Supporters of two operators of Waikiki beachboys stands held a peaceful protest this morning after the city ordered them to vacate their concessions.
The order comes after the city awarded Dive Oahu last month a five-year contract to operate two beachboy stands on Kuhio Beach. Despite orders, Star Beachboys and Hawaiian Oceans continued operations this morning.
More than 50 people converged in front of the Duke Kahanamoku statue at about 6:30 a.m. today where some held signs that said “Save Our Beach Boys” and “No beach boys, no Aloha.”
The operators are disputing the way the contract was issued by the city. Aaron Rutledge of Star Beachboys said, “It’s nothing against the new company. It’s not his fault. The city should not have qualified a scuba diving company for a beachboy concession. It’s common sense.”
Rutledge wants the city to give them time, as his company’s request for a restraining order is scheduled to be heard before Circuit Judge Dean Ochiai Thursday. A hearing on a permanent injunction is also scheduled for July 6.
“That’s all we want … just the city to give (us) time until the injunction is heard,” he added.
Among the supporters at the protest was legendary waterman Richard “Buffalo” Keaulana who said beachboys have a vast knowledge of the ocean.
“We were born by the water,” he said. “We share what we know and we know the water.”