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In a very vague statement the governor of Hawaii has once again stopped construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) while he reassesses the situation after protesters yesterday blocked the road to the mountain summit with boulders.
“We are disappointed and concerned that large boulders were found in the roadway leading to the summit of Mauna Kea,” McCartney said in the statement. “This action is a serious and significant safety hazard and could put people at risk. “Because of this, we are making an assessment to determine how to proceed,” he said. “We will be working to clear the roadway tomorrow. Therefore, construction is on hold until further notice.”
The statement implies that he is trying to figure out a way to prevent the protesters from blocking the road, without causing more conflict. I instead suspect he sympathies with the protesters, and is looking for a way to stop construction, which he legally cannot do.
If the road is not reopened by the end of this week and construction is still blocked, I think the TMT managers, as well as the operators of the other telescopes on the mountain, should seriously consider moving from Hawaii. I also repeat that a boycott of Hawaiian tourism might also be appropriate now. This is what these nativist activists want, no more outsiders. We should give them what they want.