Friday, November 27, 2015         

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'Occupy' protesters arrested after refusing to leave city park

By Star-Advertiser staff


Eight Occupy Honolulu protesters were released from police custody Sunday after being arrested Saturday night while trying to establish an encampment at Thomas Square.

The protesters were among some 40 people who gathered at the park. They were arrested after refusing to leave after 10 p.m., the park's official closing time.

The group's website reported that the eight arrested faced a cumulative $1,700 in bail, but the Honolulu Police Department's booking section said all eight were released without having to post bail.

Some 20 police officers arrived late Saturday at the city's Thomas Square.

Members of Occupy Honolulu had said earlier Saturday that they planned to begin camping at the park starting at 10 p.m.

Honolulu organizers said they also stood "in solidarity" with the homeless whom they say are being forced from the streets and parks as the city prepares this week to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

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

In Atlanta over the weekend, police arrested 20 people after an Occupy Atlanta protest rally in a city park spilled onto the streets and officers converged on them on motorcycles, riding horseback and in riot gear.

Police issued a statement early Sunday saying 19 people who either refused to leave the park after the 11 p.m. closing time or blocked nearby roads were arrested. The statement also said another person accused of assaulting a motorcycle officer on patrol was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and obstruction.

In Portland, Ore., Police Bureau Chief Mike Reese met Friday with members of Occupy Portland after a 30-year-old man was charged with shoving a police officer into a moving bus during a downtown march on Wednesday.

Organizers say that it's difficult to predict how large marches will become or where they will go. The movement bills itself as leaderless, making it more difficult for police to communicate directly with people making decisions.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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