Featured Articles

Hundreds Protest in ‘Aloha Not For Sale’ Rally

August 14, 2018, 9:39 AM HST
Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio...
A
A
A

Aloha Not for Sale rally on Aug. 13, 2018, in from of Aloha Poke Co. in Chicago. PC: OHA

Approximately 200 protesters rallied on Aug. 13, 2018, against Aloha Poke Company after the Chicago-based company sent cease-and-desist orders to restaurants in Hawaiʻi, Alaska and other places with the words “Aloha” and “Poke” in their names.

Demonstrators said the attempt at trademark enforcement is an “aggressive effort to assert ownership over the Native Hawaiian word ‘aloha.’”

Aloha Poke Co. asserts that it is protecting the use of its business name and brand (according to the company’s social media post).

Protestors marched from the Millennium Monument to the Aloha Poke Company on Clark Street in Chicago, where a rally was held at lunchtime.

Aloha Not for Sale rally on Aug. 13, 2018, in from of Aloha Poke Co. in Chicago. PC: OHA

The protest was part of the “Aloha Not For Sale” campaign, a week-long series of rallies that began on Friday, Aug. 10, and that will end on Wednesday, Aug. 15.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

The campaign is being coordinated by a coalition of Native Hawaiian organizations from Chicago, Hawaiʻi and Alaska. The coalition is led by Lanialoha Lee of the Aloha Center Chicago, a multimedia resource cultural center in Chicago dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of Native Hawaiian and South Pacific Arts.

Aloha Not for Sale rally on Aug. 13, 2018, in from of Aloha Poke Co. in Chicago. PC: OHA

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

An online petition against Aloha Poke Company has received more than 167,000 signatures to date.

The Aloha Not For Sale campaign demands that the Aloha Poke Company:

  • Make “a real apology” … “one that admits it was wrong in issuing cease-and-desist letters to business owners;”
  • Retract the cease-and-desist letters sent to other businesses; and
  • Rescind its trademark on the words “aloha” and “poke.”

Joining the protests in Chicago were members of the Kahele family, the owners of the poke store in Anchorage, Alaska, who received a cease-and-desist letter from Aloha Poke Company. To avoid potential litigation, the Kahele family recently renamed their store Lei’s Poke Stop.

Aloha Not for Sale rally on Aug. 13, 2018, in from of Aloha Poke Co. in Chicago. PC: OHA

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

A delegation of Native Hawaiian organizations from Hawaiʻi also travelled to Chicago to participate in the protests. Hawaiʻi-based organizations attending included the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the ʻĪlioʻulaokalani Coalition and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.

A sign waving was held on Friday and an educational workshop on Native Hawaiian intellectual property rights was held on Sunday. A peaceful rally from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at 818 W. Fullerton in Chicago wrapped up the campaign.

Aloha Not for Sale rally on Aug. 13, 2018, in from of Aloha Poke Co. in Chicago. PC: OHA

For more information on the Aloha Not For Sale campaign, visit www.alohanotforsale.com.

Comments

This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments

Newsletters

Get a quick summary of what’s happening on the Big Island with our daily & weekly email of news highlights.