Native Hawaiian protesters end march, burn 50th star on U.S. flag in protest
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 today’s event, said, “We’re trying not to engage in hate speech. That’s 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.
Hawaiçi’s statehood is predicated on an illegal action, she said.
“It’s illegal, it’s immoral, and it’s not real,” she said.