Some, such as Damian Marley, Jason Momoa, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Johnson and Ezra Miller traveled to the location and participated in the protests. The protests have caused many to voice their support for either the telescope being built, or for its construction on Mauna Kea to be halted. [3] Opposition to the project began shortly after the announcement of Mauna Kea as the chosen site out of 5 proposals. The Thirty Meter Telescope protests are a series of protests and demonstrations that began on the Island of Hawaii over the choosing of Mauna Kea for the site location of the Thirty Meter Telescope. [8] There is also significant opposition among native Hawaiians, with polls showing 39 percent supporting the project in 2016[9] to 27 percent supporting in September 2019. Heavy equipment had already been placed near the site. Mauna Kea telescope project halted after months of protests Hawai‘i Gov. [89][90], Hawaii based businesses that support the telescope were named in a boycott that was popularized on social media. [29] Native Hawaiian non-profit groups such as Kahea, whose goals are the protection of cultural heritage and the environment, oppose development on Mauna Kea as a sacred space to the Hawaiian religion. Partners in the project, including Canada, Japan and the California Institute of Technology, have also built relationships on the island during decades of astronomy research, Squires said. (Maunakea is a proper noun; Mauna Kea, another common spelling, is a reference to any white mountain.) Beamer speculated the stand against TMT will lead to better stewardship of Mauna Kea. [56] In response to the growing protests the TMT Corporation's division of Hawaii Community Affairs launched an internet microsite, updating content regularly. Kapulei Flores is documenting the Protect Mauna Kea movement. "If you apply that logic to anywhere in Hawaii — a place of incredible beauty that is constantly under the pressure of development — it's a very, very dangerous logic for the future of our islands," Beamer said. Seeing numerous new faces blocking the access road up Mauna Kea, Mangauil told USA TODAY, takes his breath away. Graham had an issue with the sanctity of the mountain raised by activists. The demonstration began on July 15, 2019 with 8 kia’i chaining themselves to a cattle grate on Mauna Kea Access Road. Many protesters, also referred to as protectors, are making a stand to be caretakers of their native land, said Lanakila Mangauil, a Hawaiian culture and history public school teacher. On the "Big Island" of Hawaii, Mauna Kea is considered the highest island mountain in the world, measuring roughly 33,000 feet from the base deep under the Pacific Ocean. [15] Kuiper began looking into the possibility of an observatory on Mauna Kea. Mauna Kea Protests: Native Hawaiian Activists Are Fighting for Their Sacred Land. In addition to its status in a conservation district, the state considers Mauna Kea to be ceded lands. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources first issued the organization a permit in 2013, but the supreme court invalidated it in 2015, leading TMT to obtain the second, current permit. Kamahana Kealoha of the group Sacred Mauna Kea stated that over 100 demonstrators had traveled up to the summit to camp overnight, to be joined by more protesters in the early morning to blockade crews. The group Mauna Kea Anaina Hou made several arguments against the development including that Mauna Kea was a sacred mountain to Native Hawaiians where many deities had lived, and that the cinder cone being proposed as the site was holy in Hawaiian tradition as a burial site for a demi-god. [63] On July 17, 33 protestors were arrested, all of whom were kūpuna, or elders, as the blockage of the access road continued. Under Kapua aloha there is a subset of rules that include:[73]. Still, TMT's planned construction on a pristine area of Mauna Kea concerns Beamer. [68] It was announced on August 9, that astronomers at other Mauna Kea observatories would return to work after halting for many weeks in response to the gathering protesters and activists. There are a number of authorized and security dangers concerned, particularly contemplating how brutal the circumstances are on the mountain. The group raised several other concerns such as environmental over native insects, the question of Ceded lands and an audit report, critical of the mountain's management. [72], Kapu Aloha is the governance model for Puʻuhonua o Puʻuhuluhulu. [98], Series of demonstrations that began on the Island of Hawaii, Native Hawaiian practitioner, Lanakila Mangauil, "protector" Kahookahi Kanuha and others speaking with Mayor, Mauna Kea Access Road near Mauna Kea Visitors