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Protesters rally to stop Kawaiaha'o Church construction

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 3:59 p.m. HST, Feb 17, 2011

A group of about 50 protesters assembled on the steps of Kawaiaha‘o Church this morning to peacefully demonstrate against any resumption of construction on the grounds that could disturb unmarked native Hawaiian burials.

Church pastor Curtis Kekuna addressed the group, saying he appreciated their position but would not engage in a debate. He also said no construction would occur today, and told protesters they needed to move off church grounds.

Members of the group said they, as native Hawaiians with ancestors buried on church grounds, had a right to be on the property and protect their ancestors.
Police were called and protesters prepared to be arrested, but the church ended up allowing protesters to remain if they wished.

The group eventually dispersed but promised to monitor the construction site and return if necessary.

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