City: Sidewalk Ban, Not Trash Law, Led to Occupy Eviction

The mayor’s office is disputing my earlier interpretation that the city’s taking a new approach to dealing with the Occupy Honolulu encampment. It says that the sidewalk ban — and not the bulky item trash pickup ordinance — was behind today’s impoundment.

“Various items in and around Thomas Square were impounded today pursuant to the provisions of the Stored Property Ordinance,” the mayor’s office said in an email this afternoon in response to my phone messages.

In a video shot by an Occupy protestor, a police officer cites a law that prohibits people from disturbing trash left out for pickup. Trash has been brought down to the park and the city’s been forced to pick it up there. The mayor’s office says the trash ordinance had nothing to do with today’s operation.

Watch the video here:

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"Can I try to talk to you once about a law that I want to inform you of?" the officer asks the protestor holding the camera. The protestor says Occupy "didn’t take it" and the officer said he’s not accusing them of anything but just "giving them a heads up as a courtesy."

The protestors claim some items were taken without 24-hour notice as required by the Stored Property Ordinance, though they never claimed that they had been told the bulky item pickup was the justification.

The mayor’s office says it’s complying with the law and that all items impounded today were noticed previously — meaning Wednesday or anytime before Wednesday if the items haven’t been taken off of public property since they were given notice.

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