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22 people arrested for refusing to leave 'Iolani Palace grounds

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 10:26 p.m. HST, Nov 7, 2011

 Photo Gallery: APEC, Iolani Palace arrests

State law enforcement officers arrested 22 people tonight after they refused to leave the ‘Iolani Palace grounds.

Members of the sovereignty group Hawaiian Kingdom Government claim the state of Hawaii is a “puppet government” and the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown illegally.

The arrests went peacefully and took about 35 minutes in the parking lot near the State Archives. The lights of the palace shined in the background.

“We’ve always done things peacefully,” group spokesperson Donna Willard said.

The 22 people were charged with criminal trespass II, a petty misdemeanor, and planned to stay overnight at a jail in Kapolei before being transported for arraignment to a District Court.

State land Director William Aila said he was disappointed that the members chose to be arrested and thought they had made their point.

The arrests, close to 7 p.m., came several hours after Aila announced a decision to close ‘Iolani Palace and the surrounding grounds to the public from 5 p.m. today through Nov. 15 at 6 a.m., saying he wanted to protect the area and ensure public safety during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings on Oahu.

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