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Occupy Honolulu protesters remove their tents

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 08:55 p.m. HST, Feb 02, 2012

City officials moved in to Thomas Square at 1:15 p.m. to begin the cleanup of debris left behind by Occupy Honolulu protesters who had been camping on the sidewalk.

The protesters began breaking down their tents this morning. Trish Morikawa, the city’s housing coordinator who was leading the cleanup, was accompanied by several police officers. One person was reportedly arrested for obstruction of government operations, which is a misdemeanor.

The action follows the issuance of 24-hour removal notices on Wednesday morning under a new law prohibiting the storage of personal belongings on city sidewalks.

City crews stood by to remove any belongings left on the sidewalk along Beretania Street and Ward Avenue. But at about 9 a.m. two city dump trucks and city crews drove away to help cleanup the sidewalk around Aala Park, where about 17 removal notices were also issued to homeless campers on Wednesday.

Only four tents remained on the sidewalk in front of Thomas Square at 8:45 a.m.

Owners were told they had until 9 a.m. today to remove tents, furniture, suitcases, bikes and other personal items or the items would be confiscated and taken to the Halawa base yard and stored for 30 days. Unclaimed items would be sold or destroyed.

Protester Chris Smith said he removed some personal items so they wouldn’t be confiscated. But he said he has no plans to leave the park.

"I'm here to make a stand, not to play games with them," said Smith, who said he came to Hawaii on Nov. 1 to help organize the local protest movement.

The Honolulu protesters are part of a broader movement that is largely demonstrating against disparities in the nation's economic system.

City officials said Wednesday that they received roughly 30 complaints about the protesters camping on the sidewalk.

Morikawa said the protestors can remain and hold their signs at Thomas Square. However, no personal property will be allowed to remain on the sidewalk. She said the issue at Thomas Square is not one of free speech, but of storing private property on government property.

The Occupy Honolulu encampment began Nov. 5 at Thomas Square, just before the start of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings. The protest moved to the sidewalks on Beretania Street and Ward Avenue after police arrested eight protesters for camping in the park after the 10 p.m. closing time. Those cases go to trial on Feb. 8.

Police arrested two more protesters on Dec. 29 when city officials determined the boundaries of the park extended to part of the sidewalk. Protesters then moved to the portion of the city sidewalk next to the curb.

Occupy Honolulu participants met with Mayor Peter Carlisle shortly before Christmas and were told that he would not offer them any exemption allowing them to stay at the park. The campers had requested the exemption, citing the First Amendment right to free speech.

Carlisle signed the sidewalk storage ordinance into law on Dec. 9 and the city began enforcing the law on Dec. 30, when workers notified several property owners in Mililani that basketball hoop structures placed on public sidewalks were in violation of the ordinance. All owners promptly removed the structures, the city said.

In January, city officials issued 25 removal notices at Pawaa In-Ha Park -- at King and Kaheka streets. Another 19 notices were issued to homeless campers at Moiliili Field and Old Stadium Park. City crews also used the ordinance to remove the belongings of homeless campers in Iwilei, where 38 notices were issued.

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kainalu wrote:
The cause is a good one. They've made their point. It's time to move on.
on February 2,2012 | 08:31AM
allie wrote:
They are not homeless. They are well educated protestors. But they neevr conencted to the local folks. Time to wash up and move on.
on February 2,2012 | 02:05PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Well educated protestors with no common sense.
on February 2,2012 | 02:51PM
allie wrote:
They mean well. I talked to one and he seemed pleasant...nice smile. Graduate student I think
on February 2,2012 | 03:20PM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Education does not guarantee common sense.
on February 2,2012 | 05:01PM
Aquarius1 wrote:
I agree, education does not guarantee common sense and experience shows that to be true. So, time to wash, shave and get a job. And when you get paid go occupy your own space, not public property.
on February 2,2012 | 08:58PM
ggum wrote:
now, we shold have them pay for the damage to public property from their "occupation" which desodded areas of the park.
on February 2,2012 | 08:40AM
OldDiver wrote:
How about putting the wall street bankers in prison for the damage they did to the economy and peoples lives.
on February 2,2012 | 10:44AM
Toneyuki wrote:
How about putting the bureaucrats in prison for the damage they have done to the economy and peoples lives.
on February 2,2012 | 06:42PM
OldDiver wrote:
Those bureaucrats were owned by wall street.
on February 2,2012 | 07:48PM
butinski wrote:
And what was the point? They've just caused hatred or derision here simply because our cultures respects those who work hard and play by the rules. Our cultures doesn't tolerate those who cause deliberate inconveniences and flaunt authority. Chris Smith, take your movement back to the mainland, it doesn't work in Hawaii.
on February 2,2012 | 09:38AM
Fred01 wrote:
Perhaps you should go back to the mainland loser.
on February 2,2012 | 04:27PM
Toneyuki wrote:
Chris Smith who came to Hawaii on November 1st just to help organize the "occupy Honolulu". Grass roots my okole. Who paid for him to come here?

