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Hawaiian Kingdom

Lawyer’s Groups Support Hawaii’s Case For Ending US Occupation

The Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC), alongside the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) and National Lawyers Guild (NLG), filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief today in support of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s complaint against the United States government, President Joe Biden, and other defendants, due to the unlawful occupation of Hawai‘i by the United States since January 17, 1893. The complaint and the amicus brief request Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, namely for the US to end the occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

The Impact Of The US Occupation On The Hawaiian People

The Hawaiian Kingdom was a progressive constitutional monarchy since 1840 and it viewed education and health care as cornerstones for the country’s maintenance in the nineteenth century. By 1893, the Hawaiian Kingdom maintained a literacy rate that was nearly universal amongst the Hawaiian population. It also managed to successfully address the rapid decrease of the Hawaiian population from foreign diseases, such as small pox and measles, through universal health care under the 1859 Act to Provide Hospitals for the Relief of Hawaiians in the city of Honolulu and other Localities. Education was through the medium of the native language. On January 7, 1822, the first printing of an eight-page Hawaiian spelling book was done, and all “the leading chiefs, including the king, now eagerly applied themselves to learn the arts of reading and writing, and soon began to the use them in business and correspondence.

The US Occupation Of The Hawaiian Kingdom

In his message to the Congress on December 18, 1893, President Grover Cleveland acknowledged that the Hawaiian Kingdom was unlawfully invaded by United States marines on January 16, 1893, which led to an illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian government the following day. The President told the Congress that he “instructed Minister Willis to advise the Queen and her supporters of [his] desire to aid in the restoration of the status existing before the lawless landing of the United States forces at Honolulu on the 16th of January last, if such restoration could be effected upon terms providing for clemency as well as justice to all parties concerned. What the President didn’t know at the time he gave his message was...
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