[News] NLG Calls Upon US to Immediately Comply with International Humanitarian Law in its Illegal Occupation of the Hawaiian Islands

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Thu Jan 16 14:48:56 EST 2020


https://www.nlg.org/nlg-calls-upon-us-to-immediately-comply-with-international-humanitarian-law-in-its-illegal-occupation-of-the-hawaiian-islands/ 



  NLG Calls Upon US to Immediately Comply with International
  Humanitarian Law in its Illegal Occupation of the Hawaiian Islands

January 13, 2020
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Contact: hawaiiankingdom at nlginternational.org

The National Lawyers Guild <https://www.nlg.org/> (NLG), the oldest and 
largest progressive bar association in the United States, calls upon the 
United States to immediately begin to comply with international 
humanitarian law in its prolonged and illegal occupation of the Hawaiian 
Kingdom since 1893. As the longest running belligerent occupation of a 
foreign country in the history of international relations, the United 
States has been in violation of international law for over a century.

*THE HAWAIIAN KINGDOM AS A SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATE*

On November 28, 1843, Great Britain and France jointly recognized the 
Hawaiian Kingdom 
<https://hawaiiankingdom.org/blog/national-holiday-independence-day-november-28/> 
as a sovereign and independent State, which was followed by formal 
recognition by the United States on July 6, 1844. By 1893, the Hawaiian 
Kingdom maintained 
<https://hawaiiankingdom.org/blog/hawaiian-legations-and-consulates-in-1893/> 
over 90 legations (embassies) and consulates throughout the world, to 
include a legation in Washington, D.C., and consulates in the cities of 
New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, San Diego, Boston, Portland, Port 
Townsend and Seattle. The United States also maintained a legation and 
consulate in Honolulu.

The Hawaiian Kingdom also held treaties 
<https://hawaiiankingdom.org/treaties.shtml> with the Austro-Hungarian 
Empire, Belgium, Bremen, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, 
Hamburg, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Samoa, 
Spain, Switzerland, the unified Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, and the 
United States. It was also a member of the Universal Postal Union.

As a constitutional monarchy, the kingdom provided 
<http://neatoday.org/2018/10/13/us-occupation-of-hawaii/> universal 
healthcare for the aboriginal Hawaiian population since 1859 with the 
establishment of Queen’s Hospital, and it became the fifth country in 
the world to provide compulsory education for all youth in 1841. This 
predated compulsory education in the United States by seventy-seven 
years and its literacy rate was universal and second to Scotland. Also, 
between 1880 and 1887, a study abroad program was launched where 18 
young Hawaiian subjects attended schools in the United States, Great 
Britain, which included Scotland, Italy, Japan and China where they 
studied engineering, law, foreign language, medicine, military science, 
engraving, sculpture, and music.

*PRESIDENT GROVER CLEVELAND’S MESSAGE TO THE CONGRESS IN DECEMBER 18, 1893*

After completing an investigation into the United States role in the 
overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom government on January 17, 1893, 
President Cleveland apprised the Congress of his findings and 
conclusions. In his message 
<https://hawaiiankingdom.org/pdf/Cleveland's_Message_(12.18.1893).pdf> 
to the Congress, he stated, “And so it happened that on the 16th day of 
January, 1893, between four and five o’clock in the afternoon, a 
detachment of marines from the United States steamer Boston, with two 
pieces of artillery, landed at Honolulu. The men, upwards of 160 in all, 
were supplied with haversacks and canteens, and were accompanied by a 
hospital corps with stretchers and medical supplies. This military 
demonstration upon the soil of Honolulu was of itself an act of war.” He 
concluded, that “the military occupation of Honolulu by the United 
States on the day mentioned was wholly without justification, either as 
an occupation by consent or as an occupation necessitated by dangers 
threatening American life and property.”

This invasion coerced Queen Lili‘uokalani, executive monarch of the 
Hawaiian Kingdom, to conditionally surrender to the superior power of 
the United States military, where she stated, “Now, to avoid any 
collision of armed forces and perhaps the loss of life, I do, under this 
protest, and impelled by said force, yield my authority until such time 
as the Government of the United States shall, upon the facts being 
presented to it, undo the action of its representatives and reinstate me 
in the authority which I claim as the constitutional sovereign of the 
Hawaiian Islands.” The President acknowledged, that by “an act of 
war…the Government of…friendly and confiding people has been overthrown.”

