State gearing up for potential protests ahead of TMT construction
As construction is set to begin on the Big Island of the Thirty Meter Telescope project, the state is preparing for protests.
“We are preparing for a lot of different scenarios,. and certainly we feel like the people of Hawaii always rise to the occasion to display the best behavior and we do expect that,” says Governor David Ige.
The entire Mauna Kea Access road will be blocked off while construction materials and heavy equipment are brought to the future telescope site. That’s something that has some native Hawaiian groups concerned that they won’t be able to reach the mountain for religious and cultural practices.
The National Guard will be on site to assist with transporting materials, and the state Attorney General says they’re working with police and prosecutors on the Big Island to be ready for the possibility of arrests from illegal protests.
“We're hoping you’re following the rules and that if you're asked by law enforcement to do something that you comply,” says Attorney General Clare Connors.
Construction begins July 15th, and is expected to last ten years before the telescope is open.