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Attorney general declines to re-prosecute Mauna Kea activists

State Attorney General Anne Lopez is declining to re-prosecute the people — primarily Native Hawaiian activists — who were charged in 2019 for obstructing Mauna Kea Access Road while protesting the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope.

On July 17, 2019, 38 people were arrested for obstructing the access road and stopping construction vehicles from reaching Mauna Kea.

The cases were already dismissed in 2022. Lopez in a statement today said that “after careful consideration of the benefits of re-prosecution to the State of Hawaiʻi, I have decided that the continued pursuit of these cases is not in the best interests of the people of the State of Hawaiʻi.”

In a news release from the state Department of the Attorney General, Gov. Josh Green said, “I appreciate the Attorney General’s decision to dismiss the charges against our kupuna who peacefully protested at Mauna Kea three years ago. The time has come to build a new pathway forward that considers all people and is respectful of our host culture. This is the kind of justice we want to see for our kupuna, who stood up for what they believe in—their culture and their ancestors. I will work to find a way forward together.”

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