A Hawaii appellate court has ruled that Hawaii County’s police chief was within his authority when he requested help from police in other counties during the 2019 protests over the Thirty Meter Telescope.
A citizen petition filed with the Hawaii County Board of Ethics claims there was an uneven application of the law in response to a months-long demonstration that blocked a road up the state’s tallest mountain.
Friday was moving day at Mauna Kea. Hawaii County trucks brought in heavy equipment. Workers rolled out black ground covering over an old lava road and used gravel material to create a smoother surface for the activists’ kupuna tent.
The Hawaii Police Department has gone $3 million over budget primarily because of the necessity of an increased police presence near the site of demonstrations at the Mauna Kea Access Road, an official said.
In the eyes of government, the protest camp that went up at the base of Mauna Kea is operating outside the law. But for those who at Puuhonua o Puuhuluhulu, the protest is about so much more than a telescope. They camp, day after day, because ― they say ― they have a calling to protect the aina.