Lā 170: Mauna Kea protest planned at University of Hawaii at Manoa

KHON 2 By Web Staff Published: September 11, 2015, 6:08 am Updated: September 11, 2015, 6:10 am

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A large protest expected today at the University of Hawaii at Manoa over recent arrests on Mauna Kea.

Organizers for today’s rally say the arrests are a violation of the First Amendment and the rights of Native Hawaiians.

The protestors will be holding a demonstration outside Bachman Hall starting at 5:00 p.m. this evening.

On Wednesday morning, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) took seven women and one man into custody for violating an emergency rule that prohibits people from being on the mountain overnight. This was the second round of arrests under the 120-day-long emergency rule signed by Governor Ige in July.

On July 31, 2015, six people received citations and seven people were arrested under the rule intended to establish safe conditions on the mountain for protestors, observatory workers and visitors.

On April 10, hundreds of demonstrators took pohaku, or stones, near the taro patches at the Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, where university students learn about the culture and history of Hawaii. One by one, they passed them a quarter-mile down Dole Street, to Bachman Lawn fronting the office of UH president David Lassner. There, demonstrators built what they referred to as their ahu, or memorial, a visual message to the university.

Stay with KHON2 for updates on this developing story.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs released the following statement after the arrests:

“The Office of Hawaiian Affairs strongly condemns this morning’s arrests on Mauna Kea and again urges the state to cease further enforcement action and arrests until legal questions relating to the Mauna Kea emergency rules are properly resolved. It is our understanding that the individuals were arrested this morning while they were in the act of pule, or prayer. Native Hawaiians have constitutionally protected rights to reasonably engage in traditional and customary practices, and regulations cannot eliminate the exercise of these rights. We hope for a resolution that ensures our beneficiaries’ rights are protected instead of violated.”
120-day-long emergency rule for Mauna Kea

Prohibited activities. (a) The area referred to in this rule as the “restricted area” is defined as any lands in the public hunting area that includes the Mauna Kea Observatory Access Road and one mile on either side of the Mauna Kea Observatory Access road.
(b) As used in this rule, the term “transiting” means operating, or being a passenger in, a motor vehicle travelling at a reasonable and prudent speed and having regard to the actual and potential hazards and conditions then existing.
(c) No person shall at any time possess or control in the restricted area any of the following items: sleeping bag, tent, camping stove, or propane burner.
(d) No person shall enter or remain in the restricted area during the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., unless the person is transiting through the restricted area on the Mauna Kea Observatory Access Road or is lawfully within or entering or exiting an existing observatory or a facility operated by the University of Hawaii.