Through executive mediation between the Queen and the new U.S. Minister 
to the Hawaiian Islands, Albert Willis, that lasted from November 13, 
1893 through December 18, 1893, an agreement of peace was reached. 
According to the executive agreement, by exchange of notes, the 
President committed to restoring the Queen as the constitutional 
sovereign, and the Queen agreed, after being restored, to grant a full 
pardon to the insurgents. Political wrangling in the Congress, however, 
blocked President Cleveland from carrying out his obligation of 
restoration of the Queen.

*LIMITATION OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND LAWS*

Five years later, at the height of the Spanish-American War, President 
Cleveland’s successor, William McKinley, signed a congressional joint 
resolution of annexation on July 7, 1898, unilaterally seizing the 
Hawaiian Islands for military purposes. In the /Lotus/ case, the 
Permanent Court of International Justice stated that “the first and 
foremost restriction imposed by international law upon a State is 
that…it may not exercise its power in any form in the territory of 
another State.”

This rule of international law was acknowledged by the Supreme Court in 
United /States v. Curtiss-Wright, Corp./ (1936), when the court stated, 
“Neither the Constitution nor the laws passed in pursuance of it have 
any force in foreign territory unless in respect of our own citizens, 
and operations of the nation in such territory must be governed by 
treaties, international understandings and compacts, and the principles 
of international law.” In 1988, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office 
of Legal Counsel concluded 
<https://hawaiiankingdom.org/pdf/1988_Opinion_OLC.pdf>, it is “unclear 
which constitutional power Congress exercised when it acquired Hawaii by 
joint resolution.”

Under international law, “a disguised annexation aimed at destroying the 
independence of the occupied State, represents a clear violation of the 
rule preserving the continuity of the occupied State (Marek, /Identity 
and Continuity of States in Public International Law/, 2^nd ed. 110 
(1968)).”

Despite the limitations of United States legislation, the Congress went 
ahead and enacted the Territorial Act 
<https://www.loc.gov/law/help/statutes-at-large/56th-congress/session-1/c56s1ch339.pdf> 
(1900) changing the name of the governmental infrastructure to the 
Territory of Hawai‘i. Fifty-nine years later, the Congress changed the 
name of the Territory of Hawai‘i to the State of Hawai‘i in 1959 under 
the Statehood Act 
<https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/DownloadFile/33456?Reference=33811>. The 
governmental infrastructure of the Hawaiian Kingdom continued as the 
governmental infrastructure of the State of Hawai‘i.

According to Professor Matthew Craven in his 2002 legal opinion 
<https://hawaiiankingdom.org/pdf/Opinion_Continuity_HK_Craven_RCI.pdf> 
for the Hawaiian Council of Regency <https://hawaiiankingdom.org/> 
concluded, “That authority exercised by [the United States] over Hawai‘i 
is not one of sovereignty i.e. that the [United States] has no legally 
protected ‘right’ to exercise that control and that it has no original 
claim to the territory of Hawai‘i or right to obedience on the part of 
the Hawaiian population. Furthermore, the extension of [United States] 
laws to Hawai‘i, apart from those that may be justified by reference to 
the law of (belligerent) occupation would be contrary to the terms of 
international law.”

*INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW OBLIGATES THE UNITED STATES TO 
ADMINISTER THE LAWS OF THE HAWAIIAN KINGDOM*

Despite over a century of occupation, international humanitarian law, 
otherwise known as the laws of war, obligates the United States to 
administer the laws of the occupied State. In 2018, United Nations 
Independent Expert, Dr. Alfred deZayas, sent a communication 
<https://jenruggles.com/wp-content/uploads/Dr_deZayas_Memo_2_25_2018.pdf> 
from Geneva to the State of Hawai‘i that read:

“As a professor of international law, the former Secretary of the UN 
Human Rights Committee, co-author of [the] book, The United Nations 
Human Rights Committee Case Law 1977-2008, and currently serving as the 
UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable 
international order, I have come to understand that the lawful political 
status of the Hawaiian Islands is that of a sovereign nation-state in 
continuity; but a nation-state that is under a strange form of 
occupation by the United States resulting from an illegal military 
occupation and a fraudulent annexation. As such, international laws (the 
Hague and Geneva Conventions) require that governance and legal matters 
within the occupied territory of the Hawaiian Islands must be 
administered by the application of the laws of the occupied state (in 
this case, the Hawaiian Kingdom), not the domestic laws of the occupier 
(the United States).”

