Protestors blockade, but telescope parts delivery proceeds


Photo by Tre Cravalho

Kamehameha Schools students walk in a lei offering ceremony at a protest and blockade of deliveries to the Daniel K. Inouye telescope on Wednesday, August 19. Community groups are trying to halt construction of the scientific observatory on Haleakala.

KAHULUI–About 50 members of the Hawaiian community gathered at the Central Maui Baseyard, late in the evening on August 19, from approximately 6:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. They encircled the crosswalk directly outside the gate in hopes of preventing trucks, carrying telescope materials, to reach Haleakalā.

“We do have a voice, and we will use it,” said Kupono Aguirre, a Kamehameha Schools Maui junior. He said that these members of the Hawaiian community are trying to educate the public about their opposition to the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope.

After several hours of chanting and singing, the Maui Police Department issued a 5-minute disbursement order at about midnight, notifying the group that if they did not leave, consequences would soon follow.

More than 20 police officers gathered at the front of the gate in bullet-proof vests and pads. The officers moved back the protestors so that the trucks inside could leave the Central Maui Baseyard.

Despite the non-stop chanting and blockade, trucks successfully pulled out of the baseyard and delivered their loads to the construction area at the summit of Haleakalā.