19 Jul 2019

Emergency proclamation signed after Hawaii telescope protest arrests

5:20 am on 19 July 2019

Hawaii's governor has signed an emergency proclamation after dozens of people were arrested near the American state's highest mountain.

Hawaii Governor David Ige speaks at a community meeting in the aftermath of eruptions from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island

David Ige Photo: 2018 Getty Images

Hundreds of protesters are trying to halt the construction of a $US1.4 billion telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea, which is considered sacred to native Hawaiians.

This morning, dozens of officers in riot gear confronted protesters blocking the road to the summit, with at least 33 people believed to have been arrested.

All workers at the observatories already on the mountain have been evacuated.

This afternoon, Governor David Ige issued the proclamation he said would give law enforcement "more flexibility" to get construction equipment to the site.

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