and construction of a maintenance storage building.

There will be a hardened surface for food trucks on the Victoria Street side, but no permanent concession, and no stage -- yet.

The administration hopes to win over the public to its larger vision over time. Time will tell if that succeeds, but in the meantime, it's wonderful to have Thomas Square back, and more welcoming than ever.

The Garden Island, August 3, 2018

Honolulu unveils King Kamehameha III statue to mark holiday

By ASSOCIATED PRESS | Thursday, August 2, 2018

HONOLULU -- Honolulu has dedicated a statue of King Kamehameha III to mark the 175th anniversary of Sovereignty Restoration Day.

The city celebrated Hawaiian culture and history on Tuesday as it unveiled the 12-foot (3.7-meter) bronze statue in Thomas Square, the site where rule was restored to Kamehameha on July 31, 1843.

The ceremony was timed to the exact hour when five months of British occupation was ended by British Royal Navy Rear Adm. Richard Thomas, Puakea Nogelmeier, a retired University of Hawaii professor, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The $250,000 statute was outfitted with lei during the ceremony and guarded by Honolulu firefighters dressed in 19th century uniforms. Kamehameha founded Hawaii's fire department and shared power with three branches of government during his 29-year rule.

"This is Kamehameha III's place at Thomas Square, and it's fitting that it have a statue of Kamehameha III, not Adm. Thomas," Mayor Kirk Caldwell said. "He gets the name but he doesn't get the statue."

The city celebrated the restoration of power Tuesday by lowering the British flag and raising the Hawaiian flag. The statue by artist Thomas Jay Warren depicts Kamehameha's arm raised to the Hawaiian flag, with one foot planted in the past and the other lifted to the future, Caldwell said.

Caldwell told those gathered that the ceremony represented "our ongoing story of our people -- all of our people, whether you've got the koko of the Hawaiian blood or whether you showed up last week, or you're one of the immigrant groups that came to work the plantations. We're all part of that story today."


Honolulu Star-Advertiser, August 4, 2018
Kauakukalahale [The regular weekly Hawaiian-language column published on Saturdays]

Ua mau anei ka pono o nā kānaka 'ōiwi?

[Ken's translation: Is righteousness being perpetuated for ethnic Hawaiians?]

by Laiana Wong

English-language synopsis of the essay, by its author: The Restoration Day celebration at Thomas Square, where the Hawaiian flag now flies alone, gives hope to those of us who support a completely independent Hawai'i.

Caption of accompanying photo: Men of the Kawai'ulaokala halau, Kumu Hula Keli'iho'omalu Puchalski, dance to "He melee no Kauikeaouli" during the ceremony of the King Kamehameha III statue at Thomas Square, July 31. [Song title is "A song for Kauikeaouli"]

** Text of the column in Hawaiian:

Aloha mai nō e nā hoa aloha 'āina o Hawai'i nei. I Honolulu aku nei au i ka pāka e kaulana nei ma ka inoa 'o Thomas Square, a komo pū akula i loko o nā hana ho'olaule'a like 'ole e ho'omana'o ai i ka Lā Ho'iho'i Ea. He mau hana ia i ho'okumu 'ia he 175 makahiki aku nei, a i ho'āla hou 'ia e ke Kauka Kekuni Blaisdell i ka MH 1985, a i mālama kū makahiki 'ia mai ia manawa mai a hiki i kēia wā 'ānō. A i ka Lāpule nei i hala, ua mālama hou 'ia e like me ka mea ma'amau. 'O ka mohala loa a'ela nō ia o ka linapoepoe kanaka e kū mai ana no ka hīmeni 'ana i ke mele 'o Hawai'i Pono'ī. A ua 'ikea ma nā hua'ōlelo, he ho'oheno ia no ke aupuni mō'ī.

Aia nō ma kai aku o ka wai pua'i lani, kahi e kū nei ke kia ho'omana'o i kūkulu 'ia a kohu Kamehameha III, Kauikeaouli, ke nānā aku. I ia Lāpule nō a hiki mai i ka P2 nei, ua uhi pa'a 'ia ua kia ho'omana'o nei, 'a'ole i wehe 'ia a hiki mai ka lā 31 o Iulai, ka lā e piha makahiki ai. Aia a hō'ea mai ka Meia Caldwell a me kekahi mau maka hanohano o ke kūlanakauhale o Honolulu, ka 'oihana kīnai ahi ho'i (ua ho'okumu 'ia e ke ali'i Kauikeaouli), ka Hui Puhi 'Ohe Ali'i o Hawai'i, kekahi hālau hula a ke kumu hula Keli'i Puchalski, a me ka po'e anaina māka'ika'i, 'o ia ka wā i wehe 'ia ai.

