(BIVN) – Hawaiʻi Lieutenant Governor Josh Green, a former Big Island state senator, journeyed on Monday to the encampment at the base of Mauna Kea, which has been occupied by the opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope project for 8 days.
The project was set to begin construction one week ago, but so far law enforcement has been unable to safely clear a path for project equipment to move up the mountain.
Lt. Gov. Green sat with the kupuna on the closed Mauna Kea Access Road, and listened to their stories.
“He’s taking a tour of the campsite, which is our sanctuary, our safe haven,” said Pua Case, who has led the opposition to the TMT project for years. Case said she thinks Green came to the site to listen, “and to to be of assistance because I saw him bringing his medical supplies in. He is a doctor as well. So, I think he’s here for the day to also be of service to the people and to the Mauna.”
Green shared this message on his official Facebook page:
I just arrived on Mauna Kea at dawn to see first hand that family and friends, our Kupuna, Protectors, law enforcement and workers are all Ok.
In the ER this weekend I saw and treated families who were beyond exhaustion from their time on the mountain.
The stories that our people have shared with me over the last seven days have moved me, and have already begun to shape the next extraordinary chapter that Hawaii has to tell the world.
These are stories of hope and empowerment, sometimes heart wrenching, but all can serve to unite people. These stories should give us purpose, purpose to find common ground.
I am here today simply to listen to everyone who feels passionately about the Mauna, and to show respect for anyone who is putting some part of their heart and spirit into this pivotal time in Hawaii’s history.
I pray that we can all shape this experience together into a peaceful one, and that years from now it will make our Ohanas proud.
Three days ago, Governor David Ige was on Hawaiʻi Island, but he opted not to visit the encampment.