Topic: Hawai'i

Kanaka Māoli left concussed by Police at Haleakalā protest

By Leah Te Whata

Six people were arrested and one was seriously injured overnight as a hundred native Hawaiians stood in protest to stop the construction of a solar telescope at Haleakalā.

A protester in the night called out as a man lay unconscious on the road, "We fight for the future, you fight for the highest bidder!"

This is the price of a peaceful protest.

Protesters demanded to know who was in charge of the police officers at the scene where the man lay unconscious, handcuffs still on. 

"Take the handcuffs off!" cries a female protester.

Kanaka Māoli and protester Mahealani Ahia told Te Kāea, "One of our kia'i (guardians) rolled underneath the truck and the other kia'i were afraid that the driver wouldn't see so they tried to run in front of it and put their bodies in front of the truck."

Protesters bound themselves together with PVC pipes in an effort to stop the erection of a telescope.

Kahala Johnson says, "The protest against the construction of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope has been going on for decades. In 2015, that was when they started to actually transport telescope parts up the mountain."

The First Nation Hawaiians want to protect the sacred place where Māui slowed the sun, Haleakalā.

Six people were arrested, including University of Hawai'i Associate Professor Kaleikoa Kaeo.

Kaeo calls out, "Call me a radical for I refuse to remain idle and allow foreigners to prostitute the soul of my being and culture."

Mahealani Ahia told Te Kāea that this kind of brutality is what the American Police inflict.

Mahealani Ahia says, "One of our kia'i actually was pushed to the ground violently and his head hit the asphalt and he ended up with a concussion."

Doctor Kalama O Ka Aina says, "His head was pounded on the ground and he became unconscious and was unconscious for a significant amount of time. That was done by the police officers."

Te Kāea contacted the Maui Police Department for comment but they are yet to respond.