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City tells Occupy Honolulu protesters to pack up tents

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:02 p.m. HST, Feb 01, 2012

The city gave notice to Occupy Honolulu protesters today to remove their tents and belongings from the sidewalk fronting Thomas Square or have their items seized in 24 hours.

The city's action under a new ordinance is the latest cleanup in an effort that began last month in McCully near the Old Stadium Park and Iwilei.

Trish Morikawa, the city's housing coordinator, said the city has received more than 30 complaints about the Thomas Square campsite.

Ten to 30 Occupy Honolulu protesters have been camping on the sidewalk at Thomas Square since Nov. 5. The protesters are part of a broader movement demonstrating against disparities in the nation's economic system.

Officials from the city Facility Maintenance and Parks and Recreation departments, backed up by Honolulu police, began issuing the notices about 9 a.m. More than a dozen tents are set up on the sidewalk on Beretania Street and Ward Avenue.

Morikawa said the new sidewalk storage law is not a free speech issue. She said private property cannot be stored on government property.

Enforcement of the new law is complaint-driven, Morikawa said, adding that the Iwilei and Old Stadium Park areas have received the most complaints and that was the reason city officials moved in those areas first.

Items left on the sidewalk will be taken to the city's Halawa baseyard Thursday and stored for 30 days or until the owners claim them.

Removal notices were taped on all items left on the sidewalk, such as tents, signs, chairs and other personal property.

As in the Iwilei and McCully operations, city officials photographed every item on Beretania Street and Ward Avenue and taped "removal notices" on them.

If the items are still on the sidewalk tomorrow, they will be bagged, placed in green garbage bins and trucked to the city facility storage.

Jamie Baldwin, a social worker who was one of the eight protestors arrested in November for being in Thomas Square past 10 p.m., said "it is crucial to have a 24-hour presence somewhere."

Although Baldwin said she is "not personally tied to this location," to others in the encampment "this space is crucial."

Last month, the city served notice and removed belongings of homeless campers on King and Isenberg streets and in the Iwilei area shortly after a new city ordinance was passed by the City Council. Mayor Peter Carlisle on Dec. 9 signed into law Bill 54, which prohibits keeping personal items, including furniture and clothing, in public areas such as sidewalks and parks. The City Council earlier voted 8-1 to pass the "stored property" ordinance.and signed into law by Carlisle. The new law prohibits people from storing tents, furniture, clothing and other personal belongings on sidewalks.

Officials gave removal notices to 25 people at Pawaa In-Ha Park — at King and Kaheka streets — and 19 combined at Moiliili Field and Old Stadium Park. On Jan. 18, 38 notices were issued.

