HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - In an act of defiance against the mayor’s latest stay-at-home order, a large group of people exercised their freedom of speech Saturday in a protest near the grounds of Honolulu Hale.
A number of officers from the Honolulu Police Department kept a watchful eye on the crowd as upset residents voiced their disagreement with the rules.
Opponents to the rules claim the stay-at-home order violates basic civil rights.
One man said he joined the protest after feeling like elected officials were ignoring the voice of opponents to the shutdown.
“They don’t answer the phones. They’re hiding. They’re forcing this thing on the people of Hawaii. There’s no scientific evidence for this lockdown. There’s so much inconsistencies in it,” protester Wes Yamada said.
Yamada also expressed his frustration over mandates to wear a mask, clearly disagreeing with professional medical guidance proving that masks can prevent the spread of germs to other people.
“I’m more than six feet away, I don’t need this mask,” he told our Hawaii News Now cameraman as he removed it from his face. “You making people sick by wearing these masks. We’re breathing contaminated air! We’re getting sick just by wearing this mask!”
“This mask don’t stop no germs.” Yamada then proceeded to rip his mask into two pieces. “This mask is nothing. Wake up, people!”
Some participants wore masks while others didn’t. They were equipped with American flags, signs and Trump 2020 flags.
But some protesters there, like Chinatown resident Emily Green, found slightly different reasons to take to the streets in protest.
She acknowledges the threat of the virus and sees value in certain safeguards and restrictions. But says certain things have been an overreach on behalf of community leaders.
“We know this virus is real. Unfortunately, the strangling constrictions are not,” Green said. “Shutting down parks and hiking trails and things like that, its just — those are public land. they’re not anybody’s to shut down. We the people own those things.”
“It’s really important for mental health, its really important for physical health, and it’s very very low risk activity. That’s one of the big drivers for me being out here today,” she added.
As of 2:30 p.m., there were no reports of anyone being cited by police for violating the mayor’s order. We’ve reached out to HPD for more information.
It was just one protest against the latest stay-at-home order on Oahu this weekend.
A “Free Hawaii” convoy was also set for Saturday. Motorists participating in that went from Waimanalo to the North Shore, then back down through Central Oahu.
This story will be updated.