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Occupy protesters return to Thomas Square sidewalk

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 2:57 p.m. HST, Feb 3, 2012

Ten Occupy Honolulu protesters spent the night camping on South Beretania Street fronting Thomas Square defying city officials who warned them against rebuilding the campsite they established on the sidewalk along South Beretania Street and Ward Avenue in November.

Madori Rumpungworn, who has been living at Thomas Square for the past three months, said she and several others are waiting to see what city officials do next.

"They want to tango," said the Ewa Beach resident and former Leeward Community College student, ""two can tango."

But by mid-morning the protesters had voluntarily removed their tents.

On Thursday, workers from the city Facility Maintenance and Parks and Recreation departments removed four tents and other items belonging to Occupy Honolulu protesters under a new ordinance which forbids storage of private items on government property.

Earlier in the day protesters voluntarily removed eight tents and other property.

City officials told the protesters that they could continue to hold signs and pass out literature, but any tents or other items left on the sidewalks would be confiscated.

City workers on Thursday filled 28 green recycling bins with confiscated items from Thomas Square and a homeless campsite near Aala Park. Trucks took the property to the Halawa base yard, where the items will be stored for 30 days. Unless claimed, the items will auctioned or destroyed.

Police arrested protester, Lucas Miller, 29, of Makiki, and cited him with obstruction of a government operation — a misdemeanor. Miller, a teacher, was arrested after sitting in his tent, holding it while dancing and finally blocking the city workers from loading up their backhoe. He was scheduled to make his initial appearance in District Court this morning.

Miller was also one of the eight Occupy Honolulu protesters arrested Nov. 5  for being in the park after 10 p.m.

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