Thousands march to get lands back - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Thousands march to get lands back

Manu Kaiama Manu Kaiama
Kaiulani Edens-Huff Kaiulani Edens-Huff

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - Nearly 5,000 Native Hawaiians and their supporters march down Kalakaua Avenue to observe the anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy.

Their focus is on ceded lands and how they plan on getting it back. Organizers tell us say they hope the march through Waikiki will educate more people about this controversial issue.

They also hope to drum up more support on an international level and talk to people who don't know anything about the history of Hawaii.

Saturday's peaceful demonstration is just one of many throughout the years. The fight for land is at the heart of this heated debate.

"All of the rallies that we've had have been successful, they are a notice to the community that we're serious, that we mean what we say, that these ceded/stolen lands belong to native hawaiians and need to be protected," Event co-organizer Manu Kaiama said.

Governor Lingle says these lands are for everyone. Native Hawaiians hope she withdraws her appeal to the United States Supreme Court. It's a ruling that stops the state from selling ceded lands until pending Native Hawaiian claims to those lands are resolved.

"If she's not going to be doing that, then we're having a plan "B" of going to our legislators and our representatives and saying please put a moratorium on the sale of our sacred/stolen lands," Kaiama said.

Despite the tough challenge, Native Hawaiians feel they will prevail.

"We will win and we have enough people as you can see there are many of us that are thinking the same thing, that we want our sovereignty and that's the end result, that will happen," Native Hawaiian Kaiulani Edens-Huff said.

Organizers say at first, they thought about holding a demonstration at Iolani Palace, but they ultimately decided to go through Waikiki because they'd get more attention there.

"We're tired of marching, this is not going to last forever, we're tired of marching, it is time for Native Hawaiians to Hui Pu, join together and take back what is ours," Kaiama said.

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