Although the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i happened 121 years ago on January 17, 1893, it is actively being discussed and challenged among Kanaka Maoli, people of the land, in the political arena, the state and federal court system, cultural groups, and educational institutions.
"We are familiar with the events of 121 years ago when the U.S. foreign minister, in conspiracy with a group of prominent, powerful, greedy businessmen landed U.S. Marines to seize control of the peaceful and friendly Kingdom of Hawai'i. Thus was set in motion the series of events that led to the prolonged occupation of the Hawaiian Islands by the United States," states Hawaiian political activist Leon Siu, in his announcement of events occurring in Hawai'i during the weekend commemoration of the overthrow.
On January 17, 1893 Queen Lili'uokalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawai'i, was deposed from her throne as a result of the overthrow. She issued the following statement, yielding her authority to the United States government, believing that a sovereign Hawai'i would one day be restored:
"I, Lili'uokalani, by the Grace of God and under the constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen, do hereby solemnly protest against any and all acts done against myself and the constitutional government of the Hawaiian Kingdom by certain persons claiming to have established a Provisional Government of and for this Kingdom. That I yield to the superior force of the United States of America, whose Minister Plenipotentiary, His Excellency John L Stevens, has caused United States troops to be landed at Honolulu and declared that he would support the said Provisional Government. Now, to avoid any collision of armed forces and perhaps loss of life, I do, under this protest, and impelled by said forces, yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon the facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representative and reinstate me in the authority which I claim as the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands."
During the weekend of January 17-19, 2014, commemorating the overthrow on January 17, 1893, many groups are working to re-establish the recognition of the Kingdom of Hawaii, others are meeting to discuss options they believe are in the best interest for a sustainable future for Hawai'i.
G.W. "Naliko" Markel, appointed Minister of Interior of the Reinstated Lawful Hawaiian Government, says, "I was raised being a proud American. My dad was an American soldier in WWII. Half of me is American and half of me is Hawaiian. Now knowing what I do (about the overthrow), to be a proud American issues have to be resolved, ho'oponopono, make right and in balance." He goes on to express that it was a violation of international law when the U.S. military entered Honolulu with weapons and suspended Hawaiian sovereignty on January 17, 1893. He recalls that treaties with the U.S. relating to trade were in existence with Hawai'i, an independent sovereign nation at that time. Reference to these treaties are located in the United States Public Law 103-150 103d Congress Joint Resolution 19, on November 23, 1993.
Markel believes that Kanaka Maoli are responsible for their own people through a national elected government in their own country, but the Kanaka Maoli cannot be effective presently because they are restricted from the right to govern in their homeland.
Markel and other members of the Legislative and Executive Branch of the Reinstated Lawful Hawaiian Government of the Kingdom of Hawai'i from the surrounding islands are convening on Maui on the commemorative weekend for the Manakau Kanawai Session (process of making laws), at Maliko Gulch. According to Noble Sam Kaleleiki, this meeting of the Reinstated Lawful Hawaiian Government is to introduce new bills, a procedure comparable to meetings of the U.S. Congress. This is their 15th convention, which they hold during or close to the anniversary of the overthrow each year.
There are many ideas from different voices representing the people of Hawai'i being discussed among themselves and with professional and grass root groups concerned for the sustainable future of Hawai'i. During the weekend of January 17-19 in conjunction with the commemoration of the 121st Anniversary of the Overthrow of Hawai'i many activities are shared by Leon Siu and The Committee of Hawaiian Nationals, which include:
On Maui, 'ONIPA'A event at UH Maui College on Friday January 17th a presentation, Na Wahine 'Onipa'a, "Steadfast Women in Hawaiian Politics," included Teri Keko'olani, DMZ Hawai'i Aloha 'Aina, Dr. Noelani Goodyear-Kaopua, Professor, UH Manoa Political Science, Manu Kalama, Instructor, UH Manoa, Shidler School of Business, and Haley Kailiehu, 'Oiwi Artist & PhD Student.
Also included in this event from "The Queen's Women" A Re-enactment of a Hui Aloha 'Aina o na Wahine (Womens' Patriotic League) meeting in Hilo in 1897 where Hawaiian patriots gathered to organize and collect signatures to protest the annexation of Hawai'i to the United States of America.
On Oahu, Hanalei Fergustrom at 'Iolani Palace for a biannual vigil. All are welcome to come and talk-story and network for ku'e actions. Look for the tent. Friday January 17- Sunday January 19.
On Oahu Tuesday, January 21, 7:00 to 9:30 p.m., "The Sovereignty Conversation Community Forums"
Kapolei High School Cafeteria or watch it "live" on Olelo Channel 53.
Beginning this Tuesday evening and continuing throughout 2014 on the third Tuesday of each month, a series of public meetings. It will begin with a discussion of the history that justifies some form of restoration, proposed models of nationhood, then look at the ways to transition. The first forum on Tuesday January 21st will begin with presenters Jon Osorio (professor at UH-Manoa and well-known recording artist), Palani Vaughan (who will add to his talk with three songs with his recording group, the King's Own), and Poka Laenui, attorney and longtime sovereignty leader. A panel will include OHA Trustee Peter Apo, Major General (Ret.) Butch Correa, Professor Genai Keliikuli from LCC Wai'anae, and Dr. Kioni Dudley. The Emcee will be Mehana Hind. This series welcomes non-Hawaiians as well as Hawaiians to become involved, to learn, and to have their voice heard, so that we can all move into the future together.