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‘Stand Steadfast’ Peace March Commemorates Overthrow of Hawaiian Monarchy on O‘ahu

January 17, 2022, 2:11 PM HST
* Updated January 17, 2:15 PM
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Onipa’a Peace March and Gathering is taking place today, Monday, Jan. 17 on O‘ahu, commemorating 129 years since the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.

Onipa’a, or “Stand Steadfast,” features The Queen’s Court’s annual Peace March from Mauna’ala (the Royal Mausoleum) in Nu’uanu valley to ‘Iolani Palace.

It began at 10 a.m. A protocol at Queen Lili’uokalani’s Statue is following the march and will include speeches from Kanaka Maoli leaders and music.

Hawaii’s monarchy was overthrown On Jan. 17, 1893, when a group of United States businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Lili’uokalani to abdicate her power. Two  years later, the coup led to the dissolving of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i and its annexation as a U.S. territory. Later, it was admitted as the 50th state in the union.

“January 17th marks a time of great loss for the native people of Hawai’i and for nearly a century it was a moment purposely erased from the collective memory of the Kanaka Maoli people by our American colonizer,” a statement from the organization reads. “Dr. Haunani-Kay Trask’s historic speech on January 17, 1993 on the Palace grounds awakened our people and continues to inspire generations of leaders who have today taken up the mantle of leadership in our Lāhui.”

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A special memorial at the bandstand to Dr. Haunani-Kay Trask, who passed away on July 3, 2021, is scheduled to be part of the events. Co-sponsored by Ka Lāhui Hawai’i with support from Hawaiinuiākea and the grassroots community, it’s expected to run until 6 p.m. this evening.

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The whole event will be live on Facebook @OiwiTV and @kalahuihawaiikomikekalaiaina to encourage members of the Lāhui to stay home and watch the event online.

For Ka Lāhui Hawai’i Kōmike Kalai’āina Chair, Leiānuenue Niheu, “ʻOnipaʻa” is a unified call to the people of the sovereign Hawaiian nation to come together as one force, one will, and one people to resist the settler colonial establishment that governs our islands, the statement reads.

“The Onipa’a Peach March and Gathering annual event helps ensure that the great wrong that was done to Queen Lili’uokalani and the native people of Hawai’i by a small group of American businessmen on January 17, 1893 with the support of US Marines will never be forgotten,” the statement continued. “It’s been 129 years and the Kanaka Maoli people have yet to see justice.”

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