Maui Discussion

Mayor Victorino Issues Statement on Oct. 16 March & Rally

October 11, 2021, 8:19 PM HST
* Updated October 13, 7:21 AM
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Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino. File: Screen shot of Oct. 8, 2021 news conference

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino issued a statement on Monday night saying the County of Maui has received health and safety concerns from the public about proposed plans for a march and rally this weekend.

“We respect everyone’s First Amendment right to protest and peacefully assemble,” Mayor Victorino said Monday. “However, event planners have recently requested that the event include food, live music and tents on County property.  In the midst of a global pandemic, such activities risk creating conditions that could harm our community and negatively impact our limited healthcare resources without the proper health and safety protocols in place.”

According to County administrative rules governing the use of public property, a permit application for such an event needs to be received at least 30 days before the event for appropriate planning and review. The application to use County property for a march and rally was received on Friday, Oct. 8. 

“Due to such late notice and lack of sufficient health and safety protocols in place, the County will not be able to issue a special event permit. The First Amendment march may proceed, and our community asks participants for adherence to all health and safety protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

Maui Now received notification of the Mandate Free Maui Unity March and Rally that is reportedly planned for 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16, starting at the War Memorial Stadium Parking Lot. The event website states that the plan calls for a march down Kaʻahumanu Avenue with a return to the Fairgrounds area for live music and free food. An event flyer says live speakers, music, and food are part of the event line-up, which seeks to unite vaccinated and unvaccinated for medical freedom of choice.

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It’s the same message to one that was shared during a similar event held last month that drew thousands of participants.

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Opponents have raised concerns and frustrations over the event becoming a super-spreader for COVID-19. Concerned citizen, Cara Flores, wrote a letter to the editor arguing that groups involved are allegedly “profiting off of the misinformation they spread and creating huge amounts of vaccine hesitancy in the middle of a pandemic.”

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