Violations of the provisions of the 1907 Hague Regulations and the 1949 
Fourth Geneva Convention are war crimes. Professor William Schabas, 
recognized expert in international criminal law, determined in a 2019 
legal opinion 
<https://hawaiiankingdom.org/pdf/Opinion_War-Crimes_Schabas_RCI.pdf> for 
the Hawaiian Royal Commission of Inquiry 
<https://hawaiiankingdom.org/blog/hawaiian-royal-commission-of-inquiry/>, 
that war crimes have and continue to be committed in the Hawaiian 
Islands since January 17, 1893. He states, “In addition to crimes listed 
in applicable treaties, war crimes are also recognized under customary 
international law. Customary international law applies to States 
regardless of whether they have ratified relevant treaties. The 
customary law of war crimes is thus applicable to the situation in 
Hawai‘i. Many of the war crimes set out in the first Additional Protocol 
and in the Rome Statute codify customary international law and are 
therefore applicable to the United States despite its failure to ratify 
the treaties.” And according to Professor Lenzerini in his 2019 legal 
opinion 
<https://hawaiiankingdom.org/pdf/Opinion_Human_Rights_Lenzerini_RCI.pdf> 
for the Royal Commission of Inquiry, that violations of human rights in 
the Hawaiian Kingdom “would first of all need to be treated as war 
crimes, which are primarily to be considered under the lens of 
international criminal law.”

*CONCEALING THE ILLEGAL OCCUPATION THROUGH 
AMERICANIZATION—DENATIONALIZATION*

How could such a travesty have gone unnoticed until now? The answer is 
obliteration of Hawaiian national consciousness through a process of 
denationalization. Predating the policy of Germanization in the German 
occupied State of Serbia from 1915-1918, a formal policy of 
Americanization 
<https://hawaiiankingdom.org/pdf/1906_Patriotic_Exercises.pdf> was 
initiated in 1906 that sought to obliterate the national consciousness 
of the Hawaiian Kingdom in the minds of school children throughout the 
islands. Classroom instruction was in English and if the children spoke 
Hawaiian they were severely punished. The Hawaiian Gazette reported 
<https://hawaiiankingdom.org/pdf/Patriotic_Program_Article.pdf>, “It 
will be remembered that at the time of the celebration of the birthday 
of Benjamin Franklin, an agitation was begun looking to a better 
observance of these notable national days in the schools, as tending to 
inculcate patriotism in a school population that needed that kind of 
teaching, perhaps, more than the mainland children do.”

In 1907, a reporter from New York’s Harper’s Weekly visited Ka‘iulani 
public school in Honolulu and showcased the seeds of indoctrination 
<https://hawaiiankingdom.org/pdf/1907_Harpers_Weekly.pdf>. The reporter 
wrote:

“At the suggestion of Mr. Babbitt, the principal, Mrs. Fraser, gave an 
order, and within ten seconds all of the 614 pupils of the school began 
to march out upon the great green lawn which surrounds the building.… 
Out upon the lawn marched the children, two by two, just as precise and 
orderly as you find them at home. With the ease that comes of long 
practice the classes marched and counter-marched until all were drawn up 
in a compact array facing a large American flag that was dancing in the 
northeast trade-wind forty feet above their heads.… ‘Attention!’ Mrs. 
Fraser commanded. The little regiment stood fast, arms at side, 
shoulders back, chests out, heads up, and every eye fixed upon the red, 
white and blue emblem that waived protectingly over them. ‘Salute!’ was 
the principal’s next command. Every right hand was raised, forefinger 
extended, and the six hundred and fourteen fresh, childish voices 
chanted as one voice: ‘We give our heads and our hearts to God and our 
Country! One Country! One Language! One Flag!’”

