Protesters arrested and charged with blocking telescope construction crews on Haleakala

Video still courtesy Nicholas Garrett

Tense moments on Maui Thursday night as protesters faced off against police as crews tried to resume construction of a controversial telescope on Haleakala.

Maui police report that, at 10 p.m., officers were summoned to the Central Maui Baseyard to assist with crowd control. A representative of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy initiated a complaint that numerous individuals were blocking the exit.

A crowd of demonstrators gathered in front of the baseyard access road and blocked the tractor trailers from entering onto Mokulele Highway. The tractor trailers were transporting equipment for the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, which is currently under construction on the summit of Haleakala.

Officers made every attempt to have the demonstrators cooperate and clear the way for the tractor trailers to gain access onto the roadway, however, they were met with opposition. Demonstrators laid on the ground and connected themselves with PVC pipes and chains. Officers were able to extract each individual who were then taken into custody.

As a result, 13 adult males and seven adult females were arrested.

Those arrested and charged were:

  • Cameron Ahia, 43, from Waihee
  • Hiilei Aiwohi-Holt, 19, from Wailuku
  • Kaena Elaban, 27, from Pukalani
  • Kristen Enriquez, 26, from Kihei
  • Sean George, 27, from Honolulu
  • Wade Homes, 40, from Kihei
  • Jonathan Irvine, 31, from Waiehu
  • Kahala Johnson, 29, from Waiehu
  • Samuel Kaeo, 49, from Kula
  • Pohai Kaikala, 20, from Pukalani
  • Dustin Kaleiopu, 18, from Lahaina
  • Christopher Kasak, 37, from Makawao
  • Tiare Lawrence, 33, from Pukalani
  • Christopher Nakahashi, 31, from Haiku
  • David Praise, 37, from Wailuku
  • Alexander Quintana, 25, from Wailuku
  • Stanley Raymond, 60, from Kula
  • Sunny Savage-Luskin, 38, from Haiku
  • Lisa Schattenburg-Raymond, 56,  from Kula
  • Jordan Takakura-Puha, 24, from Paia

Bail for all was set at $600 each, with the exception of George, whose bail was set at $800.

Crews are building the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, which will be the largest solar telescope in the world once it’s complete.

Project officials told KHON2 that they “consulted local officials, native Hawaiians, and other stakeholders to ensure the project respected views and adjusted plans as appropriate.”

Also overnight arrests made atop Mauna Kea. Seven taken into custody for violating state law.

New rules have been put in place making it illegal to camp overnight atop the mountain. Back on July 14, Governor David Ige signed the newly proposed rules into law. From that date through the next 120 days, Mauna Kea road will be restricted to anyone not traveling in a vehicle, between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. Camping gear is also not allowed within a mile of the road at any time. The board of land and natural resources voted in favor of the rules.

State authorities say they have spent the past several days putting out literature and telling folks that they’re not allowed to be on the mountain overnight. At about two this morning officials moved in and began the arrests.

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