January 17. A mob of armed white men stormed the grounds of the seat of government, seeking to overthrow the country they had sworn allegiance too. A police officer, who had discovered their plot, was shot and killed. A corrupt U.S. official, in league with the Insurrectionists, called in the U.S. Navy -- not to stop the madness, but to prevent the citizenry, and their beloved Queen, from resisting.
"To prevent the shedding of the blood of my people, natives and foreigners alike," the Queen wrote, "I opposed armed interference, and quietly yielded to the armed forces brought against my throne."
The Insurrectionists celebrated the success of this original Grand Theft ʻĀina, one that would plunge the Hawaiian Islands into an oligarchy where Native Hawaiians and non-white immigrants were systematically oppressed and persecuted while land and power were brokered by the ruling corporate class for generations to follow.
The forceful theft of their lands and governance also uniquely and particularly impacted the Native Hawaiian people, who continue to live with the legacies of this historic injustice.
But we the people of Hawaiʻi nei, Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians alike, never stopped fighting to restore pono and righteousness to these islands. And we never will. Ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono.
But just as we have never stopped fighting, those who have benefitted from this Grand Theft ʻĀina continue to try to maintain control of the lands, the ʻāina, that they should never have been entitled to in the first place:
HB499, which would allow these stolen and now "public" lands to be leased by corporations and the U.S. military for 105 years at a time -- setting the foundation for their permanent alienation -- is poised for its final committee hearing on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.
SB2, which envisions the mass leasing of stolen "public" lands to developers for 99 years at a time, will also be decided upon by its final committee on Wednesday, April 7 as well.
And HB902, which is a replica of SB2, has already been passed by its last Committee, with only one Senate vote, a closed "Conference Committee" meeting, and a final round of votes by the Senate and House before it becomes law.
If you live in and love these islands, please take a stand and fight back against these terrible measures. Click here to TAKE A STAND AGAINST THE LEGACY OF THE ORIGINAL GRAND THEFT ʻĀINA: ACTIONS NEEDED *NOW*.
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SB3104 SD2 does a lot of things, but there are 2 things that should concern every person who loves and pays taxes in Hawai'i:
1. It would allow for the sale of Hawai'i's public lands for up to 99 years, for "affordable" housing projects that may be priced so high as to be unaffordable to over 70% of state residents.
2. It would severely limit the ability of native Hawaiians or a re-established Hawaiian Governing Entity to negotiate claims to leased "ceded" lands, which many consider to be "stolen" from the Hawaiian Kingdom, and which the state constitution considers to be held for the benefit of "native Hawaiians and the public."
Also, neighbor islands residents especially should pay attention to the Land Use Commission provisions of this measure. The current draft of SB3104 (and a few other bills for that matter) would make it easier to expand urban areas into agricultural and rural lands, by further limiting the Land Use Commission's role in taking public testimony and placing conditions on the proposed urbanization of these lands. Expansions of the urban district of up to 25 acres per development will no longer require Land Use Commission oversight for most agricultural and rural lands.
Finally, while this measure is pitched as an affordable housing silver bullet, almost none of its provisions actually address the biggest obstacle to housing development, at least on O'ahu where the demand is the highest: sewage. Doodoo water. Between residents, kōlea birds, stationed military, and tourists, there's too much human waste and not enough pipes and treatment facilities to keep it from turning our nearshore waters into a staph infection risk zone. The Governor, an engineer, has himself said something to the effect that "the crumbling sewage system is the main contributor to Hawaii's [sic] housing development problem." Other much touted, photo-op worthy affordable housing initiatives have failed to hit their marks because of sewer capacity issues and will continue to do so unless these issues are addressed.
Next stop for this bill is Committee referrals and then a likely single (1) public hearing, likely very soon. There may be only 1 chance for the public to weigh in on this measure.
Want to help? Share this post or download a meme here (or make your own) to help bring more awareness to this bill. Or contact one of the many groups engaged on this bill to pitch in with their strategies.
Civilbeat.com has a couple articles on the discussion-worthy amendments made to the measure in the Senate Housing Committee, and on the removal of those same amendments by Senate Ways and Means Chair Donovan Dela Cruz.
The testimonies on the bill status page, right-hand side also provide various perspectives on the bill as well.