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Showing posts from March, 2013

What to do when poverty becomes a crime

This past Wednesday (3/20/2013), the Honolulu City Council met to hear Bill 7 which would empower the police and City crews to declare any tent, bedding, clothing, or food on public property a "nuisance" subject to immediate seizure without notice. And realistically speaking, the property would not be subject to return to the owners. The bill passed the second hearing after much testimony against, but no discussion among councilmembers.

Bill 7 is actually milder than its companion Bill 6 which would seize any structure designed for shelter  as well as subject "illegal campers" to arrest and a year in jail. Both seemingly fly in the face of Constitutional protections and ancient Hawaiian Law. The Kanawai Mamalahoe of Kamehameha protects the humble from the powerful in part by protecting the safety of those lying by the roadside. The law is incorporated into the State Constitution.

What to do? I caught Kanaka Maoli activist Laulani Teale right after the hearing. Conv…

Rath: "I guess I only had a right to own things when I had a place to stay"

[Richard Rath is an Associate Professor of History and the University of Hawaii, Manoa.

Rath emailed this to Councilmember Chang regarding proposed ordinances in Bills 2, 6, 7, and 8, which target Oahu's homeless population. Bills 7 and 8 will be heard today, 3/20/13, on the 2pm agenda at Honolulu Hale.

Links to the text of the bills are at the bottom of this post. Doug]


Dear council member Chang,

“I guess I only had a right to own things when I had a place to stay.”

I am writing to ask you to refuse to support bills 2, 6, 7, and 8. Please vote against these bills for the following reasons:

While all these bills proclaim as a common interest the free flow of traffic, they are clearly directed in their consequences against the houseless, including those houseless who have used their right to speak up politically. These bills remove the property rights of anyone without a permanent address. The constitution, forced on the Islands with the illegal overthrow and annexation, has…

Filing a complaint on a berserk cop

I'm working on posting a researched and reasoned response to the bunch of bills criminalizing homelessness (specifically Bills 2, 6, 7, and 8) that the Honolulu City Council is proposing as expedients to clear parks of pesky... I was almost going to write "campers" but camping is a recreational activity and those in tents simply have no private residence. But that will take a day or two to draft.

Meanwhile I got hold of some video by the Thomas Square Park deOccupy Honolulu people, Nova Smith and Sugar Russell. After more than 60 raids on the tent community, most police squad visitations are rather routine. deOccupy Honolulu is a politically organized group focused on pointing out the social and financial inequities inherent in a system that allows corporations to dictate legislation. By now, everyone who has had to endure these raids has formed a meaningful empathy with the houseless community. I sure have.

The City is currently under a Federal 9th Circuit Court agreeme…

deOccupy Honolulu: Resolution to End Encampment

[deOccupy Honolulu has been continuously encamped at historic Thomas Square Park since November 5, 2013. They recently moved from the Beretania Street side of the park to the King Street side. What will it take to get them to leave the park? They answer in this press release. Doug]

deOccupy Honolulu Submit Resolution to End Encampment
(de)Occupy Honolulu //
Twitter: @OccupyHonolulu  Hashtag: #OHNL


In response to Bills 2, 6, & 7 (de)Occupy Honolulu submits resolution to end encampment

Honolulu 3/6 – As (de)Occupy Honolulu sues the City & County of Honolulu in federal court over deprivation of civil rights during raids; the city fights back by criminalizing the houseless population in an attempt to remove the protesters. The City Council has submitted Bills 2, 6, & 7, targeting the houseless. Bill 2 is much like the current Bill 54, however makes sidewalks no longer public prop…