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National Briefing / HAWAII

Palace takeover ends with arrests

August 17, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

A group of Native Hawaiians claiming to be the state's legitimate rulers occupied the grounds of a historic palace in Honolulu for two hours before being arrested by state officers in the second recent takeover of its kind.

A staff member of the Iolani Palace said she was assaulted and slightly injured during the takeover Friday night, then snubbed by city police who said they didn't have jurisdiction. Gov. Linda Lingle said there would be an inquiry into the police response to the takeover.

A group of men wearing red shirts with "security" stenciled in yellow on the back took over the grounds by chaining the gates of the palace next to the state Capitol and posted signs reading, "Property of the Kingdom of Hawaiian Trust."

State law officers climbed over the fence a couple of hours after the takeover began and made about 20 arrests. The so-called Kingdom of Hawaii identifies its leader as King Akahi Nui, who was among those arrested.

The takeover came on Admission Day, which marks Hawaiian statehood in 1959. The palace, normally open to tours, will remain closed over the weekend to assess any damage and to ensure its security, police said.

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