Part 2 in a 3 part series covering the events of June 24th on Mauna Kea. Video by David Corrigan, voice of Sherry Bracken.
MAUNA KEA, Hawaii – By 7:20 a.m., Thirty Meter Telescope crews arrived at the Mauna Kea Access Road crosswalk by the Visitors Center. Hawaii County Police allowed the blockade to go on for about a half an hour before moving in. But first, children lined up in-between, each holding a gift. The police officers were given a lei.
The protectors’ tactics were effective. Police allowed them to repeatedly line-up and retreat as they slowly processed up the Mauna Kea Access Road. It took four hours just to travel the length of Hale Pohaku from the Vistors Center to the mid-level astronomy center.
There was one arrest by Hawaii County Police. The first man taken on Wednesday was 44 year old Ulises Consuegra. He was charged with a the petty misdemeanor offense of obstructing and released after posting the $250 bail.
The tone changed at the gravel road. State DLNR officers explained to the first line – led by alaka’i Lakea Trask – how things were going to go. This portion of the Mauna Kea Access Road is steep and vehicles need to maintain momentum in order to make it safely to the summit. The state was not going to tolerate the same start and stop activity the county police allowed.
It was clearly an emotional moment for DLNR First Deputy Kekoa Kaluhiwa, who addressed the group on the first line in Hawaiian.