HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hundreds of vehicles rolled through Oahu on Sunday, November 10, to show their support for several movements happening across the state.
This is the same group that did a permitted convoy from Hawaii Kai to Maili Beach Park a few months ago.
This time, the group did not seek a street usage permit which raised safety concerns for the city during the holiday weekend. The plan was to leave Kapolei, head on H1 East, H2 North, travel down Kamehameha Highway through the North Shore and end at Kualoa Park by noon.
The convoy left Kapolei around 9 a.m., about one hour after originally planned.
The big concern was safety and many cars on the road. Typically, thousands of people head to the North Shore on three-day holiday weekends which creates heavy traffic on one-lane Kamehameha Highway.
For the most part, many people in the convoy say it went smoothly until they were on H2 North.
“Right after Mililani Tech Park, they [police] started pulling over people,” said Al Medeiros, who was part of the convoy and received a ticket from the police. “First I saw one, two, then about 10 of us got pulled over.”
The reason? Honolulu Police started cracking down on flags obstructing driver’s views.
Several people were pulled over but many said they arranged their flags so it wouldn’t be in violation of the law.
“The next one [I saw], she got pulled over right in Wahiawa and it was the same thing—I didn’t see her license plate blocked or her tail light blocked and her Hawaii flag was higher,” explained Sweet Tee, a Papakolea resident who was part of the convoy. “So we feel it’s kind of like racial profiling, entrapment with all the cops everywhere.”
“I think they’re just trying to mess with us and make us lose our kapu aloha but it’s not going to happen,” said Del Verece, a Waianae resident who has received warnings and a ticket for his flags.
The first group rolled pass Laniakea on the North Shore around 10 a.m. and made its way to Kahuku by 10:30 a.m., showing support for the people in Kahuku and their fight against the wind turbines.
“It’s really beautiful to see and hear everyone coming together, you know Kahuku and Waianae they had a big rival but now they have come together to help stop these turbines and the Mauna is our catalyst for everything and they brought everyone together so literally we are all rising,” Sweet tee said.
To ensure safety during the convoy, the group used “walkie talkies” so the front and back of the convoy could communicate when emergency vehicles needed to get through.
The kiai said the only big issue was when they arrived at Kualoa Park.
The city did issue organizer Jamie Rodrigues a park permit to use Kualoa Regional Park, but parking was scarce.
“It was put out to the neighborhood board, park department, and city that we were planning to use Kamehameha Highway as an overflow and when we arrived the street was closed off on two sides of the road,” Rodrigues said.
HPD contra-flowed traffic heading into Kualoa park but blocked access on the makai side.
Tow away signs were posted along Kamehameha Highway and the park’s parking lot filled within 15-20 minutes.
Kualoa Ranch opened their gates and people were able to park there.
There is no word yet on how many people received tickets in the convoy.
The group did protocol at noon and had food, talk story, and hula until 4 p.m.
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