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Vivgie wrote:
on February 1,2012 | 08:25AM
allie wrote:
The "occupiers" werer a total shibai and were not poor people at all. They are UH students I thinbk. They failed to connect to the local population in any way. Some of their points were good but there are betetr ways to make these points.
on February 1,2012 | 09:12AM
kahu808 wrote:
"They are UH students I thinbk (sp)". So you don't really know, do you?
on February 1,2012 | 09:16AM
allie wrote:
sorry..I am just not a good typer. But I did say they looked to be UH students.
on February 1,2012 | 09:30AM
hawaiifisherman wrote:
Visit the Waianae coast if you want to see a real "occupy" encampment! The problems with Hawaii's poor, who can't afford a place to live even though they have jobs, should make a far greater statement than these protesters.
on February 1,2012 | 11:44AM
frontman wrote:
Move them to the GOV's front yard.
on February 1,2012 | 09:36AM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
There are "disparities in the nation's economic system" because these occupiers choose to sit on their butts all day doing nothing rather than getting a job, starting a company, volunteering their time, or doing something else beneficial for themselves and the community. Does anyone think this nation was built on that kind of lethargic, lazy, unmotivated kind of mindset? If that was the spirit of the times in 1776, we might still be colonies of the British Crown.
on February 1,2012 | 08:28AM
1local wrote:
results of the government breeding and education programs...
on February 1,2012 | 08:38AM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
If you don't like the pay at your job, start your own company, become your own boss and pay yourself. If you don't like the taxes you pay, run for office and pass legislation that changes the tax code, or petition your political rep and have them change it. Stop being so lazy and get up and do something instead. So shame, such a disgrace to our forefathers who had so much more courage and wherewithall to make an actual difference.
on February 1,2012 | 09:09AM
Billyther wrote:
If more people followed your suggestions, the government would have more than enough money through the tax revenues from self starters to satisfy everyone's dream. You can't demand success, you work for it.
on February 1,2012 | 03:56PM
schipptomylou wrote:
on February 1,2012 | 10:13AM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
thx schipp
on February 1,2012 | 11:39AM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
BRAVO...great post!
on February 1,2012 | 02:09PM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
Al_kiqaeda-- long have I thought highly of your posts, mahalo!
on February 1,2012 | 11:04PM
Incadove wrote:
Great post! This country was built by people with initiative, hard work, and drive - not handouts. Most have to start at the bottom and work upwards. The entitlement mentality will never work. Expecting the government or anyone else to provide has always failed.
on February 1,2012 | 04:26PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Those "occupy" protesters are actually just the homeless using freedom of speech as an excuse to live on public property
on February 1,2012 | 08:31AM
allie wrote:
No, they are NOT homeless at all. Loo again. They are well educated. They have a library of books set up for the public to read in the day time. They are 20 somethings and not poor at all. They are trying to make economic points about the system. Not about themselves. That said, they never connected with local folks out here.
on February 1,2012 | 09:32AM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
But what is the point? "Waaaa waaaaa, pity me"? Trust me, a lot of welfare reciepients would be schlepping out there like all the rest of us if there weren't for the welfare program. Most can work...they just found that welfare enables them to be "hopeless". My grandfather worked the sugar fields way before social/welfare/medical programs. It was work, beg or starve...and from what my father told me it was not an exageration for the poorest folks on the sugar plantations. SO YOU WORKED. My father had to leave school to work at age 14 to support the family when my grandfather died young. No welfare, no social security. He worked his okole off all his life and in the end he did quite well for himself and his family with a grade school education. In fact, when he retired he had engineers with masters degrees working under him. And all those years he contributed to all those welfare programs and social programs that these lazy bums are leaching off the system from those who truly need it. To those bums my dad would say "suck rocks"...it takes the hunger pains away.
on February 1,2012 | 02:31PM
Graham wrote:
Bravo to you and your family.
on February 1,2012 | 03:12PM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
Maika'i to you and your ancestors, plantation style g-parents are the rock that makes us kamaaina made of the tough stuff....
on February 1,2012 | 11:05PM
mochiko wrote:
What an eyesore their tents are - I saw them last week and was surprised at how shabby and shameful it is. Shouldn't have let them start camping in the first place! Good job, city.
on February 1,2012 | 08:48AM
false wrote:
on February 1,2012 | 09:00AM
flyinbob wrote:
It's about time! People who are using "free speech" excuses to take advantage of media-crazed politicians have no more right to camp on public property without a permit as anyone else. Moving that eyesore off the sidewalk fronting one of the nicest city parks we have was long overdue.
on February 1,2012 | 09:13AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
I have had difficulty in navigating this sidewalk ever since these people set up their bricks, plants and tents. They have no consideration for the public that needs to use the sidewalk..
on February 1,2012 | 09:16AM
buck808 wrote:
on February 1,2012 | 09:28AM
cojef wrote:
The poor "occupiers" only tool to articulate their agenda was finally taken away from them. By squating and creating an eyesore, they were better able to demonstrate their radical political agenda (probably subsided by the liberall benefactor G. Soros). The ACLU will get on their highchair and wail that squatting with their tents and other debris are an expression of their 1st Amendment rights. There are more than 1 way to skin a varmit! Finally the City's Legal Council came up with a sweet way to get an ugly scene out of its parks and streets. '
on February 1,2012 | 09:42AM
richw66 wrote:
on February 1,2012 | 10:20AM
Kuniarr wrote:
This thing about the wealthy paying income taxes at rates much lower than a secretary or the middle class is based on ignorance of the fact that the economic system of this U.S. of A. of ours is Capitalism - not Socialism nor Communism. Ignorance of the fact that the framers of our Income Tax Laws deliberately made the tax on income from investments much lower than that for ordinary income to lure or attract Capital Investments. For the economic system of Capitalism lives and breathes on capital investment compared to Socialism and Communism which lives and breathes on Taxes.
on February 1,2012 | 11:55AM
Toneyuki wrote:
Yep, and to add to that, the idea that the wealthy pay income taxes at any rate lower than a secretary of the middle class is wrong.

