Occupy Honolulu protest invades Waikiki streets

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Protesters marched through Waikiki Saturday as part of a worldwide movement against corporate greed. More than 200 joined Occupy Honolulu in the march down Kalakaua Avenue.

"We know a lot of the hotels in Waikiki, for example, are owned by big corporations like Goldman Sachs, and they don't treat their workers very well, and that's not the spirit of aloha," said protester Sadie Green.

Elaine Shirley, who was part of anti-war protests in the '60s, took part in the march as well.

"It's more important than going to the beach or watching a game or something," she said. "This affects people's lives."

Most of the marchers targeted Wall Street, saying that there is too much corporate money going in government, and not enough money going to the people. They contend that the top one percent of the wealthiest Americans control nearly half of the nation's wealth.

"I came out here because it's really important that the 99 percent stand up against the one percent that's taking all the profit, and nobody's being heard," said Christina Cheng. "And everyone around the world is standing up right now, so I think it's really important for all of us to be here, together."

"We're out here to show that we are united, that we need to get corporate money out of politics, and that we need to focus on jobs and the economy," said Holly Huber. "And that Wall Street needs to be held accountable."

Many protesters took aim at the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, like 20 year-old college student Blessing Scott-Dedrick.

"The people should get a say in how the money is spent," Scott-Dedrick said, "not on things like APEC. It doesn't make any sense."

Protesters also held signs aimed against Fox News and the Iraq War, and also drew attention to the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, which is damaged by the March earthquake and tsunami.

"I think that everybody is coming out with different sets of grievances, but what is important is to realize that all of us have been affected by the economic system as it is, and by the corporate greed that plays out in our lives," said Green.

Organizers of Saturday's march said its like that there will be similar events in the near future.

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