Hawaii Gov. David Ige made his support for the Thirty Meter Telescope project atop Mauna Kea quite clear in a statement Friday afternoon along with his disdain for the way protesters used rocks to block the road up the mountain:

“We are a patient people in Hawaii. We listen to and understand differing points of view, and we respect the many cultures of this land, especially that of the host culture. I have done my very best to follow this process in the case of Mauna Kea and set forth a way forward that I believe is reasonable.

“We expected there to be a protest when construction resumed, and there was. We hoped we would not have to arrest people but were prepared to do so, and we did when they blocked the roadway. We also saw, in what amounts to an act of vandalism, the roadway blocked with rocks and boulders. We deployed to remove the rocks and boulders, but the protesters wisely chose to remove them themselves.

“And then we saw more attempts to control the road. That is not lawful or acceptable to the people of Hawai‘i. So let me be very direct: The roads belong to all the people of Hawai‘i and they will remain open. We will do whatever is necessary to ensure lawful access. We expect there to be more types of challenges, good and bad days, and we are in this for the long run. We value TMT and the contributions of science and technology to our society, and we continue our support of the project’s right to proceed.

“We are currently working to find ways to enable the TMT project to proceed safely without putting workers, protestors and the general public at risk.”

Read past Civil Beat coverage here.

Right, First Deputy Director of DLNR Kekoa Kaluhiwa walks past rocks after finding scores of stones on roadway. DLNR decided to turn law enforcement vehicles and TMT support vehicles after scores of stones were found on the access road preventing their ascent to the Mauna Kea summit. 24 june 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

DLNR First Deputy Director Kekoa Kaluhiwa, right, walks past rocks on the road leading up Mauna Kea on Wednesday.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

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