City crews descended on the Occupy Honolulu campsite at the corner of Ward Avenue and Beretania Street just after 1 p.m. Thursday.
Armed with the new sidewalk property law, a backhoe, storage disposal notices and plastic storage bins, city crews went in to dismantle the sidewalk campsite.
They matched the property that remained with snapshots of items that were tagged with warning notices more than 24 hours before.
"This is about property, not about people. We understand that a number of people here do want to assert their First Amendment rights. We're very happy that they want to do that, and we're willing to let them do that," said Trish Morikawa, county coordinator for the Office of Housing.
City crews did not touch protest signs and other objects that contained protestors' views so as not to violate First Amendment Rights.
"I think we have different ideas of what First Amendment property is. I think that everything here is part of our First Amendment right to freely assemble, first of all. And a lot of our tents have signs on them. They're an active representation with messaging on them about why we're here," said Jamie Baldwin, an Occupy Honolulu protestor.
City crews dismantled the tents, removed their contents and stored the property in plastic storage bins.
At one point, a protester dove into a tent that was about to be dismantled and dashed off with it before settling directly in front of a backhoe.
Police arrested the man, whom protestors identified as Lucas Miller.
Some nearby workers and residents stood by and expressed relief that the camp that has been in place since Nov. 5 was finally being removed.