Maui resident among those arrested atop Mauna Kea

Maui resident Carmen Hulu Lindsey, who is also the Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee for Maui, prepares to be hauled away from the base of Mauna Kea on Hawaii island on Wednesday. Lindsey and other kupuna were arrested, apparently peacefully, during the protest of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop the mountain some Native Hawaiians consider sacred. Photo courtesy of Napua Greig

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Carmen Hulu Lindsey of Maui was among those arrested Wednesday morning during the protest of the Thirty Meter Telescope at the base of Mauna Kea on Hawaii island.

Her daughter, noted kumu hula and worldwide entertainer Napua Greig, who is traveling in Japan, said Wednesday afternoon that her mother was OK and was quickly released after being arrested and given a court date. In photos and video, Lindsey appeared to be peacefully taken away with other kupuna in vans from the mountain base.

Greig said her mother was then on her way to Oahu to make it to an OHA meeting Wednesday afternoon.

“Mom was very makaukau, and makaukau (ready, prepared) to be there and to stand for our mauna,” Greig said in a Facebook live video earlier on Wednesday.

Greig added that it was “super eha,” or painful, to watch the kupuna being taken into custody.

But she also felt “super haaheo,” or proud.

“That’s where we come from, ikaika (strength, force); we come from akamai (skill, smarts).”

She later added: “Not much matters if we cannot be Hawaiian in Hawaii. Not much matters any more if we cannot have our freedom to practice our culture and worship the way we want to worship. Not much matters if we don’t have that.”

Grieg said on Wednesday afternoon that she was in touch with Lindsey via text message.

Greig added that her students and friends from Maui are also at the base of Mauna Kea.

Molokai activist Walter Ritte was also arrested according to media reports.

In Lahaina Wednesday, a demonstration over the telescope was held under the Banyan Tree near Lahaina Harbor.

Police Lt. Gregg Okamoto did not have a head count but was told that demonstrators stayed under the tree and left in a couple of hours.

There were no special operations needed as patrol officers just monitored the scene, and the demonstration was peaceful and no incident occurred, he added.

Sign-waving rallies in conjunction with the telescope protests on Hawaii island have also been occurring around Maui this week.

Okamoto said on Monday that MPD will be sending officers to assist law enforcement on the Big Island with monitoring the TMT construction project and assist with keeping everyone safe. MPD will be sending available officers from different specialized units to include emergency enforcement details. The number of officers and how long they will assist are not available for release, he added.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.