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Two protesters arrested at Thomas Square

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 8:54 p.m. HST, Sep 26, 2012

Two members of (de)Occupy Honolulu were arrested after they refused to vacate a tent set up on the sidewalk on South Beretania Street in front of Thomas Square this afternoon.

Jehle Phillips-Frankie, 20, and Catherine Russell, 34, were arrested at 3:45 p.m. and charged with obstructing government operations, a misdemeanor. They were each released on $100 bail, said Andrew Smith, another (de)Occupy Honolulu member.

Smith said that city officials backed by Honolulu police officers went to Thomas Square about 11 a.m. to clear out tents, chairs and other items that were tagged under the city’s store property ordinance.

Phillips-Frankie and Russell, and a third (de)Occupy Honolulu member chained themselves to a pallet inside a tent and then refused to follow demands by police and city officials to vacate the tent, Smith said. 

City employees then left but police returned about 3:45 and arrested Phillps-Frankie and Russell, who had by then stepped out of the tent, Smith said.

Smith said police could have handled the situation better and that it was “really shady” that HPD returned to make the arrests after television news crews had left the scene.

Smith said it was the 35th time officers have raided the (de)Occupy Honolulu site. The group has been there since Nov. 5.

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