On Tuesday, there was the usual chanting, music and blowing of conch shells in the Rotunda. But it did not last long, and it wasn’t as intense as during other rallies. The protesters seemed to know the shape of things to come and were already focused on the next battle.
As the Senate neared voting on House Bill 2501 Tuesday, the water-rights bill that will allow Alexander & Baldwin to divert water from East Maui streams for three more years, the protesters gradually took seats in the gallery. By the time the final vote came, they stood, arms extended with fisted hands.
The vote was 17 to 8 in favor, with five of the “ayes” cast with reservations, meaning they weren’t crazy about their votes. HB 2501 cleared the House of Representatives last week, where some lawmakers also expressed their worries about the bill, which now heads to Gov. David Ige for his consideration.