Hawaii Island activist arrested at Iolani Palace on anniversary of overthrow of Kingdom of Hawaii

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — A 64-year-old man was arrested after jumping over a fence and entering Iolani Palace. The man, identified as Gene Tamashiro, was charged with entering a closed state park and violating the state’s current COVID-19 rules.

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It happened at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 17, on the anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

The DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) says they had previously been informed by Tamashiro of his intention to enter palace grounds, which have been closed on Sundays since the start of the pandemic.

According to DOCARE officers, Tamashiro was seen gathering in a mall located between the State Capitol and Iolani Palace with about a dozen supporters. DOCARE Chief Jason Redulla spoke to Tamashiro and his group, explaining that without a permit they would not be allowed to enter palace grounds. Tamashiro questioned the legality of ownership of Iolani Palace by the state of Hawaii, alleging that the Kingdom of Hawaii was illegally overthrown.

Tamashiro proceeded to jump the palace’s ornate fence despite not having a permit to enter the property. Once on palace grounds, he was arrested.

He is being held on a $2,5000 bond.

DLNR says Tamashiro was already previously arrested for illegally planting a “kanaka” garden at Wailoa River State Park in Hilo. He, along with his group, was cited on Jan. 7 for three Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) violations associated with the garden.

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