Monday, March 27, 2006


Shame on Hawaii

Hawaii has been ranked #3 among the "meanest states" as a result of passage of a state law that allowed police to arrest homeless people if they return within a year to a spot from which they were chased out by police.

The law was modified, but police continue to conduct nighttime sweeps of parks and to otherwise harass and relocate homeless people, who in Hawaii include many children and those with jobs that don't pay well enough to cover the rent. There are inadequate services, and little progress in finding or creating affordable housing. Shelters are overflowing, and thousands are on the streets each night.

Tonight will be the meanest cut of all. Ostensibly to clear Ala Moana Park for renovation, the City of Honolulu will enforce a curfew that will displace more than 200 people from the park. A rally is planned for this evening on the grounds of City Hall.

It's widely expected that the City will make the curfew permanent, depriving these families of a place to stay, and many believe that the renovation of the park is merely an excuse to make the eviction palatable to the public.

The City had alternatives, for example, renovating the park in sections.

When people are moved around, they are separated from social services that can make a difference to them. They lose their "address" and can no longer pick up mail. Of course, they will move to another location. Social workers and faith-based groups who have been working so hard to assist will find their work thwarted by the dispersal.

And then Hawaii, home of the Aloha spirit, will send the police to sweep them into the gutter again.


Tomorrow morning (Tuesday) protests are planned for 9:00 am at City Hall. This would be a great time to go over there and give support. For those who can't make it, one can submit letters to the editor of either paper at or at Mayor Mufi Hannemann can be reached at Maybe if enough people write, this administration can be moved to end this curfew and the shame it brings to Hawaii's image.


Thank you for your kindness in regard to the homeless. They are doing the same thing in Long Beach. It's bad enough to not be able to provide a roof over one's head, without also being considered a criminal. Some indeed are criminals, but should go to jail for real crimes (rape, murder and stuff), not for simply having no place to sleep at night.

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