If there was ever any doubt about what city of Honolulu officials truly thought about (de)Occupy Honolulu it’s been erased in a response to a federal lawsuit filed by the protesters.
Here’s what Honolulu Corporation Counsel had to say:
“This case is not about the homeless. This case is about a mixed bag of self-absorbed social protesters — recent Mainland transplants — who have seen fit to pitch their tents, invoke King Kamehameha’s law, and drag bulky item pickup junk furniture and other personal property on the sidewalk fronting one of Honolulu’s most historic and culturally significant public parks, which was established to commemorate the restoration of the Hawaiian monarchy in July 1843, 170 years ago.”
Of course, the park the city is referring to is Thomas Square on the corner of Ward Avenue and Beretania Street.
(de)Occupy Honolulu protestors have been camping on the sidewalks along the park since 2011, causing city officials to come up with new laws to chase them off public property.
The current iteration allows the city to seize and destroy the protestors’ property 24 hours after “tagging” it with a notice of violation.
While the protestors came up with a clever system to skirt the city ordinance by putting up blue tents on one day and red tents the next, their lawsuit claims the city has still violated their constitutional rights by taking their stuff and throwing it out.
In additional to illegal seizure practices, the lawsuit claims the city is chilling the (de)Occupy Honolulu protesters’ rights to free speech.
The protestors, who in their lawsuit claim to be homeless, want the city to stop the raids, which Mayor Kirk Caldwell have described as “compassionate displacement.”
U.S. District Court Judge J. Michael Seabright will hear arguments from both the protestors and the city Friday on whether to grant a preliminary injunction.
The protestors are represented by Honolulu attorney Richard Holcomb, who specializes in DUI defense.
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