I ke ahuwale 'ana mai o kona kia ho'omana'o, e kū mai ana 'o Kauikeaouli me kona lima hema e huli ana i luna, i ka lewa, a me ke ke'ehi 'ana o kona wāwae hema i mua. Ua kalai 'ia e kekahi mea hana no'eau o 'Amelika, e Thomas Jay Warren. Eia hou mai, ua hō'ike 'ia e kahi polopeka 'ōlelo Hawai'i ('a'ole na'e ia he kanaka maoli) ka mo'olelo o ka ho'oponopono 'ia o ia hihia e ka 'Akimalala Thomas, e ka mea nāna i kāohi i ka hana 'ino a Lō Paulet. Ma waena o ka meia, ka mea hana no'eau, a me ka mea ha'i mo'olelo, 'auhea lā ho'i nā Hawai'i?

Aia ma uka aku o ua kia ho'omana'o nei kekahi pā pōhaku, kahi i hō'ike 'ia ai ka 'ōlelo a Kauikeaouli no ka pau 'ana o ia hihia, "Ua mau ke ea o ka 'āina i ka pono." Ua unuhi 'ia mai na'e ma ka namu haole penei, "The sovereignty of the Kingdom continues because we are righteous." Na wai lā ia hana? Ma laila i ahuwale ai ka hemahema o ia mea he unuhi. 'O wai lā ho'i kēia "we"? 'O ia mea he pono ke kumu i mau ai ke ea. 'A'ole ia he hana i lawelawe 'ia e kākou.

Eia hou, ma ka ho'ohana 'ana i ka hua'ōlelo "continues", kohu mea lā, eia nō ke mau nei ke ea o ka 'āina ma muli o ko kākou pono. 'A'ole kā pēlā! No ka mea, i ka MH 1893, ua ho'okahuli 'ia ke aupuni mō'ī, a i ka makahiki 1898, he ho'ohui 'āina ho'opunipuni na ke aupuni kūikawā ka mea i ka'a ai 'o Hawai'i ma lalo o ka mana o 'Amelika. 'A'ohe wahi pono i laila, a ua mau nō ka noho hewa 'ana o 'Amelika a hiki i kēia lā.

He mea nui ka welo ho'okahi 'ana o ka hae Hawai'i i luna o ua pāka nei i ka pō me ke ao a i nā lā a pau. E minamina ana ka po'e puni 'Amelika i ka welo 'ole o kona hae i laila. He mea na'e ia e holomua ai ka mana'olana o ka po'e aloha 'āina. A hiki i ke kū hou 'ana i ka hano, e na'i wale nō kākou a mau ka pono o nā kānaka 'ōiwi.

** Text in English as translated by grossly imperfect but nevertheless somewhat helpful Google Translate robot at
** It is regrettable that the authors of the weekly Hawaiian language column refuse to provide any English translation -- it's their way of trying to force everyone to learn Hawaiian and/or to keep the use of Hawaiian as a sort of secret code which only the insiders are able to understand. The Google translation robot invites experts to make corrections to its translations as a way to improve the functioning of the robot; but it is clear that Hawaiian language experts have not been doing that. They seem to prefer to ensure plenty of employment for Hawaiian-speakers by refusing to make good-quality robotic translation available, as it is for most other languages. Here's what the Google robot produces for this particular column.

Welcome to the Hawai'i lovers. In Honolulu, I play a park called Thomas Square, and also participates in fun activities that will not commemorate the Day of Resurrection. to Ea. It was a work that was founded 175 years ago and was revised by Blaisdell Regional College in 1985, and has been in force since now. . And last Friday, it's again retained as usual. It is the fastest growing race of people in the dance of the song of Hawai'i Pono'ī. And it appears in the words, it is a concept of the monarchy.

There is also the source of the heavenly fluid, where the pillar of remembrance was erected and washed by Kamehameha III, Kauikeaouli. On Wednesday night until P2, the memorial was closed, not open until the 31st of July, the full day as far as. When Mr. Caldwell and some of the dignitaries of the city of Honolulu arrived, the fire department (originally founded by the chief Kauikeaouli), the Ohe Ali in Hawai'i, is a lively dance event by Keli'i Puchalski, and the tourist group, when he is released.

At the trial of his memory, Kauikeaouli stood with his left hand looking up to the sky, and his left leg left . He was sponsored by an American artist, by Thomas Jay Warren. Again, it has been reported by an American politician (he was not a native) the story of the case being resolved by the Thomas Thomas , who has prevented the evil work of Lö Paulet. Between the author, artist, and narrator, where are the Hawaiian?

On the other side of that memorial was a wall, where Kauikeaouli's statement was expressed when the case was over, "The land was still necessary. "It is translated out of the English fiction," The sovereignty of the Kingdom continues because we are righteous. "Who did this work? It then triggers the need for a translator. Who is this "we"? This should have been the source of the air. It is not a service that we are doing.

Again, by using the word "continuous", however, the climate is still in line with our potential. Not so! Because, in 1893, the government was overthrown, and in 1898, the counterpart of the government was the integral part of the United States, under the influence of the United States. There is no place there, and the United States has remained in danger until today.

