National | Environment

Kanaka Hawaii continue to fight for Mauna Kea

Construction may be delayed, but the movement to stop the 30 meter telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii continues with people now constructing campsites at Hale Pokahu.

Hundreds turned out over the weekend following the end of the Merrie Monarch Festival to support the ongoing peaceful protests by Kanaka Maoli who have kept a vigil at the mountain.

The rōpū has received donations from Native American Tribes and others in support of all efforts to protect Mauna Kea with the latest donation coming from a few Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees who feel divided over the issue, however they showed their support by delivering money to help provide food for the rōpū.

Because of the lack of response from the University of Hawaii towards the students and professors concerns over the construction of the 30 meter telescope, hundreds walked out of class to stage a rally. Ho’oleia Ka’eo a university student said “The university and TMT have been disregarding our input on this matter and we are standing up for our culture, our land and our mauna,”

The university vowed that all voices will be heard and it will respect the rights of everyone, so no disciplinary action will be taken upon those involved in the rally.

Meanwhile TMT, the Thirty Meter Telescope has created a new website to counteract concerns about the planned telescope at the tallest mountain in Hawaii, in response to activists’ spreading the word about the sacredness of Mauna Kea and their environmental concerns about the project.

A group of Native Hawaiian activists and their allies have been blocking construction of new observatory for the past few  weeks. After 31 people were arrested for hindering construction, Gov. David Ige announced a moratorium on construction that ends early next week.