U.S. Pacific Command in Violation of General Orders No. 101

It has been a common misunderstanding by individuals who are not familiar with international law that the laws of occupation did not become a part of international law until the year 1899, which is when the Hague Conventions were signed. The 1907 Hague Conventions later superseded these Conventions. Because of the chronology, as the argument goes, the United States was not bound by the Hague Conventions because the occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom occurred one year before in 1898. And since laws do not have a retroactive effect—unless explicitly stated, the United States was not bound to follow a law that wasn’t in effect at the time the occupation occurred. This would be inaccurate.

First, there are two primary sources of international lawcustomary and treaties. Customary international law is defined by the International Court of Justice as “evidence of a general practice accepted as law.” Since there is no law making body at the international level, such as legislative bodies within countries, international law is created by the consent and actions of independent and sovereign States, since international law is literally law “between” nations (States). As a result, States themselves create international law through practice and if all States are doing the same “general practice” it is considered customary international law that all States are bound by. An example of customary international law is diplomatic immunity. Customary international law can also be codified into a treaty, which is the other primary source of international law.

When States met in the city The Hague in the Netherlands in 1899 to codify the laws of war and occupation, they did not create new law but merely codified what was already regarded as customary international law. According to Professor Graber, The Development of the Law of Belligerent Occupation: 1863-1914 (1949), “nothing distinguishes the writing of the period following the 1899 Hague code from the writing prior to that code (p. 143).” With regard to the occupation of a State’s territory during war, the laws of the occupied State must be administered by the occupant State since occupation does not transfer sovereignty to the occupier.

This requirement was codified under Article 43 of the 1899 Hague Convention, II, which states, “The authority of the legitimate power having actually passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all steps in his power to re-establish and insure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country.” Although the United States signed and ratified both Hague Regulations, which post-date the occupation of the Hawaiian Islands, the “text of Article 43,” according to Professor Benvenisti, The International Law of Occupation (1993), “was accepted by scholars as mere reiteration of the older law, and subsequently the article was generally recognized as expressing customary international law (p. 8).”

William_McKinleyWhen the Spanish-American War broke out, President McKinley proclaimed that the Spanish-American war would “be conducted upon principles in harmony with the present views of nations and sanctioned by their recent practice,” and acknowledged the constraints and protection international laws provide to all sovereign states, whether belligerent or neutral.Henry Cabot Lodge As noted by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge during the Senate’s secret session, Hawai`i, as a sovereign and neutral state, was no exception when it was occupied by the United States during its war with Spain. Article 43 of the 1899 Hague Convention, II, which remained the same under the 1907 amended Hague Convention, IV, delimits the power of the occupant and serves as a fundamental bar on its free agency within an occupied State, whether belligerent or neutral.

On April 25, 1898, the U.S. Congress declared war against Spain and battles were fought in the Spanish colonies of the Philippines and Guam in the Pacific, and the Spanish colonies of Cuba and Puerto Rico in the Caribbean. Although fighting ceased in Puerto Rico and Cuba on July 25 under an armistice agreement signed in Washington, D.C., fighting continued in the Philippines until August 13 when a second armistice was signed. Both armistices suspended hostilities pending the negotiation of a treaty of peace that was eventually signed in Paris on December 10, 1898.

Before the first armistice was signed, President McKinley sent directives to the Secretary of War on July 13, 1898 regarding occupations by U.S. troops during the war. This prompted the Secretary of War to publish General Orders No. 101 and was provided to all commanders of U.S. troops, to include the commander of troops that occupied the Hawaiian Kingdom, which took place on August 12, 1898, one year before the armistice was signed suspending hostilities in the Philippines. General Orders No. 101 clearly reflects the United States recognition of customary international law regarding the law of occupation, which are the same provisions codified in the 1899 Hague Convention, II.

McKinley's Gen. Order for Occupation_Page_1

McKinley's Gen. Order for Occupation_Page_2

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Admiral LocklearThe commanders of U.S. troops occupying the Hawaiian Kingdom since August 12, 1898 disregarded General Orders No. 101. The failure of the commanders of U.S. troops in the Hawaiian Kingdom to comply with General Orders No. 101 and international humanitarian law, to include its current commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Locklear, is why war crimes have and continue to be committed on a monumental scale.

