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Kahuku wind farm protesters plan to stand their ground during construction

KITV4’s Annalisa Burgos spoke to Sulu’ape Riccy Boy Novera, who was among the nearly 100 people arrested while protesting AES’ Na Pua Makani wind farm planned in Kahuku.

The group Ku Kia’i Kahuku have been protesting for more than a week, since construction began. Just this morning, 13 protesters from were arrested outside the construction site, after blocking access to the road. In Kalaeloa, where equipment is stored, 27 were arrested in protests overnight.

Novera says they will stand their ground despite threats of arrest. The group is raising money for a bail fund.

“We don’t know when there’s an end, but we are not afraid to be out here,” Novera said. “We’re not afraid to stand up and let them know and fight.”

He also says he was moved by Kahuku High and Intermediate Schools’ students, who staged their own protest as an act of solidarity and respect for the kupuna. They wrote their names on red ribbons, attached them to a lei and presented the lei to demonstrators who are camped outside the construction site.

“To see the kids come out here and present us with this lei and just to see their bodies out here, it is a beautiful force,” Novera said.

Opponents of the wind farm say they worry about health effects from infrasound and the impact on the environment, including the native Hawaiian bats.

KITV-4 reached out to AES for this story, but have not heard back.

Meantime, Crime Stoppers says it is searching for suspects who damaged bolts in the foundation of a Kahuku turbine Sunday morning. Friday morning, HPD said a utility pole was deliberately cut down to block the road.

Ku Kia’i Kahuku members say they do not condone acts of vandalism and promote kapu aloha.