In a case that has been called a constitutional study, Davis Levin Livingston attorneys, Matt Winter, and Erin Davis are seeking the dismissal of the charges brought against two protestors in Waikiki. On August 21, 2011, Tess and Jamie Meier were cited for holding signs and circulating a petition advocating for gender equality as part of a nationwide protest, National Topless Day. Despite informing Honolulu Police Officers that they were well within their lawful rights, both were cited and required to leave.
“The law in this area is very well settled. No permit was needed for the Meiers’ protest and it was obviously the intent of the HPD to terminate it because they either objected to the content of the Meiers’ speech or their method of expression. The Meiers had a right to protest on the sidewalk, in the parks or at any other public forum without a permit,” stated Matthew Winter, Davis Levin Livingston.
“The U.S. and Hawaii Constitutions protect our right to free speech and HPD has an obligation to uphold and respect those rights,” confirmed Erin Davis, Davis Levin Livingston. The Davis Levin Livingston attorneys are volunteer ACLU attorneys who will challenge in court the actions of the police in shutting down this lawful protest. ACLU Staff Attorney Laurie Temple added, “As APEC approaches and Oahu ramps up readiness, law enforcement is put on notice that using the power of the state to silence lawful protest will never be tolerated, whether it’s two people on a sidewalk or a thousand people in a park.”