AF3IRM Denounces Federal Government’s Attempts to Define Sovereignty For Native Hawaiians; Echoes Calls for Genuine Self-Determination

July 7, 2014
Nadezna Ortega, AF3IRM Oahu, [email protected], 808-255-3410
Leotele Renee Togafau, AF3IRM Oahu, [email protected], 808-429-8337
Jollene Levid, AF3IRM National Chairperson, [email protected], 323-356-4748

OAHU — Federal recognition is being fast-tracked by the Obama administration, Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA, a state institution), members of Congress, developers, and other institutions that would benefit or would get an expansion of their power and authority. Federal recognition is sham sovereignty where Native Hawaiians would exercise control over their own affairs, but still under the power and authority of the United States government. AF3IRM echoes the warning cries of Native Hawaiian activists who see this as another opportunity for more land-grabbing and development by settlers and corporations in Hawai`i that began with the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893.

AF3IRM demands that the hearings held for federal recognition actually show the range of opinions of Native Hawaiians themselves. The federal hearings are skewed and ignore the vast majority of Native Hawaiians who oppose federal recognition and instead call for genuine sovereignty from the United States. The hearings also ignore the fact that federal recognition would be a continuation of the monumental crime perpetrated by the United States against the Kingdom of Hawai`i. The crucible of historical and legal examination leads to the truth that the Hawaiian Islands is not a U.S. territory. This truth continues to spread to the U.S. continent and beyond, and we repeat it for more to learn: the annexation of Hawai`i by the United States is a myth. The instrument that allegedly ceded Hawai`i to the United States, the Joint Resolution of 1898, was unlawful according to U.S. Constitution and international law. It is logically impossible for a country to pass a law that violates its own laws to acquire a sovereign nation. This means that the U.S. did not, in fact, annex Hawai`i.

AF3IRM, in its transnational feminist practice, echoes the calls of its Native Hawaiian sisters, who have been pushing for complete independence from the United States since the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani and the Kingdom of Hawai`i – a sovereign nation once recognized by many countries all over the world. The transnational women of AF3IRM know all too well the effects of colonization. Hawai`i is no different; the Kingdom of Hawai`i was overthrown as a land grab by the plantation oligarchs with the help of the U.S. military. These are the same marines who were on the USS Boston – the ship and crew who went to the Philippines to kill and colonize that country. The illegal oligarchy was backed by imperialist U.S. President McKinley, the same president who took Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines as U.S. colonies. As of 2013, even the United Nations still recognizes Hawai`i as an occupied country.

Just as centuries of conquest of transnational women have taught us, the women of AF3IRM know that the only answer to this renewed attack on Hawai`i is heightened resistance. Federal recognition will be a devastating blow to the call for true freedom, so AF3IRM follows the lead of its Native Hawaiian sisters in demanding what the people really want — sovereignty, not a new form of US occupation. –##




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