MAUNA KEA, Hawaii – On a night where “Ku Kia’i Mauna” was chanted in defiance of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope being built on Haleakala on Maui, and on the day where many Native Hawaiians planned to celebrate the holiday of La Ho’i Ho’i Ea, DLNR officers reportedly conducted an early morning raid on the encampment of Thirty Meter Telescope opponents on Mauna Kea, arresting a number of the self proclaimed protectors.
“Mauna Kea protectors pulled out of their ceremonial hale and arrested by docare officers this morning at 2:00am,” messaged Lakea Trask on Facebook. “That they came on Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea shows the kind of settler racism and blatant persecution of kanaka maoli and the “Host” culture we still face everyday here in our homelands. Aue!”
20 were reportedly arrested last night on Maui. There is no official number of arrestees on Mauna Kea, yet, but those who were present estimate seven.
The raid was not unexpected. For weeks, DLNR officers have been warning the protectors maintaining an around-the-clock vigil in a large tent by the closed Visitors Center that they are in violation of a newly enacted set of rules on Mauna Kea. No one is allowed to camp or be present during the hours of 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. in a restricted area, one mile on either side of the Mauna Kea Access Road. Media was warned to stay away during the overnight restriction, even in the event of an enforcement action. The protectors were even given warning, they say by a high ranking DLNR official, that the arrests were going to come in the dark of night, although the exact time and date were unknown.
Many supporters of the TMT blockade on Mauna Kea were on Maui to support the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope blockade.
In an early morning Facebook video message following the Mauna Kea arrests, Lanakila Mangauil wrote:
“Let us not act out of anger or sadness. Let us rejoice and send good prayers for all the Koa who stand stood strong and we all are Pa’a! 7 arrested on Mauna-a-Wakea, 20 arrested on Haleakalā!
On this day Lā Ho’iho’i Eā!!
Kae kalaunu o Hawaii nei!
Let our flgs fly high today!
Let our spirits Sore!
Rejoice that we are still here and are continuing to mālama this blessed āina!” – Lanakila Mangauil