Free Hawai’i

12 Mar

“We, the Hawaiian people, who are born from the union of Papahanaumoku and Wakea, earth mother and sky father, and who have lived in these islands for over 100 generations, will always have the moral right to the lands of Hawai’i now and forever, no matter what any court says.” —Lilikalā K. Kame’eleihiwa

During his third voyage of discovery, Captain James Cook of the British Navy became the first European to visit the Hawaiian islands in 1778. He carried on up the west coast of America, but after finding the Berring Strait impassible, he returned to Hawai’i in 1779 landing at Kealakekua Bay. But on February 14, he was killed in a confrontation with some of the islanders who had taken one of the ship’s boats. Part of his legacy is that the state flag still contains the Union Flag, a carry over from Hawai’i’s time as a British protectorate.

There’s a nasty rumour going around that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States and is therefore ineligible to hold the office of President of the United States. And in a sense it’s true. He’s certainly legally eligible to hold the office, since Hawai’i became the 50th state in 1959. However, Hawai’i was illegally annexed by the United States in 1893 and was on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories right up until it became a state.

After pressure from the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, in 1993 the US passed into law an acknowledgement and apology for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai’i. The law accepts that the people of Hawai’i never relinquished their claims to sovereignty and explicitly states that its purpose is not to serve as a settlement of any claims against the US.


Posted by on March 12, 2011 in Politics, Society


2 responses to “Free Hawai’i

  1. Lindsey

    March 13, 2011 at 10:01 am

    interesting – what are your thoughts on Tibet?

  2. Andrew Owen

    March 13, 2011 at 11:58 am

    My own view is that the more powerful a nation is, the more likely it is to misuse its power, and on that basis if we have to have nations at all we should have lots of small ones. While in principle I have a lot of sympathy for the Free Tibet campaign, in practice the old Tibetan regime was a fairly unpleasant theocracy.


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