Occupy Honolulu Gets the Oust from Thomas Square
Early in October meetings began for people interested in being a part of the Occupy Movement which started on the mainland on September 17, 2011 according to Occupy Wall Street’s website. For months protestors that are a part of the Occupy Honolulu movement have been encamped at Thomas Square Park – just outside of downtown Honolulu – and the city has been looking for a way to get them off of public property. Their first attempt was unsuccessful, and protestors were back the very next day with a whole new set-up and a loophole in the law the city used to evict them. On December 9, Mayor Carlisle signed Bill 54 into law. Bill 54 allows city officials to confiscate personal items if they are left on city sidewalks for more than 24 hours. In response to Occupy Honolulu protest camp, Mayor Carlisle told KHON news “If it fits the law, we will enforce the law against everybody, indiscriminately.” On January 1st, city officials combed over the Occupy Honolulu encampement located at the corner of South Beretania Street and Ward Avenue to tag all of the personal property located within the encampment for removal. Once the property is tagged owners of the property have 24 hours to remove it from the city sidewalk, or it will be confiscated and impounded. After 30 days if the items aren’t picked up they are either discarded, sold, or donated. On January 2nd, the few remaining protestors were waiting for city officials to arrive to remove the remaining personal property on site. There were people spray painting bricks, and adding random items around the camp in a seemingly feudal effort to make the removal as hard as possible. Anticipation built as onlookers and Occupy-ers were awaiting the arrival of the city to remove the remaining items left on the sidewalk. An organizer was announcing, as well as carrying a sign that stated that the items located within the area were symbolic for life, although the city will probably not see the items as symbolic but rather personal property that needs to be removed.