Convoy protests construction of Sherwood Forest complex
A convoy of about 40 vehicles drove across the island Sunday — beginning in Pearl City and ending at Waimanalo’s Sherwood Forest — in a show of solidarity with Native Hawaiians protesting the building of a $1.4 million athletic field at the Waimanalo Bay Beach Park.
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A convoy of about 40 vehicles drove across the island Sunday — beginning in Pearl City and ending at Waimanalo’s Sherwood
Forest — in a show of solidarity with Native Hawaiians
protesting the building of a $1.4 million athletic field at the Waimanalo Bay Beach Park.
The convoy consisted mostly of trucks — some carrying up to half a dozen people — and many waving upside down Hawaiian
flags, symbolizing a nation in distress.
About 60 protesters, some of whom have been camping at the site since last week, were stationed
at Sherwoods on Sunday with tents, food, coolers of cold drinks and signs that read “Protect our Coastal Forest,” “Respect the
Kupuna,” and “Stop the Lies.”
Crossing guards waved Hawaiian flags to stop traffic and drivers honked their horns in support. One driver yelled “aloha aina” and
another raised the Mauna Kea hand symbol.
Kuike Kamakea-Ohelo, president of Save our
Sherwoods, said the protesters plan to continue indefinitely.
“We will never stop,”
“As long as I’m alive and breathing and well, we will be here protecting our aina and our iwi kupuna. The City and County and the mayor really is still trying
to make this about a park, and paint a picture that the park isn’t placed on iwi kupuna.”
Twenty eight protesters blocking police and construction equipment for
the contentious project were arrested Thursday morning after a two-hour standoff on the access
road to the park. Construction resumed as soon as
the last protester was carried off the road.Honolulu police shut down a section of Kalanianaole Highway
as they surrounded and
arrested the protesters.
Opponents of the project filed a lawsuit the same day against the city and federal government for improper use of the land.
Opponents to the renovation project worry it will lead to more development in an area they say is home to at least 90 sets of buried human remains estimated
to be up to 1,500 years old.
Charlotte Iida, one of the 28 people arrested Thursday, said the protests are
a culmination of hundreds of years of mistreatment
“They just take and take and take from us,” Iida said. “The younger (Hawaiians) are just becoming more aware and much better
educated and now we stand for what we believe is ours rightfully. It is the biggest uprising. I’ve spoken to kupunas in their 80s and they live for this day.”