Island residents began to fly many Hawaiian flags upside down (a distress
signal) and had erected numerous signs on their houses making early
reference to what would become known as Hawaiian Sovereignty demands.
Ahmad (now known as documentary video producer Puhipau) was a part time
Sand Island resident and delivered ice to residents. Ahmad, with the
help from other activists, Haunani-Kay Trask, Dwight Kondo and Ed Greevy
joined together to fight the State. It was felt that because the dredged
reef material that was used to create Sand Island was Ceded Lands, the
Sand Island residents should draw attention to section (5f.) of the
US statute that created Hawai'i as the 50th State. Section 5 f. directs
the State to use some revenue generated from Ceded Lands for the betterment
But little was known in the community at large about 5.f. as the State
had not implemented this section. The Sand Island struggle helped to
raise the consciousness about Ceded Lands and the trickery of the US
government, including the State of Hawai'i.
effort to prevent the State from removing the residents did not go well
and there were numerous arrests as well as subsequent bulldozing/burning
of the homes on Sand Island.