HONOLULU — Two protesters from the Occupy Honolulu movement were arrested after the city declared the cement area where the group had been camping is part of a city park.
Occupy Honolulu has been based in tents on the edge of Thomas Square Park since Nov. 5. "We have previously been told that was sidewalk and we can be on it," said Megan Brooker, a leader of the group.
But on Thursday, Mayor Peter Carlisle announced a city survey was completed to definitely establish the boundaries of the park. The encampment was within that boundary, the city said.
Jim Fulton, the mayor's executive assistant, said Friday the survey was done because it wasn't clear if the area was part of the park, or part of the sidewalk.
City parks are closed between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Police arrived at around 9 p.m. and warned them about the boundaries and that they would have to leave when the park closed, Brooker said. "We don't understand why we were not given warning," she said. "We don't know what prompted this after a month and a half."
When officers returned at 11 p.m., they began moving tents and other items, Brooker said. Items that the roughly 25 campers weren't able to take were loaded onto trucks, she said.
Closing parks involves removing property that's left there, Fulton said.
A 51-year-old woman was arrested for a parks closure violation and a 25-year-old man was arrested, but for outstanding traffic and criminal violations, police said. An 18-year-old was cited for a parks closure violation, but not arrested.
Bail was set at $550 for the woman and $900 for the man, Brooker said. "There group was not expecting these arrests and unfortunately did not have the money to cover bail," she said. The two spent the night in jail and were expected to appear in court Friday.
Occupy Honolulu had been bracing for city officials to target members under a new law that allows officials to remove personal property stored in public areas, including sidewalks, for more than 24 hours. But before items can be removed, officials provide 24 hours' notice.
Thursday's action had nothing to do with the measure, known as Bill 54, Fulton said, adding that implementation details are still being worked out.
The group's tents Friday morning were lined up along the sidewalk closer to the street.