Center, Outrigger and Thirty Meter Telescope proposals, Roadway blockade and ground breaking interruption, Second Mauna Kea blockade and arrests, 2015, National and international demonstrations, Opposition to the Mauna Kea Observatories, Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources, "31 Arrested On Mauna Kea, Mauna Kea Hui Responds", "This is why native Hawaiians are protesting the construction of a telescope on Mauna Kea", "Why Are Native Hawaiians Protesting Against a Telescope? A project spokesman said that work had begun after arrests were made and the road cleared. HILO, Hawaii (AP) — Hawaii has spent about $15 million to ensure safe access to Mauna Kea during an ongoing protest of a giant telescope project, the governor said. "It's a constant battle. It's also sacred burial land and is revered by many Hawaiians as a place where humans can enter heaven. Protests began locally within the state of Hawaii on October 7, 2014 but went global within weeks of the April 2, 2015 arrest of 31 people who had blockaded the roadway to keep construction crews off the summit. Native Hawaiians made up 12% of the people polled. [8] Notable native Hawaiian supporters include Peter Apo, sitting trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs,[10] and leading University of Hawaii professor and astronomer the late Dr. Paul Coleman, who in 2015 noted "Hawaiians are just so tied to astronomy I cannot, in any stretch of the imagination, think that TMT is something that our ancestors wouldn't just jump on and embrace" [11][12] In July 2019, 300 protestors gathered in support of the TMT project outside the Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu. Medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, and paramedics volunteer their time at Puʻuhonua o Puʻuhuluhulu and all medical supplies are also donated to make sure that protectors are cared for. Kaipu Baker, a recent graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi who has taught Hawaiian language courses at Puʻuhuluhulu University noted that learning the Hawaiian language creates access to knowing cultural stories and their significance embedded in the language. Statewide, Hawaiians and part-Hawaiians account for 21% of the population, according to the Pew Research Center. Between 300 and 500 protesters stood where the Mauna Kea Access Road begins. While large telescopes are not ordinarily awarded to universities without well established astronomers, Jefferies and UH were awarded the NASA contract, infuriating Kuiper who felt that "his mountain" had been "stolen" from "him". On October 7, 2014 the groundbreaking for the telescope was being live streamed via webcam. Project Manager, Gary Sanders stated that TMT agreed to the one-week stop for continued dialogue. After testing, he discovered the low humidity was perfect for infrared signals. "They are very detrimental to this ecosystem, which is directly connected to why it is detrimental culturally," he said. The protests sparked statewide, national as well as international attention to Hawaiian culture, Mauna Kea and the 45-year history of 13 other telescopes on the mountain. INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAII: Should the Thirty Meter Telescope Be Built? To astronomers, it is one of the best places on earth to observe space. The Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory picked Mauna Kea as its first choice for the project in 2009, leading to nearly a decade of legal challenges and approval processes. Community outreach by TMT, Squires said, has led the organization to launch a fund to boost STEM education on the Big Island, as well as a Workforce Pipeline Program to support low-income and first-generation college students. It is now the focal point of further development of the observatory site, with a current ongoing legal battle in the Hawaii court system. The court ruled that due process was not followed. 'We have no choice':34 arrested in protest of massive telescope on sacred Hawaiian peak. The justification behind the TMT permit, Wilson said, allows more damage to Mauna Kea because "it has been previously substantially degraded and compromised.". [78] The motto of Puʻuhuluhulu University is “E Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono” which can be translated to “The Sovereignty of the Land is Perpetuated in what is Just” and the hope to fulfill this motto is in the daily creation of a true Hawaiian Place of Learning.