Hawaiian Sovereignty Activists Barricade Iolani Palace

Malia Zimmerman, Hawaii Reporter (Honolulu), April 30, 2008

Hawaiian sovereignty activists calling themselves the “Hawaiian Kingdom Government” surrounded Iolani Palace this morning, refusing to let state employees either enter or exit the historical site, saying the palace and surrounding grounds are property of the “Hawaiian Kingdom.”

An unknown amount of state employees who work in the state archives division were trapped inside this morning, according to Russ Saito, head of the Department of Accounting and General Services, but since were allowed to leave, his office reports. The dozen employees who work there were sent home for the day. But several had their cars on site and cannot get them out of the palace parking lot. Saito says there are enough protesters to block with a human chain all five entrances and exits to the palace. They also locked the palace gates with their own locks.

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The palace’s web site describes the palace as “A Hawaiian national treasure and the only official state residence of royalty in the United States, ‘Iolani Palace was the official residence of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s last two monarchs—King Kalakaua, who built the Palace in 1882, and his sister and successor, Queen Lili’uokalani. During the monarchy period, the Palace was the center of social and political activity in the Kingdom of Hawaii. Though its grandeur was neglected after the overthrow of the monarchy, restoration began in the 1970s through efforts of concerned individuals. Restoration and preservation continues, and, as a result, today’s visitors to this National Historic Landmark in downtown Honolulu enjoy one of the most precise historic restorations and learn much about Hawaiian history and heritage.”

Tom McAuliffe, who works across the street, {snip} found the gates to the palace locked with signs posted saying the place now belongs to the “Reinstated Hawaiian Kingdom.”

“I asked to be allowed to pass on to the grounds and was told that only native Hawaiians were allowed in and that I needed to show an ‘OHA registration card’ or recite my family genealogy. {snip}

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