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LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) — The Hawaii Department of Public Safety said it will help remove a group of people who are occupying the Coco Palms property on Kauai.

The deadline for activists to vacate the land was on Sunday, but the occupiers remained on sight as recently as Tuesday, Hawaii News Now reported .

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.

The department released a statement Wednesday that said officers will assist the property owners, who requested help from authorities. The statement said that for safety and security reasons, the department will not discuss any strategies that might be utilized to remove the occupiers.

The occupiers gained some support Sunday from others in the community, and the crowd grew to more than 50 people.

“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.

A Kauai judge ordered the activists to vacate the property.

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.


Information from: KGMB-TV,