Demonstrators against eight turbines being constructed in Kahuku protested in Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s office today after saying that they weren’t being listened to.
About 30 protesters occupied the mayor’s reception room in downtown Honolulu Hale from 11 a.m. until about 2 p.m.
Prior to today, demonstrations and protests have been focused primarily in Kahuku and Kalaeloa, where trucks carrying large wind turbine parts depart for the Kahuku project. The transports began Oct. 17.
“Our voices matter and our voices aren’t being heard,” said Ida Bluhm, with Ku Kiai Kahuku, the primary group leading the opposition to the Na Pua Makani project. “We have so far 128 arrests for this cause to halt the construction of these industrial wind turbines … and no one has addressed us. The governor has not addressed us. The mayor has not addressed us.”
In a statement about the protesters in his office, Caldwell said the Kahuku project has met all requirements.
“I support the right to protest under our First Amendment and I appreciate the passion of those who showed up at my office today,” Caldwell said. “However, every member of our community needs to follow the law, and the current project in Kahuku has met all of the mandates put before it. I will continue to ensure all of our laws are followed, and that includes the right to protest.”
Na Pua Makani, by developer AES Corp., would add eight 568-foot turbines to the 12 smaller ones already in Kahuku.
Verla Moore, community liaison for the project, said the developer is committed to working with the community.
“We take our commitment seriously to answer their questions, address their concerns and find the most meaningful way to give back to the community,” Moore said. “We continue to have many conversations with community members from Kahuku and the surrounding North Shore neighborhoods in one-on-one and small group settings.”
Demonstrators said they sang and chanted in the mayor’s office and that Honolulu Police Department officers were also present.