(BIVN) – A retired law enforcement officer sympathetic to the opposition to the Thirty Meter Telescope planned for Maunakea spoke out on the integrity of government recently at a Hawaiʻi County Council meeting.
Former Hawaiʻi County Police Department lieutenant Juergen Canda delivered his public testimony to the council on Wednesday in Hilo. Canda, who previously filed a complaint in regards to the ongoing police activity around Mauna Kea, was speaking on a possible Hawaiʻi County Board of Ethics investigation into “why the rule of law is not being enforced at the Mauna Kea Access Road.”
On the council’s agenda was Resolution 509-20, a referral for executive session, finding “that a conflict of interest would exist for the Corporation Counsel to advise the Board of Ethics and provides for the retention of legal services by the County of Maui Office of the Corporation Counsel, with total costs not to exceed $1,000.” The agenda item was lacking in further detail, however it was later confirmed that the matter had nothing to do with the Board of Ethics’ possible investigation into the rule of law on Mauna Kea.
Nevertheless, Canda delivered his statement. “I thought that we made it quite clear at the circus that developed at the Ethics Commission that their investigation was nonsensical and had no legitimate basis,” Canda told the council.
Canda spoke about the counter-insurgency tactics that he believes are being deployed by the state in dealing with the opposition to the TMT, and the repetitive media theme of “rule of law.”
“When you’re talking about the rule and law,” Canda said, “you’re talking about the government. We are able to govern and police societies effectively because we primarily have consent of the public. That’s how 400 police officers can maintain order with 200,000 people. It’s not the police that’s doing it.”
“Governments that have high legitimacy, and are seen as trustworthy and have integrity, have high consent of their public,” Canda said. “Those that don’t have to overly rely on force.”
“They’re trying to flip it on its head and say that the Lāhui is undermining the rule of law but that’s not what’s happening, it’s government,” Canda said. “The central issue here is there hasn’t been rule of law on Mauna Kea for 50 years because the state itself has been undermining and making a mockery of the rule of law.”
Canda referred to the breach of trust lawsuit filed over the Mauna Kea Access Road. “The lawsuit details an epic level of gaming the system for special interests,” he said, “and it reads like a Rico investigation, really.”
“Pushing the TMT project is like pushing things to the tipping point, but it’s the government that’s done this, not the public,” Canda testified.
Other opponents of the TMT project testified at the same council meeting. Before the council went into executive session to discuss the resolution, Hawaiʻi County Corporation Counsel Joe Kamelamela confirmed the matter was unrelated to the Mauna Kea situation.