(The following statement was posted on Indybay this morning.)
Occupy Honolulu takes Thomas Square
by Comrade Motopu Sunday Nov 6th, 2011 3:04 AM Indybay
Today, 11/05/11, The Occupy Honolulu movement held a day of action, and began their occupation of Thomas Square Park.
Today, 11/05/11, The Occupy Honolulu movement held a day of action, and began their occupation of Thomas Square Park, which is a 5 minute walk from the state capital, (sic) and one block away from a large police station. After a march to city hall with about 150 participants, and a rally there, Occupy Honolulu regrouped at Thomas Square Park where it was announced that this would be the location of the occupation.
Some time around 9 pm the police arrived for their first warning and we were told that park grounds were off limits but that the sidewalk was fine. It was unclear if we would be allowed to sleep on the sidewalk (as many homeless in Hawaii do), but to be standing on it was perfectly fine, so the officer in charge told us.
When the police returned, 7 Occupy Honolulu activists had committed to being arrested and refused to get off the grass and move to the sidewalk. After a long time, about 25 or 30 officers arrived to make arrests. The Occupiers read aloud The US Constitution siting their right to peaceably assemble, noting this right did not end at 10 pm. They also cited the "Law of the Broken Paddle" stemming from Hawaiian history, and the Hawaiian Constitution, which states that people have the right to lay by the side of the road and not be attacked, those doing the attacking will die, according to the law. Another person read aloud from the UN Declaration of Human Rights. While none of these documents prevented anyone being arrested, they did motivate support from fellow occupiers, as they chanted in "human mic" fashion, the words of resistance against the cops.
After the arrests began, the cops began lying to the demonstrator that they could not legally occupy the sidewalk, that they had looked up the tax code map and that people could not be on this stretch of pavement legally, that it was private property. One Occupy participant snapped at this moment and started a chant of "This is a public sidewalk!!!" after attempting briefly to argue with the same officer who had earlier in the evening told us we could stay on the sidewalk. The entire group angrily joined in, and we alerted the police they could not legally expel us and that we could call the ACLU and that it was all on film from various cam phones and video cameras.
The police backed down, but the 7 who engaged in civil disobedience were taken to the nearby police station. Last I heard, they had been released shortly after being brought there. I'm not sure though. The Occupation of Thomas Square Park will continue!!!
We hope this grows and that Hawaii can join with the global movement. Speaking for myself, I hope that the police duplicity opened the eyes of some tonight who were chanting to the police that they are "the 99%." They of course are not, as they are the goon squad of the 1%! No one is saying they are not human, but please people, look at their actions if you didn't already understand their function in a capitalist society as defenders of the interests of the ruling class.
Having said that, the actions of all involved should serve to radicalize the movement. We will see if this brings in more people to support the movement.
At another location tonight, we heard reports that a state department agent brought in for the APEC convention shot and killed a 22 year old Kailua man, giving the state their first kill in the coming clamp down. Tonight was round 1, but the connection between Wall Street, APEC, and the global austerity wave could not be clearer.
Occupy APEC retweets this article: LINK
Video: Hawaii Police arresting Occupy
SA: Federal agent arrested in fatal shooting
SA: Occupy Honolulu protesters arrested in announces Thomas
KITV: Arrested Occupy Honolulu Protesters Released From
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