175th Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea at Thomas Square

Hawaiian National Position Statement on Thomas Square

Thomas Square holds historical and political significance for Hawaiians. This is where the 5-month occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom, by the British, ended on July 31, 1843, when Admiral Thomas of the British Government ordered the Union Jack lowered and the Hawaiian Kingdom flag to be raised. The park is named in honor of him.

That was also on the day that King Kamehameha III proclaimed: “Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka ‘Āina I Ka Pono,” which translates to mean the “Sovereignty of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness.”

Since then, July 31st has been a Hawaiian Kingdom national holiday known as Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea. And it was celebrated by Hawaiians here and abroad until the United States illegally took control of Hawai’i via a Joint Resolution of Congress. Today, Hawaiians refer to the 1898 US takeover as an illegal occupation because no Treaty of Annexation exists, which is the only document that could legitimize the American presence here, as prescribed under US and International law.
Since 1986, Hawaiian Nationals and Patriots have gathered here annually to assert and affirm the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Nation with no permits or permission from either the so called “State of Hawaiʻi” or the “City and County of Honolulu”. It continued that way until 2017 when “joint control, maintenance, and management” of this politically historic park was transferred over to the Department of Enterprise Services (DES), a private money generating corporation, despite strong community opposition and no consultation with the Kanaka Maoli people.

With million-dollar condominiums going up near Thomas Square this park is set to become a jewel in the crown of the surrounding real estate. And now 175 years after it was first designated as the first Hawaiian Kingdom park, where Hawaiians honor the sovereignty and righteousness of the land, it is finally getting a facelift from the City and County of Honolulu and DES.

Historic events like Lā Hoihoi Ea are being tokenized as cultural events intended to enhance the value of Thomas Square by engaging the community with art and entertainment. Today Hawaiian Nationals have to sign a permit and get a million-dollar insurance coverage indemnifying all parties involved including the occupying government, the City and County of Honolulu, to celebrate Hawaiian Restoration Day. Thomas Square was created by the Hawaiian Kingdom Privy Council to memorialize and celebrate the sovereignty of our Nation and today it is a symbol of our sovereignty as Kanaka Maoli and Hawaiian Nationals over this archipelago.

In conclusion, we must reject any claims that the State of Hawaiʻi, City and County of Honolulu, and the DES own or control this Hawaiian National Park and REFUSE to sign any permit or permission slip to use the lands that our King established me ke aloha nui no ko kākou Lāhui (with love for our Hawaiian Nation).

Kanaka Maoli, Hawaiian Nationals and Patriots of the Hawaiian Kingdom, hold your ground here at the piko (the center) of what is now a widespread celebration that extends throughout the islands and on Moku Honu (the Continent). It is important to STAND. If we can’t even hold down a park, how can we be pono (righteous) in stating that that our Kingdom still lives?

— Healani Sonoda-Pale

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