H. Doug Matsuoka's notes in the margin of the Big Everything.

3.29.2012

(De)Occupy Honolulu thwarts City raid 11


For  immediate release:

(De)Occupy Honolulu thwarted a property seizure raid today (3/29/2012) at noon by Honolulu Police and City & County Parks and Recs, and Facilities Management personnel under the direction of Director Wes Chun (Department of Facilities Management), and Coordinator of Housing Trish Morikawa. This completes raid 11 on (De)Occupy Honolulu which is on its 145th day of continuous encampment at Thomas Square Park on the corner of Ward and Beretania. Bill 54 raids are counted in pairs with tagging raids and seizure raids on separate days.

Although furniture for the Public Forum was seized and thrown into a garbage truck, the City was unable to seize the tents tagged yesterday which had been rotated out to private property. Tents in service today were tagged but will rotated out to private property thereby making them ineligible for seizure under Bill 54 (ordinance 11-029) which requires that property must be stored on public property for 24 continuous hours. The area is being used for protest and peaceable assembly rather than tent storage.

(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.

Makiki Neighborhood Board member Chris “Nova” Smith of Occupy Honolulu livestreamed the raid here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/21451376

H. Doug Matsuoka
Makiki, Honolulu

Cost of Bill 54 enforcement (including extraordinary costs)?

[On March 20, 2012, I sent this to Honolulu City Councilmember Romy M. Cachola with cc to rest of the Honolulu City Council, Mayor Peter Carlisle, Director Wes Chun, and the members of the Makiki Neighborhood Board. The email was also published to much public comment by the Honolulu Civil Beat, and The Hawaii Independent. However, I have not received a single response from the addressees. I still want to know the costs to the public for the creation of homeless people and suppression of free speech and peaceable assembly. Doug]


To: Romy M. Cachola, Council Floor Leader

I am requesting through you a breakdown of the extraordinary costs incurred by the City & County of Honolulu for the enforcement of "Bill 54," also known as ordinance 11-029 ROH (Revised Ordinances of Honolulu as Amended). More than anything though, I am requesting the calculation of the main cost of Bill 54, the per person cost to the residents of Honolulu for the creation of each additional homeless citizen of the City.

Although I am a resident of Tulsi Gabbard's district, I am submitting the request through you because you have repeatedly requested the information from Mayor Carlisle  (your memoranda of November 21, 2011, and January 4, 2012). Your interest in saving taxpayer monies and keeping accurate record of costs can only be in the best interest of the community regardless of political party or affiliation.

Now almost three months in to Bill 54's implementation, it might be a good time to get a grip on the actual costs of enforcing the ordinance. The costs would have to include not only City personnel on their regular duties but for overtime costs incurred during raids on weekends and during the dead of night, as in the March 14, 3am raid.

(Photo from February 15, 2012, raid on Occupy Honolulu)

3.15.2012

If I could ask Wes Chun just one question...


Wes Chun, Director of Department of Facilities Maintenance, wouldn't answer my questions to him on the phone but said he would do so at tonight's Makiki Neighborhood Board meeting. There will be many questions for him to answer concerning the continued raids and seizures at Occupy Honolulu that I've written about, particularly the seizure of personal possessions from private property on 2/15/2012, and the seizure of property on 2/29/2012 that was not stored on public property. Oh yeah, and of course about yesterday's 3am raid.

The 59 year old, middle class Makiki resident in me wants to ask Wes Chun about how the City justifies stealing my tents in a series of raids when my stuff wasn't in violation of any law or ordinance, and why he is personally blocking my recovery of my stuff, but there is actually one really big question that I would like to ask on behalf of the residents of Makiki and the rest of Honolulu:
  • Mr. Chun, do you consider using 10 armed policemen and a City crew to make a 3am raid on law abiding citizens an appropriate response to nonviolent protest?
Of course, there are many more questions that need answers, but if I would really appreciate it if someone would ask this one because it is an important question. Isn't it?

H. Doug Matsuoka
Makiki, Honolulu
15 March 2012

3.14.2012

Police continue armed force against nonviolent protest in 3am raid on Occupy Honolulu

Ten armed police and City and County Parks and Maintenance crews under the direction of Wes Chun conducted a seizure raid on Occupy Honolulu this morning at 3am. Police rousted sleepers and seized tents and personal belongings.



Police raid Occupy Honolulu not because it is a homeless camp (because it's not one), or because it violates "Bill 54" (because it doesn't). Police raid Occupy Honolulu because of its political message, that the economic and political systems do not serve the people. The raids expose the police and City as hired thugs of the rich. The protection of law does not extend to the poor or those that advocate for a fair economic and political system.

Police seized literature and art from the encampment along with tents and personal possessions while Madori Rumpungworn recited the Kanawai Mamalahoe, the Law of the Splintered Paddle, which is incorporated into the State Constitution and guarantees that all who lie by the roadside be undisturbed.

The encampment is in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Movement, and continues inspite of this attempt -- the 11th raid in the 130 continuous days of encampment.

H. Doug Matsuoka
Makiki, Honolulu

Next page for updates:

3.12.2012

Raid #10 on Occupy Honolulu -- Bill 54 "tagging raid"

For immediate release:

Honolulu Police and City crews under Wes Chun (Honolulu Facilities Maintenance Department) conducted a Bill 54 "tagging raid" on (De)Occupy Honolulu at their encampment on the corner of Ward and Beretania this morning at 7am sharp. The City used 10 personnel in 5 cars including 1 "Aloha Police" in an aloha shirt, and 2 armed policemen.

The group has suffered 9 previous raids including the one on December 29, 2011, in which City crews redrew park boundaries to tear down and destroy the main encampment. Since then, (De)Occupy Honolulu has been setting up a public forum on the corner in what the City claims is park area, and moving that to the sidewalk during park closed hours. Those staying at the encampment set up tents along the roadside under the protection of the Kanawai Mamalahoe, the Law of the Splintered Paddle, which is enshrined in the State Constitution. The Honolulu Police Department (whose uniforms and badges bear a depiction of the Splintered Paddle) repeatedly violates this Law.

(De)Occupy Honolulu resident and Makiki Neighborhood Board member Chris Smith's recorded live stream of the raid is here at his Pineapple Glitch channel on Ustream.

The police actions are commonly called "Bill 54" raids after the bill which became ordinance 11-029 Revised Ordinances of Honolulu which allows the City to seize attended property that has been stored on public property for 24 continuous hours. The tagged items are subject to seizure after 24 hours, but in practice, the City has taken untagged items that are in compliance with the ordinance.

In this one minute excerpt from the live stream, Lucas Miller asks if the law only protects those with property: