VIDEO: 11 Arrested as Mauna Kea Demonstration Against TMT ContinuesJune 24, 2015, 3:04 PM HST · Updated June 25, 3:12 PM 32 Comments
By Wendy Osher
Eleven individuals were arrested today during an ongoing demonstration against construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope or TMT atop Mauna Kea on Hawaiʻi Island. The demonstrators are part of an ongoing effort by cultural groups and concerned citizens seeking protection of the site from development. Among those arrested were longtime cultural advocates Kaleikoa Kaeo of Maui and Andre Perez of Oʻahu. A complete list is expected to be forthcoming from the Hawaiʻi County Police Department. As part of the demonstration, which has since entered its ninetieth day, two stone ahu or altars were constructed at the site. ***Check back for updates as further details surface.
In a statement today, Kaeo said, “We are out here doing what is necessary to free our mountain and protect our people from the private investors–from China, Japan, India, and all those who come to wish harm upon our people… We will resist. This is just the beginning. Our people have risen. Rise more. Kūpaʻa (steadfast).”
The first arrest occurred at 11 a.m. when a 44-year-old man was arrested for blocking access to construction workers who were en route to the summit of Mauna Kea to work on the Thirty Meter Telescope. Hawaiʻi police say Ulises Consuegra of Kailua-Kona was arrested on the county portion of Mauna Kea Access Road shortly for the petty misdemeanor offense of obstructing. He was charged with the offense and then released after posting $250 bail, according to police reports.
Chief of Staff Mike McCartney on behalf of Governor David Ige issued a statement last night saying, “It is our belief that there will be mutual respect and aloha on Wednesday and in the days ahead as TMT restarts construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope.”
McCartney said the TMT has the approvals needed to proceed with construction. He also said he respects those who oppose the project and “their right to peaceably assemble and to protest in an orderly and civil manner.”
“The State of Hawai‘i’s primary concern is the health and safety of its people,” said McCartney. “The state and Hawai‘i County are working together to uphold the law and ensure safety on roadways and on Mauna Kea, while allowing the people their right to peacefully and lawfully protest.”
Here on Maui, a rally and aloha ‘āina night vigil will be held at the Central Maui Baseyard tonight in support of those who are protecting Mauna Kea from construction on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, and ongoing issues surrounding development at the summit of Haleakalā on Maui. The vigil begins at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. Full Details HERE.
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