Iolani palace incidents


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Iolani palace incidents

  1. 1. June 7, 2006 Nine members of the group Hui Pu forced their way into the Palace and occupied the second floor balcony facing King Street to protest the Akaka bill in Congress. About 20 Hui Pu supporters were on the grounds at the time as well to show support for the occupation of the Palace. August 18, 2006 State holiday observing Hawaii’s admission as the 50th state. A group of 20 people led by Rep. Barbara Marumoto (dressed in a “Statue of Liberty” costume) and Sen. Sam Slom attempt to celebrate the event at the front of Iolani Palace with American flags and the Kalani High School band playing patriotic songs. Within 30 minutes, a larger group of mostly Native Hawaiians (among whom there are many in the sovereignty movement), gathers at the Palace and proceeds to surround the other group, singing and chanting in Hawaiian. The exchange escalates to name-calling and verbal threats. Some of the Hawaiians verbally threaten physical harm to students from the band if they proceed with performing. Parents and students are frightened and leave quickly before the first song. The “pro-statehood” group leaves the grounds. April 28, 2007 Without a permit and without warning, a group called the Hawaiian Kingdom Government unloads 10 portable toilets on the front driveway of the Palace in the late afternoon for a planned gathering the following day. After several hours of discussions with Palace security, the group reluctantly agrees to move the toilets to the backside of the Palace. In the meantime, homeless people and tourists are seen using the toilets. August 17, 2007 During the celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the opening of the Palace, various sovereignty groups gather (approximately 30 people) at the backside of the building and force their way into the Basement Galleries. They are confronted by Palace security, who are quickly backed up by the Hawaiian martial arts group Pa Kui a Holo. The activists are demanding to use the stairs to access the Queen’s Imprisonment Room and are incensed that The Friends of Iolani Palace would bring in a Hawaiian lua group to provide additional security. The lua group and Palace security state that they will not move and that no activist will be allowed to go upstairs. After a tense stand-off, the activists back down and leave the building. Some of the members then file a formal complaint with DLNR claiming that the lua group did not have the proper liability insurance to be providing security at the Palace. DLNR conducts an investigation of the complaint and advises The Friends that it cannot engage the lua group in future events. April 30, 2008 All access gates to Palace grounds are chained and locked by a group called the Hawaiian Kingdom Government headed by Mahealani Kahau around 7:30 am. The group refuses entry to anyone except those who claim to be Native Hawaiian. The group did not enter the Palace or any other buildings. After
  2. 2. meeting with Police Chief Boise Correa on the grounds, the group removes its chains and locks around 3:30 pm and the grounds are re-opened. August 15, 2008 The Maui-based sovereignty group “Kingdom of Hawaii Nation” headed by Akahi Nui arrive late in the afternoon. Palace security estimates the total number at around 50 people. The group chains and locks all entry gates to the grounds around 5:00 pm and demands entry into the Palace so that their leader can reclaim his throne. Facilities Manager Noelani Ah Yuen is injured by the group trying to force her off the grounds. The Palace is forced to close to the public for 5 days following the incident. Nov. 6, 2011 At approximately 10:30 pm, the Hawaiian Kingdom Government led by Mahealani Kahau chained and locked all Palace gates but did not try to enter any buildings. After a meeting with DLNR Chair Aila, the group was allowed to camp out overnight on the grounds. The group unchained the gates around 2:00 am. Nov. 7, 2011 (APEC Week) The group remained on the grounds overnight and received reinforcements from other members of the group who arrived throughout the day. As a direct result of the actions of Mahealani's group, a high-level breakfast meeting that was to take place in the Kanaina Building followed by a tour of the Palace scheduled for this morning with six international media representatives for the meetings and conventions industry and the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau has been cancelled. Around 5:30 pm, approximately 20 members of the group who refused to leave were arrested. The Governor then unilaterally shut the Palace grounds to everyone, forcing the closure of all public tours, including the cancellation of confirmed VIP visits by delegations from China, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, Taiwan, and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. July 3, 2012 At 9:30 this morning, The Friends of Iolani Palace along with Guy Chang (head of enforcement for DLNR) and Vince Kanemoto (Attorney General's office) met with 5 members of Mahealani Kahau’s group (Hawaiian Kingdom Government) at their request. They informed us that they were claiming legal title to the land on the Palace grounds and that they would continue their government functions from the Kanaina Building. My response was that The Friends has a lease agreement with the State and that we would continue to abide by the terms of that lease until such time that a state judge ruled otherwise. Guy reinforced this by telling the group that until a judge rules in their favor regarding title, they would be considered trespassing in Kanaina and would be arrested and charged. The 5 members left after 30 - 40 minutes. Then at about 4:30 - 4:45 pm, approximately 20 - 25 members of the group entered Kanaina. They made no demands and no threats, but simply stated that they would be functioning as the government from the Kanaina Building effective immediately. We contacted the various law enforcement agencies to
  3. 3. inform them of the situation. At around 5:10 pm, we entered the central conference room where about 20 of the members had seated themselves in a semi-circle to inform them that Kanaina would be closing as it was the end of the day, and that if they did not voluntarily leave, they would be considered trespassing. Mahealani replied that they were going to have a meeting of their government which would not take long, as some members had to fly back to Maui that evening. Shortly thereafter, HPD arrived, followed by State Sheriffs, and we went out to meet them. After various discussions and warnings to the group that they would be arrested, their members departed the grounds around 7:00 - 7:15 pm. KITV 4 News was the only station to hear about the incident and sent a camera crew. Both Mahealani and DLNR Chair William Aila were interviewed. Jan. 4, 2013 The Kauai-based sovereignty group “Kingdom of Atooi” obtains a permit to stage a big gathering of people on the front lawn of the Palace near the Coronation Pavilion. The group brings a large security force (20 people) that attempts to intimidate Palace security and visitors. The group also begins erecting metal barricades on the grounds in clear violation of its permit. Decision is made to close the Palace to the public as a safety precaution. Feb. 7, 2013 Verbal threats as well as physical intimidation against Palace employees working in the Kanaina Building by members of Mahealani’s group forces the lockdown of the building for two days. Following this incident, a new security procedure is instituted requiring all doors to be locked during business hours and that any visitor must call for access. Kanaina Building is re-opened in July during business hours (8:30 am – 4:30 pm), meaning that the front door is unlocked, but with a Palace security guard stationed there. Sept. 2, 2013 Towards the conclusion of celebrations in honor of Queen Liliuokalani’s birthday (called “Onipaa”), about 20 members Mahealani Kahau’s group entered Kanaina Building around 3:00 pm as the Queen’s play just finished in the conference room and the public was beginning to leave the building. They refused to leave. About 6 DOCARE officers joined Palace security at Kanaina to inform the group that they would be arrested if they did not vacate. Around 4:30 pm, the group decided to leave and Kanaina was locked and secured. Summary: 4 Incidents involving the Palace 6 Incidents involving the grounds/gates 3 Incidents involving the Kanaina Building