The monarchy of Hawaii was overthrown in 1893 by armed thugs backed by the US government and commercial interests.
Armed insurrection by a relatively small group of men, most of them American by birth or heritage, succeeded in wresting control of the Islands with the backing of American troops sent ashore from a warship in Honolulu Harbor.
Sugar and a coerced constitution played roles in the drama — intertwined themes of economics and politics.
The Akaka bill, which is working its way through Congress would "express the policy of the United States regarding the United States relationship with Native Hawaiians and to provide a process for the recognition by the United States of the Native Hawaiian governing entity." If this passes, and it could, it would be a seriously big deal for Hawaii.
I introduced this legislation with Hawaii’s Congressional delegation to extend the federal policy of self-governance and self-determination to Native Hawaiians. We have been working to enact this legislation since 1999. I have made clear to my colleagues in Washington, D.C. that this is a nonpartisan issue. This is a team effort and we greatly appreciate the efforts of everyone involved who is working to enact this bill.
The Hawaiian independence movement, like any nationalist movement, has many currents. Some want nothing to do with the invaders, they want the invaders gone, period. Others favor limited sovereignty rather than independence and will work with anyone working towards their goals.
The ANSWER Coalition, which I’m active in, has a stated position on independence movements. An oppressed people has the right to self-determination. Outside groups should support whatever path is chosen. Most especially, outside groups should refrain from telling them what to do, for that decision is theirs alone to make. Solidarity is what is important, backing them in whatever path they choose.