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Century-old petition protesting annexation unveiled at Capitol

Associated Press
August 10, 1998

HONOLULU (AP) -- Gov. Ben Cayetano said you can sense the sadness when looking at a photographic copy of a century-old petition unveiled Sunday at the state Capitol.

More than 21,000 Hawaiians signed the petition in 1897 to protest the annexation of Hawaii by the United States. Annexation became a reality the following year.

``The real question is where do we go from here,'' Cayetano said during the unveiling ceremony.

Cayetano said the community should begin the education and dialogue needed to resolve the complex issues related to Hawaiian sovereignty, ceded lands and reparations.

However, Cayetano cautioned there are dangers associated with the process.

``It may create tensions which may threaten to tear the social fabric which has made Hawaii one of the great societies of the world,'' he said.

The photographic display will remain at the Capitol until Sunday.

The original petition had been held at the National Archives in Washington. It is now at the Bishop Museum, where it will stay for six months.

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