Dexter_KaiamaIn 2012, Admiral Locklear was notified by attorney Dexter Kaiama that war crimes are being committed in the courts of the State of Hawai‘i. Kaiama’s protest and demand stated:

“As the Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, your office is the direct extension of the United States President in the Hawaiian Islands through the Secretary of Defense. As the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to remain an independent and sovereign State, the Lili‘uokalani assignment and Article 43 of the 1907 Hague Convention IV mandates your office to administer Hawaiian Kingdom law in accordance with international law and the laws of occupation. The violations of my client’s right to a fair and regular trial are directly attributable to the President’s failure, and by extension your office’s failure, to comply with the Lili‘uokalani assignment and Article 43 of the 1907 Hague Convention, IV, which makes this an international matter.”

Although Admiral Locklear disregarded the protest and demand, he cannot claim he wasn’t aware. In order for a person to have committed a war crime, the perpetrator must be aware of the alleged war crimes and possesses the criminal element of intent—mens rea (criminal intent), in the commission of the war crime—actus reus (the guilty act). Defenses to criminal liability include mistake of fact and mistake of law.

According to Article 30(1) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the defendant is “criminally responsible and liable for punishment…only if the material elements [of the war crime] are committed with intent and knowledge.” Therefore, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court will prosecute if there is a mental element that includes a volitional component (intent) as well as a cognitive component (knowledge). Article 30(2) further clarifies that “a person has intent where: (a) In relation to conduct, that person means to engage in the conduct; [and] (b) In relation to a consequence, that person means to cause that consequence or is aware that it will occur in the ordinary course of events.”

With regard to knowledge, Article 30(3) of the Rome Statute provides that “‘knowledge’ means awareness that a circumstance exists or a consequence will occur in the ordinary course of events.” “A mistake of fact,” according Article 32(1), “shall be a ground for excluding criminal responsibility only if it negates the mental element required by the crime,” and a “mistake of law,” according to Article 32(2), “shall not be a ground for excluding criminal responsibility [unless] …it negates the mental element required by such a crime, or as provided for in article 33.” Article 33 provides that a crime that “has been committed by a person pursuant to an order of a Government or of a superior, whether military or civilian, shall not relieve that person of criminal responsibility unless: (a) the person was under a legal obligation to obey orders of the Government or the superior in question; (b) the person did not know that the order was unlawful; and (c) the order was not manifestly unlawful.”

General Orders No. 101 is a lawful order that has not been complied with for over a century and the excuse that the Order is not relevant because the U.S. Congress annexed the Hawaiian Islands by a joint resolution of annexation on July 7, 1898 is also a violation of customary international law previously recognized by the United States. Not only are municipal laws incapable of annexing foreign territory because municipal laws are confined Thomas_F._Bayardto the territory of the country that enacted them, U.S. Attorney General Thomas Bayard in 1887 famously stated, “If a government could set up its own municipal law as the final test of its international rights and obligations, then the rules of international law would be but the shadow of a name, and would afford not protection either to states or to individuals. It has been constantly maintained and also admitted by the Government of the United States that a Government can not appeal to its municipal regulations as an answer to demands for the fulfillment of international duties.”

Attorney General Bayard’s statement was the United States’ recognition of what was considered customary international law, at least in 1887. This customary international law was codified in the 1980 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Article 27 provides, “A party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty.” These treaties include the 1907 Hague Convention, IV, and the 1949 Geneva Convention, IV, which the United States ratified and recognized as customary international laws. Although the United States has not ratified the Vienna Convention, it does consider it to be customary international law. According to the U.S. State Department website, “The United States considers many of the provisions of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties to constitute customary international law on the law of treaties.”

General Orders No. 101 is still binding.

Ongoing International Armed Conflict between the U.S. and Hawai‘i

Before war crimes can be alleged to have been committed in the Hawaiian Islands, there must be a state of waran international armed conflict between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United States. Black’s Law (1996), states, “For there to be a ‘war,’ a sovereign or quasi-sovereign must engage in hostilities (p. 1583).”

