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What Are the Mauna Kea Protests?

"There is a particularly special connection between the Native Hawaiian people and this site." Brut spoke to an activist about protesting the construction of a giant telescope on Mauna Kea — a mountain considered sacred to many Native Hawaiians.

For native Hawaiians, social and environmental activism go hand in hand

Activists are protesting the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea — the highest peak in Hawaii and a sacred site to Native Hawaiians. After a series of court rulings, Hawaii's governor announced authorized construction of the telescope in July 2019. To activists, it’s not about a telescope: it’s about reclaiming their identity and agency.

“They have torn down religious sites just in the last couple of weeks, they've arrested people in their wheelchairs. Things are very tense right now and there's a lot of concern that law enforcement will become aggressive again. Mauna Kea has been mismanaged by the state for 50 years. It's on what are called Crown lands that were effectively taken from the Hawaiian Kingdom and then placed in trust with the state of Hawaii for the Native Hawaiian people. So, there is a particularly special connection between the native Hawaiian people and this site. it's not a new situation in that the issues of injustice and land rights are a common theme over the last one hundred and twenty-six years. We didn't believe in creating permanent damage to natural resources. So, I think that's really the dialogue for us is how do we innovate even in these modern times without causing permanent environmental or cultural damage. And that's where we feel like TMT has not taken those ethics into consideration," Kehaulani Watson tells Brut.

The activist movement evolved in Hawaii after a 1977 lawsuit to stop the U.S. Navy from using Kahoolawe Island as a weapons testing facility. For native Hawaiians, social and environmental activism go hand in hand. Watson says the Mauna Kea protests are benefiting from global conversations about the rights of indigenous people. High profile celebrities such as Jason Momoa and Dwayne Johnson have stood in solidarity with the protestors. Watson says that technology isn't the enemy, and that it has a role to play in the fight.

Brut.

08/07/2019 11:57 AM
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65 comments

  • Brandon H.
    08/30/2019 17:48

    There are already lots of telescopes on Mauna Kea. There are light restrictions for all the towns and cities surrounding Mauna Kea, because of the telescopes there.

  • Ben A.
    08/30/2019 15:20

    Sounds like you need new governor bra

  • Daniel D.
    08/30/2019 06:14

    THANK YOU ALL LOVE DANIEL DURKIN FROM SAIPAN

  • Jesus G.
    08/30/2019 03:30

    IS DONE

  • Jesus G.
    08/30/2019 03:29

    IN JESUS NAME STOP THIS NOW THIS LAND BELONG TO HAWAIIAN GET OUT IN JESUS NAME NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW

  • James W.
    08/30/2019 03:17

    🎻

  • Robert Z.
    08/30/2019 01:40

    You are part of the UNITED STATES THEY OWN THE LAND YOU JUST LIVE ON IT OR USE IT. IT IS NOT. NOT !! YOUR LAND!!!

  • Maria C.
    08/29/2019 13:44

    otros años más de "Injusticia Contra nuestros Nativos" Se siente uno impotente! 🙍🏾‍♀️

  • Brent'ton J.
    08/27/2019 20:40

    You guys hate science? Idiots.

  • Ivy K.
    08/27/2019 15:30

    Ku Kia`i Mauna!!!

  • Ron M.
    08/27/2019 14:08

    These are the same type of people protesting and tearing down historis monuments acroos our great nation. Typical hypocrites.

  • Annie D.
    08/26/2019 00:24

    No bajen la guardia y manténganse unidos. Cadena de oración por todos ustedes. 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

  • Aranel F.
    08/23/2019 14:06

    Stay strong and keep protesting the US does not have the right to keep destroying every island they think they own

  • John C.
    08/22/2019 20:18

    Everyone is a victim nowadays. The needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.

  • Man G.
    08/22/2019 11:19

    Oh that's right there isn't any booking reports..

  • Man G.
    08/22/2019 11:19

    Show us the booking reports to substantiate all your claims please..

  • Man G.
    08/22/2019 11:18

    P.s. they were not arrested.. There's a difference between being cited and arrested.. They were merely moved 5 miles down the road and cited..

  • Man G.
    08/22/2019 11:17

    Notice the road is closed not the Mauna.. These lazy fools can still hike up if they wanted..

  • Donald T.
    08/22/2019 00:00

    And So is Puerto Rico

  • Luis E.
    08/21/2019 19:52

    Keep fighting and never give up protect what's yours for future generations