Just because you can find a few exceptions in a group does not make the entire group a certain way.

on February 1,2012 | 02:27PM
Graham wrote:
Thye wealthy pay the same percentage in income taxes...the 15 prcent is on capital gains like every other invester.
on February 1,2012 | 03:15PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Of course. Except my comment debunks the attacks on the ratio (rate) of total taxes paid by the wealthy to their total income compared to that of a secretary being much lower. If you add the taxes on ordinary income tax to taxes on investment income of the wealthy and compare that rate or ratio to the tax on ordinary income that a secretary pays, the wealthy would have a much lower rate. To even think of raising the taxes on investment income is akin to killing the goose that lays the golden egg. For an economic system of Capitalism which the US has exists on capital investment which is the reason why investors are lured or attracted by the low tax rate on investment income
on February 1,2012 | 04:36PM
ISCREAM wrote:
Occupu this .I. A bunch of flag burning scum bags!
on February 1,2012 | 12:06PM
st1d wrote:
under the guise of socialism and communism all they wanted to do was to plunder from people who have worked and saved all their lives and then keep the stolen wealth and property for themselves. they are just an ineffective and unproductive group of narcissistic ideologues.
on February 1,2012 | 12:13PM
Kermit11 wrote:
on February 1,2012 | 12:28PM
Poidogs wrote:
YAY!! My dogs and I can go to Thomas Square tomorrow and walk. Great job HPD and great job City Workers.....
on February 1,2012 | 12:58PM
Anonymous wrote:
1% legitimate protestors....99% miscreants with nothing better to do.
on February 1,2012 | 02:14PM
Vivgie wrote:
Must be Jewish. Can smell 'em with the windows rolled up.
on February 1,2012 | 02:38PM
Graham wrote:
This comment was not necessary.
on February 1,2012 | 03:16PM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
Vivgie's mindset is why the world was forced to wage WWII, suffer its immense loss, and endure its atrocities. Think bruddah before you speak, sheesh.
on February 1,2012 | 11:08PM
Papakolea wrote:
I still don't even know if they have a common message. If you read through past interviews of the OH crowd, some people were supporting financial market reform, some were supporting animal rights, some were supporting a vegan lifestyle, and then there were some supporting the closure of Guantanamo Bay, etc., etc. They were all over the place. While I don't necessarily disagree with some of their positions, I really don't see how camping out on the sidewalk of Beretania steet furthers your cause.
on February 1,2012 | 02:54PM
Papakolea wrote:
The burning of the flag by the Oakland protesters really turned me off. There is nothing wrong with the American legislative process. If the Occupy Protesters truly represented 99% of the population, it would be no problem to have laws introduced that would cause the changes the majority of the people want. If the lawmakers don't vote for the changes, 99% could vote them out of office and elect the politicians who will make the changes. No amount of money from lobbyist or corporations can overcome 99% of the people pushing for a change in the law. People vote, corporations do not...or could it be that the Occupy movement doesn't really represent 99% of the population....
on February 1,2012 | 02:59PM
islandsun wrote:
Why occupy thomas Square. Make it legit. Occupy some corrupt entities. City Hall, BWS, HECO, FHB...just to name a few......
on February 1,2012 | 03:30PM
ejkorvette wrote:
For all of the folks on this page that had less than unbiased comments, I say this: What ever the agenda was for the Occupiers, At least they DID SOMETHING! Most of the people that do have an opinion, sit in their house, coffee shops, garage, etc and talk about "I'm gonna do this or that"! You blame and accuse the Occupiers of sitting on their backside, but you do the same. When was the last time any of you here took part in a real Protest? Nightclubs, Karaoke Bars, and at the Beach do not Count!! Shame on you. The Pulse Section in this newspaper, shows everyone smiling, Mugging for the camera, and pretending to be wannabe's Mainlanders. You Hypocrites! Your Aloha Government is stealing, lying, and profoundly hoodwinking you everyday. Prices go up, Taxes are imposed, and all you do is complain from the comfort of your homes. The State of this State is in the condition it is in because you choose to Protest in Silence and under the cloak of Invisibility! You are all SLAVES that choose not to be in the Right with Two or Three!
on February 1,2012 | 03:41PM
kainalu wrote:
The cause is a good one. They've made their point. Time to leave.
on February 1,2012 | 04:17PM
HD36 wrote:
Nothing you can do, just watch the collapse unfold.
on February 1,2012 | 07:14PM
goodnight wrote:
Good. It's about time.
on February 1,2012 | 07:21PM
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