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Police arrest wind-farm protesters in Kahuku and Kalaeloa as turbine blades arrive  

Credit:  By Andrew Gomes and Mark Ladao | Honolulu Star-Advertiser | Oct. 20, 2019 | www.staradvertiser.com ~~

Update 11:02 a.m.

A total of 40 protesters were arrested between Sunday night’s and this morning’s protests, according to HPD.

At Kalaeloa, 27 protesters were arrested for disobedience to a police officer. First-time offenders given a $100 bail, while second-time offenders were given a $500 bail. All posted bail and were released. Their court date is set for Nov. 18 at Kapolei District Court.

At Kahuku, 13 protesters were arrested for the disobedience to a police officer, and all posted their $100 bail and were released. Their court date is set for Nov. 19 at Kaneohe District Court.

Three wind turbine blades about as long as jumbo jet wings were delivered to the Na Pua Makani wind farm site in Kahuku this morning after 13 demonstrators against the controversial project were arrested at the entryway to the property and at least 25 were arrested where delivery trucks departed in Kalaeloa.

Today was the second day that project developer AES Corp. delivered turbine parts to the site across from the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge.

Friday was the first delivery, and that work involving four trucks followed the arrest of 55 people – 22 in Kalaeloa where the trucks departed, and 33 outside the project site in Kahuku.

This morning’s delivery followed the arrest of one person who chained himself to a gate in Kalaeloa to obstruct the three trucks from departing Thursday night.

In Kahuku, there were some subdued feelings amongst demonstrators, but also hope and fortitude that the project comprising eight wind turbines on state land can be stopped.

“This is a committed community,” said state Sen. Gil Riviere (D, Heeia-Laie-Waialua) after witnessing the arrests this morning. “There is no backing down.”

The first arrest in Kahuku occurred at about 4:25 a.m. as the three trucks idled a short distance away on Kamehameha Highway as dozens of police officers cordoned off the road.

Dozens of demonstrators, who gathered along a driveway to the project site fronting a temporary fence, were given several minutes to move shortly after 4 a.m.

Most heeded the warning and had retreated to a nearby area where demonstrators have established a base under canopies. Thirteen people, eight men and five women, stayed seated along the fence and were removed by Honolulu Police Department officers peacefully one by one and loaded into a pair of vans headed for police stations in Kahuku and Kaneohe for processing.

By about 5 a.m., the last demonstrator was in a police van as construction workers for AES took down the fence to allow the trucks with their trailer loads to enter the wind farm site. By 5:20 a.m., the last of the three turbine blades was delivered, and the fence was put back up.

One demonstrator who was arrested in Kahuku on Friday but did not want to be named said that she intends to be at the site tomorrow.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

12:49 a.m.

The chained protester was cut from the gate and arrested around 12:40 a.m. today. He was identified as an 18-year-old with a health condition that protesters wanted a medical professional to attend to. He was among at least 25 protesters arrested.

Three trucks carrying the blades for the wind turbines left around 12:50 a.m. with a caravan of police vehicles. They’ll travel via the H-2 and Kamehameha Highway to get to Kahuku.

Sunday, 11:55 p.m.

A protester chained and duct-taped himself by the neck to a gate about 100 feet behind the main protest group at around 11:40 p.m.

A construction truck was moved in front of him, blocking protesters’ view of him.

Protesters asked police to move the construction truck or to have a legal observer or medical professional attend to him, but police did not allow anyone else to go. Police are attending to him.

“Please move the truck. … We need to make sure you’re not mistreating him,” one protester said via megaphone.

10:45 p.m.

Police have started arresting protesters in Kalaeloa.

Like Thursday night, they have zip-tied and duct-taped themselves to each other and are having police officers carry them to transport vehicles. They are stationed near the AES facility from which turbine parts including tower sections are to depart for Kahuku.

About 25 protesters lined the road that trucks carrying wind turbine equipment pass through to get to Kahuku.

The number of police and protesters is about the same as Thursday night.

AES is permitted to deliver turbine parts from Sunday nights through Friday mornings between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

10 p.m.

About 70 Honolulu Police personnel and over 70 protesters against the Na Pua Makani wind farm project have gathered in Kalaeloa tonight for the first time after 55 protesters were arrested Thursday and Friday.

Over 20 opponents of the project have lined up on the road and are prepared to get arrested tonight to prevent wind turbine parts from leaving Kapolei.

Over 40 police officers on bicycles and a large caravan of vehicles are standing off against the protesters.

AES Corp., the contractor for the wind farm, is looking to build eight 568-foot wind turbines in Kahuku in North Shore. There are already 12 shorter turbines in 2,300-person community.

Source:  By Andrew Gomes and Mark Ladao | Honolulu Star-Advertiser | Oct. 20, 2019 | www.staradvertiser.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments to query/wind-watch.org.

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