Thursday, April 25, 2013
Tunneling through Star-Advertiser paywall: City planning its own obstructions on Beretania sidewalk to replace (de)Occupy tents
by Larry Geller
At this point, the Honolulu-based (de)Occupy group might be considered not only a protest group but also a particular category of homeless people. While most others living on the street have been passive victims of the City’s aggressive (but expensive and wholly useless) tactics (see: Mayor admits huge waste of money in homeless raids, 4/3/2013), (de)Occupy has successfully outsmarted the City time and again, and even has a pending case in federal court alleging Constitutional violations.
The City Council is about to install planters at the location on Beretania Street where (de)Occupy had pitched their tents. This will, of course, deprive the public of access to even more area of the sidewalk than the tents took up.
The city will begin installing the planters on the Beretania Street side in the coming days and then do the same on the King Street side, Jesse Broder Van Dyke, spokesman for Mayor Kirk Caldwell, said Monday.
In a related development, the city closed the King Street sidewalk in front of the park where (de)Occupy Honolulu's tents have been in place since early March, when the city shut down the Beretania-side sidewalk for park improvements. In response the group moved about a dozen of its tents across King Street and onto the sidewalk fronting the Blaisdell Center Concert Hall, where they say they will stay until they can return to the Beretania side of Thomas Square.
[Star-Advertiser, (De)Occupy Honolulu group moves tents to Concert Hall, 4/23/2013]
Let’s note here that the reason that tent “strip malls” have appeared there, near Chinatown and at other locations around Honolulu is because the City has left the occupants no other choice. It has chased them away from other places, leaving only that narrow strip alongside city roads. It’s not as though anyone would choose that location unless forced to.
It’s likely, but untested, that the “Law of the Splintered Paddle, which is enshrined in the state constitution, Article 9, Section 10, could prevent the City from pushing them actually into the street or into jail. Or, a federal judge might rule the City’s actions unconstitutional under US law. The next hearing on that case is in May.
Paywall bypass road
The link below the cited article is experimental. Because Star-Advertiser locks its articles away behind a paywall, a link to the S-A website is useless, and I don’t provide them for that reason. But the same article is indexed in the public library database, and access to it through that database is perfectly legitimate if one has a state library card (which is free).
It’s tricky, though. One has to go to the database location, and log on using a library card number and PIN number. (If you don’t have a PIN, ask for one, or try the last four digits of your phone number). Then the link should work. Or start from the library home page and navigate to the database page. There appears to be a short delay before articles are discoverable in the database.
You can use the database search to get access to the full text of newspaper articles from the Star-Advertiser, the Honolulu Advertiser, or the Star-Bulletin. It’s even possible to create keyword search alerts to be sent to your email address.
It’s inconvenient at best, but you can read the articles for research purposes or to cite them, without a subscription to the paper or its website. Columns aren’t included I believe, so it looks as though David Shapiro is still locked away from a public that should have access to his wisdom.
deOccupy has been using and presenting Kanewai Mamalahoe, the Law of the Splintered Paddle, to the public as well as city authorities. Our understanding of these lands belonging to the sovereign nation of Hawaii is what keeps us motivated maintain a presence in and around Thomas Square. Public reaction to this, once they understand the historical context of the sacred Hawaiian law, is largely positive. The police, on the other hand, laugh at us, ignoring the fact that this law is represented on their badges. Our City Councilmembers and Mayor have failed to address the blatant disregard for Hawaiian law.
The city does not respect the rights of the indigenous people here. Ask anyone who lives in Waianae about what went down in Keeau Beach Park April 16, 2012 and they will tell you that government officials came in, with bulldozers and armed police, to "evict" these families living in the woods. deOccupy was there to hear their stories and offer them support until they moved on further up the coast, elsewhere on the island, or, as many have, to the Waianae Harbor commune.
We have declared Thomas Square, former Hawaiian ag-land, to be a Safe Zone for the public to assemble and organize. Below, you can see one of our many signs.
For more information about the what happens directly to Hawaiian families on the island, I recommend a personal friend and teacher of mine, Leonardi Luwella (email@example.com). She will be able to give a thorough account of the people's history out there.
Keep up the ku'e.
I remember seeing an ugly picture in one of the newspapers many years ago -- of the police clearing the beach at Makaha -- heavily armed, clearly aggressive overkill.