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Police arrest 2 as they evict protesters at Thomas Square

By Michael Tsai

LAST UPDATED: 1:34 p.m. HST, Dec 30, 2011

Occupy Honolulu protestors say they have no plans to leave Thomas Square Park, even though they've been literally kicked to the curb.

Acting on newly confirmed boundaries, Honolulu police swept in late Thursday night and attempted tp evict Occupy Honolulu campers at the park, arresting two protesters.

Despite a few heated words, the confrontation — captured by video cameras on both sides — was mostly peaceful.

Police Sgt. Cullen Kau said one woman “chose to be arrested” after she was warned to remove her belongings and leave the park, but refused to do so.

Some personal belongings of the protestors were confiscated, including bicycles and dishes. But Madori Rumpungworn, one of the group's organizers, said the group plans to continue their protest on the sidewalk, closer to the edge of the street. 

"You can't evict an idea," said the 22-year-old swap meet vendor and plumber's apprentice.

The protesters have been part of a national movement that claims that big business and government cater to the richest 1 percent of U.S. citizens to the detriment of the other 99 percent.

In Honolulu, the protesters, in varying numbers, have been occupying the park since Nov. 5.

But the rules changed Thursday.

That’s when Mayor Peter Carlisle determined that the sidewalk areas where the campers have been staying are actually part of the city park.

City officials toured the park around 1 p.m. Thursday and painted white dots to indicate the boundaries of the park. The dots extended as far as 30 feet farther than the orange dots previously used to advise campers of the park’s limits.

Police Sgt. Lawrence Santos said previous boundaries were not clearly delineated.

Santos said campers were warned that they would be in violation of park rules if they remained in the area after the park’s official closing time of 10 p.m.

“At this point, we don’t have people looking to go to jail,” said Megan Brooker, one of the leaders of Occupy Honolulu. “We have the legal right to be here, and we will continue to negotiate with the Parks Department to make sure we have the right to make our voices heard.”

Police say 51-year-old woman was arrested for a parks closure violation. A 25-year-old man was arrested, but for outstanding traffic violations. An 18-year-old was cited, but not arrested.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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