Mauna Kea, Hawaii – One year ago, a dramatic showdown on Mauna Kea over the continued blockade of Thirty Meter Telescope construction crews resulted in mass arrests. Now, the date of June 24 is recognized by TMT opponents as a day of victory. This weekend, the anniversary was marked with ceremony and celebration on the mountain.
In the time since June 24, the Hawaii Supreme Court invalidated the permit that allowed TMT to build on the mountain, citing a procedural error during the state permitting process. Those who were arrested and charged with obstruction on Mauna Kea one year ago saw their court cases largely dismissed. Some were even found not guilty after trial.
In this video, we interview Uncle Billy Freitas, who helped to build the ahu on Mauna Kea that were erected in the days before June 24. We also speak to Mehana Kihoi, who was the alaka’i of line 3 – the wahine line – that stood on the gravel Mauna Kea Access Road one year ago. Both Freitas and Kihoi have been accepted as participants in the upcoming TMT contested case hearing, as the permit process for the TMT project gets back underway.