Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Arrests at sit-in at Governor’s office, legal defense fund set up for parents
by Larry Geller
Two UH students protesting ongoing Furlough Friday school holidays were arrested tonight and removed from the Governor’s office. Bail has been set for them at $100. The two arrested students were part of a group that is in its seventh day of protesting “Furlough Friday” cuts that have given Hawaii the fewest number of instructional days in the school year of any state in the nation.
Governor Linda Lingle invited several sit-in parents to attend a news conference in her office today but would not allow them to ask questions. During the news conference she informed parents that they would be arrested if they had already received two citations for trespassing.
The admonition was reminiscent of her Sept. 12, 2007 “unified command” speech that strongly polarized many neighbor islanders against her. At that time, Lingle warned demonstrators opposing the Hawaii Superferry that they would face arrest if they continued to protest, and was met with jeers and criticism for threatening the community rather than addressing their concerns.
From TV news from today’s press conference:
t was a showdown that was long awaited but few anticipated. On the seventh day of a sit-in, Save Our Schools Hawaii supporters met face-to-face with Governor Lingle Tuesday.
But it was a one-way conversation. [KHON, One Way Conversation as Lingle and Protestors Meet Face to Face, 4/13/2010]
The two arrested this evening were UH students Michael Doyle and Carrie Lau. They were handcuffed and removed from the reception area accompanied by Clare Hanusz, an attorney, who was not arrested.
Press followed them and posted breaking news stories:Honolulu Advertiser: Two arrested, 8 others cited on day 7 of furlough sit-in
Star-Bulletin: 2Furlough Friday protesters arrested in governor's office
CBS (AP): 2 Arrested During Protest At Hawaii Gov's Office
The AP story has been picked up overseas:
Guardian, UK (AP): 2 arrested during protest at Hawaii gov's office
One story, running on the Huffington Post website, included some background and overview:
The furloughs were the result of a labor pact signed last year by state education officials and the Hawaii State Teachers Association after Lingle cut allocations for public education to help close a severe budget shortfall. Lingle signed off on the labor contract.
But the resulting public outcry forced more negotiations to eliminate the furlough days, which have dragged on for months. The stalemate has left the parents who are conducting the sit-in fuming and frustrated – mostly at the governor.
Lingle, the state's first Republican governor in 40 years, has tried to deflect the parents' anger toward the teachers union, which she feels is more responsible for the continuing furloughs. [Huffington Post, 2 arrested during protest at Hawaii gov's office, 4/14/2010]
Google shows approximately 96 stories about the arrests so far.
Strategically, arresting parents fighting for their children’s education is likely to bring negative publicity to Hawaii and to Governor Lingle as long as the protests and arrests continue.
Tweeting parents immediately set up a legal defense fund. Information is available on Twitter @sos808.
protesters about to be arrested should consider the old tactic of not helping in their arrest and having several officers be required carry them out one by one as opposed to one officer per arrestee. no one needs to help the officers carry out their orders of arrest.
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