By Timothy Hurley
Maui County Bureau
KAHULUI, Maui Kahului Airport officials are beefing up security and urging travelers to arrive early this weekend in anticipation of delays that may occur in connection with a planned demonstration by a Native Hawaiian group.
Starting today at 5 a.m., members of Na Kupuna o Maui (The Elders of Maui) will lead a nonviolent dem-onstration featuring sign-holding and distribution of literature to educate tourists and residents about recent legal challenges to Native Hawaiian rights, lands and entitlements.
The demonstration is scheduled from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and tomorrow, and from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Na Kupuna spokesperson Kapali Keahi said yesterday that the group hopes to spread the word about U.S. District Court lawsuits filed last year by Patrick Barrett and John Carroll seeking to suspend government programs, services, appropriations and legislation pertaining to Hawaiian rights provided under the state Constitution.
Keahi called the lawsuits racist attacks: "This is not a call for civil disobedience ... but rather this is a call for support from natives and non-natives alike."
Airport officials said they have been assured by group representatives that there will be no disruption of airport operations.
Officials recommended travelers arrive at the airport at least two hours before Mainland flights and one hour before interisland flights.
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