Professor Clapham, director of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and professor in international law at the Geneva Graduate Institute, however, states that “the classification of an armed conflict under international law is an objective legal test and not a decision left to national governments or any international body, not even the UN Security Council.” As an international armed conflict is a question of fact, these facts must be objectively tested by the principles of international humanitarian law as provided in the 1907 Hague Conventions, the 1949 Geneva Conventions and its 1977 Additional Protocols.

German Occupation of Luxembourg WWIThe German occupations of Luxembourg from 1914-1918 during the First World War and from 1940-1945 during the Second World War occurred without resistance and were not wars in the technical sense, but, according to the Nuremburg trials, were wars of aggression against a neutral State—crimes against peace. In its judgment, vol. XXII, 452 (14 Nov. 1945-1 Oct. 1946), the Nuremburg Tribunal decreed, “The invasion of Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg was entirely without justification [and] was carried out in pursuance of policies long considered and prepared, and was plainly an act of aggressive war (p. 452).”

The experience of both World Wars is what prompted international humanitarian law to replace the narrow term “war” with the more expansive term “armed conflict.” Armed conflicts include both hostilities between armed forces as well as occupations of a State’s territory that occurred without armed resistance, i.e. Luxembourg. This is why Article 2 of all four 1949 Geneva Conventions state that the Convention will also apply “to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance.” War crimes are defined as grave breaches in the Conventions.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Commentary of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1958), this wording of Article 2 “was based on the experience of the Second World War, which saw territories occupied without hostilities, the Government of the occupied country considering that armed resistance was useless. In such cases the interests of protected persons are, of course, just as deserving of protection as when the occupation is carried out by force (p. 21).” According to Dr. Casey-Maslen in The War Report 2013 (2014), an international armed conflict exists “whenever one state uses any form of armed force against another, irrespective of whether the latter state fights back,” which “includes the situation in which one state invades another and occupies it, even if there is no armed resistance (p. 7).” The ICRC Commentary further clarifies that “Any difference arising between two States and leading to the intervention of members of the armed forces is an armed conflict within the meaning of Article 2, even if one of the Parties denies the existence of a state of war. It makes no difference how long the conflict lasts… The respect due to the human person as such is not measured by the number of victims (p. 20).”

Although the Conventions apply to Contracting State Parties, it is universally understood that the Conventions reflect customary international law that bind all States. On this subject, the Commentary clarifies that “any Contracting Power in conflict with a non-Contracting Power will begin by complying with the provisions of the Convention pending the adverse Party’s declaration (p. 24).” Even if a State should denounce the Fourth Convention according to Article 158, the denouncing State “would nevertheless remain bound by the principles contained in [the Convention] in so far as they are the expression of the imprescriptible and universal rules of customary international law (p. 625).”

“According to the Rules of Land Warfare of the United States Army,” in Professor Hyde’s Land Warfare (1918), “belligerent or so-called military occupation is a question of fact. It presupposes a hostile invasion as a result of which the invader has rendered the invaded Government incapable of publicly exercising its authority, and that the invader is in a position to substitute and has substituted his own authority for that of the legitimate government of the territory invaded (p. 8).” The armed conflict arose out of the United States’ belligerent occupation of Hawaiian territory in order to wage war against the Spanish in the Pacific without the consent from the lawful authorities of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Since the end of the Spanish-American War by the 1898 Treaty of Paris, the Hawaiian Kingdom has remained belligerently occupied and its territory was used as a base of military operations during World War I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Iraqi War, and the United States war on terrorism.

“A declaration of war,” says Oppenheim’s International Law, vol. 2, “is a communication by one State to another that the condition of peace between them has come to an end, and a condition of war has taken its place (p. 293);” and war is “considered to have commenced from the date of its declaration, although actual hostilities may not have been commenced until much later (p. 295).” While customary international law does not require a formal declaration of war to be made before international law recognizes a state of war, it does, however, provide notice to not only the opposing State of the intent of the declarant State, but also to all neutral States that a state of war has been established.

