HAWAI‘I LOA KU LIKE KA KOU
March, Rally & Vigil
Jan. 13 - 17, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2003
Contact: Mel Kalahiki
Phone 236-3636, Cell 284-8722
Or Lynette Cruz
Phone 738-0084, Cell 284-3460
The Living Nation Campaign, chaired by long-time sovereignty activist and peace advocate Mel Kalahiki, is launching a weeklong slate of activities beginning on Monday, Jan. 13 with opening ceremonies at `Iolani Palace at 8 am. Activities for the week will culminate on Friday, Jan. 17 with a march to `Iolani Palace at 8 am, followed by a rally and evening torchlight march at 6 pm from Washington Place to `Iolani Palace. The events are meant to gather leaders within the Hawaiian community to find common ground on which to build unity.
January 17 marks the 110th anniversary of US intervention in the affairs of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893, and the subsequent occupation of the independent Hawaiian State (called the Hawaiian Kingdom) as a result of the Spanish-American War in 1898. The Living Nation continues to exist, although in a state of prolonged occupation. Confusion reigns because of a misunderstanding of events and lack of a proper vocabulary to describe those events. The Living Nation Campaign believes that a clear understanding of history, and the proper words to describe our history, will be the catalyst that pulls the various sovereignty and Hawaiian organizations into a unified whole.
The words to describe what happened in 1893, and what was being commemorated at the 100th anniversary of that event in 1993, have changed as our understanding of events in Hawaiian history has changed—we move from ‘overthrow’ to ‘intervention’, from ‘colonization’ and ‘annexation’ to ‘occupation’. We celebrate the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of our ancestors and to dialogue, after more than a century, about creating the same kind of unification as our ancestors displayed in the signing of the Great Petitions in support of our last Queen. We will use history wisely as the common ground that unites us, and develop a strategy about where our understanding of that history can take us.
The Living Nation proposes that Hawaiians today see ourselves not just as victims of a brutal display of power exercised upon us through occupation by American forces in our homeland, but as people empowered by the knowledge that our ancestors did not give it over easily, and thus we are called upon to do the same. The Living Nation calls to sovereignty proponents to pick up the challenge laid down by our ancestors, to honor our ali`i and our kupuna who resisted fiercely a wrong that was done to them and was, subsequently, carried into the future, impacting us, their descendents. Our kupuna signed the petitions against annexation and in support of the monarchy. Those protests worked. There was no Treaty of Annexation. America, in its desperation to own these strategically placed islands, occupied our country through a document called the Newlands Resolution, a public law internal to the US, with no power to extend its reach across the sea to our independent Hawaiian State. The full implications of this illegal action in our times have yet to be revealed. But knowledge of it and of our ancestors’ resistance against it, has fueled the movement in a way that nothing else could. From the 1993 Onipa`a march and rally of resistance, to the 1998 celebration “We Are Who We Were: From Resistance to Affirmation,” a story has emerged of growth in understanding and commitment to make right the wrongs of the past. We shall, in a unified way, move forward to make right and claim what is ours.
The events for the week of Jan. 13 - 17 are listed below. Events are sponsored by the Living Nation Campaign, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Of Sacred Times & Sacred Places, Keali`iho`one`aina: Dallas Mossman Vogeler `Ohana, Pono Productions, Friends of `Iolani Palace.
These events are free and open to the public.
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