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Hale Pai
Pacific American-News Journal

Iune-June 1996 Volume 2 Issue 6

 Makua The End Of The Road?

By Guest Columnist Kamuela Monet

Pupukea, Hawai`i

50 year old Henry Rosa is a tall, well built, articulate and soft spoken man. A graduate of St. Anthony School and Vietnam veteran, Rosa, leader of the Makua Council says that "Makua means Parent and is the bosom of the Hawaiian Sovereignty movement. This is where we will make our stand. This is our wounded knee."

Encamped on Makua Beach in makeshift tents are approximately 400 Hawaiian men, women and children. Driven to desperation to the end of the road, homeless in their own land, these proud people will be "evicted" by an armed force of an estimated 500-800 Hawai`i State police and Federal marshals on June 15, 1996.

"You cannot evict someone from land you do not own", says Rosa referring to US Public Law 103-150 enacted by the US Congress on November 23, 1993. "The United States admitted that it stole the land from our people; then gave it to the Territory of Hawai`i (an agency of the Interior Department) which became the State of Hawai`i. Now the State wants us to leave so the tourists won't have to look at our tents on the beach. Looks bad." "Simply put, you steal my car, give it to your cousin...then I take it back..who’s car is it? It is my car" Rosa continues.

Research has shown the following:

An inspection of Land Patent Grant and Royal Patents at the State of Hawaii department of land and natural resources revealed that all of Makua valley, from the mountain to the sea (ahupua'a) was part of the crown or "ceded" land.

Makua beach is located at the end of a dead end road on the extreme west end of the Hawaiian island of 0'ahu. To get there, one must travel from the capitol city of Honolulu with its high rise condominiums, through the new city of Kapolei where US mainland developers and the State of Hawai`i have built thousands of new homes to house new arrivals to Hawai`i from the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and the US mainland. Past the "power retail" Eagle Hardware, Computer City, Office Max and McDonalds on H-1 freeway and the Li'ilani Hotel resort and golf course where Japanese tourist play.

As you pass the Kahe power plant, the H-1 freeway becomes a two lane road, Farrington Highway with the smattering of old homes, run down stores and poorly kept beach parks. Hawaiian people live between the power plant and Makua, some 6 miles away. Farrington Highway runs past the US Military base at Lualualei, the US post office, police station, Waianae High school, Makaha surfing beach and then nothing but dried out scrub land. The road narrows at Makua cave where Makua beach begins. One half mile past Makua Beach the road dead ends at a rocky outcrop called Kaena Point.

The striking beauty of Makua beach is deceiving. Rosa explains... "the water is nearly lifeless. The leaking military munitions at Lualualei has entered the water table and the ocean, poisoning the marine life. No squid, almost no fish, very little limu (edible sea weed). But this is the end of the road for us. We have come home to mother's bosom."

An old man enters the open tent area where we are talking. He introduces himself as a rancher in the area and asks Rosa if he wants to sell his wooden shack before the police come. Rosa declines the offer explaining that "it will be sacrificed to the white man's bulldozer god." The old man talks about Makua valley and all the ancient Heiau (Hawaiian temples) located on his land. Rosa confirms that the place was once very sacred to Hawaiians.

I asked Rosa what he thinks will happen on the 15th. "Governor Cayetano decided to wait until the 15th so that the kids could finish school" he says with a chuckle. "An overwhelming force of approximately 500 will converge upon us by land sea and air. In the early morning, they will block the road at Makua cave; then in a pincer movement descend upon us from both ends and also the middle. I saw the maneuver many times in Nahm." Henry explains while indicating the enemy troop positions on a scrap piece of paper using the pen he borrowed from me.

I asked him what can people do to help. Rosa’s eyes sparkle as he replies that he invites supporters to come into Makua early on June 14. Bring a sleeping bag and $25 cash for bail . All of the women and children will be evacuated, only men will be left to occupy the land. It will be peaceful, civil disobedience. Expect to be arrested for trespassing.

Rosa continues, They don’t have the facilities to arrest and process 2,000 people.
Note: Hawai`i Revised Statutes 708-815 defines "Simple Trespass": A person commits the offense of simple trespass if he knowingly enter or remains unlawfully in or upon premises. Simple trespass is a violation.
HRS 708-816 "Defense to Trespass": it is a defense to prosecution for trespass as a violation of sections 708-814 and 108-815 that the defendant entered upon and passed along or over established and well defined roadways, pathways, or. trails leading to public beaches over government lands, whether or not under private lease to private persons.

The Hawai`i Supreme Court has upheld that Native Hawaiians can access traditional areas that are not developed, unimpeded, for the purpose of gathering traditional materials.

When I left, I gave Henry a one ounce Silver Universaro Coin as a donation to the cause. He thanked me and told me that he will keep it as a memento of Makua Beach; vowing that he will return again and again until the life leaves his body.


  • Show up Friday morning, June 14, 1996, with you sleeping bag and $25 cash.

  • Contribute to the Makua Defense Fund.

  • Send Cashier Checks or Money Orders to:

Ho'o Mau Hala 'o Ku Inc
Box 309
Haleiwa, Hawaii 96712
Ph: (808) 638-8934 Fax: (808) 638-8018


The money will be used to bail out those protesters without $25 cash and prepare a legal defense. Your Kokua (help) is appreciated

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Copyright 1996 Hale Pai Pacific American-News Journal
Last modified: February 28, 1998

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