Twelve persons were arrested Thursday (April 2) after blocking access to construction workers who were en route to the summit of Mauna Kea to begin work on the Thirty-Meter Telescope.

“During the arrests, our officers practiced the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s core value of compassion,” said Assistant Chief Henry Tavares, who oversees police operations in East Hawaiʻi.

Earlier in the week, police were in communication with protesters opposed to the telescope, informing them that they had the right to protest peacefully and asking for a peaceful resolution and cooperation in keeping the roadway open. At that time, police informed the protesters that anyone who blocked the public road leading to the construction site would have to be arrested.

The arrests began at approximately 8 a.m. Thursday and were still in progress at noon. These individuals were taken to the Hilo police station for processing and then released after posting $250 bail:

  • Ronald Fujiyoshi, 75, of Hilo
  • Moanikeala Akaka, 70, of Hilo
  • Joseph Kanuha, 56, of Kailua-Kona
  • Eric Heaukulani, 38, of Kealakekua
  • Kelii Ioane Jr., 63, of Hilo
  • James Albertini, 68, of Kurtistown
  • Erin O’Donnel, 40, of Kamuela
  • Craig Neff, 56 ,of Pāpaʻikou
  • Gary Oamilda, 66, of Ocean View
  • Chase Kahookahi Kanuha, 26, of Kailua-Kona
  • Dannette Henrietta, 45, of Hilo
  • Lambert Lavea, 27, of Mountain View

Additional enforcement was conducted by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, which is responsible for enforcement on property owned by the state.