Kia’i continue their unwavering stance on Mauna Kea

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Six days after Gov. David Ige said construction was scheduled to begin on the Thirty-Meter Telescope at the Summit of Mauna Kea, he has yet to make any progress towards that end.

Those protecting the summit say that they are taking a peaceful stance.

Gov. Ige held a press conference in Hilo on Friday and claimed that protesters at Mauna Kea were not keeping their end of the bargain. He even claimed that there was illegal activity such as drinking and drugs.

“There are absolutely no signs of drugs or alcohol,” said Heidi Tsuneyoshi of the Honolulu City Council. “No one is even allowed to smoke here.”

People are expected to carry themselves in sacred conduct in a sacred space.

There’s also an orientation tent with house rules.

More porta-potties arrive each day, which KHON2 is told are cleaned twice daily. Sanitation stations are right outside.

Trash is changed out several times a day.

They even recycle.

The medical tent is fully stocked with everything from sunscreen and chapstick to medical supplies needed to treat injuries sustained from duties during any potential police action.

Yesterday, they fed roughly 2,000 people.

KHON2 asked, “You’re not asking anyone to pay for any of this. So they can just come and eat, is that right?”

They said that anyone who comes into the Puuhonua is welcome to come in.

“We have food and drink. We have a full-time kitchen crew that provides daily meals and snacks and nobody has to pay for anything. This is all through community donations,” said Kia’i Andre.

Everyone working in the Puuhonua is volunteering their time.

Gov. Ige said people were running across the street. He called it unsafe.

“Everything is organized from even walking across the street,” said Tsuneyoshi. “There are people who are directing traffic, making sure people are crossing the street safely.”

“During the day they have crosswalk flags to slow traffic for the cross,” said Kia’i Andre. “We also have the Royal Order of Kamehameha that’s always posted at the front gate.”

There are even lights to make crossing safer at night.

The Department of Transportation put out reflective cones Saturday afternoon, July 20, to caution drivers.

KHON2 asked DOCARE Chief Jason Redulla, “Would you say that this has been disorderly?”

“I wouldn’t characterize it as that,” said Redulla. “I think at this point I really don’t want to characterize.”

“I have to say unequivocally that after being here and talking with the people that this is not a state of emergency. This is actually a state of humanity,” said Tsuneyoshi.

KHON2 asked Redulla about the governor’s statement on how the Puuhonua fell apart.

“The governor is my boss and the governor’s statement will stand,” he said.

While the aloha spirit is alive and well, everyone is aware the police will likely come again to try and clear Mauna Kea Access Road.

It’s still unclear whether or not this will lead to conflict.

One thing is certain: the resolve of the kia’i is steadfast and growing each day.

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