Two people were arrested this morning when law enforcement officers came home to begin demolishing an illegal timber structure erected by a faction of activists near the main camp of opponents of the Thirty-Meter Telescope, according to Attorney General Claire Connors.
Facebook footage of the accident showed authorities using a front loader just before 10 a.m. to begin shattering and removing the walls of the building. The structure was demolished in minutes and State Transportation crews began loading timber to be pulled.
An observer at the site estimated that the work crew and heavy equipment were accompanied by about 100 law enforcement officers and the video showed protesters. collected outside the perimeter established by the deputies of the state sheriff and the Hawaii police.
Connors said the two unidentified people were arrested for obstructing government operations, but no violence was reported at the scene. Protests against Mauna Kea have been non-violent since the closure of Mauna Kea's accessible road on July 1
In a statement posted on the Pu & # 39; uhonua o Pu & # 39; uhuluhulu Maunakea Facebook page, protesters against Mauna Kea said, "This is a very emotional moment and we ask everyone to stay in a capo aloha while go through this day. "
" We condemn every instance of the electoral implementation of Hawaii's law, especially since it is currently aimed at protectors. Without being controlled by the state's current actions, everyone in puhonuua remains united and committed. with the protection of Maunakea in capo aloha. "
Connors said government officials released a message Wednesday warning activists that the structure would be demolished. She said the building raised concerns because there were no state or county permits or other approvals, and activists were not allowed to build the Hawaiian Estate Department in the land home.
She said the illegal structure also increased the possibility of invasiveness.
Connors said several children were in the structure's barns when authorities moved around 8:30 this morning, but activists were quickly removing the children.
A structure built on a lava field near the main camp of protesters in Poo Huluhuulu is the source of some division among protesters who block Mauna Kea Access to try to prevent the construction of TMTs.
One group of demonstrators did most of the work to assemble the building over Labor Day weekend, but the Royal Order of Kamehameha I issued a statement Tuesday saying it did not "approve or approve" the building. The Royal Order establishes a poohonua or asylum site in Poo Huluhuulu, which serves as a center of protest.
"As long as we remain steadfast in our commitments to making puhuhunaa a safe haven for our people, until we are sure that our mauna is protected, we have no intention of creating a permanent village within that asylum," the order states.
"We informed the people who were building the structure that neither the Royal Order of Kamehameha nor Pu & # 39; uhonua o Pu & # 39; uhuluhulu approved or sanctioned the construction of fixed structures. We remain committed to maintaining only a temporary presence and a light footprint within Pu & # 39; uhonua.
The Chairman of the Hawaiian House Committee is William J. Ayla announced Tuesday that law enforcement officials have been telling activists that the structure is not permitted.
"The unregulated structures of all DHHL lands throughout the country are addressed consistently," Ayla said in a statement. "After a published spillage, DHHL will remove the structure as soon as resources become available."