Hundreds of Hawaiians and their supporters made loud and clear their condemnation of a state land bill by holding mass protests on Sunday.
The protests consisted of long convoys of vehicles that drove around airports across the state, exacerbating 4th of July-related traffic.
The demonstrators were pushing back against House Bill 499. According to Maui Now, the legislation empowers the Board of Land and Natural Resources to extend some public land leases for commercial or government use up to 40 additional years.
Supporters claim the bill will incentivize lessees to invest in their properties’ infrastructure. Protesters, however, assert that the measure will only tighten developers’ grips on Native Hawaiian land.
“They passed House Bill 499 to give developers forever leases of stolen Hawaiian lands while our people make up 40 percent of the houseless in Hawaii,” said Healani Sonoda-Pale, a member of the Ka Lāhui Hawaii Political Action Committee, Hawaii News Now reported. “House Bill 499 is one of the worst pieces of legislation that has come along.”
The Hawaii State Legislature passed House Bill 499 in April. It now sits on the desk of Gov. David Ige, who will allow the bill to become law, the Honolulu Civil Beat reported.
Demonstrators also used the protests to honor the life of Hawaiian sovereignty activist Haunani-Kay Trask, who died on Saturday. According to KITV, protesters displayed her famous “We are not American!” rallying cry on signs and shouted it during the protests.Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather – KITV Channel 4
AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our new Instagram account. Go to our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff, or submitting a story or making a contribution.