The Hawaiian Kingdom has again been drawn into another state of war as shown in the DPRK’s March 30, 2013 declaration of war, which stated, “It is self-evident that any military conflict on the Korean Peninsula is bound to lead to an all-out war, a nuclear war now that even U.S. nuclear strategic bombers in its military bases in the Pacific including Hawaii and Guam and in its mainland are flying into the sky above south Korea to participate in the madcap DPRK-targeted nuclear war moves.” The day before the declaration of war, DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency reported, Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army Marshal Kim Jong Un “signed the plan on technical preparations of strategic rockets of the KPA, ordering them to be on standby for fire so that they may strike any time the U.S. mainland, its military bases in the operational theaters in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in south Korea.” In response to the declaration of war, the BBC reported, “The US Department of Defense said on Wednesday it would deploy the ballistic Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (Thaad) to Guam in the coming weeks.”

From an international law standpoint, the armistice agreement of July 27, 1953 did not bring the state of war to an end between North Korea and South Korea because a peace treaty is still pending. The significance of the DPRK’s declaration of war of March 30, 2013, however, has specifically drawn the Hawaiian Islands into the region of war because it has been targeted as a result of the United States prolonged occupation.

In light of the DPRK’s declaration of war, the Hawaiian Kingdom is situated in a region of war that places its civilian population, to include foreign nationals, in perilous danger similar to Japan’s attack of U.S. military forces situated in the Hawaiian Islands on December 7, 1941. According to Oppenheim, “The region of war is that part of the surface of the earth in which the belligerents may prepare and execute hostilities against each other (p. 237).” While neutral States do not fall within the region of war, there are exceptional cases, such as when a belligerent invades a neutral State, i.e. Luxembourg by Germany during World War I and II. The United States invasion of the Hawaiian Kingdom occurred during the Spanish-American War just 16 years before the German occupation of Luxembourg in 1914, and has since been prolonged.

Camp McKinley 1898

What is rarely mentioned regarding the Japanese attack are civilian casualties, who numbered 55 to 68 deaths and approximately 35 wounded. According to Dr. Kelly, “It is not 100 percent clear, but it seems likely that most, if not all, of the casualties in civilian areas were inflicted by ‘friendly fire,’ our own anti-aircraft shells falling back to earth and exploding after missing attacking planes.”


The advancement of modern weaponry, which includes North Korea’s cyber warfare capability against Sony Pictures, far surpasses the conventional weapons used during the Japanese attack, and foreign governments should be concerned for the safety of their citizens that currently reside within the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom who are afforded protection under international humanitarian law.

Furthermore, should the DPRK invade and occupy a portion or the entire territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom during the state of war it would nevertheless be bound by the Fourth Geneva Convention, as is the United States. The DPRK, United States and the Hawaiian Kingdom, are High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention. The DPRK ratified the Convention on August 27, 1957; the United States ratified the Convention on August 2, 1955; and the Hawaiian Kingdom acceded to the Convention on November 28, 2012, which was acknowledged and received by Ambassador Benno Bättig, General Secretariat of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, on January 14, 2013, at the city of Bern, Switzerland.

Under United States federal law, Title 18 U.S.C. §2441, a war crime is a felony and defined as any conduct “defined as a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949,” and conduct “prohibited by Article 23, 25, 27, or 28 of the Annex to the Hague Convention IV, Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, signed 18 October 1907.” United States Army Field Manual 27-10, section 499, expands the definition of a war crime, which is applied in armed conflicts that involve United States troops such as the occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom, to be “the technical expression for a violation of the law of war by any person or persons, military or civilian. Every violation of the law of war is a war crime.”

Origin of the Hawaiian Kingdom Flag

51CB3C86A38011DCDuring the reign of Kamehameha I in the eighteenth century, there were three separate kingdoms—the island Kingdom of Hawai‘i; the island Kingdom of Maui under Kahekili together with the islands of Kaho‘olawe, Lana‘i, Molokai and O‘ahu; and the island of Kaua‘i under Ka‘eo together with the island of Ni‘ihau. Kamehameha governed the island Kingdom of Hawai‘i according to ancient tradition and strict religious protocol.

Union_flag_1606_(Kings_Colors)In 1794, after voluntarily ceding the island Kingdom of Hawai‘i to Great Britain and joining the British Empire, Kamehameha and his chiefs considered themselves British subjects and recognized King George III as emperor. The cession to Great Britain did not radically change traditional governance, but principles of English governance and titles were instituted such as Prime Minister and Governors. The British colors was given to Kamehameha by Vancouver and flown over the island Kingdom of Hawai‘i.

