Not guilty verdict for Hawaiian elders protesting Thirty Meter Telescope

Local News

HONOLULU (AP) — A judge has found four Native Hawaiian elders arrested in 2019 while protesting a giant telescope planned for Hawaii’s highest peak not guilty of obstructing the mountain’s access road.  

Keli’i ’Ioane, Marie Alohalani Brown, Maxine Kahaulelio and Ranette Robinson were the first to go to trial out of 38 mostly Native Hawaiian kupuna, or elders, who were arrested while trying to stop construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope.

The judge says the state failed to prove they were obstructing the road.

Those who oppose the $1.4-billion project say it will desecrate land on Mauna Kea held sacred to Native Hawaiians.

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