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August 27, 2016

Confrontation at Waikiki sidewalk with Taubman Inc and myself


On the night of August 23, 2016 I set up my art easel on the sidewalk by International Market Place on Kalakaua Av, Waikiki. I'm a sidewalk portrait artist.

The sidewalk at that location was the place where the first sidewalk buskers preformed music over twenty years ago. The pavement had recently been closed off due to redevelopment of the property which has transformed the market place into a shopping mall with anchor tenant Sacks of Fifth Avenue.

On that evening I was the first non-predestrian to return to enjoy my rights of free speech. But the new developers, Taubman Centers Inc, Michigan confronted me and called the Honolulu police. Even after that the General Manager of the mall, Michael Fenely confronted me.

This is an issue about the Public Forum, the USA First Amendment, Free Speech - and it's about the gradual and hidden erosion of the public's real estate we shamefully take for grated.

Certainly the public's physical assets must be wholly valued and respected and as importantly, the people's 'commons' and the intellectual assets such as freedom of speech must be identified and kept vibrant and healthy as inalienable rights wherever and however the 'village square' may move and morph.

The two Waikiki district improvement business associations are attempting to drive the local neighborhood association, and the Mayor's Office and the Honolulu City and County Council which run the police department and are supposed to guard the interest of the rate payer and the public - not sell the sidewalks off to private businesses in exchange for relatively insignificant tile rennovation and maintenance.

Michael Daly