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Kanahele's trial is in defense of all rights

Kauai Times
Thursday, November 9, 1995

By Sondra Grace

Whether you are a citizen of the U.S. or a Kanaka Maoli national, please pay attention to the ongoing prosecution or, as some say, persecution of Dennis Pu`uhonua "Bumpy" Kanahele.

Kanahele is head of state of the Sovereign and Independent Nation State of Hawaii, in the Federal District Court, District of Hawaii, Judge Helen Gillmor presiding.

I must warn you, I am biased. Michael Grace, my husband, and I, among several others, have represented ourselves in these same events for nearly 10 years. We came to the conclusion that there was no possible justice because the rules and laws are employed in ways that do not allow the truth to be heard.

Whether de facto or de jure, as the lawyers would say, Judge Gillmor is in "bed" with U.S. Prosecutor Les Osborne. We attended most of the trial and were horrified to see such a kangaroo court.

I had hoped that qualified lawyers, committed to seeing justice being done, could find a way to get the truth before a jury that seemed to be made up of Bumpy's peers.

A'ole, no way. It was even worse because it was so blatant. The U.S Prosecutor could just stand up, without needing to say one word, and Judge Gillmor would say "sustained." "Sidebar," the new judicial jargon for "come to the bench," seemed like 50 percent of the trial.

You've all read that the question of sovereignty is not allowed in the defense. The "s" word was a "question of law," not a "matter of facts," and that's where I finally saw the process of self-determination being manipulated by the power structure.

Our case, Bumpy's case, Nathan Brown's case, and at least 100 more have everything to do with Kanaka Maoli's "full and inherent right and a national land base", as codified in U.S. Public Law 103-150, the "Apology Bill."

We all tried to raise the question of the illegal status of the U.S. and the state of Hawaii in the instances where we were occupying lands and serving constructive notices on judges and other officials. We tried a common law court action where the governor, attorney general and other defendants were given 1099 tax forms for default judgments that got the IRS "up in arms."

Citizens of the U.S., what should be of even more concern in Bumpy's trial is that Judge Gillmor ruled and put into the 32 plus "jury instructions" that no "self-defense" defense could be argued by the defendants. This ruling has a direct relationship to the felony count and the question of Bumpy having a right to have the U.S. marshals identify themselves before being allowed on his property.

The specter of the Waco disaster and the violations against the Weaver family were even present. Especially when U.S. Prosecutor Osborne referred to our Pu`uhonua in Waimanalo as a "compound." To portray our village as such and to continually argue that Bumpy is a danger to the community is an attempt to distort the facts and history of our movement.

Today, there will again be a bail hearing. The National Council of Churches is providing the $200,000 for the bail, and many mainstream leaders will speak out for Bumpy. Our prayers for a release may become a reality.

But because Judge Gillmor ordered a mistrial, Bumpy and Gordon Kaaihue have to go to trial again in January. We raised the money for the first trial through the help of so many ohana and friends.

We must again ask for help. If you can see the potential danger of a precedent that will infringe on your rights, not just our nation's rights, to exist, please mail a check to: Hawaii Social Justice Fund, P.O. Box 402, Waimanalo, Hawaii 96795. For more information, call 822-0647.

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