Marchers take to the streets to protest ‘Fake Statehood’ and demand independence

Photo: Kyle Kajihiro


Photo: Kyle Kajihiro

Today, the 50th anniversary of Hawai’i’s ‘admission’ to the United States was marked by protests on nearly every island and several cities around the world.   In Honolulu, around 400 people marched from Ala Moana Park to the Convention Center, where the “official” statehood commemoration conference was taking place.  Although the overall tone of the commemoration was more reflective than celebratory, the mood of the marchers was colorful and spirited, a celebration of resistance.   There were protesters from kupuna in their wheelchairs to infants.  And marching with us were the ancestors.

A centerpiece of the event was a towering puppet of Uncle Sam, riding on a camouflaged Stryker armored assault vehicle that was decorated with bombs bearing the names of places the U.S. military has bombed:  Kaho’olawe, Vieques, Bikini, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Makua.   Walking behind the puppet, Andre Perez on the bullhorn delivered comic commentary:  “Why we going so slow?  Uncle Scam!  What’s holding  us back?  Uncle Scam!  Who’s blocking our way?  Uncle Scam!  Somebody, kick him in the ass!  Kanaka’s on the move!”


Photo: Kyle Kajihiro


Uncle Sam carried M-16 assault rifles in each hand inscribed with “imperialist”, “genocide”, “military”. Photo: Jon Shishido


While the overriding message was independence for Hawai’i, the demonstration also addressed American imperialism as a a global threat. On his red-white-and-blue stovetop hat he had stuck “feathers” of his conquests: First Nations, Guam, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippines. Photo: Jon Shishido


At the end of the march, Uncle Sam’s hat was knocked off…


…and the feather trophies representing the colonized nations were “liberated” from the hat. Photos: Kyle Kajihiro and Jon Shishido


Photo: Jon Shishido

dsc_6780 Photo: Jon Shishido

hi-independent-statehood6 Photo: Hawaii Independent

An American flag was taken out of the fallen hat and the 5oth star was cut out and burned.  An exorcism to break the spell.


On Kaua’i, there were demonstrators at the entrance to the airport.


Kaua’i photos: Cairene

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