POSTED: 9:14 a.m. HST, Apr 5, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 9:24 a.m. HST, Apr 5, 2012
Six members of the Occupy Honolulu movement pleaded no-contest Wednesday to violating park closure rules in November when they remained in Thomas Square.
The six — Jamie Baldwin, Megan Brooker, Lucas Miller, Randall Perez, Luke Satsuma and Nickolas Wooden — agreed to pay $50 each to the state general fund and $30 each to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund.
They were granted six-month deferral of their conviction under a plea deal. To have the convictions stricken from their records, they must appear before District Judge Linda Luke on Sept. 20 to show that they have not been arrested again.
Violating park closure rules is a petty misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a month in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Wooden lives in Kapahulu; the other five said they live in Makiki.
On Nov. 5, eight protestors were arrested for entering and remaining in Thomas Square after the park had been closed at 10 p.m.
Occupy Honolulu supporters said one man and one woman pleaded no contest to a lesser offense of trespassing shortly after they were arrested because they had to leave the island.
In denying motions by an attorney for the six protestors on March 8, Luke said city park rules serve "a substantial governmental interest in preserving public health and safety of the public at large." The protesters argued that they were exercising their constitutional right to free speech.
Since January, city parks and facility management workers impounded items taken from the protestors under the city's new personal storage property ordinance. The law, which took effect in December, prohibits storage of any personal items on city property. Confiscated items are held at the Halawa base yard for 30 days before being destroyed or sold.
City workers have invoked the new city law in subsequent clean-ups at Thomas Square as well as on sidewalks and in parks in Chinatown, McCully-Moiliili and parts of Waikiki. Workers removed anything stored in those locations longer than 24 hours.
There was one arrest during those sweeps.
Miller, 29, was cited him with obstruction of a government operation — a misdemeanor during a Feb. 2 Thomas Square sweep. Miller, a teacher, was arrested after he held his tent over his head while dancing and blocked the workers from loading up their backhoe.