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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Parents group ends Capitol sit-in, vows to continue furlough fight


By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

A group of parents and students tonight ended their eight-day occupation of the governor's office, but said they will continue their fight to end public school furloughs.

The sit-in came to an end about 7:30 p.m. when state sheriff's deputies made another round of arrests and citations for people refusing to leave the lobby of Gov. Linda Lingle's office after closing time.

Two women were arrested for criminal trespassing, while five others were cited for trespassing. On Tuesday, two people also were arrested by state sheriffs for refusing to leave the lobby of Gov. Linda Lingle's office.

Since the sit-in began April 7, deputies issued 33 trespassing citations with some people getting more than one and arrested four people.

Clare Hanusz, a parent of two children at Noelani Elementary School in Manoa, said the protesters tonight decided to end their vigil "because it became painfully evident that the governor had absolutely no interest in hearing anything from parents representing kids in public school."

Tonight's arrests came hours after dozens of parents, students and supporters packed the governor's office for a press conference. Lingle did not attend the event, but one of her spokesmen, Russell Pang, stood by.

Marguerita Higa, one of the women arrested tonight, and Joann Marshall criticized the governor for ignoring the protesters during their eight-day sit-in. Many camped overnight in the reception area in an effort to meet with the governor, but she refused their requests.