Leaders Condemn Action of Kingdom Group, OHA RespondsJanuary 24, 2019, 1:23 PM HST · Updated January 24, 1:23 PM 1 Comment
A group of leaders in the Native Hawaiian community held a press conference today, calling for a greater level of accountability for entities, organizations and their own communities and families in relation to the events that unfolded last week at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Organizers explained that last week, on the 126th anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, 13 men from the group that calls itself the Kingdom of Atooi, “stormed the OHA offices in a failed attempt to seize the agency and its assets.”
In the process, there were reports of physical assaults on staff members and multiple arrests.
The group is calling for “a higher level of accountability from those who committed the acts, law enforcement to exact the appropriate punishment, and the Hawaiian community itself to hold each other accountable to an even higher standing of conduct, honoring the hard work by many for decades who serve their boarder community and act upon their sovereignty.”
Native Hawaiian advocate, educator and practitioner, Punihei Anthony said, “The harmful acts that took place days ago stand in stark contrast to the expressions by hundreds of our people that gathered that very same day and time last week in peaceful demonstration at ʻIolani Palace to remember the events of Jan. 17, 1893. We are certain that our Queen, who herself invoked a kapu maluhia or a decree of peace in the face of violence, would not condone these violent acts and neither do we.”
Those standing in solidarity include a cross section of Native Hawaiian advocates, educators, lawyers, healers and cultural practitioners from communities, organizations and institutions across the state. The individuals and groups involved say they are “working in their own ways to pursue and act upon self-determination.”
The Kingdom of Atooi‘s blog was last updated in June of 2013.
The Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs
Released the Following Statement:
“On behalf of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, the members of its Board of Directors declare that we stand in support of and in solidarity with our community members at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs who were subjected to verbal and physical violence last Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. We condemn the behavior of the perpetrators who, as self-proclaimed law enforcement officers, created an environment of fear at the OHA headquarters, inflicting bodily and emotional harm on some of our public servants. Further, we denounce the atmosphere of misinformation and rhetoric that has emboldened those representing the “Kingdom of Atooi” to believe that the use of violence is an acceptable form of civic engagement or advocacy. We use our voice today from the clear foundation of our traditional saying, “ho‘okahi leo ua lawa,” or “one voice should be enough,” which reminds us that to actualize a flourishing lāhui we must heed and resonate the voices of our kūpuna that keep us accountable and on the path of peace that was set forth by our Queen Liliuʻokalani over 126 years ago.”
The Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs has been a recognized advocate of the Native Hawaiian community since the movement’s founding by Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana‘ole in 1918. There are 66 individual clubs located throughout Hawai‘i and the United States.
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs Provided the Following Statement:
“While Native Hawaiians today hold differing opinions on many issues, we must all agree that there is no place for violence in our community. Any use of violence – regardless for what cause – must be condemned.
“OHA continues to work with various law enforcement entities to increase safety measures to protect OHA staff, beneficiaries, visitors and building tenants. We want to especially mahalo the Honolulu Police Department for their support and assistance over the last week.
“We understand that other state and county agencies have dealt in the past with similar, but non-violent, incidents from the same group that came to OHA’s Honolulu offices last week. We urge officials to take these threats seriously, coordinate with each other and prepare in order to protect the safety of the public and of government workers.
“Queen Liliʻuokalani demonstrated that the best way to help our people is through aloha. Let’s follow her lead and work together with aloha to further our Lāhui (nation).”