Mauna Kea Protectors release statement

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In a letter to the press, the Mauna Kea Protectors at the University of Hawaii condemning the use of force against protesters on Mauna Kea. The statement in full is as follows:

“The Mauna Kea Protectors at the University of Hawai‘i represent over 1,000 faculty, staff, and students within the University system. We are concerned that the recent police escalation on Mauna Kea raises the likelihood that the State will mobilize local law enforcement and the National Guard against the Protectors. We condemn any form of force by law enforcement against the non-violent, peaceful occupation on Mauna Kea.

We recognize that the Protectors have maintained kapu aloha and consistently denounced all forms of violence. The Protectors are community members, and University students, faculty and staff expressing their first amendment rights on the mauna. They are choosing to protect Mauna Kea, not choosing to be arrested, as some have alleged. The state is now choosing to use the threat of violence by law enforcement to intimidate and evict the Protectors.

We understand that local law enforcement and their union representative expressed the willingness to use greater force and tactics for future arrests. Since that time, no one among the University of Hawaii Board of Regents, President and administration, or its affiliates and consultants (hereafter, the “University of Hawai‘i”) has made any statement or taken any action acknowledging its duty to protect the safety of its community on Mauna Kea.

We demand the University of Hawai‘i take immediate responsibility for the safety of its faculty, students, staff, and community on Mauna Kea by condemning all forms of state-sanctioned police actions that may include physical force, chemical agents, other forms of violence, and threats of violence that terrorize protectors.

We demand that the University of Hawai‘i fulfill its duty to protect the University community from any perceived or actual threat of police actions that can have serious negative and long term physical and psychological damage on groups and individuals. We further demand that the University of Hawai‘i publicly condemn any and all state attempts to forcibly remove protectors from Mauna Kea.

Finally, we warn the University of Hawai‘i that the failure to unequivocally denounce law enforcement action on Mauna Kea before any further threats or arrests take place will cause the mobilization of faculty and staff to interrupt the University’s business as usual system wide and that we will do so in kapu aloha by any peaceful means necessary.”

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