Skip to main content

Raid brings firsts: Advertising on crime tape, and discussion with the City

There were some facts disappeared from yesterday's Star Advertiser story on the City's raid on deOccupy Honolulu — the 57th by my list but I may be missing some — but you really can't blame them. Star Advertiser photographer Dennis Oda showed up for part of the raid, and the bylined "Star Advertiser Staff" is a euphemism for cut and paste from the City's press release.

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]
While corporate sponsorship of raids on the homeless is certainly consistent with the Occupy Movement's world view, I can't see why anyone would want to be associated with these actions or may imagine that this kind of advertising is effective. There are better public service announcements that can be used instead of this sort of advertising. I'll be tracking down how organizations can take advantage of this new opportunity if it is indeed a new program, so stay tuned.

But there's more, and this first is perhaps as inadvertent but much more significant:

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
Makiki, Honolulu


  1. TOO GOOD, Doug... & good laugh about something not so funny. I wish the deOccupiers would occupy our US senators' & reps local offices... at the park I have a feeling it just turns off people in the neighborhood or those driving by, which is not helpful to the cause.

  2. "I have a feeling it just turns off people in the neighborhood or those driving by, which is not helpful to the cause."

    Much agreed! I work in Downtown and have been passing this "homeless/occupy something" camp since the start and it's quite the eye sore. I don't even know what you guys are protesting for already. Seems like everything under the sun except the original cause. What's wrong with the state capital grounds? Honestly, it would make more of a statement there instead of the park. Being at the park, others are just like "more homeless" messing up another once beautiful park.

    1. I hear what youʻre saying. At the same time, itʻs been difficult -- impossible really -- for the group to maintain signage after almost 60 raids. Literally hundreds of signs have been seized by the City. It is definitely a tactic of depriving them of an identity and a voice.

      deOccupy Honolulu did stage a 10-day popup encampment at the State Capitol last year, and that was while maintaining one at Thomas Square too.

  3. Police lines with ads. Wow~

    Now I've seen everything. There won't be anything left to surprise me anymore.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Love, Truth, and Action: John Kelly's 3 requirements for activists

[I found this essay, originally published in 1997 and simply titled, "Save Our Surf" at Hawaiian Sovereignty activist Dennis "Bumpy" Kanahele's Hawaii-Nation website. I have retitled it and added headings and illustrations. All illustrations are from the University of Hawaii's digital collection of Kelly's pamphlets, posters, and photos. The are from protests and demonstrations dating back to the 1960's. 

Kelly's Save Our Surf (SOS) group started in the late 1960's in an effort to protect surfing and fishing sites that were being threatened by corporate development. Not only was SOS successful in those efforts, it helped create legislation protecting our natural resources, and was behind the creation of the first inventory of the public use of Hawaii's shoreline on all islands. — H. Doug Matsuoka]

Love, Truth, and Action
by John Kelly

One often hears dismay over differences among the various [Hawaiian] sovereignty movements today. We belie…

How I stopped worrying and learned to love the bomb

I think my boss at work (a Honolulu nonprofit) is a littled miffed at me. When the incoming ballistic missile warning came in over everyone’s phone this morning, she texted that she had just had training on this and for us to, “stay indoors, preferably on the floor away from windows.” I texted back that I was going to post, “still time to donate” on our website.
I live in a wooden house with windows facing Honolulu International Airport, Hickam Air Force Base, and Pearl Harbor. Given even a sub-megaton airburst at several thousand feet, and that the fatalities from atomic weapons come from the flash, not the blast (the flash of nuclear energy and not the explosive force), I’d be a memory before my body could experience any misgivings about the situation.
My boss is a quarter century younger than I am and lacks the dubious benefit of having lived through the Cold War with the Soviet Union (check history books for those guys). The American national doctrine against nuclear war with the…

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…