It is important that the flag of the Hawaiian flag hangs on this park all night and day and day. American fans are worried about the flag of their flag. It is a matter of aiming at improving the hope of land lovers. Until the rise of the buffalo, we will be victorious and will always be the people of the nations.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Sunday August 5, 2018, READER COMMENTARY

Celebrate our history in public spaces

By Hardy Spoehr

The words spoken by Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III), "Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono," came to life on Tuesday when he rose again from the plains of Kulaokahu'a to bring our Native Hawaiian community together with others who call Hawaii home.

Sadly, we have too few such occasions where the history of Hawaii can be visually and spiritually portrayed for all to experience.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell's words, coupled with those of Betty Lou Kam, artist Thomas Jay Warren, Royal Hawaiian Band Director Clarke Bright, Honolulu Fire Chief Manuel Neves and historian Puakea Nogelmeier in the presence of our youth from the Kamehameha Schools, with ho'ailona Manu-o-Ku circling overhead, set the wonderful tone for the day.

In the course of the ceremony, my thoughts drifted to Dr. Richard Kekuni Blaisdell, who always gave life to this day in the past. He would have loved the day. Kudos must go to the mayor's Culture and Arts staff who made the day so memorable.

Even Queen Elizabeth weighed in on the occasion, sending her regards from Buckingham Palace. One can only contemplate our lives today if the action of Queen Elizabeth's great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria, and her commander in the Pacific, Adm. Richard Thomas, had served as a guide for Presidents Grover Cleveland and William McKinley. Yet, in many ways the kingdom and the legacies of our past leaders continue.

For those who have questioned the financial cost associated with Thomas Square renovations: Functions of the heart and soul have no price tag. Remember, there were those who supported tearing down Iolani Palace and Hale Koa to make way for a parking lot for the "new" Capitol Building, and there are those who continue to quibble over the Natatorium restoration on this, the 100th year of the Armistice.

What wonderful historical stories could we relate today to our generations if the homes of our ali'i, 'Ainahau (Princess Ka'iulani), Pualeilani (Queen Kapi'olani), and Keoua Hale (Princess Ruth), still stood as historical repositories of our past legacies.

A note to those who remain unconvinced: Remember that our famed Kamehameha I statue commissioned by King Kalakaua for his coronation, which today enjoys such popularity, initially cost the kingdom about $12,000. This equates to a cost of about $285,000 in today's U.S. dollars, so in reality we really got a bargain for Kauikeaouli. And remember Kamehameha I was duplicated because of a transit accident in the Falkland Islands.

Let us continue to give credence to celebrating our unique past and the brave souls who lived and made decisions that have influenced our lives and made Hawaii the unique place it holds in the Pacific and in the world today.

Let us all continue to celebrate and commemorate La Ho'iho'i Ea.

Hardy Spoehr, the former executive director of Papa Ola Lokahi (Native Hawaiian Health Board), describes himself as a retired person fortunate enough to have had caring mentors and a fulfilling life.


** Ken's online comment

Hardy Spoehr is correct that we should use public spaces to exhibit reminders of Hawaii's history.

But we should NOT use public spaces to provide twisted versions of history to be used as propaganda to shape public opinion on highly controversial issues.

I waited for the Thomas Square hoopla to die down, and then visited on Wednesday August 2. Here's what I observed. Details are in a large new webpage I created.

There's a long wall about 4 ft. tall that demarcates the makai 1/3 of Thomas Square as a sacred shrine to a future restored independent nation of Hawaii. On that wall is Kauikeaouli's famous one-liner, but with a brand new false English translation of it pretending to be accurate. Carved in stone right under the King's "Ua mau..." it says

The sovereignty of the kingdom continues because we are righteous -- King Kamehameha III, 1843.

That's false as a matter of historical fact, false as a translation of what the King actually said, and false as what is desirable for our future. It's what the Hawaiian secessionists want to believe. It's pure propaganda at taxpayer expense.

Kauikeaouli is my favorite Hawaiian king. His statue is beautiful, but way overpriced at a quarter million bucks.

The flagpole is perhaps the tallest I have ever seen, and flying the Hawaiian flag without the American flag anywhere in sight is a clear assertion of Hawaiian independence. False in fact and bad public policy.

Then there's the cubical rockpile intended as a living "altar" to the old Hawaiian gods, with offerings that will be constantly refreshed by zealous activists. I'll bet they had no permit to build it, but Mayor Caldwell winked at them.

"Sovereignty Restoration Day" is a clear propaganda label. The statue erected 175 years after the event serves exactly the same purpose as the statue to Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville Virginia, which was erected decades after he lost the Civil War. In both cases the purpose is to convey an attitude of hostility toward the U.S. and its perceived "military occupation" of the homeland; support for secession; and desire to establish a race-nationalist independent nation where one race (white in VA, Hawaiian in HI) would have supremacy over all others. "The good old days."

For deeper analysis please Google
Hawaiian thinking carefully
and see item #416 in the list of new items.


