Two Mauna Kea protesters convicted but get minor sentences

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Two protesters who blocked a road leading to the summit of Mauna Kea to block construction vehicles for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) have been convicted of misdeamenors and given very minor sentences.

The state requested six months’ probation, and that they stay off Mauna Kea Access Road for the period of probation. Prosecutors also requested 72 hours of community service in lieu of a $500 fine. Fujiyoshi [one of the protesters] asked for a jail sentence instead of community service, and was sentenced to five days. He will serve one day in jail, with credit for time served; six months’ probation; and was ordered to remain off the access road. Lindsey-Kaapuni [the other protester] argued against probation, and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service.

The state here has no easy solution. If it demands severe punishment the press will make the protesters martyrs. If it lets them off then the protesters will know they can protest as much as they want and face no consequences.

Right now I do not see TMT ever getting built on Mauna Kea. I also see the slow removal of the telescopes already there to be certain, given time. The protesters are in control, and they oppose this search for knowledge about the universe.


  • Dick Eagleson

    The protesters are in control, and they oppose this search for knowledge about the universe.

    You’re right about the control part. And they will remain in control until liberal Democrats are ousted from political control of the 50th state. A party built on a foundation of racial identity politics will never deny the grievances of “activists” with an ethnic basis of complaint. Given the extreme unlikelihood of such a thing occurring short of the archipelago’s “native” malcontents going over to a widespread strategy of open armed rebellion, I have to share your general pessimism about the probable future – or, more properly, the lack of same – for big league astronomy in Hawaii.

    But the opposition of the “native” activists is not based on hostility to the search for knowledge about the universe, but on hostility to the presence and economic dominance of “haoles” – non-Polynesian Hawaiians, especially whites. It simply happens to be the case that the dominant use of the summit of Mauna Kea is big-bore astronomy. The “activists” would be equally confrontational if instead of large telescopes on Mauna Kea, there were large geothermal power plants, large luxury hotels or any other land use that was initiated and mainly run by the hated haoles. This current agitation is not in the least about astronomy. It is about racially-based grievance-mongering. Period.

  • Nick P

    Gordon Moore will never live to see his dream come true.

    They should cut their losses right now and plan for moving to Chile.

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