Occupy Honolulu movement grows but has some divisiveness
by: Marisa Yamane
The movement, which for now is calling itself “Occupy Honolulu,” changed its meeting place today, in hopes of gaining more supporters.
They met at a popular park Monday night, and the movement appears to be gaining support.
If only they could figure out what to call themselves.
Some people are sensitive about the word “occupy.”
They gathered at Magic Island at sunset.
Individuals who didn’t know each other until this past weekend, coming together in Honolulu to join the local version of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
“I was following ‘Occupy Wall Street’ pretty closely and I knew I wanted to be a part of it and do something. And I was really excited when I found on the internet there was an ‘Occupy Honolulu,'” said Molly Chlebnikow, Kaimuki resident.
The leaderless resistance movement met for the first time on Saturday in Chinatown.
The group doesn’t have any specific goals yet.
In fact they spent much of the meeting debating over what the name of their group should be.
“There seems to be a significant problem here. I don’t know if you guys are going to ever agree on one name.”
And just like the people who are protesting in lower Manhattan, these individuals in Honolulu are driven by different goals.
“Personally I’m here to meet with other people who have recognized the system, the government and economic system in this country is not working the way they would like to see it working,” said Megan Brooker, Makiki resident.
“Your agendas are so separate, you have the Native Hawaiians with their legitimate problems, and then you have this whole other thing about corporate greed. These are two separate issues.”
The protest in lower Manhattan is now in its fourth week.
NYPD officials say they’ve already spent nearly $2 million, mostly in overtime pay, to patrol the protest.
Here at home, there was a handful of plain clothes HPD officers, on standby making sure things remain orderly.
When asked if they have plans to protest during next month’s APEC summit, this was the response: “Everything is in discussion. Nothing has been decided. As we move forward we’ll promote what we need to promote, but nothing has been set in stone right now.”
And that includes the group’s name. They plan to continue that discussion Tuesday, meeting at the same time 6pm, and same place Magic Island.
Occupy Wall Street movement hits Hawaii
by: Jessica Gellert
The Occupy Wall Street movement entered its fourth week and is now reaching the state.
Folks inHonoluluhit the streets and joined the national protest for the first time.
Some aloha state residents are showing no aloha for wall street.
“My names Renee, I’m here to represent people’s needs not wall street greed.”
“I’m tired of living like a slave, I want to be free.”
About 75 people gathered inHonolulu’s Saturday financial district to protest what they call corporate greed.
“I’m Grace, I’m a teacher and I’m here to make sure my students have a future.”
“The slogan of the movement is “We are the 99% meaning we are the 99 and the one percent is controlling it and that’s politicians and wall street bankers,” said protestor Megan Brooker.
The Occupy Wall Street movement began four weeks ago inNew York City. Since then it has spread across the nation, and now thePacific Ocean, toHawaii.
Protestors have been organizing on the internet.
“We’re going to stand up against them, against the bankers who got bailed out and we’re here just to fend for ourselves and that is the greatest thing we can do because every single person is affected by this. The only ones who aren’t are the less than one percent whose getting those trillions of dollars from our tax dollars,” said organic farmer and protestor Jeremy Ornellas.
The movement hit Maui Friday.
In Wailuku, residents picked up signs and raised their voices against wall street.
“This one is more about the moral standing that we’re standing up as one voice,” said author and protestor Raghu Giuffer.
“I just hope that one day everyone wakes up and realizes they are part of the 99 percent and join their brothers and sisters in this protest,” said Orneallas.
“How long do you guys plan on staying?”
“Until we win, until we win.”
Participants say the protest brings people together to share their grievances with the directionAmericais heading, as well as share ideas on how to make the country and the world better place.
The Occupy Wall Street movement hasn’t only come toOahuandMaui. Residents on the big island andKauaiare also planning their own protests.
There are several facebook pages organizing the protestors.
Occupy Wall Street Protests Go Global
The Occupy Wall Street protest gained more strength today as protesters across the nation — including hundreds, perhaps thousands of LGBTQ activists — marched in their own cities to show solidarity with the protest that began in New York City three weeks ago.
OccupyTogether, a website that sprung up as a hub for all the regional protests, lists 749 cities planning protests, rallies, or meet-ups this month, from places as diverse as Denver, Louisville, Chicago, Minneapolis, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Pocatello, Idaho or Birmingham, Ala. Organizers of the latter city’s protests say October 15 is expected to be the largest protest day yet: “Something big is going to happen on that date,” reported a self-proclaimed member of Anonymous about what’s in store for Occupy Birmingham.
Protests have been staged in far-ranging locales, as well, from Honolulu to Dublin, some with only four or five activists planning meet-ups to decide how to bring the spirit of Occupy Wall Street to their hometowns. Dozens of protests took place today alone. In New Orleans, reportedly very orderly queer protesters carried signs that read “NOLA Is the Other 99%” and in Cleveland, signs read “If I Had a Job, I Wouldn’t Be Here.” Protesters in Seattle battled rain, then police removed their tents and left them little shelter from fall torrents.
In Los Angeles today, about 500 protesters took over a popular intersection at Seventh and Figueroa streets (near banking centers), and police in riot gear were dispatched to make arrests (as of press time, only about 10 arrests had been made).
In Portland, Ore., at least 4,000 protesters marched downtown to Pioneer Square to begin what is expected to be a camp-in for several days at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Marchers chanted, “Who are we? We are the 99,” as the event streamed live to viewers. Portland’s gay mayor, Sam Adams, offered support for the protesters, telling reporters “I support Portlanders in their right to protest and exercise free speech rights, and I encourage all who participate to do so peacefully and with respect to the rights of others. Most of the people that are going to participate in Occupy Portland — as with most of the participants in cities across the country — are there to voice their legitimate concerns about national issues. A peaceful event is the most effective way for participants to deliver that message.”
No official reports have been released by police, but activists posting on Twitter are still debating whether police were supportive or “working for the 1%.”
Meanwhile, a Tumblr called “We Are the 99 Percent” (which alludes to the economic disparity of having 1% of the nation control the majority of its wealth) has sprung up featuring hundreds of personal stories from folks around the U.S. affected by the recession. Many talk about losing jobs and homes, lack of health care, environmental pollution, LGBT economic issues, and more. Handwritten stories are being posted online as the protests continue their national groundswell and attract folks eager to participate and also send in their stories and photos.
One of those notes, posted alongside this story, is from a trans man who says he will “probably never” be able to afford the expense of transitioning.