British_East_India_Company_flagIn 1816, Kamehameha adopted a national flag design very similar to the British East India Company with the Union Jack in the canton.

The Hawaiian flag replaced the thirteen red and white stripes which appeared to vary between seven and nine alternating colored stripes of white, blue and red. Historical records give conflicting number of stripes.


The Hawaiian flag was not flown over the island Kingdom of Kaua‘i because it was a vassal kingdom under Kamehameha through voluntary cession by its King Kaumuali‘i in 1810. Kaumuali‘i was the son of Ka‘eo and succeeded his father after he died in a great battle against the Kingdom of Maui on the plains of Honolulu on the island of O‘ahu in December 1794. This vassalage came to an end on August 8, 1824, after the Kaua‘i chiefs unsuccessfully rebelled under Humehume, son of Kaumuali‘i, King of Kaua‘i. Humehume was removed to O‘ahu under the watch of Kalanimoku, and all of the Kaua‘i chiefs were dispersed throughout the other islands and their lands replaced with Hawai‘i island chiefs.

Below is a drawing from the Alexander Adams collection at the Hawai‘i Archives of the ship named the Ka‘ahumanu  (circa. 1817) that Captain Adams commanded for King Kamehameha I. The ship flies both the National flag and the Royal flag, which would indicate that King Kamehameha was on board.

Hawn Flag (Adams Collection)

On November 28, 1843, the Hawaiian Kingdom was formally separated from the British Empire when Great Britain recognized Hawaiian Independence, and two years later on May 25, 1845 a revised national flag was unfurled at the opening of the Hawaiian legislature. The Hawaiian flag previous to 1845 differed only in the amount of stripes and also the arranging of the colors. The person accredited with the designing of the new flag was Captain Hunt of H.B.M.S. Baselisk. It has since remained unchanged to date. In the Polynesian Newspaper of May 31, 1845, was the following article:

“At the opening of the Legislative Council, May 25, 1845, the new national banner was unfurled, differing little however from the former. It is octo. (eight) parted per fess (horizontal band), first, fourth and seventh, argent (silver represented by the color white): second, fifth and eighth, gules (the color red): third and sixth, azure (light purplish blue), for the eight islands under one sovereign, indicated by crosses saltire, of St. Andrew and St. Patrick quarterly, per saltire counter changed, argent (white) and gules (red).”


Below is a photo of the Hawaiian Kingdom flag being lowered from ‘Iolani Palace on August 12, 1898 when the prolonged occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom began during the Spanish-American War. It has since been flown below the American flag throughout the Hawaiian Islands in violation of the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Hawaiian Flag Lowered 1898

Students Meet with UH Hilo Vice-Chancellor Regarding Hawaiian Kingdom Flag

La‘akea CaravalhoLa‘akea Caravalho and other students from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo met with theGail Makuakane-Lundin University’s Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Gail Makuakane-Lundin regarding their request that the Hawaiian Kingdom flag fly will no longer be flown below the American flag as it has since the occupation began on August 12, 1898, but will be flown on a separate flagpole of equal height to the American flag. Additionally, the Hawaiian Kingdom flag will be the first to be raised and the last to be lowered each day.

In the meeting, Vice-Chancellor Makuakane-Lundin told the students that the administration for the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo took their request very seriously, and after they met to discuss the matter the administration decided that the students’ request would be honored.

Big Island News Video reported:

The reasoning behind the action is evident in a letter written by students of the University of Hawai‘i to faculty and administrators, which began by saying the students have found the university has committed war crimes under the illegal occupation, specifically “pillaging” and “Americanization.” The letter relies on evidence presented in the recent “Memorandum for Ka Pouhana, CEO of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs regarding Hawai‘i as an independent State and the Impact it has on the Office of Hawaiian Affairs” by Dr. Keanu Sai.