** Sovereignty Restoration Day is also celebrated on other islands, including Maui
Maui Time, August 1, 2018

La Hoihoi Ea: Talking story at Sovereignty Restoration Day


About a month after Americans honor the Fourth of July, a lesser-known historical day comes around that also celebrates independence. Called La Hoihoi Ea, or Sovereignty Restoration Day, and honored on Jul. 31, the holiday remembers a time before American occupation of Hawai'i.

In February of 1843, after complaints from British living in Honolulu, Lord George Paulet arrived in the islands to issue a list of demands to the king. Paulet would not hear Kauikeaouli's (King Kamehameha III) statements that emissaries had already been sent to Britain to resolve the disputes. By Feb. 15, 1843, the Hawaiian flag was lowered and replaced by the British flag, and control of the kingdom handed to occupying government under the threat of force.

Word of the situation eventually got to Queen Victoria who sent Admiral Richard Thomas to restore the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Hawai'i. On Jul. 31, 1843, after five months of occupation, the Hawaiian flag was raised once again and control of the Kingdom restored to Kauikeaouli, who declared, "Ua mau ke ea o ka 'aina i ka pono" (The sovereignty of the land is perpetuated in righteousness).

On Maui, a small group gathered at Maui Lani Regional Park on Jul. 30 to recognize this holiday. There were no fireworks or hotdog barbecues (at least while I was there, the event lasted from dusk Jul. 30 until dawn Jul. 31), but the group that came together was willing to share their reasons for recognizing this day, and what it meant to them.

The question of the meaning of independence and sovereignty in a land where the kingdom was overthrown was at the front of the conversations I had. "People say 'Happy Fourth of July!' I say, 'I don't celebrate it,'" Karen Alohilani Heu Sing told me. "As a Native American, as a Native Hawaiian, it's not my holiday. What is independence? To be able to live in the way I should, and I don't need to celebrate the American holiday – it's not mine!"

Kaniloa Kamaunu added, "For us it's as the United States on July Fourth, it's a time that we recognize that we're sovereign – the kanaka is still sovereign."

He said that he recognizes La Hoihoi Ea "to let [the United States] know that we're still independent, that you guys are still occupying foreign soil." Talking about the history of the British occupation, he added, "We're saying the same thing to the United States: You have to rectify the situation… We do this in hopes that this situation will be rectified."

After centuries of occupation, hope for sovereignty was a recurring theme. "This La Hoihoi Ea we keep celebrating so that we can keep hope alive," Kaniloa told me. It was a meaningful hope for Heu Sing, who emphasized the importance of recognition: "I realized that I am sovereign, I am independent… It's like recapturing our souls to know who we are."

The hope was not only personal but a desire for self-determination over the use of lands, and there was overlap at the group between members involved in disputing sand mining in Central Maui where iwi kupuna (ancestral bones) rest, restoring kuleana lands to families, and protesting development atop Haleakala.

"We've been doing this fight for almost 12 years now, trying to bring recognition to the area [the Central Maui Inland Sand]," Kamaunu told me regarding sand mining. He has been "trying to get developers and the county and the state to realize that what they're doing is wrong and they should leave everything as is. But it's all about developing, making money… This La Hoihoi Ea we keep celebrating so that we can keep hope alive."

For Wilmont Kahaialii, knowing this history and educating others is empowerment for those who want to fight these battles. "They need to realize there was a time when it became important for the sovereignty to be restored to the Kingdom of Hawai'i," he said, "because that allows us to go, 'Wait a minute, if Britain saw fit to do what was right, what was pono, then we need to take a look at the things leading up to the overthrow that were not pono and ask, 'What would be the pono thing to be done?'"

Keeaumoku Kapu, who has had success fighting a long court battle to restore his family's ownership of lands following clouding of land titles after the Mahele (a division of lands in the 1800s that changed Hawai'i's traditional land management system to comply with Western land ownership principles), told me his reason for recognizing the La Hoihoi Ea.

"For myself," he said, "it's trying to get the word out there. I'm constantly telling people that when they tell you you cannot, just remember you can. I'm living proof of that. A lot of people told me – even my dad told me – 'Why you bothering with this case?'"

"I tell my father, 'Because we're rooted in it, that's us, that's our story… Now I've been able to prove them wrong. That's something to celebrate and to give everybody hope out there. If I can do it, you can do it."

As the evening went on, the breeze picked up from across the valley and the fact that we were just feet away from zones that had been marked off as burial sites, across the street from housing developments on contested land, became more prominent. Kaniloa and Wilmont worked on getting a generator started to power their vigil that would go on for at least another 10 hours.

"The bottom line is we don't want anybody to be ignorant anymore," Wilmont said. "Coming to these gatherings will allow us to share that information and teach you how to walk pono."


** Ken Conklin's note: Following is an important essay because it clearly displays the emotional connection between sponsors of Sovereignty Restoration Day and the far-left Marxists who love to talk about capitalist exploitation, colonialist power, etc. "This piece was originally presented at a forum on Indigenous sovereignty and Hawaiian Sovereignty Restoration Day at the Party for Socialism and Liberation branch office in Albuquerque, NM on Friday, July 31." Note also the linkage to anti-telescope rhetoric about Mauna Kea, including the two endnotes. It's all connected folks!

