LIVE IMAGES: Kākoʻo Haleakalā Demonstrators Stand Ground Against Telescope Construction
By Wendy Osher
UPDATE: 10:56 a.m. 8/20/15. A total of eight people were arrested during a demonstration against the ongoing construction of the Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope atop Haleakalā overnight. Maui police have since released the names and photos of those involved. The information is posted in an updated article at the following direct LINK.
UPDATE: 5:30 a.m. 8/20/15. Several demonstrators were arrested overnight during a blockade on Crater Road as they encountered a convoy carrying equipment and telescope parts to Haleakala for ongoing construction of the Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope.
Sources tell us at least six individuals were arrested, but the exact count has not yet been released by authorities. According to our sources the arrests included JoJo Henderson and Lanakila Mangauil, who were involved in similar demonstrations at Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi; and Hoʻoleila Kaʻeo of Maui.
A separate blockade at the Central Maui Baseyard dispersed without incident at around 12:30 a.m. The convoy is the third scheduled since June. During the last delivery attempt three weeks ago, 20 individuals were arrested for failure to disperse. The group of demonstrators on Maui said the issue remains under deliberation at the state Supreme Court, and should not proceed without the blessing of the community. Telescope advocates say that once construction is complete, the DKIST will be the world’s largest ground-based solar telescope and will offer scientists unprecedented high-resolution images of the sun.
UPDATE: 12:50 a.m. 8/20/15. As of 12:50 a.m., there were no arrests reported at the Central Maui Baseyard site. Crews on scene tell us that the convoy was able to get through at around 12:20 a.m. with the assistance of police. A second blockade site is located at the junction of Haleakalā Highway (Crater Road) and Kekaulike Avenue. Demonstrators are positioned at the site as they stand in opposition to the continued telescope construction underway at Haleakalā.
UPDATE: At 12:10 a.m. on 8/20/15 police met with leaders of the Kākoʻo Haleakalā demonstration and notified them that they have five minutes to disburse so that a planned convoy of telescope parts and equipment can proceed to the Haleakalā where the Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope is under construction. Anyone that is left within the road where protocol and ceremonial chanting is taking place will be arrested, according to reports on scene.
UPDATE: 10:57 p.m. 8/19/15, Semi-trucks in the convoy have their engines running and are just inside a gate where demonstrators are chanting prayers in protection of Haleakalā. Demonstrators also started a ceremonial chant in which members gathered in opposition to the continued construction atop Haleakalā are placing lei upon a bamboo structure located on the road.
UPDATE: 9:07 p.m. 8/19/15, The Kākoʻo Haleakalā group has mobilized for a third time in opposition to the ongoing construction of the Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope atop Haleakalā. Flares were lit on the road outside of the gate where a convoy carrying equipment and telescope parts was scheduled to depart this evening.
The group Kākoʻo Haleakalā is mobilizing for the third time in protection of Haleakalā with demonstrations planned on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015 at the Central Maui Base Yard on Mokulele Highway and at the junction of Haleakalā Highway (Crater Road) and Kekaulike Avenue.
“We call upon our poʻe Aloha ʻĀina to join together in asserting our human rights to prevent further desecration of our Hawaiian sacred sites and National lands,” said Kahele Dukelow in an organization press release.
The group of demonstrators on Maui said the issue remains under deliberation at the state Supreme Court, and should not proceed without the blessing of the community.
The convoy is the third scheduled since June. On June 25th, a convoy did not depart as planned due to a similar overnight vigil, and 20 individuals were arrested after trying to block a subsequent convoy on July 31st.
The Kākoʻo Haleakalā group says the individuals were charged with multiple violations including: refusal ingress/egress; failure to disperse; and disorderly conduct hazardous condition. The original charges included resisting arrest, but that charge was subsequently dropped, according to group representatives.
The Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope, formerly known as the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope Project or ATST, is located outside of park boundaries. The project is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy and is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation.
Telescope advocates say that once construction is complete, the DKIST will be the world’s largest ground-based solar telescope and will offer scientists unprecedented high-resolution images of the sun using the latest adaptive optics technology and distortion-free imaging.
Members of the Kākoʻo Haleakalā group say the construction is an “unwelcomed venture,” and that the rights and concerns of the community are being ignored.
Kākoʻo Haleakalā organizers continue to assert its stance in protection of Haleakalā against the State of Hawaiʻi, University of Hawaiʻi, Institute for Astronomy, National Science Foundation and National Solar Observatory.
“Kākoʻo Haleakalā stands for Aloha ʻĀina and encompasses a wide range of issues including the perpetuation and protection of sacred space, the environment, archaeological and cultural sites and Hawaiian National lands,” members said in a press release announcement.
“Hawaiians have never consented to the taking of our Hawaiian National lands and we will continue to protect them. In the words of our mele aloha ʻāina or song of Hawaiian patriotism ‘Kūpaʻa ma hope o ka ʻāina.’ ‘We stand firmly behind the ʻāina,'” the press release stated.