I was there for the entire raid and live streamed video and photographed the whole thing. There were a couple of authentic firsts at what would otherwise have been a routine raid. I don't know if this is part of the new Caldwell administration policy or what, but the "crime tape" that cordons off the exclusion zone required by the Federal court agreement now carries advertising.
|Messages in dialog: |
On tent:"I am a tent. Often I am used for camping, sleepovers, or housing. Today I am the face of the houseless and a movement fighting for social and economic justice. I am a sign. I am art. I am a message."
On new Honolulu Police Department crime tape advertisement: "Countdown Sales Event, up to $1000 off selected models / See Suzuki Dealer for Details / 0% APR for 5 years"
[Full captioned slideshow at Flickr]
Under the Carlisle administration, the raids were conducted by Westley Chun, the Director of the Department of Facility Maintenance, a cabinet position. The new Director, Ross Sasamura was watching from the sidelines as Deputy Director Ken Shimizu — an old hand at this by now — actually led the raid (see the Flickr photo set).
While Sasamura dodged my questions with a "no comment," deOccupier Chris Smith (and Makiki Neighborhood Board member) was more successful in engaging him in an actual discussion, the first such dialog after more than a year of adversary action by the City on the group.
The last half of this edited video of the raid features part of the discussion between the two.
Perhaps these discussions will continue without the armed personnel or heavy equipment and their associated costs to tax payers?
H. Doug Matsuoka
1 February 2013