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Sovereignty group goes online to push claim

Honolulu Advertiser, December 10, 1994, page A1

By Darren Pai

A burst of white noise and a digital connection is made, linking the tents, shacks and taro patches of the self-proclaimed Nation of Hawaii with the world's largest computer network.

"We've got a ramp now to the information highway, we're on the Internet," said Pu'uhonua "Bumpy" Kanahele, head of the Waimanalo-based Hawaiian sovereignty group.

The former Kaupo Beach occupants have established a new home on 69 acres of ceded lands offered by the state, and are ready to reach out to the rest of the world, he said.

The group now posts a World Wide Web home page on the Internet, a kind of electronic newspaper.

Those "on the Net" can use their computers to read a variety of sovereignty-related articles prepared by Kanahele's organization.

"This will allow us to educate people about the present state of sovereignty," Kanahele said. "The more people we reach the better, and this reaches all over the world."

It's the latest electronic step taken by the Nation, said Scott Crawford, who helped design the system.

"We've been accepting electronic mail messages for about six months," he said, adding the group has also been broadcasting information on Hawaii-based computer networks.

"We get a lot of feedback this way, people wanting more information about sovereignty or our work here," he said.

Internet navigators can access the World Wide Web system at: [http://hawaii-nation.org/index.html]. E-mail for the Nation can be directed to: exec@hawaii-nation.org

The computer connection is just part of the group's multi-pronged efforts to garner support from sources outside of Hawaii, Kanahele said. The Nation also wants to use local resources to foster Mainland and international relationships, he said.

An example is a meeting held last night in Waimanalo with two Mainland experts on Martin Luther King Jr.'s philosophies on nonviolent social change, arranged by the Spark Matsunaga Institute for Peace, he said.

Bernard Lafayette and Charles Alphin, of the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, met with Kanahele to discuss peaceful means to achieve sovereignty.

Lafayette said Kanahele's group must find ways to work cooperatively with the state and federal government in order to achieve sovereignty.

"One thing universal for all peoples struggling for liberation is the need for continuing negotiations, you must always keep the door open," Lafayette said.

Using office space donated by a California law firm, the group has also established a liaison office in Los Angeles, Kanahele said.

"It's there so we can reach out, stay in contact with our supporters, make friends," he said.

Plans are being laid to open a similar operation in New York -- possibly near the United Nations headquarters -- "But that's still in the works," he said.

Kanahele said he hopes to continue the pattern of global networking.

"Before, all we had was this," he said, holding up a fist. "Now we've got computers, now we've got better ways."

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