Convoy to Maui Telescope Does Not Leave as Planned Amid Vigil
By Wendy Osher
A vigil was held at the central Maui Baseyard last night 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.
A slow moving convoy that was scheduled to depart from the area to deliver equipment to the Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope currently under construction at Haleakala, did not leave at 10 p.m. as planned. As of 2:30 a.m. demonstrators on site continued to hold their ground.
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.
Representatives on site said they intend to address issues surrounding the concerns presented.
Meantime, on Hawaiʻi Island, 11 individuals were arrested on Wednesday during an ongoing demonstration against construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope or TMT atop Mauna Kea.
The demonstrations 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.
As the demonstration entered its ninetieth day this week, supporters constructed two stone ahu or altars.
Construction crews turned around after being met with lines of demonstrators and boulders scattered across the road leading to the upper reaches of the summit.
The Governor’s office issued a statement saying the arrests are unfortunate and that the state’s number one priority is safety.
The statement expressed disappointment at the large boulders found in the roadway and said crews will be working to clear the debris today. For that reason, officials with the Governor’s office said construction is on hold until further notice.
Video from the overnight vigil on Maui is available at the following Project Aloha ʻĀina LINK.