This historic Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu, the only former royal palace in the United States, has been seized by activists apparently demanding Hawaiian sovereignty. The Hawaii Reporter writes:
Hawaiian sovereignty activists calling themselves the "Hawaiian Kingdom Government" surrounded Iolani Palace this morning, refusing to let state employees either enter or exit the historical site, saying the palace and surrounding grounds are property of the "Hawaiian Kingdom." [....]
Laura Thielen, director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, says "A group of about 35 persons have barred the public from entering the grounds of Iolani Palace, claiming sovereign rights over the area. The Department of Land and Natural Resources State Parks, which manages the palace in cooperation with the Friends of Iolani Palace is closing the area.
The Honolulu Advertiser adds:
Native Hawaiians enjoy special rights in Hawaii, but the radicals among them obviously are not nearly satisfied.
Signs are posted on the gates and only kanaka - those with Hawaiian bloodlines - along with media are being allowed entrance to the grounds.
Officials with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and sheriff's deputies stayed off the palace grounds. They watched from outside the gates but did not make any arrests or enter the grounds.
The Hawaiian organization says it is the rightful owner of the palace and it is time to assume and resume its official seat on 'Iolani grounds.
Security guards representing the Kingdom have been posted at each gate and they are giving out applications to those wanting to be recognized by the organization.
Hat tip: Andrew Walden