With the Kapu Aloha/TMT blockade/ Kia`i on the Mauna entering 100+ days of activity, there has been some very interesting developments stemming from this action.
As many see on the news, the “theme” that the Kia’i on the Mauna are exhibiting is getting traction, leading to other similar actions on two other infrastructure projects, both on Oahu. Those projects are the Kahuku Windfarm and that Sherwoods Park phase one improvements. Both projects are now facing the same actions that the protectors on the Mauna have created and honed – peaceful sit-down protests that dare the police to make a move, arrest the peaceful protesters and hope that the video from the action will spur sympathy for the cause.
The fact that actions at the three sites by the “Kia’i” of the area is not going un-noticed by the media. For months, they have been covering the stories as they unfolded. In fact, it is hard not to see what is happening, as every day the news comes out with another piece about the protests.
That is changing, it seems.
Over the past four days, since Sunday, October 20, the editorial boards of three major news outlets have come out in opposition to further actions by the Kia’i, and backing up the rule of law standard.
It started with the state’s largest newspaper, the Star Advertiser. In their Sunday, 10/20 editorial, the title says it all: “Protest blockades can’t rule Hawaii”. So in reading that, I thought “okay, you are restating something that everyone feels”. To boot, I typically would put a comment on this type of editorial, but I thought, “What’s the point, they said what I would say anyway”.
Then came Civil Beat, one of the largest on-line e-papers in the state, where on Tuesday, October 22, they came out with their editorial entitled “We Can’t Let Civil Disobedience Continue To Obstruct Our Legal Process”. They even added a subtitle to the piece that left no question where they stood: “The protesters of TMT, Sherwoods and Kahuku have made their points. But it’s time to move forward”.
Again, I said okay, this is interesting; now two news source editors came out to say enough is enough.
Then the third, and this time it was a video of the General Manager of Hawaii News Now, Rick Blangiardi, coming out in his “Local Connections” piece he does on the news every evening, with an editorial that echoed what the Star Advertiser and Civil Beat editorials said.
That is, directly, these protests need to stop.
The fact that three main news sites are saying the same thing is not something to sneeze at. I will tell you as far as I know, there is no collusion on this but I am sure that there are people the papers talk to that are saying the same thing. My sources tell me that it is coming from the business community. Now how large and how influential they will be with all this noise remains to be seen.