As over 100 supporters demonstrated on the sidewalk, eight members sat down in the grass adjacent to the sidewalk along Beretania Street to show their conviction for their cause and their right to occupy public space. As more than 20 police officers lined up behind them, the protesters held their ground and asserted their constitutional right to be there.
They referenced the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution and our rights of freedom of speech and assembly. They also cited Kanawai Mamalahoe, sacred Hawaiian law enshrined into the Hawaii State Constitution, Article 9, Section 10, which grants all men, women, and children the right to lie by the roadside without fear of harm.
By remaining in the grass, these eight members showed the courage to stand up for our rights, which should not end at 10pm. In solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and the global Occupy movement, Occupy Honolulu resists oppression of all kinds and will not be silenced.
Six of the eight members arrested have pled not guilty to their charges of park closure. They will appear in court this Wednesday, February 8 to justify their actions and request that all charges against them be dropped.
They are requesting community support and media coverage of the trial. Supporters will rally outside the courthouse beginning at 12:30pm. The trial is scheduled to begin at 1:30pm and we hope to pack the courtroom with supporters.
The arrestees will not be available for comment before the trial, but do plan to hold a short press conference outside the courthouse directly following their trial to comment on the verdict.
What is Occupy Honolulu? Occupy Honolulu, in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, is a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants. We call on all people to participate in local, consensus-based, participatory democracy. All voices will be heard. We will not be silent. Join us. For more information, visit www.deoccupyhonolulu.org.