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Ma Hope Ho'i Ma Mua

Hawaii To acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the January 17, 1893 overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and to offer an apology to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. US

"The overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy ... was a hostile act,
an armed takeover of a legitimate government
that was an established member of the community of nations"

Prof. Francis A. Boyle
Dec. 28, 1993

Now this is styled as an apology, and one might say: Yes, an apology is certainly... long overdue. But it's also not enough. When a government commits a severe violation of international law, as happened here, they just don't apologize and walk away. Damages are required, reparations, and – in extraordinary circumstances – restitution, that is to return the situation to what it was before the violation. Especially when you have a treaty violation, and in the case of the Kingdom of Hawai'i, there were three treaties on point, in law, with the United States government that were violated by means of the invasion. This violated international law at the time, the basic principle,  pacta sunt servanda, treaties must be obeyed. It even violated the terms of the United States Constitution at that time. Treaties were the "supreme law of the land," and the invasion and annexation of Hawai'i in violation of those treaties not only violated international law, but the United States Constitution itself.

So an apology is certainly a start, but we really now have to deal with the consequences. What are the implications of this apology, of this law? The implications, I submit, are what you, the Hawaiian people, are going to make of this. It is for you to decide the implications, not the Congress, not the State of Hawai'i government, but the Hawaiian people, pursuant to your right of self-determination. What will be the implications of this, as you see it? What do you want?

Ma Hope Ho'i Ma Mua