Hawaii vows to proceed with controversial telescope project despite protests

18 July 2019
2019-07-18 13:59

Protesters led by a group of native Hawaiian elders delayed the construction of a giant new telescope atop Hawaii's tallest mountain on Wednesday, but state officials began making arrests and vowed the project would ultimately proceed. Demonstrators formed a human blockade for a third straight day at an access road leading to an area at the summit of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano and the site of the planned $1.4 billion observatory.

Authorities began arresting protesters who refused to stop blocking the road on Wednesday morning, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Opponents have fought the telescope for years but the way was cleared for construction to start after the state Supreme Court upheld the project's permit last October.

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