The word “inculcate” imports force such as to convince, implant, or to 
indoctrinate. Brainwashing is its colloquial term. Within three 
generations, the national consciousness of the Hawaiian Kingdom was 
effectively obliterated from the minds of the Hawaiian people.

*THE RISE OF NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE HAWAIIAN KINGDOM*

The year 1993, which marked the 100th anniversary of the American 
invasion and occupation, began the resurgence of Hawaiian national 
consciousness. It was also the year that the Congress enacted a joint 
resolution 
<https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/STATUTE-107/pdf/STATUTE-107-Pg1510.pdf> 
apologizing for the United States role in illegally overthrowing the 
government of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Six years later on November 8, 1999, 
the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague accepted a dispute 
between Lance Larsen, a Hawaiian subject, and the restored Hawaiian 
government—the Council of Regency (/Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom 
<https://pca-cpa.org/en/cases/35/>)/. Larsen alleged the Council of 
Regency was legally liable for “allowing the unlawful imposition of 
American municipal laws over the claimant’s person within the 
territorial jurisdiction of the Hawaiian Kingdom.” The Regency’s 
position was that it was not liable and that the United States was 
responsible under international humanitarian law. Due to the United 
States decision not to participate in the arbitral proceedings after 
being invited <https://www.alohaquest.com/arbitration/letter_000303.htm> 
by the Regency and Larsen’s counsel, Larsen was unable to maintain his 
suit against the Hawaiian government.

These proceedings, however, drew international attention to the American 
occupation which prompted the NLG’s International Committee to form the 
Hawaiian Kingdom Subcommittee 
<https://nlginternational.org/hawaiian-kingdom-subcommittee/> in March 
of 2019. The Subcommittee “provides legal support to the 
movement demanding that the U.S., as the occupier, comply with 
international humanitarian and human rights law within Hawaiian Kingdom 
territory, the occupied. This support includes organizing delegations 
and working with the United Nations, the International Committee of the 
Red Cross, and NGOs addressing U.S. violations of international law and 
the rights of Hawaiian nationals and other Protected Persons.”

In December of 2019, the NLG’s membership voted and passed a resolution 
<https://www.nlg.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Hawaiian-Subcommittee-Resolution-Final.pdf> 
where “the National Lawyers Guild calls upon the United States of 
America immediately to begin to comply with international humanitarian 
law in its prolonged and illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Islands.”

  * NLG strongly condemns the prolonged and illegal occupation of the
    Hawaiian Islands.
  * NLG also condemns the unlawful presence and maintenance of the
    United States Indo-Pacific Command with its 118 military sites
    throughout the Hawaiian Islands, which has caused the islands to be
    targeted for nuclear strike by North Korea, China and Russia.
  * NLG calls for the United States to immediately comply with
    international humanitarian law and begin to administer the laws of
    the Hawaiian Kingdom as the occupied State.
  * NLG calls on the legal and human rights community to view the United
    States presence in the Hawaiian Islands through the prism of
    international law and to roundly condemn it as an illegal occupation
    under international law.
  * NLG supports the Hawaiian Council of Regency, who represented the
    Hawaiian Kingdom at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, in its
    efforts to seek resolution in accordance with international law as
    well as its strategy to have the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties
    comply with international humanitarian law as the administration of
    the Occupying State.
  * NLG calls on all United Nations member States and non-member States
    to not recognize as lawful a situation created by a serious
    violation of international law, and to not render aid or assistance
    in maintaining the unlawful situation. As an internationally
    wrongful act, all States shall cooperate to ensure the United States
    complies with international humanitarian law and consequently bring
    to an end the unlawful occupation of the Hawaiian Islands.

/The National Lawyers Guild, whose membership includes lawyers, legal 
workers, jailhouse lawyers, and law students, was formed in 1937 as the 
United States’ first racially-integrated bar association to advocate for 
the protection of constitutional, human and civil rights./

# # #

Related:

  * /Guild Notes, /July 2019: NLG International Committee Announces New
    Hawaiian Kingdom Subcommittee
    <https://www.nlg.org/wp-admin/post-new.php>
  * Resolution Against Illegal Occupation of Hawaiian Islands
    <https://www.nlg.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Hawaiian-Subcommittee-Resolution-Final.pdf>

-- 
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