|Senators David Y. Ige and Clayon Hee giving the legislative report|
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 was a crock. I think it's basically been a concept where rich people have salved their consciences by doing a little bit of work and thinking that they're really making a dent in the problem of providing needed legal services for people who can't otherwise get them. I'd much rather see the big firms -- if they're going to do that -- give money to legal services programs, give money to the people who do that work well, and who need more bodies, more lawyers, more people who do it on a full time basis. "
Seitz went on to explain that two thirds of the work his firm does is pro bono supported by paying cases. But he admitted, "That's kind of a unique model. If you want to do that kind of work you can find a way to do that. But it's not going to make a dent in society and the needs that we've been talking about here to just donate a few hours a week or a few hours a month or 50 hours a year. It's got to be done on a much larger more comprehensive scale and basically what's got to be done is organize and marshal the resources in the most effective places, and those are the organizations that are already doing this well and just don't have the people, the lawyers to be able to expand their capacities. "
Yup. But when Seitz asked Minow (who is also Vice President of Legal Services Corporation) about the prospects of LSC restoring the kind of funding and leadership it had in the '70's that was so effective, the answer was a "not any day soon" kind of reality check.
So the weather report is continued civil inequality and unrest. Until those who can do something about it do something about it. Else it's going to be a runaway truck ride down Pali Highway in a rainstorm.
H. Doug Matsuoka
12 June 2012
I'm waiting for a certain attorney to OK a quote for accuracy before making a blog post here, and I'm also making notes to write a post about what it will really take to make "Bill 54" work. But maybe everything falls into the "everybody knows" category and I don't even need to write it.
In the meantime, "the poor stay poor, and the rich get rich, that's how it goes -- everybody knows."
So for the time being, bella ciao!
H. Doug Matsuoka
12 June 2012
June 10, 2012, Day 218: A week after last Sundayʻs visit from Senator Will Espero, longtime Kauaʻi activist Nani Rogers dropped by (De)Occupy Honolulu to share song, history, and advice. She was on hand to welcome the return of Michael Daleyʻs painting/banner, "Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono," which was one of three paintings targeted by the City for seizure on 4/30/2012.
But unlike the political Q&A session with Senator Espero, this gathering took the form of the usual Food Not Bombs jam session. Or I guess I should use the term kanikapila in this case.
Yesterday, a DVD with two video compilations showing HPD and City personnel breaking the law was delivered to Corp Counsel and the State Attorney General. The compilations were gathered from footage taken at (De)Occupy Honoluluʻs Ward/Beretania encampment and show repeated and routine seizure and destruction of untagged property, violation of the Law of the Splintered Paddle, and violations of the First and Fourth Amendments of the US Constitution.
The public can view the videos either at Youtube or the posts made at my blog the DougNote or at DisappearedNews.com. I am sending this email to you to ensure that you are aware of the serious matters presented by the videos. Since you have not responded to my query of 2/17/2012 regarding the seizure of personal property from private property, or my query of 3/29/2012 requesting a breakdown of Bill 54 costs, I do not expect you to respond to this. I copy this message to the members of the Honolulu City Council who passed Bill 54 (with one dissenting vote from Romy Cachola), the Makiki Neighborhood Board (whose Chris Smith is a resident of the encampment), members of the press, and the public via a blogpost.
It's small compared to some of the historic encampments but at 215 days the handful of (De)Occupy Honolulu tents comprises the longest running Occupy encampment in the Occupy Movement worldwide. Some call it an eyesore, some say it's just plain dangerous to the occupants. Tents are perched precariously near traffic on the sidewalk. But there is a reason for positioning the tents in a line abutting the roadside: The Kanawai Mamalahoe, the Law of the Splintered Paddle. This, the first law declared by Hawaiʻi's first king (Kamehameha) and incorporated into Hawaiʻi's constitution decrees the protection and safety of all those who lie by the road.
During the 20 plus "Bill 54" raids by City crews with trucks, cranes, and other heavy equipment, armed Honolulu Police Department officers -- who have the Splintered Paddle emblem on their badges -- have done nothing to enforce this protective law. In fact, they have helped violate this law as well as the other troublesome Contitutional protections on free speech, peaceable assembly, and security against unreasonable search and seizure.
Unlike other encampments, (De)Occupy Honolulu isn't a homeless camp, and the occupiers have equiped themselves with cameras and live streaming video. This compilation of live stream video that catches the police and City personnel blatantly violating the law was hand delivered today on DVD to Honolulu City & County's Corporation Counsel, and the State of Hawaiʻi's Attorney General.
It might be helpful to know that Bill 54 (now ordinance 11-029) requires that offending items be tagged with a notice stating that the item is subject to being impounded by the City in 24 hours. The notices state that the property will be stored for 30 days allowing the property to be reclaimed.
The dual POV coverage of the 4/30/2012 raid is particularly interesting in that a newly erected tent containing newly created artwork was specifically targeted. The art was to be part of the group's permitted May Day celebration inside the park. The person directing the raid was Westley Chun, Director of the Department of Facilities Maintenance. During phone calls and emails demanding the return of the artwork, Chun claimed ignorance of the location of the works of art. Two were later reclaimed by activist Laulani Teale, but one large piece, artist Michael Daley's "Pacific Sustainability," remains missing. Art supplies were summarily trashed on site.
(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.
|"Window to Hell" gets trashed|
I reported the raid on May 30 as a tagging raid and sure enough, on Thursday, May 31, HPD and DFM showed up, taped off the area to appropriately place themselves in a "crime scene" and proceeded to seize and trash works of art produced for the Off Art After Dark event on May 25.
If you recall, this was the same artwork the day before during the HPD/DFM tagging raid: