Professor Francis A. Boyle

Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Hawaiian Governance Symposium on Independence

Honolulu, Nov. 1, 2014

(edited transcript)

© Copyright 2014 by Francis A. Boyle. All rights reserved.

Thank you and Aloha. I am very happy to be here today speaking with you. And I have one simple message that I want all the Kanaka Maoli to understand: There is a Convention coming up and I am asking all 135 thousand Kanaka Maoli on the list to go to this Convention and vote to restore the Kingdom of Hawaii. It's so simple I want to repeat it: All 135,000 of you go to the Convention and vote to restore the Kingdom of Hawaii that was illegally stolen from you by the United States government in 1893. It's that simple.

You are the Kanaka Maoli. You are a people with the right of self-determination under international law and you are the only people in Hawaii with this right of self-determination. No one else has it, only you, the Kanaka Maoli. And as a group of 135,000 people, you must go to this Convention and exercise your right of self-determination, to restore the Kingdom of Hawaii. This is your right of self-determination, go out and do it. This is what self-determination is all about. No one is going to give you your Kingdom. You must do it yourself.

Now yesterday, Bumpy Kanahele and I had a press conference in which Bumpy announced that he and his Ohana are going to the Convention and he, Bumpy, is going to make a motion to restore the Kingdom of Hawaii and to establish a provisional government of national unity for it. I want everyone to go to that Convention and vote to restore the Kingdom of Hawaii and to establish a provisional government of national unity.

We have the Kingdom. It was never lawfully terminated in the first place. The United States government illegally attacked and invaded the Kingdom of Hawaii in violation of several treaties that Hawaii had with the U.S. promising perpetual peace and amity — that meant forever — and those treaties were violated.

And despite what the previous speaker said, that this did not violate any intertemporal rule, the rule of international law at that time was: treaties must be obeyed. And they weren't. They were violated. And even the United States government's own Constitution expressly said in Article 6 that treaties are the supreme law of the land. And in 1893 the United States government violated those treaties and violated its own Constitution. Nothing could be clearer. It also committed an act of war against the Kingdom of Hawaii in violation of its own Constitution.

Under the laws of war, the United States government is nothing more than the illegal belligerent occupant of the Kingdom of Hawaii, pure and simple. Nothing more than that. And the state of Hawaii is nothing more than the civilian arm of these military occupation forces. Under the laws of war at that time, the belligerent military occupation forces of the United States obtained no sovereignty over the Kingdom of Hawaii. Sovereignty always remained with the Kingdom of Hawaii. That's black letter laws of war.

The Kingdom of Hawaii was and still is the displaced sovereign. It is still there. It has never been terminated. It still exists as a legal entity. But we must restore it. And that can only be done by you, the Kanaka Maoli as a people with the right of self-determination going to this Convention and voting overwhelmingly, unanimously, all 135,000 of you, must go and vote to restore the Kingdom of Hawaii. And when you do that, there is no way anyone in the world can deny your sovereign will!

Now, when you get there to this Convention, and you vote to restore the Kingdom of Hawaii, we have to have a government. A state must have a government to govern it, both internationally and domestically. And that is why I am recommending that the second act at this Convention would be to establish a provisional government of national unity for all Kanaka Maoli, all of you, even those who did not show up at the Convention. I understand that many of you have good-faith problems with going to this Convention. Fine. My advice is in this book, which was just published, Restoring the Kingdom of Hawaii, explaining step-by-step why and how I think you can do it. I encourage you to read the book. But if you don't want to go, don't go. But I am encouraging all 134,000 of the rest of you to go and to vote. And don't go there to establish an Indian reservation. We don't want an Indian reservation. That's a one-way path to extermination. We want our Kingdom of Hawaii back, not an Indian reservation.

It's very clear if you read Act 195, the people who drafted it thought: "well, we're going to try to turn the Kanaka Maoli into an Indian tribe with an Indian reservation." But if you read 195, it says nothing about the ultimate outcome. It's clear, as I analyzed in my book, instead you can go there and vote to restore the Kingdom of Hawaii.

