Skip to main content

Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner Laulani Teale calls for return of banner


by the City and County of Honolulu.  WE DEMAND IT BACK.
MAY 1st, 2012 9 A.M., Kapiʻolani Park

My name is Laulani Teale.  I am a Hawaiian cultural practitioner from Oʻahu.  Tomorrow, I should be helping my mother, a longtime lei maker and Hawaiian kupuna, to share our Hawaiian culture at the City and County’s Lei Day event at Kapiʻolani Park, as we have done for many years.  Instead, I will be raising my voice in protest at the event, along with others who have been abused by the City.  Here is why.

Yesterday, internationally-renowned mural artist Raul Gonzalez painted a beautiful banner in order to help the Hawaiian people to celebrate Kānāwai Māmalahoe, the Law of the Splintered Paddle, which was declared by Kamehameha I in order to protect the people of Hawaiʻi from governmental abuse, and enshrined in the Hawaii State Constitution.  I was the coordinator for this effort.  The banner was to be used tomorrow during the General Strike event at Thomas Square, to celebrate the efforts of (de)Occupy Honolulu, which will soon (as of May 5) be the longest-running Occupy encampment in the world, to de-occupy Hawaiʻi and make things pono worldwide.

The banner was taken by the City and County of Honolulu during a raid on the (de)Occupy Honolulu encampment this morning.  It was not tagged, and therefore illegally seized, in violation of the City’s ordinance 11-029 (formerly Bill 54), and also in violation of the 1st and 4th amendments of the Hawaii State Constitution, and Kānāwai Māmalahoe itself.  Another banner was also seized, which read “Ua Mau Ke Ea o ka ʻAina I Ka Pono”.  Ironically, this phrase, which is now used as the State motto, was first uttered at Thomas Square by Kamehameha III

We cannot support this kind of abuse.  We cannot pretend that Hawaiian culture is respected by the City and County, when it is not.  Illegal raids are taking place at Thomas Square and houseless encampments throughout Honolulu constantly.  The people of Keaʻau, many of whom are important cultural practitioners and caretakers of the land and sea, were brutally evicted from their homes this past month.  Kānāwai Māmalahoe  must be returned to its rightful place: protecting the people of Hawaiʻi.  Our culture -- and all the people of Hawaii -- must be respected, not stolen. 


Popular posts from this blog

HCDA creates their own anti-homeless police at HAR hearing

While no one was watching, the HCDA (Hawaiʻi Community Development Authority) held  a Hawaii Administrative Rules hearing that creates their own anti-homeless police force, and (incidentally) raises park fees by up to 500%. The affected parks are at the intersection of Honolulu Council Districts 4, 5, and 6, (Trevor Ozawa, Ann Kobayashi, and Carol Fukunaga respectively) but none (or their staff) were present today. These laws were made without any oversight from the public or their elected representatives.

Who knew that such sweeping changes could be made without the oversight of any elected officials? And after one decision making hearing that is accountable to no one? If the Honolulu City Council had to rule on such changes, it would require three full council hearings, and opportunities for public participation at each.

My own interest in attending the hearing was to get some kind of hint as to the mechanism the City would use to curtail First Amendment rights in Thomas Square afte…

Eric Seitz: Pro bono is a crock

At yesterday's "Justice in Jeopardy, Expanding Access to Justice in Challenging Economic Times" at the UH Richardson Law School, Dean of Harvard Law School Martha L. Minow pointed out that one in five Americans now qualify for civil legal assistance because they are within 125% of the Poverty Level -- a record high in the history in the county. As the demand for legal services grows, the available resources continue to diminish, leaving most without the "equal protection" of the law.

I checked out the breakout session on pro bono because I used to work for Hawaii's pro bono referral service, Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii (VLSH).

These days, most pro bono services are not attorneys representing clients, but short informational sessions at legal clinics. Moderator Robert LeClair asked attorney Eric Seitz what he thought of this turn in pro bono services.  This is what Eric said:

"Well, let me start out by saying that I've always thought pro bono w…

What The City Doesn’t Want You To Know About Thomas Square

[This article was originally published by CivilBeat on July 21, 2016. I'm reprinting it with video clips. Doug]

The City of Honolulu plans to close Thomas Square on Aug. 15 for six months and re-open it in February 2017 as something completely different, according to its master plan. Although city officials have unveiled grandiose plans concerning a drastic makeover, there are a number of troubling things they are trying to keep under cover:

1. It will no longer be a public park. The master plan calls for Thomas Square to be transferred from the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, where it is a public park, to its Department of Enterprise Services. What is it? The department runs the Blaisdell Center, the Waikiki Shell, the zoo and the public golf courses. By way of a memo dated April 28 from the city’s enterprise chief Guy Kaulukukui to the state’s head of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the city asked the state to make changes to allow a change of purpose for…