But it's interesting how you disagree with someone and right off the bat call them names.

on February 2,2012 | 06:44PM
OldDiver wrote:
Do you have evidence he was paid, or is that just more right wing BS.
on February 2,2012 | 07:50PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Nice try, OD. But no cigar
on February 2,2012 | 08:10PM
hilopango wrote:
"Protester Chris Smith said he removed some personal items so they wouldn’t be confiscated. But he said he has no plans to leave the park. "I'm here to make a stand, not to play games with them," said Smith, who said he came to Hawaii on Nov. 1 to help organize the local protest movement." OK...so now he needs to GO BACK WHERE HE CAME FROM! Good Bye!
on February 2,2012 | 09:51AM
false wrote:
What a punk! Keep pushing the issue. What daddy said no when you were a kid so you asked Mom!
on February 2,2012 | 11:00AM
Holomua wrote:
These "occupiers" came from the mainland. Sound familiar?
on February 2,2012 | 10:00AM
Ripoff wrote:
hahaha you got that right
on February 2,2012 | 10:08AM
Peacenik wrote:
Exactly what point are you folks trying to make? There is an Occupy Hawaii FB page where you can educate us, but nothing of value is posted, just touting other Protests on the mainland. Yes, we have been playing your games, but playtime is pau. Alooooooooohhaaaaaa!
on February 2,2012 | 10:14AM
cojef wrote:
Chris Smith is not his real name or is it?? Pseudonym to hide his true identity. Who is paying for his expenses? The answers will disclose who is really behind the movement. Professional agitator or what?
on February 2,2012 | 10:18AM
Ripoff wrote:
ah go home already
on February 2,2012 | 10:08AM
Kuniarr wrote:
That the "Honolulu protesters are part of a broader movement that is largely demonstrating against disparities in the nation's economic system" is a movement based upon an incorrect view of he US economic system of Capitalism. The fact that the gap between the wealthy and the middle class has been growing wider is not due to our system of taxation. Investment income for example needs to be at a rate much lower than ordinary income so as to attract capital investment which is necessary for the US economic system to live and breathe. The gap between the wealthy and the middleclass comes from the lowering of the US standard of living. Average wages adjusted for inflation has dropped. IMO the loss of millions of high paying manufacturing jobs as a result of the continued flight of US factories to foreign shores is the reason for the lowering of the average wage. The each of the hundreds of US factories that moved operations abroad had a ripple effect on the economy and the standard of living.
on February 2,2012 | 10:17AM
aiea7 wrote:
believe your view of the cause of the disparities in the us economic system is incorrect too. Such silly ideas - no basis, just unsupported nonsense.
on February 2,2012 | 11:45AM
Kuniarr wrote:
If my opinion is incorrect, what is yours?
on February 2,2012 | 12:17PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Somebody just can't stand opinion's Kuniarr gives. I am not referring to the naive and the ignorant.
on February 2,2012 | 12:29PM
OldDiver wrote:
Republican TV (Fox News) supports Kuniarr's view point.
on February 2,2012 | 07:51PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Nice try, OD. But no cigar
on February 2,2012 | 09:30PM
allie wrote:
True..they are sincere and well educated. I just think they ened to find a new way to communicate. Many locals did not understand and thought they were more homeless.
on February 2,2012 | 03:19PM
PakeAlvin wrote:
We used to call guys like Chris Smith "Coast Haole". They're the people who come here and tell us what to do.
on February 2,2012 | 10:22AM
kennysmith wrote:
if a lot of you are working for the state, why don't you just STOP all work there then.
on February 2,2012 | 10:38AM
Forget_bout_it wrote:
This guys need to get a job, and do something productive with their lives. Its good to stand up for what is right, but not make a career out of it. Let move forward, and keep fighting the good fight. But don't put up tents, and be homeless.