The Red Nation, August 3, 2018

Lā Ho'iho'i Ea: Politics of Restoration and Hawaiian Sovereignty

NOTE: This piece was originally presented at a forum on Indigenous sovereignty and Hawaiian Sovereignty Restoration Day at the Party for Socialism and Liberation branch office in Albuquerque, NM on Friday, July 31.

by David Uahikeaikalei'ohu Maile I want to begin by telling you that today is a Hawaiian national holiday. It's a day of celebration. So, I think its best to explain what the celebration is all about. Today is known as Hawaiian Sovereignty Restoration Day. Ma ka 'ōlelo Hawai'i in Hawaiian language, today is called Lā Ho'iho'i Ea. Lā, meaning day. Ho'i, which is repeated for emphasis "ho'iho'i," meaning to return or restore. Ea, meaning life, land, and sovereignty.

Now, with this translation in mind, it should be clear that I'm not going to be discussing patronizing notions of Hawai'i as the 50th state, which representations in the television show "Hawai'i 5-0" or the new film simply titled "Aloha" might have you believe. This is not an invitation to reminisce on touristic fantasies about paradise. And certainly, I will not be teaching you about some romanticized tradition used by my ancestors for your spiritual restoration. Instead, I will focus on Lā Ho'iho'i Ea as a Hawaiian national celebration in order to map out what Indigenous sovereignty looks and feels like in ongoing struggles with racism, settler colonialism, and capitalism.

Admittedly, I am not a Hawaiian historian. Nor am I interested in debating the accuracy of historical narratives. I am much more concerned with informing and sparking discussion regarding Indigenous sovereignty, nationalism, and radical coalition building for decolonial futures. This is a kuleana or responsibility that was given to me, and I feel it in my bones, in each breath I take. Being open about one's position is an integral responsibility to a genealogy or mo'okū'auhau. In 1897, C.B. Maile, my great-great grandfather was one of the many po'e aloha 'āina--which translates as "people who love their land" but also stands for "Hawaiian patriots"--who signed anti-annexation petitions that were eventually given to the U.S. Senate as evidence suggesting Hawaiians didn't want to be American. After senators debated the treaty of annexation, these written protests of 1897--conventionally called the Kū'ē petitions--compelled senators to vote down the treaty of annexation. Despite successful efforts to resist U.S. annexation, Congress passed a Joint Resolution called the Newlands Resolution making Hawai'i a territory and folding the Hawaiian Nation into the U.S. albeit under illegal jurisdiction.

At face value, this might appear simple and clean-cut. Yet, U.S. constitutional law suggests Congress is unable to annex a foreign nation with the passing of a Joint Resolution. Simpy put, Congress doesn't have the power to take sovereignty away from an independent nation or country. In order to legally perform that manuever, a treaty, with the consent of both nations is required. And, since my great-great grandfather and others successfully demonstrated their lack of consent, a treaty of annexation doesn't exist. Thus, what the U.S. did is called an "illegal annexation," which allowed the formation of the current "fake-state" of Hawai'i.

It is because of C.B. Maile's courageous actions, and the work of my great-great grandmother Ko'olau who published poetry celebrating Hawaiians attempting two rebellions against the white supremacist U.S. military-backed provisional government in 1889 [** Ken's note: There was no provisional government until January of 1893; and it was not backed by the U.S. military] and the Republic of Hawai'i in 1895, that I am able to speak tonight about Lā Ho'iho'i Ea. To begin, I'll be providing a political trajectory of Hawaiian Sovereignty Restoration Day. Then, I'll showcase the ongoing struggle at the sacred mountain Mauna a Wākea for how organizing to protect it from desecration and desctruction at the hands of the Thirty Meter Telescope articulates sovereignty. And finally, I will conclude by reconsidering the politics of restoration.

It was 1843, and the British consul to Hawai'i Richard Charleton became invovled in a dispute with Ali'i or chiefs over a small house lot provided to him in Honolulu. Against the wishes of the Ali'i and their laws, Charleton expanded the physical structure of the home, and he was charged to pay easement, break down the expansion, or demolish the entire home. So, Charleton sent word to Lord George Paulet, a commander of a British warship. On February 10, 1843, Paulet travels to Honolulu and moors his warship to investigate Charleton's claims of unfair treatment over land ownership "rights." He then demands to King Kamehameha III, Kauikeaouli, that (1) Charleton be given "rights" over his alleged lands; (2) all British citizens in Hawai'i should only be judged by British law; and (3) Charleton should receive $100,000 as a form of indemnity payment. Paulet specifically stated "if my demands are not met, I will be obliged to take coercive steps to obtain [the] measures for my countrymen," suggesting that failure to comply by Kauikeaouli would result in the leveling of Honolulu harbor with canon fire and war with the Hawaiian Kingdom.