The hell with their Indian reservation! How dare they come in here and tell us Kanaka Maoli — and I was adopted into the Ohana Council by Bumpy years ago — how dare anyone tell us that we're going to become an Indian reservation, with all due respect to the Indians. They have a lot of problems of their own. But we, out here, are Kanaka Maoli, we have the Kingdom of Hawaii. It's still there as the displaced sovereign and we need to restore the Kingdom of Hawaii. But we have to have a government.

We have to have a government to run the Kingdom, to govern the Kingdom, for all Kanaka Maoli. Those at the Convention, those not at the Convention, those in the Diaspora, and to set up a government and move forward from there. And in my book I trace out all the elements, the legal arguments for why you can do this.

And I did work for President Landsbergis on the restoration of the Republic of Lithuania. If the Lithuanians can do it, we can do it too. Why not? If the Estonians can do it, we can certainly do it. What's the difference between them and us? None, that I'm aware of.

And also the work I did with the Palestinians. In 1987 I told the Palestinians: Set up your own state, declare independence, and move forward, to raise your diplomatic recognition and ultimately to membership in the United Nations Organization. I am telling you the same thing! Today the state of Palestine, this week was recognized de jure by Sweden, that's 135 states, took 26 years, but we did it. And on November 29, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly recognized Palestine as an Observer State. Just like Switzerland was before Switzerland became a full-fledged U.N. member state.

Well, we can do that too. But to do that we have to restore the Kingdom of Hawaii first. And then we have to set up a provisional government of national unity — exactly the way I set it up for the Palestinians where they too have a provisional government to govern their affairs internationally. And that's exactly what we can do with very successful precedents of both the Palestinians and the Lithuanians.

And in our case we're going to have it easier than the Palestinians did, because they had to start out de novo from the beginning. They did not have a preceding state like we do, the Kingdom of Hawaii, and the legal continuity is still there for us. The Kingdom has just been displaced, not destroyed by the United States. It's called a displaced sovereign. The Kingdom is there, we have to work to restore the Kingdom of Hawaii, and only you, the Kanaka Maoli, can do it, though of course with support from your colleagues and friends who are now not Kanaka Maoli.

Once this is done, you've restored the Kingdom of Hawaii, and then you have a provisional government of national unity for it, you must build up that state, the Kingdom of Hawaii, from the ground and the seas of Hawaii on up and out. You must provide for basic health care and education and food and housing and everything else for your people that the Kingdom of Hawaii and any other state must do. But you already have the basic infrastructure here to do that. Bumpy and I were talking about that yesterday. You have one trust for the education of Kanaka Maoli children. That's your Department of Education right there. They educate your children. You have another trust for land, Homestead Act, that provides for your homes. Health care, you have a hospital and a trust there.

So you go through all these trusts you already have out here for Kanaka Maoli and there the laws will work for the Kingdom to provide everything you need for your own people. Again, you build the state, the Kingdom, from the ground up. Exactly what Bumpy has been doing out there at his Village, building the Kingdom of Hawaii, from the ground up and we need to do that all over the islands. All over Hawaii, build the Kingdom from the ground up.

In addition, then, what you're also going to have to do, this provisional government of the restored Kingdom of Hawaii, at the same time is to work outward to get diplomatic recognition from other states. Again, this is exactly what the Palestinians have done. They have built up their state from the ground up in Palestine by providing food, health care, education, police services, administration, to their own people, but at the same time, reaching out to other states to get diplomatic recognition.