After detailing the background of the war crime accusations, students wrote:

“In closing if you are able to refute the evidence in the Memo then assuredly the felonies—war crimes—have not been committed. But if you are not able to refute the evidence, then beginning on November 28, 2014, Hawaiian Independence Day, La Ku‘oko‘a, which has been celebrated since 1843, the United States Flag will no longer be raised over the Hawaiian flag from that day forth. We demand that the Hawaiian flag shall be raised first and be last taken down each day. The occupying United States flag shall be on a separate flag pole of exact same height with the flag flown as well at the same height. If no flag pole is provided for the U.S. flag it shall not be raised until one is provided by the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College at no cost to the students. The none refute of evidence means that all State of Hawai‘i officials and employees, as well as We/Students are compelled to comply with Hawaii Kingdom Law and the law of occupation.”

Big Island Video News: Students Take Down American Flags at the University of Hawai‘i

Big Island Video News reported: On Monday, a group of students and activists took down the American flag flying at main entrance of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, instead raising the Hawaiian flag that was beneath it. The action was related to what they say is the continued illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom by the United States. The American flag that was taken down was folded and handed over to university administrators. The group then went over to do the same thing at the flag pole of Hawai‘i Community College in Hilo. While there, they encountered security.

This video was shot by David Lakota. He and fellow participant Gene Tamashiro spoke on camera afterwards. UH student La‘akea Caravalho explained more.

Big Island Video News asked the university for an official response to what occurred. We have yet to receive a statement.

UPDATE – The reasoning behind the action is evident in a letter written by students of the University of Hawai‘i to faculty and administrators, which began by saying the students have found the university has committed war crimes under the illegal occupation, specifically “pillaging” and “Americanization.” The letter relies on evidence presented in the recent “Memorandum for Ka Pouhana, CEO of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs regarding Hawai‘i as an independent State and the Impact it has on the Office of Hawaiian Affairs” by Dr. Keanu Sai.

After detailing the background of the war crime accusations, students wrote:

“In closing if you are able to refute the evidence in the Memo then assuredly the felonies—war crimes—have not been committed. But if you are not able to refute the evidence, then beginning on November 28, 2014, Hawaiian Independence Day, La Ku‘oko‘a, which has been celebrated since 1843, the United States Flag will no longer be raised over the Hawaiian flag from that day forth. We demand that the Hawaiian flag shall be raised first and be last taken down each day. The occupying United States flag shall be on a separate flag pole of exact same height with the flag flown as well at the same height. If no flag pole is provided for the U.S. flag it shall not be raised until one is provided by the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College at no cost to the students. The none refute of evidence means that all State of Hawai‘i officials and employees, as well as We/Students are compelled to comply with Hawaii Kingdom Law and the law of occupation.”

OHA Ka Wai Ola – Civic clubs gather for convention

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ Ka Wai Ola newspaper had the following article in its Kēkēmapa (December) 2014 edition.

Ka Wai Ola 1The continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom as an independent and sovereign state became the official position of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs during its 55th annual convention on Moku o Keawe (Hawai‘i Island) Oct. 26-Nov. 2.

Adopted on a vote of 126-92, Resolution 14-28 was one of nearly 50 resolutions adopted by the grassroots organization, whose foundation was laid in 1918 by Prince Jonah Kuhiō Kalaniana‘ole.

“These sort of acknowledgments, I think, really are good,” said Soulee Stroud, the association’s outgoing pelekikena (president), in a post convention interview.

Ka Wai Ola 2

The idea that the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist has been gaining followers throughout the Hawaiian community as modern scholarship and education shed more light on the illegal overthrow, so-called “annexation” of Hawai‘i via joint resolution of Congress, and a statehood ballot that, according to modern scholars of international law, failed to conform to the letter of international law.

Support for the resolution was immediately buoyed by a letter of congratulations from the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, for “taking the courageous step to publicly announce its position that the Kingdom of Hawai‘i continues to exist,” a position the Royal Order of Kamehameha I proclaimed in 1995.

The AHCC, an officially nonpartisan organization known historically for conservative leanings, has seen a shift in recent years with the adoption of a number of progressive resolutions, including a resolution supporting marriage equality in 2013.

