Domestic Insurgents—Not Protesters—Seized Control of Iolani Palace Yesterday

Daniel P. de Gracia II, Hawaii Reporter (Honolulu), May 1, 2008

On April 30, some 70 unarmed Hawaiian Kingdom Government personnel seized control of a historic, state-owned palace not more than a stone’s throw away from the 76 legislators, governor and lieutenant governor and thousands of state employees working in the State Capitol.

Claiming to be the legitimate government of Hawaii, the HKG personnel declared that Iolani Palace was theirs and that they were taking back control of Hawaii.

As chains were shackled around the gates of Iolani Palace and HKG personnel walked in circuits around the spacious park grounds in black BDU pants and aloha shirts like sentries, nearly every local and national media outlet referred to them as protesters. But truly, what were they protesting?

In speaking with the Hawaiian Kingdom Government representatives, I got the impression that they weren’t protesting but rather attempting to launch a bloodless coup d’etat in which the people of Hawaii would rally to them against the legitimate governance of the State of Hawaii and the United States of America.

It’s an irrefutable fact that on June 27, 1959, the Territory of Hawaii voted on three propositions, the first of which asked, “Shall Hawaii immediately be admitted into the Union as a State?” 132,773 people voted yes to Proposition One, and only 7,971 voted no.

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Those who claim that Hawaii lost sovereignty must face the fact that any dispute between the Hawaiian people and the supposedly “evil” American government could have been settled on June 27, 1959 by the Hawaiian people voting no to all three propositions. It was not.

The people who resist recognizing this historic, democratic decision through actions such as those taken by the Hawaiian Kingdom Government in capturing Iolani Palace are not protesters, but are domestic insurgents who rage against the majority will of not just Hawaii, but the United States of America of which this state is part of.

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While some may argue that the people who seized Iolani Palace yesterday were sheepish and nonviolent, ultimately this attempted bloodless coup by HKG will serve to inspire the more hostile and violent opponents of the State of Hawaii and the United States of America to follow suit with actions that involve more than just chains and yellow “No Trespassing” signs.

The message that our local authorities have projected is that it is not only okay to take control of buildings, but that sedition goes unpunished and carries no deterrent in the State of Hawaii. Today, we face people who chain a building. What will happen if tomorrow gunmen attack the Capitol, Washington Place, or Honolulu Hale and take hostages?

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We need to treat groups like HKG and others blooming around Hawaii like domestic insurgents and put their names on the National Terrorist Screening Database. When we see them taking control of Iolani Palace and other government facilities, we shouldn’t call them “protesters” we should call them “terrorists” and deal with them the same way we’d deal with al Qaeda operatives taking over one of our buildings.

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[Editor’s Note: See yesterday’s article on the seizure of Iolani Palace here.]

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