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Thursday, June 25, 2015
Ige Fails to Clear Mauna Kea Protesters, Relies on 'Mutual Respect and Aloha'
By News Release @ 2:43 AM :: 5628 Views :: Higher Education, Law Enforcement, OHA

STATEMENT ON MAUNA KEA FROM GOVERNOR’S OFFICE

By Chief of Staff Mike McCartney Jun 24, 2015

HONOLULU — Eleven adults were arrested by the Hawai‘i Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) Wednesday, during a protest to stop construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea.

The arrests are unfortunate, but the state’s number one priority is the safety of the people on Mauna Kea – from TMT workers to protestors who are exercising their first amendment rights to peaceably assemble and protest in a civil manner.

We are disappointed and concerned that large boulders were found in the roadway leading to the summit of Mauna Kea. This action is a serious and significant safety hazard and could put people at risk.

Because of this, we are making an assessment to determine how to proceed.

We will be working to clear the roadway tomorrow. Therefore, construction is on hold until further notice.

**Governor David Ige is in Washington, D.C. for an energy forum with the Washington Post and meetings with Hawai‘i’s congressional delegation and federal officials.

  *   *   *   *   *

GOVERNOR’S STATEMENT: STATEMENT ON TMT

By Chief of Staff Mike McCartney on behalf of Governor David Ige Jun 24, 2015

It is our belief that there will be mutual respect and aloha on Wednesday and in the days ahead as TMT restarts construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope.

TMT has the approvals needed to proceed with construction. We respect those who oppose the project and their right to peaceably assemble and to protest in an orderly and civil manner.

The State of Hawai‘i’s primary concern is the health and safety of its people. The state and Hawai‘i County are working together to uphold the law and ensure safety on roadways and on Mauna Kea, while allowing the people their right to peacefully and lawfully protest.                                                             

  *   *   *   *    *

Statement from Henry Yang, Chair of the TMT International Observatory Board:

“This is a difficult day for Hawaii and TMT. As we attempted to begin our work today, we were met by protests that regrettably resulted in some arrests. Boulders blocked our access to the construction site and the Department of Land and Natural Resources deemed it unsafe for us to proceed. For the safety of our team, we made the decision to bring them off the mountain and we are planning to resume when the issue is resolved.

“We want to thank the state and county police officers for protecting the safety of our team and the protesters and extend our gratitude to them, as well as to all of our supporters in Hawaii.

“We want to acknowledge and reach out to those who disagree with our project. We respect their views and, looking toward the future, we hope we can work together to find common ground.”

  *   *   *   *   *                              

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