VIDEO: 8 More Arrested Under Emergency Rule at Mauna Kea
By Wendy Osher
Eight people were arrested early Wednesday morning, Sept. 9, at a protest camp across the road from the Mauna Kea Visitors Center on Hawaiʻi Island.
This is the second round of arrests made since a 120-day emergency rule was passed by the Board of Land and Natural Resources and signed by the governor in July.
State officials say the rule was intended to establish safe conditions on the mountain for protesters, observatory workers and visitors amid ongoing demonstrations against construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope or TMT atop Mauna Kea.
During an earlier round of enforcement on July 31, 2015, six people received citations and seven people were arrested for violating the emergency rule.
The arrests today included seven women and one man, ranging in age from 23 to 65. Bail was set at $250 for each, with the exception of 23-year-old Bronson Kobayashi of Hilo who was being held in lieu of $1,000 bail due to a repeat offense.
Today’s arrests included the following:
- Bronson Kobayashi-23, Hilo
- Sandy Kamaka-46, Kailua-Kona
- Hawane Rios-36, Kamuela
- Jennifer Leinaʻala Sleightholm-41, Waikoloa
- Shanell Subica-43, Kailua-Kona
- Kuʻuipo Freitas-26, Kona
- Patricia Ikeda-65, Captain Cook
- Ruth Aloua-26, Kailua-Kona
Similar Demonstrations on Maui:
Here on Maui, similar demonstrations have been held in recent months against the Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope or DKIST, currently under construction atop Haleakalā. Those opposed to the project say the issue remains under deliberation at the state Supreme Court, and should not proceed without the blessing of the community.
Various groups participating in the demonstrations are opposed to ongoing construction and desecration of what they consider to be sacred land atop some of the state’s highest mountains.
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.
On July 30, 2015, 20 individuals were arrested for failure to disperse. Opponents had gathered at the Central Maui Baseyard to block a convoy that was scheduled to deliver telescope parts and equipment to the construction site atop Haleakalā.
On Aug. 21, 2015, eight additional people were arrested on Maui during a demonstration along Haleakalā Crater Road.