Among the resolutions passed at this year’s convention, held at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, were:

  • 14-18 – Strongly supporting the establishment of statewide, regulated medical marijuana dispensaries
  • 14-19 – Strongly urging the state to fully implement and fund the Justice Reinvestment Initiative before planning for prison expansion
  • 14-35 – Urging all Hawaiian civic club members, OHA and the larger Hawai‘i community “to honor and respect the strong political stance of our kupuna who signed their names” on the petition opposing annexation of Hawai‘i to the U.S. in 1897.

Among the most debated resolutions adopted was 14-34, urging creation of a task force, including civic club members, to be appointed by the governor and Legislature, to study the relocation of the Spirit of Lili‘uokalani statue of Queen Lili‘uokalani, from its location between ‘Iolani Palace and the state Capitol.

The idea of moving the statue – interchanging its location with the Eternal Flame memorial on Beretania Street, was debated at the state Legislature in February as Senate Bill 2505 as part of a plan to turn the walkway behind the Capitol into Memorial Mall. The bill also called for a working group to create a monument to former Hawaiian rulers to be placed with the statue. The majority of written testimony, including that of the AHCC, was strongly opposed and the bill was deferred. A companion House Bill did not advance.

New officers

In their biennial election of officers, delegates chose first vice president Annelle Amaral as their pelekikena.

Ka Wai Ola 3

Amaral, of the Waikīkī Hawaiian Civic Club, was elected by majority vote in a three-person race with Leimomi Khan, president of Kalihi- Pālama HCC and a past president of the AHCC, and Skippy Ioane, president of Hui Pū Laka HCC.

“Braddah Skippy” Ioane, whose nomination, like Khan’s, was made on the convention floor, energized the delegation with a populist speech calling for change delivered in pidgin.

“I tell you guys straight up. Us as a people, we no more respect,” said Ioane. “We gotta adjust da vehicle, because da Model T … cannot compete on da freeway. You know what I mean? You going get ticketed for impeding progress.”

Hailama Farden, of Kuini Pi‘olani HCC, was elected first vice president; Daniel Naho‘opi‘i, of Maunalua Hawaiian Civic Club, and president of AHCC’s O‘ahu Council, was elected second vice president; and Paul Richards, Hawaiian Civic Club of Waimānalo, was elected treasurer.

Meanwhile, the late H.K. Bruss Keppeler, a longtime member and past AHCC president, slack key master Rev. Dennis Kamakahi and master Hawaiian feather work artist Aunty Paulette Kahalepuna were among those lovingly remembered during a tearful Hali‘a Aloha ceremony as ‘ohana and fellow club members brought offerings of oli and lei that were draped upon an ‘ōhi‘a lehua tree.

Activities during the week included trips to sacred sites, like Mauna Kea, the piko of the firstborn island of Wäkea and Papa according to Hawaiian cosmology, and Ahu a ‘Umi Heiau, the shrine of the island’s 16th-century ruler ‘Umi a Liloa.

Stroud, whose membership spans more than two decades, says he’ll remain involved in the AHCC as immediate past president and anticipates being involved in the nation-building process, possibly as a delegate to a Hawaiian convention in 2015.

A longtime supporter of the civic clubs, OHA was a sponsor of AHCC’s 55th annual convention. In the days leading up to the November general election, the convention also served as the site of a debate of OHA trustee candidates. Hosted by AHCC in partnership with OHA, the debate was streamed live on oha.org.

Mary Alice Ka‘iulani Milham is a freelance kanaka writer. A former newspaper reporter and columnist from California’s Central Coast, she lives in Mākaha, O‘ahu.

Countries Visiting HK Blog since October 29, 2014

Since October 29, 2014, there have been 211,171 visits from the following domains: .com (Commercial), .net (Networks), .cn (Peoples Republic of China), .de (Germany), .br (Brazil), .edu (Educational), .eu (European Union), .mil (United States military), .ru (Russia), and .tr (Turkey). The domain .com and .net include internet users from other countries who don’t use their country’s domain name. The two largest domain names in the world are .com and .net, with .com at 107,043,593 registered domains (example hawaii.rr.com), and .net at 15,008,510 registered domain names (example, secureserver.net). For a list of countries that .com and .net users come from visit “173 Countries Visit Hawaiian Kingdom Blog.”

Of particular interest is that the U.S. military, China and Russia are visiting the blog.

Country Domains 2014