Protesters, law enforcement prepare for another showdown on Mauna Kea

TMT protest preparations
Published: Nov. 17, 2015 at 3:08 AM HST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2015 at 6:54 PM HST
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MAUNA KEA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - Protesters and law enforcement appear headed for another showdown on Mauna Kea.  Hawaii News Now has learned that hundreds of officers from several state and county law enforcement agencies are expected to be on hand to ensure TMT crews have safe access to the construction site.

"I think we are expecting big numbers in force which is really going to be a test for us," said Mehana Kihoi of the Mauna Kea Ohana.
Protestors are preparing for a high number of arrests ... and recommended that people bring at least $250 in bail money.

"It means (TMT officials and the state) are going to put people in danger. The police and the public. Because people have already shown they're willing to be arrested to prevent desecration from happening on Mauna Kea," said Kealoha Pisciotta, of the Mauna Kea Hui.

And besides Mauna Kea, another protest is expected Wednesday at the state Capitol.

"Taking to the streets means we stand for what we believe in and we let everyone know it's not okay to do this," Pisciotta said.

Sources say TMT crews are expected to be on Mauna Kea on Wednesday or later this week to do maintenance work on construction equipment that have been leaking fuel. They won't say when they will send full construction teams to restart work on the telescope.

"Once we notified the state and other agencies about our intention to go back on the mountain, they reassured us on the safety of our workers," TMT spokesman Scott Ishikawa said last week.

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