2008 occupation of Iolani Palace

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Main gate of Iolani Palace

In 2008, two attempts were made by separate groups involved in the Hawaiian sovereignty movement to occupy Iolani Palace, the home of the last two monarchs of the Hawaiian Kingdom in downtown Honolulu in the U.S. state of Hawaii.

April 30 occupation of Iolani Palace grounds

At around 9:00 a.m. on the morning of April 30, 2008, roughly seventy members of a group that described itself as the Hawaiian Kingdom Government blocked entrance to the grounds of Iolani Palace in a move to assert the group's status as the Hawaiian Kingdom's government. According to the group's leader, Mahealani Kahau, the group put up yellow "No Trespassing" signs at the entrances to the palace grounds to "give awareness and notice to everyone that passes that the Hawaiian Kingdom Government has resumed its lawful status as the seat of government." Following negotiations between the group and the Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources, the state agency with jurisdiction over the palace, the gates were reopened at around 2:00 p.m. No one was arrested. [1] The group returned to the palace grounds the following day, but did not block the palace entrances and instead peacefully occupied a portion of the palace's lawn. [2]

Statehood Day Takeover

On August 15, 2008, independence proponents occupied Iolani Palace for four hours. The trespassing incident happened on Hawaii Admission Day 2008. On August 15, 2008, 4:30 in the afternoon, 27 members of the so-called Kingdom of Hawaii Nation Ministry Trust, a national- independence fringe faction, entered the grounds of Iolani Palace. The group was led by Akahi Nui. Fifteen to twenty members of the faction wore red shirts with “SECURITY” printed in yellow on the backs while other members wore black. [3] The purported mission of the group was to establish the palace as a new seat of government, undermine the State government, and declare the independence of Hawaii from the United States.

Trespassing Incident

The six to ten employees of the Friends of Iolanai Palance and its Director, Kippen de Alba Chu, locked down the buildings and locked themselves inside the administrative building. [3] Facilities manager Noelani Ah Yuen attempted to stop the intruders from locking the east gate and was injured by the trespassers; she withdrew into the administrative building. The group flew their flag and entered Iolani Barracks and Palace.


During the trespassing incident, a city police officer refused to stop the trespassers because the palace grounds are state property and hence under the jurisdiction of the state police, the HDPS. Police chief Boisse Correa rejected claims his officers committed wrongdoing.


Following the trespassing incident, plans have been made for improved security of the palace. Two group members were charged with assault and six with burglary; however, the only conviction was of trespassing.

See also

Related articles

Conflicts of foreign native groups


  1. ^ Park, Gene (May 1, 2008). "Group of Hawaiians occupies Iolani Palace, vows to return". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  2. ^ Pang, Gordon (May 2, 208). "Sovereignty group back at palace — minus locks". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Honolulu Star Bulletin[ full citation needed]