[76]. [25] In Honolulu, the governor and legislature, enthusiastic about the development, set aside an even larger area for the observatory causing opposition in the city of Hilo. Native kānaka ʻōiwi believed the entire site was sacred and that developing the mountain, even for science, would spoil the area. [51] Protesters, ranging in age from 27 to 75 years of age were handcuffed and led away by local police. [57] The company also took to social media to respond to the opposition's growing momentum by hiring public relations firms to assist as the company's voice in the islands. The protest stems from controversy over the fate of Mauna Kea, the tallest peak in Hawaii and the proposed site of an enormous observatory known as the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). [80] Some of the oli and hula that are taught and performed during protocol are: E Ala E, E Kānehoalani E, E Hō Mai, Nā ʻAumakua, E Iho Ana, ʻŌ Hānau ka Mauna a Kea, MaunaKea Kuahiwi, Kua Loloa Keaʻau i ka Nāhele, ʻAuʻa ʻIa, I One Huna Ka Pahu, Na Kea Koʻu Hoʻohihi ka Mauna, ʻAi Kamumu Kēkē, Kūkulu ka Pahu, Kaʻi Kūkulu. Born Was the Mountain "See you on the Mauna" - Sudden Rush. [15] Over the years, the opposition to the observatories may have become the most visible example of the conflict science has encountered over access and use of environmental and culturally significant sites. [5][6] On October 30, 2018, the Court validated the new construction permit. [87] As noted above, the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii ultimately approved the permit following a lengthy contested hearing case. The protest is growing against the construction of a billion-dollar telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. [40] Pisciotta, a former telescope systems specialist technician at James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, is one of several people suing to stop the construction[41] and is also director of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou. For more information please see How many people have joined the protests? Thirteen telescopes already exist on Mauna Kea, a clear sign of the volcano's value to astronomers, but Mangauil said protectors want the desecration to end. Ige and the Department of Transportation issued a press release informing the public of upcoming closure of Mauna Kea access road beginning July 15 in order to move large construction equipment to the TMT construction site. Mauna Kea protests police presence backed by appeals court February 2, 2021 KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — A Hawaii appellate court has ruled that Hawaii County’s police chief was within his authority when he requested help from police in other counties during the 2019 protests over the Thirty Meter Telescope. [77] The common goal across the wide variety of courses is the intent to uplift the community with ʻike Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian knowledge) through their teachings. [70], Shortly after sunrise on July 13, 2019, the Royal Order of Kamehameha, along with Mauna Kea protectors began the process of designating Puʻuhuluhulu as a puʻuhonua which, historically, has served as a space of protection during contentious times. When the trucks were finally allowed to pass, protesters followed the procession up the summit. Protests Shut Down 13 Observatories Atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea By Chelsea Gohd 22 July 2019 The site is ideal for astronomy and sacred to those native to Hawaii. At the time, the protest had reached a stalemate with protesters refusing to budge and construction crews and law enforcement unable to clear the road to Mauna Kea’s summit. When deciding if TMT and associated economic development is worth compromising one of their most sacred places, Kalama said Native Hawaiians also consider how it could affect future generations. While the summit is often covered with snow the air itself is extremely dry. [31], Further development of the Mauna Kea observatories is still opposed by environmental groups and some Native Hawaiians. The TMT corporation then removed all construction equipment and vehicles from Mauna Kea, and re-applied for a new permit, meant to respect the Supreme Court's ruling. [96], Several celebrities have supported the protest. Opponents said the Thirty Meter Telescope project on the state’s highest peak, which has since stalled, would desecrate land considered sacred by Native Hawaiians. While opposition against the observatories on Mauna Kea has been ongoing since the first telescope, built by the University of Hawaii, this protest may be the most vocal. An artist rendering of the Thirty Meter Telescope. [58] TMT sublease payments on hold following order for a contested case hearing.