24 Aug 2009

Hawaii demonstrators call for independence

12:53 pm on 24 August 2009

About 500 demonstrators have called for Hawaiian independence on the 50th anniversary of the state.

The protestors marched to the Hawaii Convention Center, where a statehood commemorative conference was being held.

Lynette Cruz, an organiser of the Hawaiian Independence Action Alliance, says supporters of full independence for Hawaii are a minority.

But she says the movement is growing as recent scholarship reveals more about the history of Hawaii.

"Because all of us know for a fact actually that there cannot be a state of Hawaii because there was never an annexation treaty between Hawaii and the United States, it just makes us realise quite clearly that what was going on was a kind of a fake celebration of a statehood that doesn't really exist."

Lynette Cruz says protests calling for native Hawaiian rights usually attract much bigger crowds, but she was pleased that those that took part in this demonstration were committed to the cause of independence.