Activists ignore vacate order, occupy Coco Palms resort land
LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) — Despite a judge’s order to vacate, a group of activists remained on the land where Kauai’s Coco Palms resort resides.
The activists, who claim to be descendants of Kauai’s last king, said they have documents giving them the rights to the land. They have been occupying the land since March 2017. More than 50 people showed up at the site on Sunday to support them.
A Kauai judge last week ordered the activists to vacate the property by 6 p.m. Sunday. But as of Monday afternoon, activists remained on the Coco Palms property and no law enforcement officers were on site.
Chad Waters of Coco Palms Hui could not be reached for comment.
Co-defendants in the court case, Noa Mau-Espirito and Kamu “Charles” Hepa, watched their fellow activists occupy the land from off site. They said they didn’t want to get arrested because they still want to fight for the land through royal patent and ancestry.
“What you saw here today was our ceremony to bring us all together and to show that we are all standing here under our own direction to be here for the aina,” organizer Keala Lopez said.
Coco Palms has been closed for more than 25 years since it was damaged by Hurricane Iniki.
Developer Coco Palms Hui plans to open the new resort in 2019.