PROTEST OF THE PEOPLE.
Three Thousand Hawaiians Declare Their Objection to the Republic.
A very short and a very insufficient call was made for a mass meeting on Palace Square at 5 o’clock yesterday afternoon, to protest against the promulgation of the Republic while the question of the revolution was still in the hands of the United States Executive as arbitrator. Scarcely anybody knew a meeting of the kind was intended until yesterday morning. Nevertheless, when the hour arrived there had assembled a thousand people, this number being tripled by the time proceedings began.
The premises of Mr. Nacayama were kindly allowed for the use of the meeting. In the small elevated pavilion overlooking the square were seated Mr. and Mrs. H. A. Widemann, Mr. and Mrs. James Campbell, Mr. and Mrs. John A. Cummins, Mrs. Nawahi, Mrs. Aholo, Mrs. Fernandez and Miss Peabody. In front were Messrs. J. O. Carter, J. Nawahi, J. E. Bush, R. W. Wilcox, J. K. Kaulia and press reporters. There were also stationed at the front the Government shorthand reporter, J. W. Jones, and interpreter, W. L. Wilcox, to catch any sedition that might be talked to the crowd.
Mr. Nawahi called the meeting to order and introduce in turn Mr. Kaulia to read the resolution in Hawaiian, and Mr. Carter to perform the same office in English. The resolution is a follows:
“Be it resolved, that the Hui Aloha Aina and other Patriotic Leagues, together with the Loyal subjects of the Hawaiian Kingdom, in Mass Meeting assembled, representing by far the greater majority of the legitimate voters of this country, do hereby most solemnly protest against the promulgation of a new Constitution, formed without the consent and participation of the People, and we also protest against changing the form of government from the one under which we have lived peacefully and prosperously for many years. And that we maintain that the will of the majority of the legitimate voters of Hawaii should be the supreme power of the land, as such power is so recognized and accepted by all the enlightened countries and by all the enlightened governments of the world.”
Mr. Bush then delivered the following address in both languages:
Fellow Citizens and Friends:
We are convened here this afternoon under the broad canopy of heaven, to enunciate broad and important principles. We are not here to express any personal grievances, nor to make any personal complaints, but as a large body of the people we are here, to express our wishes in a peaceful and orderly manner, against the promulgation of a document which we deem subversive of our rights as free citizens of this country. We are here in the interests of every individual present, and of every individual absent, whom some of us as associated bodies here represent, and of every unit of this government. We are here to set forth the inherent rights of every man and woman in Hawaii nei, and to object to any act restrictive of their rights, and are doing our duty. However, we are not unmindful of the just and legitimate authority vested in those who have assumed the governmental power to administer the affairs of the governed. We recognize the right of civil government to be, and the duty is divinely enjoined upon all rendering to the governmental power, provisional as well as permanent, that which legitimately belongs to it.
We believe that civil governments are ordained of God for the good of every man, woman and child, through the will of the people, and as long as so administered for their good and with their consent, we should give our adherence to it. We are not in sympathy with anarchy or with the creation of social disorder, believing that all our troubles can be more easily and more intelligently adjusted by the peaceful process of free and untrammeled appeal to the people, from whom all just power to govern belongs, and from whence it should emanate.
And it is because the fundamental principles of just government have been studiously and wilfully ignored by the powers that have been set up over us, through the armed intervention of the forces of a nation presumed to be on friendly intercourse with us, that we are gathered here to make protest against the further encroachment upon those principles and upon our rights as free citizens of an independent country, and especially against the promulgation of a constitution in which, by unusual restrictions, the people have been debarred from participating in, if they so desired. However, we have had other reasons for not participating in the framing of such a document, i.e., that we are pledged to respect the position of the Chief Executive of the American Nation, who, for the honor of his country, and for our benefit, is made a party to our affairs, as arbiter.
Until the United States, through its chosen head, is heard from, we find ourselves on the verge of being made a party, by tacit consent, to an act that sets aside all sense of honor, all moral obligation, yes, to participate in a flagrant insult toward and breach of confidence in a nation to whom we have submitted our differences for arbitration and readjustment. If for no other rea-
(Daily Bulletin, 7/3/1894, p. 1)
son than the last, we should all the more loudly proclaim our disapproval of the proposed institution of a new for of Government, under a new constitution formed by an oligarchy, until the arbiter of our dispute is heard from, and until if need be the voice of the people of Hawaii is heard, whose right it is to speak upon Hawaii’s future destiny.
We regret, deeply regret, the necessity that calls for this protest from us. But duty to ourselves and honor to those whom we have appealed to demand that we should give utterance to our views in brief and in unmistakable language, without being personal or vituperative. It is a God-given right, and we would be derelict in duty if we refrained from exercising it, and unanimously sustaining the resolution just read, which embodies all that is necessary to express our principles and by thus publicly and peacefully putting ourselves upon record before the world, absolve ourselves from the charge of being partakers in arbitrary and high-handed measures, the culmination of successive unprincipled acts, which began nearly two years ago.
We have met here to protest against personal government, against every act which restricts the inherent rights of the people. No one can deny that the constitution proposed by the Provisional Government is based upon a fraudulent foundation. The whole fabric from which it emanated is one of injustice, fraud and fiction, and it will end, as all such acts of Neroism should end, by disgrace to the inceptors and disaster to the State that should be unfortunate enough to have such retrogressive principles for its foundations, whereby and by which to rule and govern its people.
Mr. Bush had thrown a few impromptu remarks into his written address, which caused laughter and applause. In arguing that the Constitution of the Republic did not assure stable government, he referred to the quarrel in the Convention between “Brother Damons and Brother Smith.” He asked if men born under the free flag of America could support the conduct of the authors of the Constitution. Cries of “No” answered him.
Mr. Nawahi in a few words spoke of the action in proclaiming a republic as premature, while Hawaiian affairs were yet under consideration by the United States. If he were the American Minister he would tell those people to keep to their provisional status until the matter was settled. He called for the ratification of the resolution by three cheers.
The call was responded to by a roar of voices which could be heard a mile away.
Messrs. Cummins, Widemann and Nawahi were named as a committee to present the resolution to the foreign representatives.
[The “Nacayama” who offers his premises to be used for this meeting must be G. O. Nacayama, seen also as G. O. Nakayama, the Inspector-in-Chief of Japanese Immigrants who lived on Merchant Street near the Opera House, as per PCA article 7/11/1894, p. 3.]
(Daily Bulletin, 7/3/1894, p. 4)