This wasn't the first time the Hawaiian Kingdom was threatened by war with a foreign power, especially one from Europe. On July 10, 1839, a French captain by the name of Cyrille Laplace sailed to Hawai'i with orders from the French government to investigate the treatment of French Catholics by Protestant missionaries sent to "civilize" the "heathenistic" Hawaiians. Earlier in 1839, French priests of the Roman Catholic Church attempted to establish a mission. Anti-Catholic Calvinist missionaries opposed their presence and managed to push the priests and their mission out of Hawai'i. Laplace, thus, demanded French priests be allowed to establish a mission, be given a land grant for their mission, and be paid $20,000. With Kauikeaouli away, the Kuhina Nui Kekāuluohi agreed to all of the demands in order to stave off war. So, in 1843, the Hawaiian Kingdom was pretty familiar with diplomacy under threat of war by a "Great Power."

After Paulet made his initial demands, Kauikeaouli smartly informed the commander that he'd sent an official of the Kingdom, Sir George Simpson, to settle this affair with Queen Victoria in England under the basis that Paulet's demands were "contravening the law established for the benefit of all." But, upon receiving threats to decimate Honolulu harbor and harm Hawaiians and their citizens, Kauikeaouli reluctantly ceded sovereignty of Hawai'i to Paulet under written protest to Queen Victoria. The protest called on Britain to "e ho'iho'i mai i ke ea o ka 'āina" to return the sovereignty of the land. The British government quickly disavowed Paulet's actions, and the protest was forwarded to Admiral Richard Thomas who sailed from Chile to Hawai'i on July 26 to reprimand Paulet and restore Hawaiian sovereignty to the Kingdom. On July 31, after 5-months of British occupation by Paulet, Thomas declared Hawai'i free and returned sovereign power to Kauikeaouli and the Kingdom. As a result, that day was declared a national holiday and celebration, and it was named Lā Ho'iho'i Ea.

It was also on that day in 1843 that Kauikeaouli announced "ua mau ke ea o ka 'āina i ka pono," which means the "the sovereignty of the land has been continued because it is pono [right or just]." This became Kauikeaoli and the Kingdom's motto, especially as later that year the Hawaiian nation became recognized through a joint declaration by Great Britain and France as a sovereign independent nation-state and member of the family of nations on November 28. This day is another Hawaiian national holiday called Lā Kū'oko'a or Hawaiian Independence Day. Ironically though, when Hawai'i was wrongly incorporated as a state in 1959, the State of Hawai'i appropriated this motto for itself. Let me be clearer, this motto celebrates Hawaiian national sovereignty, particularly after it was restored and recognized in 1843, but it is declared the motto of the State of Hawai'i, which is under the alleged sovereign power of the U.S. nation. In this instance, we see how sovereignty and nationalism collide under settler colonial recognition.

In another contradictory example, President Bill Clinton signed U.S. Public Law 103-150, that is colloquially known as the Apology Resolution which, "Acknowledges that the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i [on January 17, 1893] occurred with the active participation of agents and citizens of the U.S. and further acknowledges that the Native Hawaiian people never directly relinquished to the U.S. their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people over their national lands." Yet, this resolution also contends, "Nothing in this Joint Resolution is intended to serve as a settlement of any claims against the U.S." While the U.S. federal government acknowledges and apologizes for illegally overthrowing the Hawaiian Kingdom, its recognition of Hawaiian sovereignty then and now maintains a precariousness and anxiousness in its sanctioned regime of power. "We recognize we've done wrong," they say. Accepting such recognition means acquiescing or consenting to the power of another and subverting one's own control of what constitutes "wrong." For example, the Department of Interior's Advanced Notice for Proposed Rule Making hopes to recognize a Hawaiian government, but any potential consent to federal recognition would subordinate self-recognition of the Hawaiian Nation. And, that doesn't sound like self-determination to me. The policies and politics proffered by settler colonial states, from the U.S. to Canada to Australia and elsewhere, to recognize Indigenous peoples' sovereignty are always unequal and unfair exchanges of power.

Therefore, even in the landscape of Hawai'i's sovereignty being restored and recognized, Hawai'i is illegally occupied by the U.S, especially vis-à-vis militarization. Its military command of the Pacific called PACOM is stationed there. One fifth, about 300,000 personnel, of the U.S.'s active-duty military force is stationed at the U.S. Pacific Command. Along with veterans living in Hawai'i, the military population present in Hawai'i accounts for approximately twenty percent of the entire population. I imagine, also, that this number is much higher now since those estimates in 2008. Although Lā Ho'iho'i Ea is a day to celebrate Hawaiian sovereignty, the restoration and recognition in 1843 requires us to sincerely link and examine the ways de-occupation, de-colonization, and anti-capitalist movements by Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) and our allies continuously fight against racism, settler colonialism, and capitalist development.

