HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii Gov. David Ige held a press conference amid the arrests and protests of the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope.

It was held on Wednesday, July 17.

Gov. Ige made statements about the activity on Maunakea and placed emphasis on the safety of the community.

He then went on to announce that prior to the press conference, he signed an emergency proclamation concerning the activity on Maunakea.

The proclamation will supposedly give law enforcement more flexibility and the ability to close more roads and restrict access.

This includes most areas on Maunakea.

The emergency proclamation will allow them to manage access to the site.

“This is the best decision at this point in time,” Gov. Ige said.

He said in the press conference that law enforcement has been patient and respectful towards the protestors, who allegedly continues to break the law and has placed the safety of the public at risk.

Gov. Ige said that the protests have affected the community, local businesses, and even emergency responders and law enforcement.

The governor said that the attention of emergency officials have been diverted from other needs in the community.

The state will continue with the construction of TMT and is committed to providing safe access to the site for construction equipment and workers.

“Our top priority is the safety and security of our communities and the TMT construction teams. This is a long-term process and we are committed to enforcing the law and seeing this project through,” said Ige.

He said that TMT has received all legal permits to be constructed.