Article: Hawaiians "We Respectfully Request the Restoration of our Country"

Haunani-Kay Trask : Native Hawaiian Activist, Speaker and Professor

Most importantly: There shouldn't be any reason to fear Hawaiian Sovereignty, the activists aren't interested in kicking anyone out of Hawaii or seeking any sort of revenge. It would, however, undermine most all claims to land ownership of Hawaiian land that since were never anyone's land (other than the Hawaiian Royalty) to sell in the first place. Most all rights to land in Hawaii can only be clearly and legally traced by paper trails and documents held by the descendants of Hawaii. There are no official documents that can be produced in opposition to Hawaiian claims to land ownership.

"In 1893 The Committee of Safety illegally established a provisional government headed by Mr. Sanford Dole. U.S. President Grover Cleveland opposed the provisional government and called for the queen to be restored to power, but the Committee of Safety established the Republic of Hawaii and refused to cede power. In 1895, Hawaiian royalists began a coup against the republic, but it did not succeed."

The Hawaiian sovereignty movement (Hawaiian: ke ea Hawai‘i) is a grassroots political and cultural campaign to regain sovereignty, self-determination and self-governance for Hawaiians of whole or part Native Hawaiian ancestry with an independent nation or kingdom. Some groups also advocate some form of redress from the United States for the 1893 illegal overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani, and for what is described as a prolonged military occupation beginning with the 1898 illegal annexation (For which there are no actual documents since Hawaii's royalty didn't with to give up their country).

Opposition to the overthrow and annexation included Hui Aloha ʻĀina or the Hawaiian Patriotic League.

The movement generally views both the overthrow and annexation as illegal. Palmyra Island and the Stewart Islands were annexed by the Kingdom in the 1860's and are regarded by the movement as being under illegal occupation along with the Hawaiian Islands.

Sovereignty advocates have attributed problems plaguing native communities including homelessness, poverty, economic marginalization, and the erosion of native traditions to the lack of native governance and political self-determination. They have pursued their agenda through educational initiatives and legislative actions. Along with protests throughout the islands, at the capitol itself as well as the places and locations held as sacred to Hawaiian culture, sovereignty activists have challenged United States forces and law.

Background

Coinciding with other 1960s and 1970s indigenous activist movements, the Hawaiian sovereignty movement was spearheaded by Native Hawaiian activist organizations and individuals who were critical of issues affecting modern Hawaii, including urbanization and commercial development of the islands, corruption in the Hawaiian Homelands program, and the appropriation of native burial grounds and other sacred spaces. During the 1980s the movement gained cultural and political traction and native resistance grew in response to urbanization and native disenfranchisement. Local and federal legislation provided some protection for native communities but did little to quell expanding commercial development.

In 1993 a joint congressional resolution apologized for the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. In 2010, the Akaka Bill passed, which provided a process for US federal recognition of Native Hawaiians and gave ethnic Hawaiians some control over land and natural resource negotiations. However, the bill was opposed by sovereignty groups because of its provisions that legitimized illegal land transfers, and was criticized by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for the effect it would have on non-ethnic Hawaiian populations. A 2005 Grassroots Institute poll found the majority of Hawaiian residents opposed the Akaka Bill.

The ancestors of Native Hawaiians may have arrived in the Hawaiian Islands around 350 CE, from other areas of Polynesia. By the time Captain Cook arrived, Hawaii had a well established culture with a population estimated to be between 400,000 and 900,000 people. In the first one hundred years of contact with western civilization, due to war and sickness, the Hawaiian population dropped by ninety percent, with only 53,900 people in 1876. American missionaries would arrive in 1820 and assume great power and influence. Despite formal recognition of the Kingdom of Hawaii by the United States and other world powers, corrupt American business men (Including Sanford Dole of Dole Pineapple, Lorrin A. Thurston and wealthy sugar barons (who's greed knew no bounds) with assistance from the US Navy, eventually took over the islands, overthrowing their Queen in the process.[13] The kingdom was overthrown beginning January 17, 1893 with a coup d'état orchestrated by, mostly, Americans within the kingdom's legislature, with aid from the United States military.