In specific, the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom by the white supremacist U.S. military-backed oligarchy in 1893 opened the door for the military industrial complex as well as capitalist developments that dispossess Hawaiians of our 'āina or land and eliminate us through displacement from ancestral lands and by genocide. As a result of imperialism, westernization, and Americanization from 1778 to 1900, the Hawaiian population decreased dramatically from 800,000 to a mere 40,000; a rate of ninety-five percent. Now, settler colonial dispossession and elimination is much more subtle, being facilitated through the settler colonial state in racist legislation, militourism, criminalization, and also astronomy industry development. Enter the struggle over the sacred mountain Mauna a Wākea from desecration and destruction at the hands of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT).

The construction of TMT is led by the Thirty Meter International Observatory LLC (TIO), which is financially backed by international astronomy organizations from Japan, China, India, Canada, and the U.S. Their support contributes to approximately $1.4 billion in research and development funds. It is also supported by various institutions of Hawai'i's settler state, including the University of Hawai'i, Department of Land and Natural Resources, and previously the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The TMT proposes to be an 18-story high industrial telescope complex that would extend 20 feet down into the sacred piko or navel at Mauna a Wākea and span more than eight acres at the mountain's northern summit. In 1986, the University was granted a lease by the state to build "an observatory" on Mauna Kea. Today, there are thirteen telescopes on this mountain. With the University leasing the land for almost nothing, the TMT is proposed to be next, and it would be the second largest in the world. The construction of TMT violates state laws to protect conservation districts and appropriately survey environmental impacts. It would adversely affect the maintenance of natural resources in Hawai'i. And, its development infringes upon the Indigenous rights of Kānaka Maoli, particular related to gathering rights and religious freedom rights.

The mountain is a sacred temple, a burial ground for our ancestors, and its northern summit is the wao akua (realm of the gods) that links Papahānaumoku (Earth Mother) to Wākea (Sky Father). One mo'olelo or story explains how Poliahu, the snow goddess of the mountain, was once pursued by the god Kū in his form of Kūkahau'ula, which means Kū of the red-tinted snow. In the story, Kūkahau'ula is thwarted in his pursuits because his manifestation is the rising sun and Poliahu's frost, snow, and freezing rain stops him. When Kūkahau'ula finally does embrace Poliahu, her heart melts along with the snow on Mauna a Wākea. This mo'olelo's hidden meaning or kaona also explains the end of the ice age, according to Hawaiian espitemologies and literary traditions.

Yet, on October 7, 2014, the TMT met for a groundbreaking ceremony to initialize construction at this sacred mountain. Thankfully, it was interrupted and stopped by Kanaka Maoli protectors that refused the desecration and destruction. In March of this year, construction crews transported large equipment and machinery to the northern plateau of Mauna a Wākea to begin development of the TMT. While thirty-one were arrested, protectors calling themselves the Kia'i Mauna (guardians of the mountain) halted construction by blockading the only access road on April 2. After holding the blockade steadfast and maintaining a non-violent spiritual vigil under the premise of Kapu Aloha, construction crews made another attempt with help from Hawai'i county police officers and the Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement. So, on June 24, hundreds of protectors lined the access road to the northern plateau of Mauna a Wākea to block any construction. Despite having eleven Kia'i Mauna arrested, they were again successful in stopping any development from occurring.

At the heart of this defense, as explained by protectors Kaho'okahi Kanuha and Kaleikoa Ka'eo, is the idea of Aloha 'Āina 'Oia'i'o. According to Ka'eo, this translates to a genuine love of land that relies upon truth. Given the historical records related to restoration and recognition of the Hawaiian Nation's unextinguished sovereignty, Ka'eo says, "No consent. No treaty. No title. No TMT." This nationalist critique claims the telescope has no right to be built because of jurisdictional violations under Hawaiian Kingdom law. The logic goes, if Hawaiian sovereignty has never been relinquished and Hawai'i has been illegally occupied by the U.S. since 1893, then international laws dictate the TMT doesn't have a legal right to be built.

On top of this critique, there is a criticism, which I've written about elsewhere, that the TMT produces capitalist-colonialist violence. Simply put, through discourses about science and progress, the construction of TMT is justified in racist, imperialist, colonialist, and militarist ideologies that sanction capitalist development of Mauna a Wākea for the astronomy industry through settler colonization. The protectors know this. They are incarcerated and criminalized for their resistance to this. But, in standing strong in Aloha 'Āina 'Oia'i'o, resistance to the TMT expresses Hawaiian sovereignty. That stance and its resistance to marginalization articulate national sovereignty. It conveys a political autonomy over land and natural resources. It marks a kind of sovereignty, more appropriately called ea, that exists exterior to the apparatuses of the state. On June 24, after being released from police custody, Kaleikoa Ka'eo told reporters asking about the actions taken by Kia'i Mauna to stop TMT construction that "this is nation building."

From Mauna a Wākea to Haleakalā to Oak Flat and other Indigenous peoples' sacred places, Native liberation movements that antagonize racism, colonialism, and capitalism reflect Indigenous sovereignty. It is the reflection of a self-determining right and authority to oppose the imposition of physical and psychic violence. In particular then, I find myself curious about the politics of restoration.

