Video shows the meeting that took place today (Tuesday) on the Mauna Kea Access Road between Hawaii County Police and the Mauna a Wakea Ohana, a group that has also come to be known as the Mauna Kea “protectors”.
Video by Lynn Beittel of Visionary Video.
MAUNA KEA – The Mauna Kea Access Road was blocked for another day on Tuesday. However, in the absence of Thirty Meter Telescope construction crews, the Mauna a Wakea Ohana – who have been been holding a kapu aloha at the Mauna Kea Visitor Center for the past week – had a long, peaceful talk with Hawaii County Police.
Captain Richard Sherlock addressed the group directly, and sympathized with their kuleana to stand up for the sacred mountain. But, he told them, the Mauna Kea Access Road is under Hawaii County management, and therefore it is the responsibility of the county police to ensure anyone and everyone – including TMT – can pass through to the summit.
In the video above, Sherlock explains that the police will have to make arrests if the group does not stand to the side when TMT crews return in the coming days. He said his main concern is that no one gets hurt. A number of protectors said they are ready to be arrested for their cause, if need be.
In a statement to Big Island Video News issued Monday, Thirty Meter Telescope project manager Gary Sanders put the onus on police as far as finding a solution to the blockade. “We have patiently waited for law enforcement to allow our workers the access to which they are entitled,” Sanders wrote.
Today, the Mauna a Wakea Ohana released this statement:
UH and the DLNR have failed in their obligation to follow state laws which guarantee the health and well being of the fragile ecosystem and natural resources which Mauna a Wakea provides for us all. We are here to protect the mauna, our kupuna, as it is our kuleana to protect and care for our elders.Mauna a Wakea Ohana on March 31, 2015
Big Island Video News will have more from today’s events shortly.