Honolulu City Officials Conduct Nighttime Sweep of (de)Occupy Encampment

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We were all waiting for this moment — the sweep of (de)Occupy Honolulu.

During the month of July, city work crews have been clearing out homeless encampments along Honolulu’s sidewalks using a new law — created by Bill 7 — that allows them to seize property without providing a notice.

Here’s a post we did last week about these sweeps in Kakaako.

But while there has been a lot of publicity surrounding these actions, the city has avoided going after (de)Occupy Honolulu, which is the group that caused officials to create the property seizure laws in the first place.

That’s not the case anymore. According to (de)Occupy Honolulu organizer Sugar Russell, city crews arrived at Thomas Square around 11 p.m. Thursday night to start taking people’s belongings.

Russell described the action as a raid and said that Honolulu police arrested a 72 year old man who has an outstanding warrant, something she called a “common tactic to criminalize the houseless.”

"All raids on the houseless are inhumane, counter productive, and are legally actionable," Russell said in an email sent at 12:30 a.m. Friday.

"(de)Occupy Honolulu is actively informing the houseless population about their rights, Bill 7, and have a Hotline number to call at (805) 669-TENT. People may call to report raids, get information on how to stand up for your rights, and may lead to legal assistance."

Russell also included a link to a video of the sweep.

(de)Occupy Honolulu is entrenched in a federal lawsuit with the city over its sidewalks sweeps.

No word yet from the city on last night’s actions.

—Nick Grube

Photo from a screen shot taken from July 25,2013 (de)Occupy Honolulu video.

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