[News] Hawai'i Kingdom suing to end U.S. Occupation

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Sat Jul 31 12:46:12 EDT 2021

National Lawyers Guild 

Header of the Amicus Brief in Support of the Hawaiian Kingdom reading 
WPLC, IADL, and NLG file joint Amicus Brief Supporting the Hawaiian 
Kingdom’s Complaint against the US Requesting a Declaratory Judgment and 
Effective End of U.S. Occupation



Natali Segovia, Staff Attorney, WPLC: defense at waterprotectorlegal.org 
NLG International Committee: international at nlg.org 

Honolulu—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 <https://www.nlg.org/civicrm/mailing/url/?u=21905&qid=6299199> 
today in support of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s complaint 
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.

Hawai‘i has been illegally occupied by the US since 1893, when 
businessmen and politicians helped John Stevens overthrow Queen 
Lili‘uokalani and the Hawaiian government. One-hundred years later, 
President Clinton would apologize 
<https://www.nlg.org/civicrm/mailing/url/?u=21907&qid=6299199> and the 
US would acknowledge that Hawaiian Kingdom never relinquished their 
land. That is not enough. The people of the Hawaiian Kingdom have 
remained continuously opposed to the illegal occupation of the US and 
its effects, including de-nationalization, the exploitation of natural 
<https://www.nlg.org/civicrm/mailing/url/?u=21908&qid=6299199>, legacy 
of racial unrest sown by colonialism 
<https://www.nlg.org/civicrm/mailing/url/?u=21909&qid=6299199>, and 
<https://www.nlg.org/civicrm/mailing/url/?u=21910&qid=6299199> at the 
expense of Native Hawaiians.

Mr. Dexter Ke`eaumoku Ka`iama, Acting Attorney General for the Hawaiian 
Kingdom who filed the original complaint, described the amicus brief 
filed by the three legal organizations: “The amicus transcends over 128 
years of the illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the violations 
of international law and international humanitarian law and political 
pressures and trappings brought to maintain this illegality.  Instead, 
the amicus rightly directs our attention to the undisputed history of 
the Hawaiian Kingdom and proper application of international law, US 
Constitutional law and compacts (treaties) between the sovereign States 
of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United States.”

While relief in this matter would seemingly be barred by the political 
question doctrine, the amicus brief states the federal and state courts 
of Hawai'i are /de facto/ Article II courts since 1893 because the US 
occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom has never ended or been resolved 
through an operative peace treaty. Experts in international law and 
human rights have determined that without some type of transfer of 
sovereignty, the Hawaiian Kingdom and its people have the sole right to 
that land. There is judicial precedent of at least 12 Article II 
executive “occupation” courts in U.S. legal and political history since 
the Mexican War in 1846, provisional courts during the Civil War, and 
through 1971 when the United States returned Okinawa and Ryukyu Islands 
to Japan after WWII.

“At its core,” says WPLC Staff Attorney Natali Segovia, “this case is 
about the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the right of 
self-determination of an entire Nation. I don’t mean luke-warm 
self-determination within the boundaries of a settler state; I mean the 
self-determination that is at the heart of international law: the right 
of nations to self-govern to freely determine their political status, 
their economic, social, and cultural development within their own 
territory. Standing Rock, Line 3, and the #Landback movement share this 
in common. WPLC began at Standing Rock, where the fight for the water 
and for future generations was a manifestation and exercise of 
self-determination of the Oceti Sakowin Oyate and Indigenous Peoples and 
allies around the world that answered their call. WPLC is committed to 
supporting those struggles for sovereignty and self-determination of 
Indigenous Peoples and Original Nations wherever we can.”

"As an organization that values human rights and the rights of 
ecosystems over property interests, the NLG supports all Native peoples' 
right to self-determination and resistance against settler-colonial 
oppression—whether it be in Palestine, Standing Rock, or Hawai'i. The US 
is no exception to standards set by international and humanitarian law, 
and must end its occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom, said NLG President 
Elena Cohen."

IADL President Jeanne Mirer said, “As an international organization of 
human rights lawyers dedicated to the furtherance of peace, justice, and 
the rule of law, the IADL reiterates its support for the Hawaiian 
Kingdom and the people of Hawai‘i in their ongoing struggle for 
sovereignty, and self-determination. The United States has an obligation 
to comply with international humanitarian law and the law of occupation.”

Mr. Ka`iama concluded, “Filing of the amicus coincides with the formal 
restoration of the Hawaiian Kingdom from the British Government on July 
31, 1843.  A day that is remembered and celebrated as Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea 
(“Restoration Day”). So too, this amicus will be forever marked and 
fondly remembered in the annals of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Aloha ‘Āina.”

“Aloha ‘Āina” is Hawaiian for “love of the land.” As legal organizations 
committed to human rights, international law, and the rule of law, we 
stand — for the land, for the water, and for future generations.

Counsel for /Amici Curiae/ NLG, IADL, and WPLC are Natali Segovia, 
Joseph (Joey) Chase, and Charles Heaukulani.

#Landback #HawaiianKingdom #AlohaAina

*The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (“IADL”)* 
<https://www.nlg.org/civicrm/mailing/url/?u=21911&qid=6299199> is an 
international organization of human rights lawyers and jurists founded 
in 1946, with member associations and individual members in over 90 
countries and with consultative status in ECOSOC. IADL is dedicated to 
upholding international law and promoting the tenets of the UN Charter 
in furtherance of peace and justice.

*The National Lawyers Guild (“NLG”)* 
<https://www.nlg.org/civicrm/mailing/url/?u=21901&qid=6299199> was 
formed in 1937 as the first national racially integrated bar association 
in the U.S. to advocate for the protection of constitutional, human, and 
civil rights/./

*The Water Protector Legal Collective (“WPLC”)* 
<https://www.nlg.org/civicrm/mailing/url/?u=21912&qid=6299199> is an 
Indigenous-led legal non-profit organization that began in 2016 as the 
on-the-ground legal team at Oceti Sakowin camp at Standing Rock in 
defense of Water Protectors in frontline resistance to the Dakota Access 
Pipeline.**WPLC continues to provide legal support and advocacy to 
Indigenous Peoples and Original Nations, the Earth, and climate justice 

*Support the Hawaiian Kingdom*. To learn more, visit: 


Read this press release on the NLG website 

National Lawyers Guild - National Office 

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