[59]. The TMT, a $1.4 billion[4] ground-based, large segmented mirror reflecting telescope grew from astronomers' prioritization in 2000 of a thirty-meter telescope to be built within the decade. "We're always facing the difficulty in having those practices and rights be recognized," Kalama said. © 2021 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. Celebrities including "Aquaman" star Jason Momoa and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson have joined demonstrations at Mauna Kea, while Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has tweeted her support of the movement. A Sacred Place is Mauna Kea "Mauna Kea holds a special place on Earth, as it stands as a place of peace and Aloha, not just for Hawai`i but for the world." But Mauna Kea is the preferred site, and Squires said TMT recognizes the telescope has prompted conversations about sovereignty and historical injustices against Native Hawaiians, such as the suppression of their culture and language. Mauna Kea TMT protests: Are Native Hawaiian rights at stake? The proposal was for a two-meter telescope to serve both the needs of NASA and the university. The protest at the summit of Mauna Kea started Monday, the day that construction on the giant telescope was slated to start. Others, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Bruno Mars, Emilia Clarke, Nathalie Emmanuel, Rosario Dawson, Jill Wagner, Jai Courtney, Kelly Slater and Madison Bumgarner have used social media to promote the cause. Classes at Puʻuhuluhulu University are taught by kiaʻi (protectors) of Maunakea, community members, and professors at the University of Hawaiʻi. The protesters who gathered at the base of Mauna Kea on Hawaii's Big Island include indigenous Hawaiian elders, or "kupuna." [35] Urgency in construction is due to the competitive nature of science with the European-Extremely Large Telescope also under construction. Professor of physics John Jefferies of the University of Hawaii placed a bid on behalf of the university. "[69], On 19 December, Governor David Ige announced at a press conference that he was reopening the access road and withdrawing law enforcement from the mountain [1]. Kaho’okahi Kanuha, a leader of the [protest] group, told CNN on Sunday that organizers believe more than 2,000 people have assembled at the Mauna Kea access road, where they’ve built a makeshift camp and blockade in hopes of preventing construction from getting underway. The movement to protect it, Beamer said, has already shown what Native Hawaiians can achieve when they mobilize around aloha 'aina, a philosophy that is translated to love of the land and guides Hawaiians' relationship with the environment. So, I would say absolutely Hawaiians support science, but science also needs to be contextualized.". But in Native Hawaiian resource management tradition, he described Mauna Kea as a zone only for special purposes, not for daily contact or habitation. A 2006 proposal for the Outrigger Telescopes to become extensions of the Keck Observatory was canceled after a judges determination that a full environmental impact statement must be prepared before any further development of the site. TMT officials say the telescope will not threaten the island's groundwater, and that scientists will work to protect the mountain's inhabitants. Under Article 12, Section 7 of Hawaii's constitution, the state protects Native Hawaiians' rights to practices related to cultural, religious and subsistence practices. Opposition to building on Mauna Kea is nothing new. A number of celebrity activists of Native Hawaiian descent, both local and national, began campaigning over social media, including Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa who urged Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) to join the protests with him on top of Mauna Kea. "[47] Several members traveled up the mountain and were stopped by police, where they laid down in the road and blocked the caravan. A key component in the movement to prevent the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea is the creation of access to education rooted in Hawaiian history and Hawaiian culture. [74] The Mauna Medic hui provides sunscreen, water stations, and basic medical advice to all visitors of Puʻuhonua o Puʻuhuluhulu free of charge. NASA, in turn decided to make the project open to competition. Surveys suggest TMT supporters do exist in the state, however. The land itself is protected by the US Historical Preservation Act due to its significance to Hawaiian culture but still allowed development. Concern was raised over the content of the email, with the wording of "a horde of native Hawaiians" to describe the protesters considered to be problematic and potentially racist. "[85][86] On December 16, the TMT corporation began removal of all construction equipment and vehicles from Mauna Kea. [67] The protest continued into August 2019 at the entrance of the Mauna Kea access road, in front of Pu'u Huluhulu on Hawaii Route 200. Mt. The