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Thursday, January 18, 2001

‘Hawaiian Kingdom’
group evicted
from Mokuleia

Star-Bulletin staff

A group of Hawaiian homeless people, claiming to be citizens of the Hawaiian Kingdom, thus immune to state and city laws, were evicted yesterday from Mokuleia Beach Park.

About 12 police officers and several civilians from city and state agencies, including the Humane Society, went to the park before 10 a.m. yesterday to evict about a dozen people who have been camping illegally at the park for several years. They were told in December to leave the area.

The Humane Society participated in the evacuation because there were dogs on the premises, which is illegal, said Wahiawa police Sgt. Laura Natividad, in charge of the eviction.

Three women and three men were arrested for obstructing government operations. A fourth man was arrested on outstanding warrants, Natividad said.

The rest of the group -- about six of them, including a baby -- left the area peacefully.

"They were told to leave before Christmas," Natividad said.

The homeless are not being relocated to another place, Natividad said. "They can go wherever they want to go."

Bulldozers and other heavy equipment removed cars and tents, along with plants and trees the families had planted throughout the years. The cleanup lasted 5 1/2 hours, Natividad said.

One of the couples to be evicted was Marie Beltran and her husband, John Keawemauhili. In the past Beltran has contended that the state and city have no jurisdiction over her and her family because she is a citizen of the Hawaiian Kingdom. However, a court has yet to rule in their favor

The family has camped at various locations in Mokuleia for seven years and has been evicted before.

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