And here, you're already ahead of the game. The Kingdom of Hawaii already had treaties and formal de jure diplomatic recognition with many other states of the international system at that time. Indeed, the Kingdom of Hawaii was part of the European System of International Law at that time. That was the wisdom of your Kings and your Queens. They understood full well that they had to reach out to the entire world and have as many treaty relations as possible with other states, including embassies, consulates, and joining the Universal Postal Union. So what the Kingdom of Hawaii needs to do there, then, is to reach out first and foremost to all those states that the Kingdom had these relations with and the provisional government saying: "Hey, we're back. Here we are. We were just in a state of suspended animation for a period of time because of the illegal belligerent occupation by the United States. But we now want to resume diplomatic relations that we already had with you. We just want to resume them. And all you have to do is act in a manner to behave that the treaty we had with you still exists. It was never denounced, it's still there." And then the Kingdom of Hawaii provisional government could go to the Universal Postal Union and say: "Well, we're a party, we always have been a party, but due to the United States illegal attack and invasion in violation of international law at that time, we were not able to effectively exercise our membership. But now that is what we are going to do."

And so the provisional government of national unity, in addition to taking care of your own people at home, has to go back around the world and resume all these relations and then reach out to other states that the Kingdom did not have diplomatic relations with at the time. As I said, the Palestinians, it took them 26 years, to go from zero to 135 states, Sweden, as of last week. 135 states out of 193, and soon all of Europe is going to fall in line as well. And someday, Palestine will have membership in the United Nations Organization. The only thing keeping them out has been the threat of the veto by the United States government and I have devised a means whereby at any time they intend to do so, they can overcome that threatened veto and join the United Nations as a full-fledged U.N. member state. It's really up to them to decide when to do this.

Well, that's the time frame we're looking at here. It took the Palestinians 25 years to do it. In my opinion, it will probably take the Kanaka Maoli 25 years. What's 25 years in the history of the Kanaka Maoli, going back forever. You people have been here since time in memoriam. 25 years is a bat of an eye. Hopefully I'll be here 25 years from now and I can celebrate your joining of the United Nations Organization with you over in Iolani Palace. But we can't get there until you, the Kanaka Maoli go to this Convention, all 135,000 of you, vote to restore the Kingdom of Hawaii and then to set up a provisional government of national unity for it.

And all of that, I wrote this book expressly for that reason. The instructions are here, the details are here, it's written in plain English. Any Kanaka Maoli with an 8th grade education can read this book and understand it. So it's there, you can read it and understand it.

So that's what we're talking about, 25 years. 1/3 of a lifetime. My Mom just turned 89, so I think I'll live as long as my Mom, and that means I'll be here in 25 years when you're admitted to the U.N. But you have to start the process now. You have to go to the Convention, vote to restore the Kingdom of Hawaii.

Finally, let me conclude with this process by the Department of the Interior and their proposed rules. These rules are mean, nasty, vicious, cruel, brutal, condescending, racist and genocidal against the Kanaka Maoli. When has the United States government ever had the best interests of the Kanaka Maoli at heart? Never! Of course not! They want to turn you into an Indian tribe, with an Indian reservation, so they can better get rid of you just as they have done with large numbers of Indian tribes and Indian reservations over history. So we don't want federal recognition along those lines or the Department of the Interior. Last time I looked, Hawaii is not interior to the U.S. The U.S. is 2300 miles that way. They need a globe of the world to see we're not part of the U.S. out here in Hawaii. The Department of Interior, go home and stay home Yankee!

Finally, what type of federal recognition do we want? We want President Obama to recognize the Kingdom of Hawaii. That's what we want. We do not want recognition as an Indian tribe with an Indian reservation. The President of the United States of America has exclusive plenary power to recognize nation states. President Obama can do this all by himself without any approval or authorization by the U.S. Congress or by any court. He can recognize us as the Kingdom of Hawaii, and that's what we want.

President Obama owes this to the Kanaka Maoli and the Kingdom of Hawaii. He was born here. He was raised here. He was educated here. President Obama lived the formative years of his life here in Hawaii. And at a minimum, he owes the Kanaka Maoli to recognize the Kingdom of Hawaii. But again, none of this will happen unless you all 135,000 Kanaka Maoli on that list, go to the Convention, vote to restore the Kingdom of Hawaii and set up a provisional government of national unity for it. Thank you.