Seven women and one man in the act of pule, or prayer in the camp made near the Thirty Meter Telescope were taken into custody early Wednesday, charged with “being present in a restricted area.” According to a press release from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, which has authority to enforce rules on the mountain, seven women and one man were arrested for being present “in the restricted area, outlined in the emergency rule passed by the Board of Land and Natural Resources and signed by Governor Ige.”
DLNR, decided to shoot the arrests they made earlier this morning on film and post it for the public to see.
“DLNR footage. Scary new paradigm: DLNR or police shoot footage, edit it, and release it from their perspective. They will then often try to block other cameras (saying it is already being “documented”). Fortunately, in this case other cameras were rolling too. Aloha to all the brave warriors!!!”
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is condemning the arrests. In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, it also said:
“The Office of Hawaiian Affairs strongly condemns this morning’s arrests on Mauna Kea and again urges the state to cease further enforcement action and arrests until legal questions relating to the Mauna Kea emergency rules are properly resolved. It is our understanding that the individuals were arrested this morning while they were in the act of pule, or prayer.
Native Hawaiians have constitutionally protected rights to reasonably engage in traditional and customary practices, and regulations cannot eliminate the exercise of these rights. We hope for a resolution that ensures our beneficiaries’ rights are protected instead of violated.”
You can also view a live stream from Protector Kuuipomana from her perspective during the arrests.