Clock Ticking For Occupy Honolulu Encampment

Michael Levine/Civil Beat

After nearly three months on the sidewalk at the corner of Ward and Beretania, Occupy Honolulu protesters now have just hours left before they're forced to give up their belongings or find a new home.

City officials this morning roused campers and posted 24-hour removal notices on everything from tents to bikes to tables and chairs and even the signs that the group uses to share its anti-corporation and anti-capitalist message.

The officials insisted they were merely enforcing what they've termed the "stored property ordinance," passed last year by the Honolulu City Council and signed into law by Mayor Peter Carlisle. The new law has been used in recent weeks to clear homeless people from public sidewalks in Moiliili and Iwilei.

(Civil Beat visited Moiliili Baseball Field and Old Stadium Park Wednesday and found the sidewalks were largely clear of homeless campers. Read more and see pictures in Inside Honolulu.

"This is definitely about stored property, it's not about people," said Trish Morikawa from the Office of Housing at an impromptu press conference at Thomas Square as the notice operation got started around 9 a.m. "We've actually explained to a lot of the people that are here that they have the right to stand here with their signs and have their First Amendment rights. It's just the property that's being stored here cannot be here. So that's all it is."

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