So a little backstory ... I don't know all of the details on this but I'll do my best ...

On Mauna Kea there's a couple of telescopes. It's a "sacred mountain" to the indigenous people here and they dislike having the telescopes up there. The land at the observatory is leased out to foreign countries who put their equipment there, but over half the facility is not being used as the equipment is obsolete. Instead of re-using what they already have, they are going to sprawl out the observatory and build a new thirty meter telescope (hereby referred to as TMT).

The last protests didn't go well ... the normally poorly-staffed enforcement units suddenly bloom up to HUNDREDS of officers and they haul everyone off. A few years ago they used a 137 decibel sound cannon on the protestors and ended up being sued because they caused a lot of permanent hearing damage. This time they brought in "temporary officers" from off-island to help control the protestors.

So far it's been peaceful but the protestors are blocking access and they have put all the kupuna (elderly) on the front line. Kupuna is a complex word in Hawaiian and it means sort of both "old person" but also "protector of the old ways and traditions".

This is going to escalate because the protestors aren't going to back down and the government can't back down.

In this case, I'm siding with the Maunakea kia'i (mountain guardians) on this one. Yes, we need science and telescopes. No, we do not need corporate sprawl across the top of a mountain when you should re-use the space you already seized.