As I've demonstrated, Lā Ho'iho'i Ea is a celebration of national sovereignty and independence for Hawai'i. Today is a day that is celebrated across the Hawaiian islands with 'ōlelo Hawai'i, educational speeches, workshops, oli (chants), mele (song), hula, activism and much more, especially as this holiday was banned for some time. Yet, my mind still returns to curiosities about the idea of restoration. To restore means to bring back into existence, into use or to bring back to a former, original condition. In a way, it reminds me of recognition. So, I wonder what self-determination looks like when power is centrally located in the ability to take-away and restore sovereignty? What happens when we consider restoration through law or recognition through declarations and treaties more important than sovereignty itself? Is sovereignty, then, held through legal power only? The complexity of sovereignty demands that we sincerely rethink what Indigenous sovereignty looks and feels like.

This is especially true considering the ways that international law restored Hawaiian sovereignty and U.S. constitutional law recognizes Hawaiian sovereignty, yet my people are still disenfranchised through laws that are more concerned with protecting the rights of corporations, institutions, and the state rather than our Lāhui (nation or people). It was just last night that Maui County Police arrested twenty protectors that asserted their sovereign rights and successfully halted construction crews working on the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope on another sacred mountain called Haleakalā. It was just this morning when the police from the Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement quietly snuck up Mauna a Wākea under the cover of darkness to arrest seven more Kia'i Mauna.

When will we learn that an overreliance on the legal powers of restoration and recognition should not supersede our Indigenous sovereignty? This means that sovereignty isn't solely mediated through international or U.S. law. It's also embodied. It is felt. It is asserted through true love and care of the land, in Aloha 'Āina 'Oia'i'o. It is a refusal of American citizenship. It is a resurgence against capitalist-colonialist violence. A rejection of astronomy industry development at Mauna a Wākea and at large. The politics of restoration, like celebrating Lā Ho'iho'i Ea, should be about ea, claiming life through our political autonomy and our land. The protection of Mauna a Wākea illustrates this. We will continue to rise, until the very last po'e aloha 'āina is left standing. It is as Kanaka Maoli scholar Noelani Goodyear-Ka'ōpua says, "Like breathing, the work of ea will continue on and on."

See also:

Science, Time, and Mauna a Wākea: The Thirty-Meter Telescope's Capitalist-Colonialist Violence, Part I

Science, Time, and Mauna a Wākea: The Thirty-Meter Telescope's Capitalist-Colonialist Violence, Part II


City and County of Honolulu Parks Department media release, Monday December 31, 2018

Flag pole at Thomas Square acts as solar compass

Honolulu - The Winter Solstice, also known as Midwinter, occurs when one of the Earth's poles is at its maximum tilt away from the sun. It happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere. It is also the shortest day of the year, most recently occurring on Friday, December 21.

The recently installed flag pole at Thomas Square was designed as a cultural, solar compass by PBR Hawaii architect and designer Russell Chung. At sunrise on the Winter Solstice, the shadow cast from the flag pole at Thomas Square aligned perfectly with the statue of King Kamehameha III. The King's raised arm also welcomes the morning sun.

The ancient Hawaiians used the solstice alignments for agriculture purposes as well as other religious and ceremonial purposes.

Additionally, the five crossing bands in the plaza that surround the flag mark or point to:
The traditional compass points: North, South, East, and West.
Winter Solstice (sunrise and sunset)
Summer Solstice (sunrise and sunset)
Toward Kūkaniloko out in Wahiawā. Kūkaniloko is the birthing place for all royalty and deemed to be the Piko of all Hawai'i The statue and flag pole were dedicated and unveiled to the public during a celebration of La Ho'iho'i Ea, the 175th anniversary of the restoration of the Hawaiian Kingdom, on July 31.

Thomas Square is recognized as O'ahu's oldest and first dedicated park.

** Ken Conklin's note: In the upper right corner is provided a button to "Translate." Click it to get a menu of 103 languages. Click on one of them (including Hawaiian. Arabic, Tamil) to see the entire article and all the navigating links provided in the language you chose. If you choose a European language, even the date on the article is changed to Euro style with the date numeral in front of the month name. They have even followed the international custom of leaving proper nouns in the original language rather than translating them -- for example the names of the Hawaiian holiday "La Ho'iho'i Ea" and the "Winter Solstice" remain in Hawaiian and in English no matter which other language is selected for the article as a whole. I can confirm that several of the languages I speak are indeed correct translations -- far more accurate than the usual Google translate. Hawaiian independence activists will no douby be pleased that this news release is available in 103 languages, making their propaganda accessible to virtually all the nations on Earth. One small flaw is that the list of languages is itself written in English no matter which language you have chosen to display the article. For example, "German" when written in the German language should be "Deutsch" and "Russian [language]" when written in Russian should look like "русский язык"


(c) Copyright 2018 by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved