(BIVN) – There was a break in the action on the Mauna Kea Access Road in the early afternoon today, after Thirty Meter Telescope opponents who were chained to the cattle guard relinquished their position and were not arrested.
After that moment, celebrated as a small victory for the kiaʻi, law enforcement appeared to stand down.
During that time, the State Department of Transportation set up concrete barriers along the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (formerly known as Saddle Road) near the Mauna Kea Access Road intersection, and also installed a gate on the access road. The gate is right next to the cattle guard where TMT opponents chained themselves earlier.
“I think is this a good day, a good first start,” said Joshua Lanakila Mangauil, one of the leasers in the Ku Kiaʻi Mauna movement. “Really, everybody coming together – and in a good way – in order to start off like this.”
“We are committed to the long haul,” Mangauil said.
The Joint Information Center is provided an update, saying: “The top priority continues to be the safety of all. To that end, a strong line of communication and respect between law enforcement and the protest leaders has been established. The state is committed to continuing that dialogue and respect.”
So far, on this first scheduled day of construction on the mountain, no injuries were reported and no arrests made, the state said.
“We urge everyone to stay away from the area,” the Joint Information Center stated. “It is a remote area and access to medical care limited. If you are in the area, which is at about 6,000 feet altitude, remember to monitor your physical health, stay hydrated and protect yourself from sun exposure. The area is also prone to sudden changes in weather including temperature, rain and visibility.”
“Nobody wants to be here,” Mangauil said. “This is nothing for any of us here, what’s being pushed onto this mountain. None of the officers, none of us.”
“I think we are continuing to remind everybody, this was a good day.
But we might have not-so-good days,” Mangauil added, “and we have to be ready for that.”
UPDATE: Today’s activity has not yet concluded. As of 5 p.m. the standoff continues.