What’s going on in the Kingdom of Hawai’i… Civil Beat 11-13-13… “State Issues New Guidelines On Media’s Mauna Kea Access”

mauna_kea_herb_kane_poliahu_33[Note: The actual document is at the end of the article. Links are here and here.]

This “showed up” yesterday, and this results from an announcement by TMT that, in spite of the fact that a Supreme Court decision is being awaited on the legality of TMT Corporation’s permit to build on Mauna Kea, they are still going to go up and attempt to do some things related to the TMT (I can assure you, they have to know the Supreme Court will be saying “No”).

My view of this is that it is an effort to artificially create an “atmosphere of confrontation”:
Point 1) Don’t wait for any court decision, just go up anyway, so “atmosphere of confrontation” is created.
Point 2) Get the DLNR to set “rule for media coverage”, so “lines to cross” are created.
Point 3) If crews come up and are blocked by protectors, be sure all DLNR and/or County police bring their guns and body armor (because all those protectors operate via “Kapu Aloha”, in an atmosphere of peace, so, yes, by bringing guns and armor they make it appear as if they could be dangerous (hey, this is going to be on TV, isn’t it?)).
Point 4) If crews come up and are blocked by protectors, be sure to ALWAYS call the protectors, “protesters”, and make them appear “bad, lazy, blocking science, dirty, lying on the ground, etc.”

I expressed my mana’o (heart opinion) to a few in this way:

This illustrates “the state” trying to “keep reporters safe”, which essentially means, “We’ll manage your access (for public safety, of course) by limiting media access (hey, too much of that might expose what we’re really up to).” “the state” therefore continues to create an atmosphere of confrontation so that any departure from their “managed public media access” may then be “blamed” on protectors when they “cross the (state-created) line”. I view this as a typical and transparent attempt at media control.

Here are a couple of highlights. The actual document is at the end of the article. Links are here and here.

“The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has issued news media guidelines for journalists and photojournalists who plan to report on efforts to resume work on the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea.

“The news media guidelines request that journalists coordinate with a public information officer, let the DLNR know if they’ll be on the mountain and not block any roads or interfere with law enforcement activities. The guidelines also say the DLNR may ask news gatherers to provide media credentials and stay within a designated “photography/videography area if conditions or activities warrant.”… [The DLNR] said the guidelines, which were developed in collaboration with the Governor’s Office, Office of the Attorney General, and the Department of Public Safety, are intended to ensure the safety of reporters, photographers and videographers.

“Daniel Gluck, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union… taking photos from public property of things that are in plain sight is a First Amendment right. “That right belongs to everyone, not just those who are official, credentialed members of the media,”…

““We would have very serious concerns if the government were requiring journalists or members of the public to have to get permission from the government before exercising this constitutional right, if the government tried to pick and choose who gets to exercise this right, or if the government tried to restrict journalists’ access to an area otherwise open to the public.”

Brian Black…”“It’s difficult to say what the state intends to do with these guidelines. But if it plans to restrict access for the media more than other members of the public, that is wrong,”…”

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State Issues New Guidelines On Media’s Mauna Kea Access
By Anita Hofschneider

The Department of Land and Natural Resources says it wants to keep everyone safe, but some First Amendment advocates worry the guidelines go too far.


The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has issued news media guidelines for journalists and photojournalists who plan to report on efforts to resume work on the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea.

Construction has been at a standstill since Native Hawaiian activists and other telescope protesters blocked construction crews last April, resulting in dozens of arrests. A similar confrontation took place in June when the TMT tried and failed to resume construction, and another is expected this month after the TMT announced that a small crew of workers will go to the mountain to conduct equipment maintenance and repairs.

The news media guidelines request that journalists coordinate with a public information officer, let the DLNR know if they’ll be on the mountain and not block any roads or interfere with law enforcement activities. The guidelines also say the DLNR may ask news gatherers to provide media credentials and stay within a designated “photography/videography area if conditions or activities warrant.”

The DLNR said the guidelines, which were developed in collaboration with the Governor’s Office, Office of the Attorney General, and the Department of Public Safety, are intended to ensure the safety of reporters, photographers and videographers. But some of the rules have been criticized by news media advocates who say the the guidelines raise concerns about freedom of the press.

TMT demonstrator lays on the ground refusing to move out of the DLNR motorcades movement up the Maunkea Observatory access road as hundreds of anti TMT and protect Maunakea demonstrators slowed the movement of the DLNR motorcade from the Maunakea Visitors Center. 24 june 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

An anti-TMT demonstrator lies on the ground, refusing to move, as DLNR officials attempt to drive up the Mauna Kea access road last June.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

“I respect the DLNR’s desire to keep everyone safe on Mauna Kea, but I would strongly urge the state to give our reporters and photographers the same access as any other members of the public, including the protesters,” David Bock, Tribune-Herald editor and publisher said in a Hawaii Tribune-Herald article. “The newspaper opposes any effort to confine its news-gathering to a media staging area.”

Daniel Gluck, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, said in an email to Civil Beat that taking photos from public property of things that are in plain sight is a First Amendment right.

“That right belongs to everyone, not just those who are official, credentialed members of the media,” said Daniel Gluck, attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union. “We would have very serious concerns if the government were requiring journalists or members of the public to have to get permission from the government before exercising this constitutional right, if the government tried to pick and choose who gets to exercise this right, or if the government tried to restrict journalists’ access to an area otherwise open to the public.”

Brian Black, who leads the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest, was more measured.

“It’s difficult to say what the state intends to do with these guidelines. But if it plans to restrict access for the media more than other members of the public, that is wrong,” Black said, referencing the recent incident at the University of Missouri when the press was refused access to a public lawn.

Mauna Kea supporters right hold their line as left, DLNR law enforcement officers tell them to clear the road to allow their vehicles to make the ascent to the summit. One demonstrator decided not to move and instead sat on the ground only to be arrest within minutes. 24 june 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Mauna Kea protesters face off with DLNR law enforcement officers who tell them to clear the road to allow DLNR vehicles to ascend the summit last June.

It’s not the first time the Department of Land and Natural Resources has restricted access to the mountain. The Board of Land and Natural Resources approved emergency rules limiting access Mauna Kea in July that were aimed at discouraging protesters who were camping on the mountain. The rules resulted in more arrests of demonstrators, but a judge invalidated them in October.

Kealoha Pisciotta, a Native Hawaiian activist and one of the leaders of opposition to the TMT, said any limitation on media access is an attempt to manage the government’s public image and that such access is important in light of the possibility of police brutality.

She said the TMT should not resume construction before the state Supreme Court issues a ruling on the project.

“People want to protect against desecration,” she said. “That’s what we’ve all been doing and that’s what we will continue to do.”

A DLNR spokeswoman did not reply to a request for comment.

Read the guidelines for yourself below and let us know what you think:

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About Kauilapele

I am a Spirit of Light working with energies on this planet on the Big Island of Hawai'i (for 15 years). My spiritual missions have taken me from the Big Island of Hawai'i to neighbor islands (Oahu, Kauai), as well as to Turtle Island (N. America), Peru (Cusco), Bolivia (Lake Titicaca), and Egypt (Gizeh, Saqqara, the Pyramids) (see my YouTube page).
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