TMT company chairman stated: "T.M.T. On the Mauna Kea access road in front of what is now known as the kupuna (elders) tent there is daily protocol at 8am, 12noon and 5:30pm, in which protectors and visitors are able to learn and participate in Hawaiian cultural practices such as oli (chant), hula, and hoʻokupu (offerings). [76] “Presley Keʻalaanuhea Ah Mook Sang, a Hawaiian language instructor at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, said she first came up with the idea to start a community-led school or “teach-in” after witnessing the crowd swell in that first week from hundreds of protesters to thousands”. [19], Next, Kuiper tried enlisting NASA to fund a larger facility with a large telescope, housing and other needed structures. Current astronomy facilities already threaten Mauna Kea's fragile ecosystem, according to The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance, and have destroyed habitats for native species. The bird is the last of the finch billed honeycreepers existing on the island. A planned ceremony at the base of the mountain was scheduled by the group, Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, in opposition of the telescope[46] and in a press release dated that day, the organization Sacred Mauna Kea stated: "Native Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians will gather for a peaceful protest against the Astronomy industry and the State of Hawaii’s ground-breaking ceremony for a thirty-meter telescope (TMT) on the summit of Mauna Kea. Using town hall meetings, Jefferies emphasized the economic advantage and prestige the island would receive. "If TMT is not built in Hawaii, these issues are not going to be resolved," Squires said. [66], More than 1,000 people marched in Waikiki and gathered in Kapiolani Park on July 21, 2019 in protest of the project. A Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation legal observer there that day claims that the report over embellished the belief that there was a threat. David Ige announced the state had approved a two-year deadline extension to begin construction of the TMT. Protesters continue their opposition vigil against the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope at Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii Friday, July 19, 2019. To Native Hawaiians, Mauna Kea is a sacred place. Today, Mauna Kea is managed by the state of Hawaii and the University of Hawaii. [81] Puʻuhonua o Puʻuhuluhulu's noon protocol has also had Jason Momoa, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Damien Marley, Jack Johnson, and other celebrities participate and give hoʻokupu (offerings) of solidarity to the Mauna Kea protectors.[82][83][84]. David Ige announced that law enforcement would vacate the area. [27], The Audubon Society objected to further development on Mauna Kea over concerns to habitat of the endangered palila, an endemic species to only specific parts of this mountain. [78], Puʻuhuluhulu University provides free classes to anyone who visits Puʻuhonua o Puʻuhuluhulu. Opinion:Why protecting Mauna Kea in Hawai'i is a crucial fight for native rights. The people of Hawaii defeated two attempts for treaties of annexation with the U.S., Beamer said, and protested against any agreement that would cede sovereign Hawaiian territory to the states. [13][14], After studying photos for NASA's Apollo program that contained greater detail than any ground based telescope, Gerard Kuiper began seeking an arid site for infrared studies. “I think we've kind of altered what's possible in Hawaii and what's possible for ourselves," Beamer said. [46] That same day in California, protesters demonstrated outside the headquarters of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in Palo Alto, CA.[48][49]. Tests on Maui's Haleakalā were promising but the mountain was too low in the inversion layer and often covered by clouds. In an increasingly familiar refrain, recent protests over the construction of a new telescope atop Mauna Kea are casting light on indigenous peoples and … [37][38][39] Native Hawaiian activists such as Kealoha Pisciotta, a former employee of the Mauna Kea Observatories, have raised concerns over the perceived desecration of Mauna Kea posed by TMT construction and presence. A leader of the movement, he stopped a TMT groundbreaking ceremony in 2014 and protested on the mountain again the following year before the Supreme Court of Hawaii approved the $1.4 billion project. Some families do place umbilical cords on the summit after childbirth because of the connection there, said Kamanamaikalani Beamer, an associate professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's School of Law and School of Hawaiian Knowledge. [62] On 15 July, protestors