The "Occupy" movement is the latest example of organized peaceful protest. Courtesy Photo

ACLU offers APEC peaceful protest assistance

HONOLULU— As the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) approaches, the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii Foundation (ACLU) has announced the release of its “First Amendment Toolkit” and a “Know Your Rights” telephone line, 808-522-5906.

ACLU of Hawaii Executive Director Vanessa Chong says, “The ACLU’s focus is on ensuring the public’s right to peaceful protest and assembly. The Toolkit answers a wide range of questions often asked about how to exercise one’s right to free speech without breaking the law.”

Protests are expected at APEC events, and law enforcement will be stepped up to ensure the safety of the public and APEC conferees. The Honolulu Police Department recently released a list of dozens of Honolulu locations that will see surveillance cameras installed to monitor activity and deter crime in area that will be impacted by APEC activities. These cameras are in addition to existing traffic cameras.

The ACLU is expanding its “Know Your Rights” phone line to receive confidential messages from those seeking copies of the Toolkit, those having difficulty obtaining permits, and those concerned about law enforcement actions. During APEC, the ACLU will monitor the “Know Your Rights” phone several times a day. For over a year, the ACLU has made itself available as a resource to local activist groups, law enforcement, and the government officials. The ACLU continues to provide informational sessions, at no cost, for groups who are planning protests.

Chong adds” “The ACLU has every expectation that Hawaii can successfully spotlight both lawful protest and law enforcement readiness that complies with the Constitution. ACLU negotiations continue to go well with city attorneys so we are hopeful that our remaining concerns will be resolved before APEC.”

For more information and a copy of the toolkit, visit the ACLU Hawaii website.

On Wednesday, October 26, ‘Olelo will present a free, public informational session featuring an ACLU of Hawaii speaker, “Know Your Rights—Documenting Law Enforcement Interactions in Hawaii” at 8:00 p.m. at the Palolo Community Media Center located at the Jarrett Middle School, 1903 Palolo Ave.

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