on February 2,2012 | 10:46AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Occupy Honolulu truly represents the rich ethnic diversity of white agitators from the mainland. And they wonder why the movement has zero traction here.
on February 2,2012 | 12:06PM
Fred01 wrote:
You are so stupid and racist. Get out of Hawaii loser.
on February 2,2012 | 04:26PM
Toneyuki wrote:
What is racist about the comment? Chris Smith came to Hawaii on November 1st to help organize the movement. He had to have money to do it (probably rich) He is white. He is an agitator and from the mainland.
on February 2,2012 | 06:52PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
You must live under a rock. I had to walk by there twice every day since they started and I always saw a black guy, a polynesian guy, an asian guy, a mixed race girl, and two really old white guys. They didn't look rich to me. Did all the rich white ones come out at night or something like that?
on February 2,2012 | 09:25PM
elvisdiddy808 wrote:
These people choose to be a homeless bums by not having the motivation in getting one of the hundreds of jobs out there, have total disrespect for the land they camped on with all the trash and feces they leave behind, and live off off welfare while they collecting the benefits of all who work. I got ZERO compassion for your "cause".
on February 2,2012 | 12:52PM
rskoncepts wrote:
Why don't they go and occupy where the people are that they are against instead of having others having to clean up their mess that they shouldn't be making because they're for a good cause (in their minds) and creating a nuisance for those that don't care about what they are doing?
on February 2,2012 | 01:03PM
aomohoa wrote:
I believe in the right to protest, but not the right to leave your trash behind.
on February 2,2012 | 02:03PM
WesleySMori wrote:
"Amen AOMOHOA"!! At Least This PROTEST Is "NON-VIOLENT"!!!!!!! NOT Like OTHER PROTESTS On The "BIG ISLAND USA"!!!!!!!!!!! This "SHOWS" The "CALIBER" Of "OUR" STATE!!!!!!!!!! "GOD BLESS HAWAII & AMERICA"!!!!!!!!!!
on February 2,2012 | 02:47PM
islandsun wrote:
City Hall % HECO are right down the street. Get hot!
on February 2,2012 | 02:21PM
Vivgie wrote:
Thanx Mayor Carlilsle. You did what Fasi and Hanneman couldn't do. You'll get my vote again.
on February 2,2012 | 03:06PM
Synikal1 wrote:
Occupy Honolulu bums leave Hawaii!!! Nobody cares about your so called movement here. Did you guys accomplish anything besides help put fertillizer on the park's soil? see...exactly my point. get out eye sores.
on February 2,2012 | 03:09PM
Fred01 wrote:
You should get out of Hawaii pig.
on February 2,2012 | 04:25PM
Toneyuki wrote:
Why you got so much hate?
on February 2,2012 | 06:52PM
Fred01 wrote:
Where did you come from loser? Get lost.
on February 2,2012 | 04:26PM
aomohoa wrote:
Too much anger:(
on February 2,2012 | 04:46PM
Aquarius1 wrote:
Fred01, is angry that he had to pack up his tent and debris. Pua ting.
on February 2,2012 | 09:02PM
GorillaSmith wrote:
Q. What's the best thing about Occupy Honolulu? A. No one missed a day of work.
on February 2,2012 | 04:57PM
aomohoa wrote:
I love it Gorilla. LOL!
on February 2,2012 | 05:19PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
I'm curious as to who these over paid city officials were that supposedly cleaned up at 1:15. I went by at 5:00 and there was still a ton of garbage there including their dangerous hollow tile bricks that BLOCK the sidewalk....
on February 2,2012 | 05:49PM
aomohoa wrote:
Probably Union workers. It will take twice as long as it should!
on February 2,2012 | 06:39PM
false wrote:
Hey, they have set working hours too!
on February 2,2012 | 06:45PM
st1d wrote:
they claim to represent the 99%. but it looks like the radical socialists and communists represent less than .0008% in honolulu.
on February 2,2012 | 10:11PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
We were all young once and idealistic but realistically speaking, no one's listening. Time to take another approach or get on with your life.
on February 3,2012 | 06:49AM
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