About 800 people marched down Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki this evening to protest the Safe Access O‘ahu program that requires patrons at gyms, restaurants, movie theaters and other establishments to present a COVID-19 vaccination card or a negative test result from the previous 48 hours.
The turnout was much smaller than expected; a company called the Aloha Freedom Coalition had put out materials promoting the event that predicted 10,000 people would attend. Those who did show up carried signs that read “mandate tyranny” and “freedom.” Many held American flags and several waved “Trump 2020” flags.
A number of passing motorists and a city bus driver honked in support of the marchers, who also got pushback from bystanders who shouted, among other things, “Don’t infect your children” and “Freedom to get sick.”
Uniformed and plainclothes police officers were stationed throughout the protest area. When the protesters gathered at the Honolulu Zoo before marching, some officers attempted to separate them into groups of 25 or less to comply with the city’s COVID-19 rules limiting groups to 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors. However, they were generally unable to keep people in smaller groups.