Protest converges on Naue burial site

News Report
Ikaika M Hussey

Over 30 campaigners for native cultural protection from O'ahu, Maui, Molokai and Hawai`i Island arrived on Kauai's north shore this morning in an attempt to stop a housing development over an ancient cemetary.

"Our goal is to make them forcefully remove us," said Andre Perez of Pohaku O Kane. "This is not just about Kaua`i. We're serious about protecting our iwi kupuna, our `aina, and our lahui. "

The property, formerly owned by actor Sylvester Stallone, and purchased by California luxury homebuilder Joseph Brescia seven years ago, is considered culturally sacred by Kanaka Maoli and contains more than 30 ancient burials as well as numerous artifacts.

With legal challenges currently in progress, previous protests had stopped construction until recently when concrete was poured directly over the well-documented bones of ancient Hawaiians on the property.

"We're sick of rich foreigners coming over here and destroying the resting places of our families," said Keli`i Collier. "Hawaiians do not desecrate the graves of others, why do they desecrate ours?"

Mr. Brescia's claims of property ownership is also being disputed by Kaiulani Eden-Hoff, a former media personality who traces her lineage back several centuries on that parcel.

The Independent will expand its coverage of this story in future stories, including obtaining responses from Brescia and the state institutions responsible for burial sites.