No arrests on first day of construction atop Mauna Kea

Local News

As of this time, there have been no arrests, according to Jason Redulla Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement Unit (DOCARE) Chief. He says that many people have been cooperative with law enforcement.

One medical emergency was reported and EMS was summoned to assist that individual.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) continues to lay 800 feet of concrete barriers on both sides of Daniel K. Inouye Highway to prevent people from parking on the highway.

The barrier will also create a designated area for people to express their feelings about the TMT Project, so they can safely be behind this structure.

Protesters have been moving their cars so as to not get blocked in by these barriers.

Ed Sniffen, Deputy Director of HDOT of Higways, says that a tow truck is present to remove cars if they are unable to find the owners of the cars. He says that they are doing their best to work with the protesters and that it is not their intention to block in these cars.

To ensure further safety, the DOT urges drivers to drive slowly in this area and to practice caution.

HPD officers will be going to Hawaii Island at the request of the Hawaii Police Department. They will assist Hawaii police officers in keeping roadways clear for the movement of construction equipment and vehicles.  The HPD officers were chosen from various units and shifts to ensure that the deployment will not impact police services on Oahu. For security reasons, the number and travel dates of the officers will not be released. 

Construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope is set to begin Monday morning.

Mauna Kea Access Road was set to close at 7 a.m. and remain closed until all of the heavy equipment needed to begin work arrives at the site.

Hundreds of people blocked Mauna Kea Access Road. Some chained themselves to a grate in the road. They began gathering at around 3 a.m.

Law enforcement is present on Mauna Kea and had asked protesters to clear the roads. Anyone who did not follow the orders were liable to be arrested.

Kahookahi Kanuha said, “I do know that every single one of these individuals are prepared to be arrested. They’re not ignorant, they know what will happen to them and yet they decided to make that decision, make that commitment is ‘Stand for our people.’”

At the base of Mauna Kea Access Road is Puu Huluhulu, which is considered a city of refuge for those who oppose the TMT project. Protesters can go to this safe haven to eat and use the restroom and other facilities as well as share their feelings.

As to what kinds of equipment the officers will have at hand, the governor said that was up to the Hawaii County Police Chief.

Governor Ige has made it clear that the state has no intention to intervene on the protests so long as it’s done in a lawful manner.

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