On July 10th,  Governor David Ige’s office announced that construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea was set to begin the week of July 15th. The announcement has generated a response of Kiai (protectors) gathering at the sacred site to peacefully protest the construction plans. Last week, hundreds of protectors placed themselves on the road and have chained themselves to cattle grates to protect their sacred mountain. 

Governor Ige deployed law enforcement at the site to ensure public safety due to road closures and large equipment movement at the site. Although law enforcement was only present to ensure public safety, they began to arrest protestors. Hawai’ian Native Kupuna (elders) were at the front lines leading the resistance and were the first to be arrested and removed from the site. Many of the officers on the location were emotionally breaking down during the arrests and removals because they too are part of the Native Hawaiian community and felt torn having to remove the elders. 

Governor Ige’s deployment of military force and violence threatens the safety of Mauna Kea protectors who are guided by the principles of Kapu Aloha and Non-Violence. Protectors say that despite efforts of military tactics and violence, they will continue to assert their rights to free speech and continue to protect their sacred lands. 

* This is a developing story. Check back for updates.