Native Hawaiians march in WashingtonBy BRANDON SPRAGUE
TGI Deputy Editor
WASHINGTON D.C. — Several hundred Hawaiians and
supporters marched in the nation’s capitol Saturday to raise awareness of the
Hawaiian sovereignty movement and call for return of native lands.
“I ku mau mau,” or “Pull together,” the group marched down Pennsylvania Avenue
from the U.S. Capitol to the Ellipse across from the White House.
two-day demonstration, which also included a 24-hour prayer vigil and talks at
the Smithsonian, was a success in terms of drawing national media attention to
the plight of Native Hawaiians, said organizer and Kaua’i resident Butch
“The coverage was great,” he said. “The more people who know what
we’re doing, the better. We must continue.”
The march itself was
“colorful and lively” with many of the supporters dressed in traditional kihei
and kikepa, and it drew a lot of support from tourists, cars honking and from
police officers, spokesman Riley ‘Ehu Cardwell said.
“It was beautiful and
we won some hearts along the way,” Kekahu added.
One sad note: one of those
in the Kaua’i entourage died shortly before the event. The name of the man,
said to be from Koloa, has not been confirmed.
“We honored at the march,”
Another focus of the march, the organizers said, was
unification of all the different Native Hawaiian sovereignty
Unification was important in 1998, when the first Aloha March was
staged, but it is “absolutely critical” now, said Cardwell.
Kekahu said he
needs to sit down with Hawaiian sovereignty leaders “because we’re not going to
do this another 107 years.”
“It’s now or never.”
After returning home
Sunday, he said he will give himself some time “to see how we’re going to work
this out with the Hawaiian sovereignty leaders in Hawai’i.”
He said his
goal is to “see how much we can do in three to five years.”
to this report