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Commentary by Moanike`ala Akaka

Trustee for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Regardless of which, if any, sovereignty group one identifies with--the arrest of Bumpy Kanahele at Honolulu Airport, August 2, should make all Hawaiians uneasy. Feds charge in 1994 that Bumpy obstructed Hawaiian Nathan Brown's incarceration for tax protest. Also, on a State level, 'Ohana Council has been using sovereignty license plates, which has caused arrests. Meanwhile no arrests have been made after the overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation in 1893 which was acknowledged illegal by President Clinton's apology last year.

In 1990 Nathan Brown and Raymond Kamaka were involved in a Federal tax protest. Kamaka's 'ohana 'aina (family land) in Waikane Valley was leased by the U.S. military for maneuvers with promises to clean it upon return to owner. Instead of cleaning up the land, the U.S. confiscated the land against the will of the legal owners.

Frustrated at lack of alternatives in seeking justice--they did tax protest and were convicted; some like Kamaka served years in jail (political prisoners); Nathan Brown has been at large since his conviction. What kind of a system is this that confiscates land because it refuses to live up to its agreement (to restore land for use), forces the owner to become tax protester "grasping for straws" as a last alternative in seeking justice? The victim, Raymond Kamaka has served two years in federal prison on the mainland.

As for harboring a tax evader, President Clinton--admitted and apologized for the long-outstanding theft of the Islands from the Hawaiian Kingdom. One Hawaiian in half-jest, tongue-in-cheek sent to the IRS his return, stating the U.S. government owed him $750,000. The IRS then sent him a check for three quarters of a million dollars! Now several of this Hawaiian's Japanese-American friends got a $20,000 from the U.S. for unlawful imprisonment during WW II. It could seem natural then that Hawaiians would be given something commensurate to the injury from the theft--loss of sovereignty, loss of language, loss of land base, and identity for over a century. $750,000 would be fair considering the AJA settlement.

To spend the money sent by the government is the American thing to do if ever there was one. Ah, but now they want the money back and have convicted the Hawaiian Nathan Brown of defrauding those who stole his Nation. Nathan was sentenced to 6-1/2 years. Bumpy is charged with obstructing Nathan's arrest.

The Ohana Council Hawaiian Nation (there are several including Ka Lahui) has displayed a real necessary function in Hawai'i today working with some citizens unable to make it in society at large. Yet there are those who are disturbed that the 'Ohana Council is on the `aina at Waimanalo--building homes with homeless families, reestablishing ancient taro patches (that incidentally the FBI identified as fortified bunkers) and generally uplifting the lives of Waimanalo villagers.

I suggest we all pull together and despite disagreements support Hawaiians using the magic of aloha, hard work and our aina to improve lives of our people as is happening at Waimanalo Village.

Everyone agrees that the resumption of Nuclear Tests in South Pacific is a bad thing for Hawai'i, the Pacific and world--yet the U.S. government with its super-muscle has executed no tangible pressure on the French to alter their plans. Is it because to the U.S. we are part of grand global plan--perhaps even a pawn in the Great Chess Game? To people who live in and love Hawai'i and Polynesia, we are the main event and the resumption of Nuclear Tests in the Pacific by anyone is an invasion of the homeland by reckless, autocratic, neo-imperialistic barbarians.

Why is the U.S. government not following the lead shown by all Pacific Nations and Hawai'i in dissuading the French from this nuclear reckless endangering. This is the real issue--not the quasi-legal license plates and not even the specious charge of harboring a felon--(who really are the bad guys here?)

Malama Pono, Ua mau ke ea o ka `aina i ka pono.

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