Wednesday, January 17, 2001
home page local news opinion business island life sports
AP National & International News
Traffic Hotspots
School Calendar
E-The People
Email Lawmakers
Classified Ads
Restaurant Guide
Business Directory

Posted on: Wednesday, January 17, 2001

Legislature to open amid Hawaiian-rights protest

21st Legislature opens today

By Yasmin Anwar
Advertiser Staff Writer

Another Hawaiian-rights rally will be held during today’s opening of the Legislature, with scores of red-clad protesters at the State Capitol calling on lawmakers to help defend native entitlements.

Two Republican lawmakers are poised to introduce bills that seek to preempt constitutional challenges to OHA and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

State Rep. Joe Gomes, R-Waimanalo-Lanikai, plans a measure that would turn over the trust assets of the Hawaiian Home Lands, including 203,000 acres, to a private entity formed by trust beneficiaries.

State Sen. Fred Hemmings, R-Kailua-Waimanalo, is drafting the Hawaiian Autonomy Trust bill, which would consolidate OHA and Hawaiian Homes into a private for-profit trust.

The proposed Hawaiian Affairs legislation and today’s rally are in response to a federal lawsuit that seeks to dismantle OHA, the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and native gathering rights on grounds that they violate equal protection guarantees in the U.S. Constitution.

Filed by Honolulu resident Patrick Barrett and former Hawaii Republican Party chairman John Carroll, the consolidated action is based on last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case known as Rice v Cayetano. The decision invalidated OHA’s Hawaiian-only elections on grounds that they violate the 15th Amendment’s ban on race-based voting restrictions.

Today’s rally is from 8 a.m. to noon in the courtyard of the State Capitol. Organizers are asking participants to wear red and to bring items that identify their Hawaiian cultural heritage and means of livelihood, such as canoe paddles and fishing poles.

[back to top]

Home | Local News | Opinion | Business | Island Life | Sports
Weather | Traffic Hotspots | Obituaries | School Calendar | Email Lawmakers
How to Subscribe | How to Advertise | Site Map | Terms of Service | Corrections

© COPYRIGHT 2001 The Honolulu Advertiser, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.