blocked the access road to the mountain preventing the planned construction from commencing. Spain has permits to build giant telescope blocked in Hawaii By JOSEPH WILSON November 20, 2019 [61], On July 14, 2019, an online petition titled "The Immediate Halt to the Construction of the TMT Telescope" was posted on And, through approving the permit, the court ruled the project does not violate protections for natives. On Maunakea at Puʻuhonua o Puʻuhuluhulu exists Puʻuhuluhulu University. [74] The Mauna Medics hui is on site at Puʻuhonua o Puʻuhuluhulu 24 hours a day and are available to treat minor medical issues such as altitude sickness. Hunters voiced concerns as did the Hawaiian Audubon Society who were supported by Governor George Ariyoshi. Observatories have succeeded in being built, but only after protracted and expensive litigation and effort. [64][65] The days actions were described in a court declaration filed in connection to a Mauna Kea access case by Hawaii County Police, which claims that there was a "significant risk" that certain protesters would "respond with violence" if officers forcefully separated protesters blocking the road. While the approval has been challenged, the Board officially approved the site following a hearing on April 12, 2013.[45]. The organization chose Mauna Kea partly because it is the best place for telescope astronomy research in the northern hemisphere, if not the world, said Gordon Squires, the TMT's vice president for external relations. Last October, the state supreme court approved TMT's conservation district use permit for the project. Protesters block the main access road to Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The Mauna Kea is Hawaii's tallest mountain. "Science itself doesn't just get a free pass," Kalama said. And again then, there was no understanding how lengthy the protest would final. [77] The grassroots establishment of Puʻuhuluhulu University at Puʻuhonua o Puʻuhuluhulu has created a platform for the lāhui (Hawaiian Nation) and facilitators of the University to co-create a reciprocal and place-based style approach to learning that is accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds. For the love of the Mauna, as one with the Mauna, together we rise. Mauna Kea was announced as TMT's preferred site in 2009. [7], Recent polling has showed that public support for construction among all groups has dropped since the start of the 2019 protests, to 50 percent support statewide. [42], As of April, 2015, two separate legal appeals were still pending. [60], On April 21, 2015, hundreds of protesters filled the streets of Honolulu protesting against the TMT. That's a highly-contested designation. The Board of Land and Natural Resources essentially decided, Kalama said, that the TMT does not affect those practices. And that would be a shame.". Mauna Kea is the most sacred dormant volcano of Native Hawaiian religion and culture, and was known to natives as the home to Wākea, the sky god. Since current protests began around July 15, when state and local officials were scheduled to close off the access road so trucks could begin construction, about 10,000 to 15,000 protectors have come to the mountain, according to organizers with Pu’uhonua o Pu’uhuluhulu. [44] Many native Hawaiians and environmentalists are opposed to any further telescopes. [citation needed] Native Hawaiian academics from various fields have also voiced their opposition to the telescope and participated in the protests themselves, such as Oceanographer Rosie Alegado. These services operate as stations on the University Campus that include Hale Mana Māhū, where you can learn about queer history and theory from a Native Hawaiian perspective, Hale Kūkākūkā where people can discuss and unpack their experiences on Maunakea, and a lomi (massage) tent. [78] The course offerings range from Introduction to Hawaiian Language, Hawaiian Law, the history of Hawaiʻi , and tours of Puʻuhuluhulu. Protesters and authorities in Hawaii are facing off over plans to build a telescope on top of a mountain that some native Hawaiians consider sacred. On December 2, 2015, the Supreme Court of Hawaii invalidated the TMT's building permits, ruling that due process was not followed when the Board of Land and Natural Resources approved the permit before the contested case hearing. Hawaiian police reportedly arresting demonstrators protesting construction of telescope. On September 28, 2017, the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources approved the TMT's Conservation District Use Permit. [15][17][18] The peak was the second highest on the mountain with the highest peak being holy ground, so Kuiper avoided it. 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