HONOLULU (KHON2) — Everyone remembers the Thirty Meter Telescope protests that took place at Mauna Kea in 2019. A confrontation between scientists’ desire to consume as much knowledge as possible and the protectors of the ‘āina who believed their sacred grounds were being violated culminated in a days long standoff.
Today, Jan. 10, Anne Lopez, Hawai’i’s Attorney General, said that she will not pursue a re-prosecution case against the protestors.
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“I am declining re-prosecution of the individuals who were charged in connection with the obstruction of Mauna Kea Access Road on July 17, 2019. After extensive litigation in the original prosecution, dismissal of the cases in 2022 and careful consideration of the benefits of re-prosecution to the State of Hawaiʻi, I have decided that the continued pursuit of these cases is not in the best interests of the people of the State of Hawaiʻi,” said Lopez.
“The Department of the Attorney General remains committed to upholding the rule of law, and any violations of State law will remain subject to prosecution to the fullest extent possible,” added Lopez.
Gov. Josh Green, M.D. said that he supports Lopez’s decision. He believes this is the best way forward in healing the wounds of the confrontation.
“I appreciate the Attorney General’s decision to dismiss the charges against our kūpuna who peacefully protested at Mauna Kea three years ago. The time has come to build a new pathway forward that considers all people and is respectful of our host culture,” said Gov. Green.
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“This is the kind of justice we want to see for our kūpuna who stood up for what they believe in—their culture and their ancestors. I will work to find a way forward together,” added Gov. Green.