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Thursday, August 3, 2017
Haleakala: Police Again Clear Anti-Telescope Demonstrators from Road
By News Release @ 5:43 AM :: 8616 Views :: Maui County, Higher Education, OHA, Police

Anti-Telescope Protesters Fight with Police in effort to Create Incident

Maui News August 3, 2017 (excerpts)

...“You gotta kill me if you gonna go on top of my mauna (without paying rent)! You gotta kill me!” — a man in a malo wedged under the axle of a semi-truck, daring to be crushed rather than see the another telescope on the sacred summit (without OHA getting money)….

By the time 28-year-old Joseph Henderson was driven away in a police van a half hour later, his handcuffed wrists pressed against the window, the semi-trucks had finally passed through, one man had been taken to the hospital and a quiet night of waiting had turned into a emotional stand for dozens of protesters.

“There is no loss,” said (anti-GMO whack job and professional protester) Trinette Furtado, who served as a legal observer during the protests….

People who were following the wide load from the Puunene baseyard provided updates to the protesters in Pukalani on the progress of the convoy.

As the trucks approached King Kekaulike High School at around 3:45 a.m., protesters held a lei ceremony in the intersection and cordoned the street off with yellow crime scene tape. About a dozen protesters linked arms inside pipes and connected their wrists with carabiners attached to chain bracelets….

“In Hawaiian, they’re telling us that they’re here to protect, they’re here to malama,” Waiehu Kou resident and protester Ka’apuni Aiwohi said later. “But I’m like, ‘No, that’s what we’re doing. We’re the ones protecting the mountain.’ “  (No. You are just demanding payment.  Then you will go away.)

University of Hawaii Maui College professor Kaleikoa Kaeo was one of those who joined the human chain.

“We’re really trying to showcase that we’ve never given consent to what has been occurring on Haleakala (and my personal consent is required because I rule you),” Kaeo said before the trucks arrived. “We’re prepared really to do whatever is necessary to stop the transport, including nonviolent direct action. . . . If we cannot protect (collect rent from) our own sacred sites, what lands can we protect (collect rent from) as Hawaiians?”…

The chain of protesters laid down on the road, forcing officers to carry each person, one by one, out of the way. Then Kaeo, free of his arm restraints, bolted in front of one of the trucks as a pair of officers rushed to restrain him. (He’ll probably make department head for this, with commensurate pay hike.)  While Kaeo was being handcuffed, Henderson dove under the axle of the same truck, yelling, “Run my head over!” as the shouts of protesters intensified….

In the commotion, one man required medical attention at the scene. He lay on his back and appeared unresponsive as concerned protesters and police knelt by his side checking his vital signs.

At around 4:30 a.m., paramedics took him to the Maui Memorial Medical Center emergency room, where he was evaluated and released back into police custody, according to police spokesman Lt. Gregg Okamoto.  (Translation: He was faking it.)

It was still unclear Wednesday how the man ended up on the ground unresponsive. Wailuku resident Charles Revard, one of the protesters who also joined the human chain, said he saw an officer with his knee pressed against the man’s face, and that the man said he couldn’t breathe (Saying ‘I can’t breathe’, proves that he can breathe.)….

According to project director Thomas Rimmele, there are no other wide loads scheduled for delivery the rest of this year…..

read … Not Peaceful 

  *   *   *   *   *

Statement from Maui Police Department on the Haleakala Protest:

On Wednesday, August 2, 2017, a convoy of vehicles transporting equipment for the new solar telescope to the summit of Haleakala was met by a large group of protestors at the intersection of Haleakala Highway and Kekaulike Highway.

As a result, two women and four men were arrested as they threw themselves into the path of the trucks and in front of the trailer tires to stop the convoy despite the repeated efforts and requests by police to have the crowd cease and desist.

One of the protestors who was arrested, later identified as David Prais, had gotten up from the ground and pushed past an officer and dove under the trailer of a truck as it was moving. Prais grabbed onto a tire as the truck slowed to a stop.

Police repeatedly ordered Prais to release his grip on the tire but he refused to listen. Officers had to forcibly remove Prais from under the trailer as he continued to grab on to the tire. As officers tried to move Prais away from the truck, which was stopped on an incline, he continued to actively resist and attempted to run back under the trailer.

Officers, in the interest of Prais’ safety and the safety of others, took Prais to the ground and tried to handcuff him. Prais continued to struggle with officers and refused to obey commands. He tucked his hands under his body and refused to release them causing officers to forcibly restrain him and pull his arms free in order to handcuff him.

As officers escorted Prais to an awaiting vehicle for transport to the police station, he suddenly appeared to become unconscious. Officers guided him to the ground and immediately radioed for an ambulance as a precaution and remained with Prais until its arrival.

Police officials have reviewed reports and video of all the arrests, including the arrest of David Prais, and preliminary findings show that officers acted within department policy and procedure and the scope of their training.

  *   *   *   *   *

HNN: Activists Claim Maui police used excessive force 

HNN: Maui police deny claims officers used excessive force during Haleakala protest

HNN: But then will come the real test when opponents once take to the mountain again to place their bodies in front of the construction equipment.  How Governor Ige handles that may be the biggest test of career. 

HPR: Maui Protest Will Not Be the Last Againt Solar Telescope Construction

DKIST: Statement from Telescope Builders

Flashback 2015: Crying Police Apologize to Telescope Protesters

  *   *   *   *   *


News Release from DLNR, August 2, 2017

(Kahului, Maui)- Two women and four men were arrested early this morning by Maui Police as they attempted to block the passage of a large vehicle convoy hauling equipment up Haleakala for a new solar telescope. The protesters were among more than 100 who gathered at the intersection of Kula Highway and Old Haleakala Highway beginning at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. By midnight an estimated 60 people were still involved in a peaceful protest. The convoy led by a half dozen police vehicles included four semi-trucks pulling wide-load trailers. It reached the entrance to Haleakala National Park at 6 a.m. and Science City near the summit between 7:30 and 7:45 a.m.

More than 60 law enforcement personnel from the Maui Police Dept., Haleakala National Park, and the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) participated in the operation.

Prior to the arrival of the convoy at Kula and Old Haleakala Highways, a dozen protestors connected themselves with PVC piping to form a human chain across the road. Police officers gently lifted the prone protestors to the highway's shoulder to give the big rigs enough turning radius. One man who was arrested was taken to the emergency room before being booked.

The other five people arrested, were transported to either the Wailuku or Kihei police stations. All were released on their own personal recognizance and will have court appearances. Charges they face include disorderly conduct, obstructing a highway, failing to obey a police officer and/or resisting arrest.


(All images and video courtesy: DLNR)

HD video:  Protest, demonstration, convoy and telescope

Photographs: Protest, demonstration, convoy and telescope


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