On Saturday, the “March for Truth” attracted thousands of protestors all across America, including here in Honolulu. The event was aimed at demanding answers to questions about the many transgressions of the White House. News reports from more than 130 cities indicated that they were peaceful and uneventful. That is with the exception of Honolulu.

The organizers had secured the proper permits to stage a protest in Waikiki. The march was from King Kalakaua Park (Waikiki Gateway Park) to end at the Trump Tower.

As usual the Honolulu Police Department was cooperative. They arrived early at the Waikiki Gateway Park to examine the permits and allowed that everything was in order.

A California lady standing next to me was in Honolulu visiting her family. At first she was troubled by the presence of HPD. After watching for a short time she commented how well the police handled the gathering.

Soon it became apparent that the Department of Defense had issued orders that we, the “March for Truth” marchers, were not to be allowed on Fort DeRussy property, especially the grass along the sidewalk on Saratoga Road, across the street from the Trump Tower.

Waikiki Fort DeRussy Modern Trump Hawaii visitors1. 3 may 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Military officials at Fort DeRussy in Waikiki didn’t want marchers to the nearby Trump tower on military property.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Fort DeRussy is a United States military reservation in the Waikiki. Managed and operated by the U.S. Army, it is unfenced and largely open to the public. Fort DeRussy consists mainly of beachfront and landscaped open space. All of the facilities at Fort DeRussy are open to the public.

As we marched along Kalakaua Avenue, I noticed each opening into Fort DeRussy was manned by a guard, blocking the entrance. I had never seen this before. Upon returning, access areas were no long blocked.

Several of us attempted to walk on the grass along Saratoga Road from the Post Office to Kalia Road and were promptly told it was off limits. When questioned, the guards hastened to tell us it was not public property, it belonged to the military and therefore we could not walk on it.

I promptly showed him my military ID card and told the officer I had the right to walk on the military grass. An argument ensued. He did not know what to do with me, so he called in some backups, military police. HPD did absolutely nothing.

The Department of Defense issues eligible dependents and other eligible individuals a distinct identification card authorizing them to receive uniformed services benefits and privileges. Walking on the grass of a facility which is open to the public hardly seems like a benefit or a privilege.

Since the Trump administration assumed power, several protests have been held at that location and on the grass.

The rumor was that Trump had ordered the Department of Defense to deny us access to the grass area fronting the Trump Tower.

If that is correct, than the denial is an act of martial law. By definition, martial law is the imposition of direct military control of normally civilian functions, especially in response to a temporary situation.

The First Amendment states in the Bill of Rights that the people of the United States have the right to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. That was the goal of the “March for Truth.”

The Posse Comitatus Act federal law (18 U.S.C. § 1385) limits the powers of the federal government to use military personnel to enforce domestic policies within the U.S.

Martial law is being used in the United States; we don’t have to look very hard or far to find it.

Mr. Trump may not be building a wall on the Mexican border, but he is certainly building a wall between the Department of Defense and the people of Honolulu.

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