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Kona, Hilo stage protests in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street

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Video by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7, David Corrigan | Big Island Video News, Voice by Stephanie Salazar

Protesters gathered Monday afternoon along Queen Kaahumanu Highway. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Baron Sekiya)

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Editor

Dozens of irate and fed-up voters gathered Monday afternoon in Kona and Hilo to show their support of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Occupy Wall Street touts itself as a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing they all have in common is that ‘We Are The 99%’ that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the remaining 1 percent.

The group is using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve its ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants.

In Kona, the protests drew more than 40 people who waved signs and paced along Queen Kaahumanu Highway for two hours.

Bita Wicart (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Baron Sekiya)

“This just shows our solidarity. Anybody who has a gripe – from the Tea Party to the Communist Party – has the complaint that government is being bought,” said Bita Wicart, of Kona.

“They are starting to organize all over the country now,” she said. “We want to reform campaign contribution laws so that you can’t buy democracy anymore.”

(Hawaii 24/7 photo by Baron Sekiya)

Courtney Reardon, 62, of Kona, said she has worked her whole adult life as a chef and then in marketing, but has a very specific reason for joining the Occupy Wall Street movement.

“It’s for my children and my grandchildren. We need to turn this mess around,” she said. “I’ve been a political activist for a long time and now is the time we can’t just sit around. We want reasonable regulations on Wall Street and big business and big banks. This effects the whole world.”

(Hawaii 24/7 photo by Baron Sekiya)

The Kona protest also drew interest from those just passing by. One triathlete on a bike ride in preparation for Saturday’s Ironman World Triathlon Championships stopped to talk to a couple of protesters.

The Australian said he preferred not to be identified in case any of his sponsors found out he’d been voicing his opinions in public. His racing shirt had three or four globally recognized brand names emblazoned across the chest.

“Well, I think extreme social unrest will be a product of the current economic climate. The U.S. economy is actually in a worse state than Greece,” he said. “It has a global effect. When the elephant in the room farts, everyone holds their nose.”

Organizers of the Kona protest said they plan to stage similar gatherings every week or two.

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(Hawaii 24/7 photo by Baron Sekiya)

One Response to “Kona, Hilo stage protests in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street”

  1. Gloria says:

    We’re dancing to a new tune “Screw Us and We Multiply”..We want change now, We want our Banker Bailout Money Back.


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