It is not in Gov. David Ige’s low-key nature to make bold pronouncements, but in the Thirty Meter Telescope standoff, the state needs the firm tone he finally took on Friday. Protesters’ blockage of the road to Mauna Kea’s summit with boulders or rock altars "is not lawful or acceptable to the people of Hawaii," Ige stated. "So let me be very direct: The roads belong to all the people of Hawaii and they will remain open. We will do whatever is necessary to ensure lawful access."
This stood in stark contrast to a couple of days prior, when Ige’s words were a model of passivity: "We are disappointed and concerned that large boulders were found in the roadway leading to the summit of Mauna Kea. This action is a serious and significant safety hazard and could put people at risk."
Those boulders did not get onto the road by themselves. Protesters put them there, to block construction workers who have a legal right to be on the mountain.