Protestors band together on Kaua'i

Palikapu Dedman
Palikapu Dedman
Andrew Cabebe
Andrew Cabebe

By Howard Dashefsky - bio | email

KAUAI (KHNL) -- Frustrated over what they say is the desecration of an ancient Hawaiian cemetery, a large group of Native Hawaiians converged on a Kauai property on Thursday.

It was a show of both determination and unity.

Construction on a multi-million dollar home came to a halt on Thursday, when dozens of Native Hawaiians staged a protest.

They say the property owner, a California luxury home builder, is moving forward with the development that sits over an ancient Hawaiian burial ground on Kauai's north shore.

"We all came to stop this construction site from proceeding, and we see gross negligence on the state side and the county for not being more responsible in not taking care of these burial sites," said Palikapu Dedman, Big Island resident.

More than 30 protestors and cultural practitioners from Oahu, Maui, Molokai and the island of Hawai'i arrived on the Garden Island Thursday morning.

They secured themselves to one other and to the property in what they call a peaceful protest.

"This whole area here is a burial site. The beach area behind the black screen is filled with bones," said Andrew Cabebe, Kauai resident.

The protestors filed a lawsuit to stop the development, nd as a result they stopped protesting. That's until now because they say the developer recently moved forward on the project before getting a ruling from the court.

"This is a burial site. There are more than 40 burials here, and they already started to desecrate by pouring the concrete for the pillars over the burial site," said Dedman. "We're all Hawaiians, Kauaians, Oahuans Molikaians so we all need to show solidarity and support each other in these kind of issues".

Law enforcement authorities arrived on the scene, but made no arrests.

The protestors left on their own at about 5 Thursday afternoon.

We were unable to contact the property owner.