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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, August 21, 2009

Native Hawaiian protesters end march, burn 50th star on U.S. flag in protest

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Carolyn Norman, left, and Ka'anohi Kaleikini prepare for the march to the Convention Center today.

RICHARD AMBO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

At Ala Moana Beach Park this morning, 9-year-old Makoa Caceres prepares for the march. Several of the protesters were carrying upside-down Hawaiian flags.

RICHARD AMBO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Protesters participating in a Native Hawaiian march to the Convention Center today arrive chanting "We are still a nation under U.S. occupation" and "Shame on America."

DAVID YAMADA | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

From left, Shelly Muneoka, Curtis Peahi and Jean Stavrue burn the the 50th star that was cut from a U.S. flag in protest of the annexation of Hawaii. They demonstrated outside the Convention Center following their march and rally.

RICHARD AMBO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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The protesters joining in on the Native Hawaiian rally swelled to more than 300 people when they reached the Convention Center today following their march from Ala Moana Beach Park.
They lined the sidewalk shouting and blowing conch shells as passing motorists honked their horns.

Some protesters then carried the effigy of a 12-foot-tall Uncle Sam to the water-giver statue outside the Convention Center and knocked off its hat that carried colonial feathers representing countries that fell under the imperialism of the U.S. There was no Hawaii colonial feather. They then pulled out a U.S. flag from the hat and cut off the 50th star, setting it on fire.

The march was put on by the Hawaiian Independence Action Alliance, which represents numerous Native Hawaiian factions with varying political perspectives. But they do agree that they want self-determination and independence for Hawaiians. They also do not recognize the legality of the state of Hawaii.
The flag with the missing star was paraded in front of the Convention Center.
Hayden Burgess, who goes by the Hawaiian name Poka Laenui, spoke in detail about how the Hawaiian monarchy was illegally overthrown and taken by the United States.
Other protesters were seen carrying upside-down Hawaiian flags.
Lynette Cruz, one of the organizers of todays event, said, Were trying not to engage in hate speech. Thats not it. This is not driven by hate.
What they are trying to do is establish a discussion, a dialogue, she said.
We have not had the discussion about what is the future what is the next step.
We hope to get that discussion started, she said.
Another aspect is to get people to understand the facts of the history of the overthrow, Cruz said.
Hawaiis statehood is predicated on an illegal action, she said.
Its illegal, its immoral, and its not real, she said.