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Occupy Honolulu Protesters Are Back

By Jodi Leong
Published On: Feb 03 2012 04:23:20 AM HST
Updated On: Feb 03 2012 10:07:29 PM HST
HONOLULU -

Occupy Honolulu protesters were back on the sidewalk at the corner of Ward Avenue and Beretania Street on Friday.

About 10 protesters spent the night on the busy corner and moved in extra chairs and tables at daylight.

"I mean, they can take as many things as they want, but we're not going to go anywhere," said protester Nick Wooden.

On Thursday, city crews impounded property left behind on the sidewalk outside of Thomas Square, 24 hours after they issued removal notices for those items.

Tents, blankets and pillows were among the items stuffed into plastic storage bins and transported to the city's Facility and Maintenance base yard in Halawa, where they will be held for 30 days. Property owners can claim their items free of charge.

Protesters believe the city's effort to impound their property and the publicity it brings, has only given protesters and their message more weight and exposure, said protester Nick Wooden.

"I think we're seeing more and more people coming by and talking to us and asking why we're here and looking at our info table and taking flyers and stuff. We want money out of politics, we want to end corporate personhood so corporations don't have the same rights as people," Wooden said.

"It's changed the way in which we talk about politics. It's gotten people more involved in politics and its made politics more accessible. It's shown people that they actually have the right and responsibility to demand that the government serves them," said a protester named Sam.

Occupy Honolulu protester Lucas Miller was the only person arrested at the Ward Avenue and Beretania Street site. He returned to the campsite about 20 hours later, saying police released him without charges.

But while they continued holding signs, protesters said the public was a little less tolerant of them on Friday.

"We've had more people like come down and be angry with us today than we've had in awhile," Sam said. People yelled from their cars, 'Get a job, go home, clean up your mess.'"

Protesters calmly responded with, "We love you!"

But they said they have no immediate plans to clear out.

Occupy Honolulu protesters said they still have 15 to 20 core members and others who come and go as their schedules allow.

And they plan to eventually occupy other locations around town in the future, protesters said.

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