(BIVN) – Kupuna who were arrested for blocking the Mauna Kea Access Road in opposition to the Thirty Meter Telescope, along with some prominent kumu hula, held a media conference on the Mauna Kea Access Road on Thursday.
As of day 4 of the scheduled start of construction on Mauna Kea, equipment has yet to attempt to ascend the mountain. TMT opponents have held the only road leading to the summit, which was officially closed on Monday to make way for construction crews.
The day before, police arrested 34 individuals, many of them kupuna, who are well known Hawaiian cultural practitioners and dedicated aloha ʻāina. Later that day, Governor David Ige signed an emergency proclamation regarding the situation on Mauna Kea.
The emergency proclamation did not sit well with the kupuna.
“He’s abusing his powers,” said Walter Ritte, one of those cited yesterday. “He’s making all of us look bad, in front of the whole world. This is not a volcano that’s erupting, or some kind of a huge protest that is out of control. This is about aloha.”
“Calling out the National Guard is an insult to us Hawaiians,” Ritte said.
“If our Lāhui rises up, remind ourselves of Kapu Aloha,” said Billy Freitas, the first to be arrested on Wednesday.
Kumu Hula Victoria Holt Takamine, who came to the mountain with Kumu Hula Mapuana de Silva, said she was offended by Governor Ige’s words. “So I am declaring an emergency to the Lāhui, to the nation of Hawaiʻi. We are now in a state of emergency,” she said.