Occupy Honolulu Evicted From Thomas Square
The Occupy Honolulu encampment at Thomas Square is gone — mostly.
Protesters remain with their signs, and some items that weren't identified for removal are still there, but the bulk of belongings — tents, bikes and other gear — were confiscated this afternoon by city workers enforcing a new ban on personal property in public space.
One protester — Lucas Miller — was arrested after resisting the city's efforts. In all, two city departments issued 16 storage and disposal notices, and took belongings in plastic bins to a baseyard in Halawa.
The city originally said it would be back at the park at 9 a.m., 24 hours after posting more than 30 notices on items on the sidewalk. But workers headed to Aala Park in Chinatown first, because that effort was going to be more "labor-intensive." The crews, including leaders of the Departments of Parks and Recreation and Facility Maintenance and Office of Housing, arrived at Thomas Square at about 1 p.m. and immediately clashed with protesters.
One protester, Laulani Teale, claimed that the entire encampment and everything in it was part of a massive art installation designed to make passers-by think about the inequities of modern life. Tents had been spray-painted or marked with notes describing them as "First Amendment Zones" or otherwise claiming that they should be protected by the right to free speech.