The Latest: 12 arrested in Hawaii telescope protest

AP News
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Posted: Jun 24, 2015 9:46 PM
The Latest: 12 arrested in Hawaii telescope protest

HONOLULU (AP) — The latest on a large protest on a Hawaii mountain to block construction of what would be one of the world's largest telescopes (all times local):

3:40 p.m.

The Hawaii governor's office confirms state Department of Land and Natural Resources officers arrested 11 people when protesters prevented workers from accessing a construction site for what would be one of the world's largest telescopes.

Jodi Leong, a spokeswoman for Gov. David Ige, says she doesn't have details on Wednesday's arrests.

Hawaii County police arrested one man and charged him with obstructing. He was released after posting $250 bail.

Hundreds of people flocked to the mountain in an attempt to stop telescope construction from resuming. Protesters oppose building the telescope on land held sacred by many Native Hawaiians.

Workers eventually turned around and went back down the mountain.

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3:20 p.m.

Hawaii County police say a man arrested while protesting construction of one of the world's largest telescopes has been charged with obstruction.

Police say the 44-year-old was arrested Wednesday morning after blocking access to construction workers heading to the summit of Mauna Kea to work on the Thirty Meter Telescope.

He was charged with the petty misdemeanor offense of obstructing and then released after posting $250 bail.

Hundreds of people flocked to the mountain in an attempt to stop telescope construction from resuming. Protesters oppose building the telescope on land held sacred by many Native Hawaiians.

State Department of Land and Natural Resources officers detained others, but officials didn't immediately provide details.

Workers eventually turned around and went back down the mountain.

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2 p.m.

Telescope protester Kuuipo Freitas says she and others plan to remain after turning back construction crews seeking to resume work on the planned site of one of the world's largest telescopes.

She says she's glad construction didn't take place Wednesday on Mauna Kea, but protesters will continue camping on the mountain to prevent workers from returning.

Protesters oppose the Thirty Meter Telescope, saying many Native Hawaiians hold the construction site sacred.

Opponents also say the mountain already is home to 13 other large telescopes and that further development should be curbed.

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1:45 p.m.

A Thirty Meter Telescope spokeswoman says officials will be releasing a statement later on construction not being able to move forward.

Spokeswoman Caroline Witherspoon did not give a reason for why the crew turned around.

Protesters erupted in cheers Wednesday when the crew attempting to resume construction of a giant telescope near the summit of Hawaii's Mauna Kea headed back down the mountain.

Many people oppose building the telescope on land that many Native Hawaiians consider sacred.

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12:55 p.m.

A man protesting construction of a giant telescope on a Hawaii mountain says demonstrators erupted in cheers when crews advancing up Mauna Kea turned around and headed back down.

Protester Kainoa Stafford says the vehicles turned around at about 12:45 p.m.

Hundreds of people flocked to the mountain Wednesday to keep workers from resuming construction on the Thirty Meter Telescope on land many Native Hawaiians hold sacred.

Construction has been on hold for about two months after 31 protesters were arrested on the mountain in April.

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12:45 p.m.

Protesters say people are being detained on a Hawaii mountain as hundreds block workers from resuming construction of a giant telescope on land many Native Hawaiians hold sacred.

Protester Kainoa Stafford says he saw authorities from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources putting plastic cuffs on demonstrators. He didn't know exactly how many were detained.

Hawaii County Assistant Police Chief Henry Tavares says at least one man was arrested Wednesday.

A governor's office spokeswoman says she's waiting to hear how many were detained.

Attempts to contact authorities for an exact count weren't immediately successful.

Hundreds of protesters flocked to Mauna Kea Wednesday to prevent construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope from resuming.

Work has been on hold for about two months after 31 protesters were arrested on Mauna Kea in April.