Over 100 Hawaiian kaitiaki arrested

By Regan Paranihi
Photo source: Carlos Mozo

Another indigenous battle has broken out where over 100 Kia'i from the small Hawaiian town of Kahuku have been arrested following a peaceful protest to stop the build of more wind turbines in the small town. 

This is a battle that is far too familiar for indigenous communities around the world.

Kahuku Community Member, Lei Cummings, says, "They just want to protect our land and our homes and our children from problems that could arise in the future."

These Kia'i (protector) say that this build is too big and too close to their hometown.

"These windmills are bigger than any building in Hawai'i right now and they will be the biggest windmills in the United States," says Cummings.

There are 12 windmills already there near the small town of Kahuku, however, locals believe that with the construction of the new eight windmills it will cause many problems.

Image showing the sheer size of the planned windmills. Source: Facebook

Cummings says, "There's many issues around these windmills besides illness, besides killing of these species and being too close to our community, our schools, our children, our farmers, it’s a really sad thing."

It’s also a matter these locals would have like to see the Governor intervene on.

Kahuku Community Member, Hi'ilei Riki says, "To have 106 arrests in one week I would think that that would wake somebody up and say hey somethings going on I need to go and check on my people but we haven't seen anybody come up."

However, Kia'i from other close by communities have come to stand in solidarity for the Kahuku community.

"There are people mainly from Kahuku community, but we've had people from other communities as well that are helping us from Waimanalo to Waianae to other communities which has been a wonderful thing to bring us all together," says Cummings.

She also says this is a project the locals believe will only benefit the government.

"The government they want clean energy this is one solution that they've looked at but maybe not done all their research to see how it will really affect the communities being built so close."

Te Ao reached out to the State of Hawai'i and AES for comment, however, they are yet to get back to us.

Photo source: Carlos Mozo