Get PolitiFact in your inbox.
If Your Time is short
This video is from a 1985 documentary about native Hawaiians being arrested and evicted on a beach in Honolulu, which is more than 100 miles from Maui, where the wildfires ignited in August.
- Learn more about PolitiFact's fact-checking process and rating system.
A month after wildfires erupted across Maui County, Hawaii, killing 115 people, social media posts are sharing a video they claim shows island natives being arrested and evicted from their homes.
The video, shared Sept. 5 on Instagram, shows police officers arresting Hawaiians who had been living on the beach. The video starts with a scene of crying children and a young girl yelling at the police.
"We no more house. You guys get house. Where you like us go? Camp on your yard?" the girl shouts.
Text on the video read, "They are being arrested for camping on the beach with no where to go! Are you happy Biden voters! We need to help these people!"
The post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
With its reference to Biden, the Instagram post suggests this video was taken recently, following the Maui wildfires. Although thousands of people are displaced after the fires destroyed their homes and places of work, this footage does not show that. This video is 38 years old — from when Ronald Reagan was president — and wasn’t filmed on Maui.
One of the documentary’s filmmakers, the single-named Puhipau, speaks at the end of the Instagram post’s clip and says he is reporting from Oahu, not Maui. Puhipau died in 2016.
"This is the most recent of a series of arrests and evictions from the beaches of Hawaii. But with close to 90% of the people of Hawaii unable to afford their own homes, this incident will probably not be the last. This is Puhipau from Waimānalo, Oahu," he says.
We rate that claim that the video shows Hawaiians being evicted after the Maui wildfires False.
YouTube, "Waimānalo Eviction - TRAILER," April 9, 2012
Nā Maka o ka ’Āina, "Waimānalo Eviction documentary," 1985
Nā Maka o ka ’Āina, "Who We Are," accessed Sept. 13, 2023
Maui Police Department, "Identities of Maui Wildfire Disaster Victims," Sept. 12, 2023
Time, "Hawaii Already Had a Massive Homelessness Problem. The Maui Wildfires Are Making It Worse," Aug. 22, 2023
NBC News, "Temporary housing extended for Maui wildfire victims, the Hawaii governor says," Aug. 25, 2023
The Associated Press, "Decades-old footage of Hawaiians being removed from parkland misleadingly shared online as recent," Sept. 8, 2023
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.