19 Jan 2009

Thousands of Hawaiians protest against Supreme Court appeal

6:20 pm on 19 January 2009

Several-thousand native Hawaiians marked the 116th anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom with a march in Honolulu, protesting over what they see as a modern-day threat to sovereignty.

The US Supreme Court will hear arguments late next month in the Lingle administration's appeal of a state Supreme Court ruling that the state cannot sell or transfer ceded lands until native Hawaiian claims are settled.

The protesters want Governor Linda Lingle to drop the appeal and keep the case out of the federal courts.

Earlier this week, Ms Lingle stated that her administration will not drop the appeal.

The governor said the state is defending all of the people of Hawaii and that includes native Hawaiians, claiming the land is owned by all the people of the state.

Earlier this week, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs proposed land swaps to settle a dispute over income from former Hawaiian Kingdom lands.

But the proposed land swap will not address future claims.