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DLNR Makes Additional Protest Arrests

April 3, 2015, 6:32 AM HST (Updated April 3, 2015, 6:33 AM)
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The Department of Land and Natural Resources, along with the Hawai’i Police Department and assistance from the Public Safety Department, arrested individuals protesting on Mauna Kea against the Thirty Meter Telescope Thursday.

DLNR officials said that the action was necessary “to preserve and protect public safety and public access on Mauna Kea.”

HPD arrested and transported 12 individuals to the Hilo police cellblock for illegally blocking the road and not allowing TMT crews past in order to get to the construction site. The 12 arrested were subsequently released after each posting bail of $250.

A total of 19 additional individuals were arrested Thursday. According to DLNR, eight adults were arrested by the department for disobedience to police officers as they obstructed the road, and another 11 adults were arrested for trespassing after they refused to leave the TMT construction site at the summit.

All arrests conducted by the DNLR were reportedly “peaceful,” and no injuries or medical issues occurred as a result.

“We are working with the University of Hawai’i and Thirty Meter Telescope project to ensure that the Mauna Kea summit road remains clear for workers, and to ensure access to Mauna Kea for other public use. Persons expressing their views may peacefully protest if not blocking the road,” DNLR Interim Chairman Carty Chang said Thursday evening. “Anyone impeding public safety or public access will be arrested.”

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