Indian Country 52 #2 – Neocolonialism
“Two days later, Zuckerberg’s lawyers filed lawsuits against hundreds of Hawaiians who may own an interest in small parcels within the boundaries of Zuckerberg’s estate. The “quiet title” suits, first reported by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, are used to clarify the often complicated history of land ownership in Hawaii and can result in owners being forced to sell their land at auction. In some cases, defendants are even required to pay the legal fees of the plaintiff – in this case, the world’s fifth richest man.
Zuckerberg’s lawsuits have prompted a backlash from locals who place the billionaire within a long, painful history of western conquest and Native Hawaiian dispossession.
“This is the face of neocolonialism,” said Kapua Sproat, a law professor at the University of Hawaii who is originally from Kauai. “Even though a forced sale may not physically displace people, it’s the last nail in the coffin of separating us from the land.””
– The Guardian, Hawaiians call Mark Zuckerberg ‘the face of neocolonialism’ over land lawsuits.
“Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife are dropping controversial suits they filed in December to buy small plots of land that are part of a 700-acre waterfront estate they own on the island of Kauai in Hawaii.
In a letter published in The Garden Island, a local newspaper, Zuckerberg wrote of the complex legal tangle, “it’s clear we made a mistake.”
Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan bought the 700-acre waterfront estate on Kauai for $100 million in 2014. In December 2016, they filed eight lawsuits against several hundred people to buy 13 plots on eight acres partitioned during the 1850s.”
– USA Today, Mark Zuckerberg drops suits to force sale of Hawaiian lands.
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Indian Country 52
Indian Country 52 is a weekly project by David Bernie that uses the medium of posters that promote issues and stories in Indian Country. Follow the series: Indian Country 52
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