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Thursday, March 16, 2000

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
The Hawaiian community opened the "sleep-in"
with a traditional ceremony.

Protesters at
UH ‘sleep-in’ declare
gathering a success

The Rice vs. Cayetano ruling,
tuition hikes and development
on Mauna Kea were targeted

By Susan Kreifels


About 200 students, faculty and members of native Hawaiian groups gathered for a "sleep-in" at the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus center last night to protest tuition hikes, development of observatories on Mauna Kea and the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Rice vs. Cayetano.

University of Hawaii Early this morning, among sleeping bags and guitars, about 20 students remained, and they said their protest was a success. Organizers estimated that 50 protesters stayed through the night.

Campus security said the protest was peaceful and that most people left at about 2 a.m. this morning.

The sleep-in will continue through the Board of Regents meetings today and tomorrow. The agenda includes a vote on tuition hikes of 3-4 percent in the UH system.

Students from neighbor islands are expected to arrive tonight, but organizers said the gathering would be smaller.

"Hopefully this proved there's a lot more support," said UH-Manoa student Kapali Keahi about the size of the gathering last night.

"It's important to understand, an injustice against one is an injustice against all," said Joshua Cooper, an organizer. "This is a positive force for social change in Hawaii."

Student leaders said they had planned the sleep-in before the Rice vs. Cayetano decision. In the Feb. 23 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Hawaiians-only voting requirement for Office of Hawaiian Affairs elections.

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Kelly Miyashiro reads while sacked out on her
sleeping bag at the Campus Center last night.

After the decision, students combined their plans with calls from the native Hawaiian community for nonviolent demonstrations to protest the Supreme Court ruling.

Pi'ilani Smith, president of the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii at the Manoa campus, said students plan more demonstrations as regents take up contentious issues such as Mauna Kea development.

UH President Kenneth Mortimer has said regents may vote on the plans to develop the Mauna Kea observatories at next month's meeting.

OHA trustee Mililani Trask, who has called for civil disobedience in response to the Supreme Court ruling, spoke last night on the power of nonviolent demonstrations, Cooper said. Student leaders and faculty members also spoke.

Between speeches, protesters listened to music and poetry readings.

University of Hawaii
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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