Only a handful show up to rally near Facebook CEO's Kauai proper - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Only a handful show up to rally near Facebook CEO's Kauai property

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KILAUEA, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

One day after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced he's dropping lawsuits against Kuleana landowners, a planned protest took place near his Kauai property.

The organizer, Joseph Hart, announced the event on Thursday via word of mouth and email blasts.

He expected more than 100 people to attend, but only a handful of demonstrators showed up.

Those who came to the Saturday rally weren't holding any signs or yelling chants of hate or malice toward the Facebook CEO.

Instead, people arrived with conch shells, flowers and plastic bags to pick up trash in the area.

Hart said his intention was to show the spirit of aloha. Ultimately, he wants Zuckerberg to come to Kauai and hold a town hall meeting with the community.

"What about making friends with your neighbors here on Kauai?" Hart said. "This has really riled up a lot of people on the island and it has divided family members."

In 2014, Zuckerberg spent $100 million on beachfront land along Kauai's North Shore to create a secluded sanctuary for his family.

To ensure that privacy, he sued families who might claim a portion of the property as "kuleana lands" -- which are lands passed down to the heirs of the first landowner without a will or deed.

After spurring local and national criticism, Zuckerberg dropped his lawsuits on Friday, but Hart says the battle isn't over.

"I think that Mark is actually just trying to be media savvy and get the heat off of him," said Hart.

Ricky Cassiday, who's family once owned land within the Zuckerberg parcel, was satisfied with the outcome.

"When Zuckerberg stopped and took a look and started being engaged personally, he solved a whole bunch of ego problems," Cassiday said. "Going forward, there's a lot of good things to be done out there to improve the quality of life."

"We know who we are and we know where we come from," said Kauai resident Joseph Kamai. "It's our duty to protect our land and our people."

Zuckerberg and his wife said they'll work with the community on a new approach, but they did not offer specifics.

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