VIDEO: TMT Standoff, Day 4: State Clarifies Proclamation; No Arrests Today
4 PM: Update from the Joint Information Center
Safety remains the state’s number one priority as law enforcement continues to plan and prepare for the movement of construction equipment up the mountain.
At its peak, there were an estimated 600 people in the area and around the intersection of the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (formerly known as Saddle Road) and Mauna Kea Access Road.
There were no arrests or injuries reported today.
The Daniel K. Inouye Highway (DKI) was open today but foot traffic beyond the cattle guard on Mauna Kea Access Road (about an ⅛ mile from the intersection) is now restricted, a decision related to the governorʻs emergency proclamation issued Wednesday. The proclamation gives law enforcement increased flexibility and authority to close more areas and restrict access on Mauna Kea to ensure public safety.
There were a total of 34 individuals arrested, cited and released Wednesday for obstructing government operations, a misdemeanor. Initially, 33 arrests were reported. The names of the arrested individuals will be released when the officers involved are able to file their reports, which may be after the deployment is completed.
There is a lot of misinformation on social media regarding the protest so we ask the public to please beware of unverified information. For example, there were claims that the state closed DKI Highway without any justification when in fact the highway was closed for safety reasons after it was obstructed with people and vehicles during the protest.
The state commends law enforcement for showing great restraint Wednesday when a large crowd of protesters obstructed DKI Highway leading to its closure. The decision to de-escalate the situation and safely re-open the highway was the correct one.
Continue to drive carefully if you are in the area and expect increased traffic and possible delays.
3 PM: Saddle Road Remains Open
Daniel K. Inouye Highway, also known as Saddle Road, is OPEN to all traffic.
2:30 PM: TMT Opponents Motorcade Through Hilo
1:45 PM: TMT Protest Site Vans Set to Leave With Arrested Kūpuna. VC: Darde Gamayo
1:45 PM: Arrests Continue at TMT Protest Site. VC: Darde Gamayo
11 AM, July 18, 2019: Mauna Kea Media Teleconference
“Law enforcement continues to plan and prepare for the movement of equipment up the mountain,” explained Dan Dennison, senior communication manager for the Department of Land and Natural Resources. “Safety continues to be our highest priority. Please do not obstruct or hinder law enforcement. Foot traffic beyond the cattle guard is restricted.”
Dennison said there is a lot of misinformation on social media and asked that everyone be aware of unverified information.
“There were claims that the state decided to close Daniel K. Inouye Highway, or Saddle Road, yesterday without any justification, when in fact the state decided to close the road for safety reasons when it was obstructed by people and vehicles during the protest.”
When asked, officials did confirm that the emergency proclamation issued by Gov. David Ige was a direct response to the people and cars in the highway.
He said they also needed to correct the number of arrests from yesterday. There were 34 arrests. Previously reported 33. Dennison confirmed that 33 kūpuna and one caretaker for a kupuna had been arrested.
He said the individuals were cited for misdemeanors and then released.
“They were arrested because they were blocking the roadway,” said Dennison. “Police asked them to leave multiple times. They were informed that they would be arrested if they did not leave. They did not, so they were arrested. It was done so very respectfully.”
He said Mauna Kea Access Road remains closed both to vehicular traffic and foot traffic.
Dennison said law enforcement is using the power granted by the emergency proclamation to secure the mountain for the safety of all involved.
Citing operational security, Dennison said he could not confirm if the Hawai‘i National Guard will be escorting the construction equipment up the mountain.