Skip to main content

How your news gets "disappeared": Raid 23 on DeOccupy Honolulu


DeOccupy Honolulu day 234: Since Honolulu Police Department (HPD) officers and Department of Facilities Maintenance (DFM) crews "tagged" property yesterday, todayʻs "Bill 54" seizure raid was expected. These coupled tagging & seizure raids have become somewhat routine to DeOccupy Honolulu who have endured more than 20 Bill 54 raids since the first ones on February 1 & 2.

But todayʻs raid offered a glimpse into how news is effectively disappeared in the first place. I expect to see a one sided story about todayʻs raid on tonightʻs news (KHON I think, but I donʻt watch TV so I canʻt ID the reporter). I suspect one sidedness because I was at the raid, livestreamed and photographed it, saw how the "news" crew covered only a very carefully selected one half of the story.

But I jump ahead of myself. I mounted a Flickr set (here) to tell the story, but here are some of the highlights:

Per HPD and DFM current practice, they cordoned off the entire area in crime tape after forcing everyone out of the area.



Raids are led by Coordinator of the Cityʻs new Office of Housing, Trish Morikawa, and Director of Facilities Maintenance Westley Chun:

Morikawa is officially supposed to help the homeless, but seizure of dwellings (and clothing etc.) causes homelessness as those who have the least are set out on the sidewalk without even a change of clothing. She was a deputy prosecutor under Pater Carlisle when he was Chief Prosecutor.

Westley Chunʻs DFM is suppose to be fixing potholes. Why is he leading raids on homeless? It's a cabinet level position that pays $112,000. He will be waving a Carlisle sign on a corner near you.

The actual tags say (and the ordinance language requires) that the items be stored for reclamation. City crews do not even make a pretense of that any more and the stuff goes directly into the garbage truck.

HPD and City crews then moved to the Victoria Street homeless encampment where they cordoned off the corner again.

In response to press release the "news" shows up. Yay, the people of Honolulu will find out whatʻs going on. NOT:

Westley Chun was interviewed, but no one at DeOccupy Honolulu, and no homeless person either. Would you believe either of these people have something to say about all this? Should we make a judgement about these raids based only on what the raiders have to say?

And hereʻs the spooky question: How much of the rest of the news you see is manufactured like this?

Hereʻs the full Flickr set arranged as a narrative: 120626 Raid on DeOccupy

"(De)Occupy Honolulu is in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and the worldwide Occupy Movement which asserts that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We urge people to exercise the right to peaceably assemble, occupy public space, create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone."

H. Doug Matsuoka
26 June 2012
Makiki, Honolulu

Comments

  1. When Trish is disposing of "trash",
    she will dish out injustice and mash
    ...the possessions in bags
    ...of the homeless - NO TAGS?!
    she won't wish to help those without cash.

    If the news report's only half-true,
    then what should concerned people do?,
    ...photograph and livestream,
    ...even work as a team,
    'til the real situation's in view.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It always bugged me how much the deoccupy crew focused on media coverage as a sign of success when I used to go down there. I mean, I get wanting to get the word out, and I'm not dismissing the folks who were trying to use the media, because these same folks have been very important to deoccupy and put in a lot of work etc.
    There's no way corporate media could ever portray the totality of what's going on, since they exist to give surface level coverage (useful actually even to radicals in some ways), but to keep any and all framing and analysis within the "sane" parameters of pro-capitalist ideology which criminalized "rabble" and peasants who are getting in the way of business.
    There are good reporters, but they too are stifled by the filters information passes through before the "news goo" comes out of your idiot box or corporate paper, and most of these reporters don't really have a developed critique of their own jobs, or if they do, they can't say anything.
    What is useful is the kind of coverage provided in the Doug Note and the live feeds from deoccupy. Thank you for doing that, everyone involved and at the Thomas Square encampment.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

What The City Doesn’t Want You To Know About Thomas Square

[This article was originally published by CivilBeat on July 21, 2016. I'm reprinting it with video clips. Doug]

The City of Honolulu plans to close Thomas Square on Aug. 15 for six months and re-open it in February 2017 as something completely different, according to its master plan. Although city officials have unveiled grandiose plans concerning a drastic makeover, there are a number of troubling things they are trying to keep under cover:

1. It will no longer be a public park. The master plan calls for Thomas Square to be transferred from the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, where it is a public park, to its Department of Enterprise Services. What is it? The department runs the Blaisdell Center, the Waikiki Shell, the zoo and the public golf courses. By way of a memo dated April 28 from the city’s enterprise chief Guy Kaulukukui to the state’s head of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the city asked the state to make changes to allow a change of purpose for…

HCDA creates their own anti-homeless police at HAR hearing

While no one was watching, the HCDA (Hawaiʻi Community Development Authority) held  a Hawaii Administrative Rules hearing that creates their own anti-homeless police force, and (incidentally) raises park fees by up to 500%. The affected parks are at the intersection of Honolulu Council Districts 4, 5, and 6, (Trevor Ozawa, Ann Kobayashi, and Carol Fukunaga respectively) but none (or their staff) were present today. These laws were made without any oversight from the public or their elected representatives.

Who knew that such sweeping changes could be made without the oversight of any elected officials? And after one decision making hearing that is accountable to no one? If the Honolulu City Council had to rule on such changes, it would require three full council hearings, and opportunities for public participation at each.

My own interest in attending the hearing was to get some kind of hint as to the mechanism the City would use to curtail First Amendment rights in Thomas Square afte…

Eric Seitz: Pro bono is a crock

At yesterday's "Justice in Jeopardy, Expanding Access to Justice in Challenging Economic Times" at the UH Richardson Law School, Dean of Harvard Law School Martha L. Minow pointed out that one in five Americans now qualify for civil legal assistance because they are within 125% of the Poverty Level -- a record high in the history in the county. As the demand for legal services grows, the available resources continue to diminish, leaving most without the "equal protection" of the law.

I checked out the breakout session on pro bono because I used to work for Hawaii's pro bono referral service, Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii (VLSH).

These days, most pro bono services are not attorneys representing clients, but short informational sessions at legal clinics. Moderator Robert LeClair asked attorney Eric Seitz what he thought of this turn in pro bono services.  This is what Eric said:

"Well, let me start out by saying that I've always thought pro bono w…