The Blount Report is the popular name given to the part of the 1893 United States House of Representatives Foreign Relations Committee Report regarding the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. The report was conducted by U.S. Commissioner James H. Blount, appointed by U.S. President Grover Cleveland to investigate the events surrounding the January 1893 coup. This report provides the first evidence that officially identifies the United States' complicity in the lawless overthrow of the lawful, peaceful government of The Sovereign Kingdom of Hawaii. Blount concluded that U.S. Minister to Hawaii John L. Stevenshad, in fact, carried out unauthorized partisan activities that included the landing of U.S. Marines under a false or exaggerated pretext to support anti-royalist conspirators; the report went on to find that these actions were instrumental to the success of the revolution and that the revolution was carried out against the wishes of a majority of the population of the Hawaiian Kingdom and/or its Royalty.

Native Hawaiians, activists and supporters commemorate January 17 annually.

On December 14, 1893, Albert Willis arrived unannounced in Honolulu aboard the USRC Corwin, bringing with him an anticipation of an American invasion in order to restore the monarchy, which became known as the Black Week. Willis was the successor to James Blount as United States Minister to Hawaii. With the hysteria of a military assault, he staged a mock invasion with the USS Adams and USS Philadelphia, directing their guns toward the capital. He also ordered rear admiral John Irwin to organize a landing operation using troops on the two American ships, which were joined by the Japanese Naniwa and the British HMS Champion. On January 11, 1894, Willis revealed the invasion to be a hoax. After the arrival of the Corwin, the provisional government and citizens of Hawaii were ready to rush to arms if necessary, but it was widely believed that Willis' threat of force was a bluff.

On December 16, the British Minister to Hawaii was given permission to land marines from HMS Champion for the protection of British interests; the ship's captain predicted that the Queen and Sovereign ruler (Liliuokalani) would be restored by the U.S. military. In a November 1893 meeting with Willis, Liliuokalani indicated that she wanted the revolutionaries punished and their property confiscated, despite Willis' desire for her to grant amnesty to her enemies. In a December 19, 1893 meeting with the leaders of the provisional government, Willis presented a letter written by Liliuokalani, in which she agreed to grant amnesty to the revolutionaries if she was restored as queen. During the conference, Willis told the provisional government to surrender to Liliuokalani and allow Hawaii to return to its previous condition, but the leader of the provisional government, President Sanford Dole, refused to comply with his demands, claiming that he was not subject to the authority of the United States.

The Blount Report was followed in 1894 by the Morgan Report, which contradicted Blount's report by concluding that all participants except for Queen Liliʻuokalani were "not guilty". U.S. Secretary of State Walter Q. Gresham announced on January 10, 1894 that the settlement of the situation in Hawaii would be left up to Congress, following Willis' unsatisfactory progress. Cleveland said that Willis had carried out the letter of his directions, rather than their spirit.

Domestic response to Willis' and Cleveland's efforts was largely negative. The independent New York Herald wrote, "If Minister Willis has not already been ordered to quit meddling in Hawaiian affairs and mind his own business, no time should be lost in giving him emphatic instructions to that effect." The Democratic New York World wrote: "Is it not high time to stop the business of interference with the domestic affairs of foreign nations? Hawaii is 2000 miles from our nearest coast. Let it alone." The Democratic New York Sun said: "Mr. Cleveland lacks ... the first essential qualification of a referee or arbitrator."

The Republican New York Tribune called Willis' trip a "forlorn and humiliating failure to carry out Mr. Cleveland's outrageous project." The Republican New York Recorder wrote, "The idea of sending out a minister accredited to the President of a new republic, having him present his credentials to that President and address him as 'Great and Good Friend,' and then deliberately set to work to organize a conspiracy to overthrow his Government and re-establish the authority of the deposed Queen, is repugnant to every man who holds American honor and justice in any sort of respect." The Democratic New York Times was one of the few New York newspapers that defended Cleveland's decisions, saying that "Mr. Willis discharged his duty as he understood it."

While there was much opposition and many attempts to restore the kingdom, it became a territory of the US in 1898, without any input from Native Hawaiians. Hawaii became a US state on March 18, 1959 following a referendum in which at least 93% of voters (mostly Asian) approved of statehood.

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