Occupy Honolulu protesters move to King St.

City starts tree-trimming project on Beretania Street

 UPDATED 11:53 AM HST Mar 05, 2013
HONOLULU -

Occupy Honolulu protesters packed up their belongings on Beretania Street.  But, they didn't go very far.

Now the city is looking into ways to move the protesters again.

"Being along any sidewalk is not really a safe situation," said Occupy Honolulu protester Sugar Russell.  "There's no other place for me to go.  There's not quality shelters;  the parks are closed.  I'm literally forced out onto the sidewalk."

"Less room to maneuver.  I don't want to go on the street unless I have to, like in Waikiki," said bicyclist Reyna Kayno.

City workers cleared the mauka side of Thomas Square Park for the three-week tree trimming project.  But, protesters moved a block away to the makai side on South King Street.

"In some cases, people need to step out onto King Street, one of the busiest streets.  And right now, at rush hour, it is packed with cars," said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.  "It's a dangerous situation.  It shows a disrespect for all of the public.  No one owns the sidewalks.  No one has the right to the sidewalks.  We all have that right.  We'll see what we can do to rectify the problem."

"It doesn't bother me during my run," said Kathleen Lee.  "I know some people who put this up are attempting to make a point.  I'm not sure what it is at this point."

Caldwell and city lawyers are already planning their next step.  One strategy being discussed is to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act, which in part requires public spaces to be accessible to people in wheelchairs.

"We haven't had bikers complain.  We haven't had anybody in wheelchairs complain," said Russell.

PHOTOS: Occupy Honolulu protesters on the move
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The closed down the sidewalk on the Beretania Street side of Thomas Square on Monday, March 4, 2013 for a tree-trimming project.

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Mobile users can click here to see more photos of Occupy Honolulu.

"If there's someone on a wheelchair and says it's a little inconvenient, what do you say to that person?" said KITV4 News anchor Kenny Choi.

"Sorry for the inconvenience.  We're trying to change the world.  How can I make it better?" said Russell.

Caldwell confirmed he will sign a city council bill that would make pitching tents on sidewalks illegal without permits and allow the city to confiscate personal property on sidewalks without giving prior notice.

What do you think of Occupy Honolulu's protest at Thomas Square?  Click here to vote in our online poll.

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