Protesters force closure of State Archives building - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Protesters force closure of State Archives building

Mahealani Kahau Mahealani Kahau
William Aila William Aila

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Officials from the Hawaii Sheriff's Department and the Department of Land and Natural Resources surrounded the State Archives building Thursday morning after a group that calls itself, 'The Hawaiian Kingdom Government,' said it would "re-assume" control of the building.

"We are here every week," said Mahealani Kahau, leader of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government.  "We've been here for five years already. We were at that tree, then that tree, this tree and now it's time to go in there."

The building was shut down for the day because of concerns from palace employees.

"Their staff indicated that they were intimidated," said William Aila, DLNR Chair. "Also afraid of the possibility of this group coming in and, in their words, 'reassuming' control of the building, damaging some of the important documents that they keep in there."

This isn't the kingdom's first brush with law. Back in November 2011, several members -including Kahau- were arrested for trespassing.

The group still claims the palace grounds belong to it.

"This is the only place where you ask for the title from the chairman of the board and the attorney general's and they tell you, 'We don't know,'" Kahau said. "They don't have the title. The State of Hawaii don't have the title to the lands."

Aila says they should take their grievances to court.

"They, of course, refuse to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the State of Hawaii, so they will never go to a state court in order to do this," Aila said. "So we are at this standstill."

Kahau says she plans to return to the grounds Friday morning, while state officials re-assess whether to re-open the building.

"Tomorrow we going come back work, go back," Kahau said. "We still do those things, but this time, we going do it in the office, which belongs to us because these buildings are ours."


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