US: Protests continue over proposed telescope on Hawaii’s highest peak - PressFrom - US
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USProtests continue over proposed telescope on Hawaii’s highest peak

09:00  22 july  2019
09:00  22 july  2019 Source:   nydailynews.com

Protests rage against construction of massive telescope on sacred Hawaiian peak

Protests rage against construction of massive telescope on sacred Hawaiian peak Mauna Kea is known to some native Hawaiians as a sacred volcano, but it could soon be home to a $1.4 billion telescope.

Controversial Thirty Meter Telescope to be built on state’ s highest peak Mauna Kea on the Big Island, a sacred site for Native Hawaiians.

Officials in Hawaii said Friday that they will not call up additional National Guard troops or use force on peaceful telescope protesters blocking access to the state' s highest peak . All are protesting the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii .

Protests continue over proposed telescope on Hawaii’s highest peak
Protests continue over proposed telescope on Hawaii’s highest peak
Protests continue over proposed telescope on Hawaii’s highest peak

Close to 2,000 demonstrators have gathered near an access road in Hawaii to protest the construction of a telescope on sacred ground.

Construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope was set to begin last week on Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano, and at 13,803 feet, Hawaii’s highest peak. However, the peak is considered sacred ground for native Hawaiians.

“It is without a doubt one of our most sacred places in all of Hawaii,” Kaho’okahi Kanuha, a protest leader, told CNN.

Elderly Hawaiians arrested while protesting telescope construction on sacred land

Elderly Hawaiians arrested while protesting telescope construction on sacred land Police arrested several elderly protesters, including some in wheelchairs, for attempting to block construction of a telescope on top of a volcano considered sacred by some Native Hawaiians.The Associated Press reported that roughly 30 elders, called kupuna in Hawaiian, were arrested on Wednesday.Protest leader Kealoha Pisciotta told the AP that the kupuna were prepared to be arrested as part of their protest.While some of the elderly

Hawaii ’ s Department of Land and Natural Resources did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. The arrests are the latest in a decadelong legal fight over the controversial project. Protesters , who call themselves “protectors” of the mountain, disrupted a groundbreaking back in 2014.

Hawaii authorities haven’t arrested any protesters but have indicated they would. Law enforcement was focused on preparing a path to Kaho’okahi Kanuha, one of the protest leaders, told reporters that efforts to stop the Thirty Meter Telescope were about protecting Hawaii ’ s indigenous people.

He said that the land had already been “desecrated” by other observatories.

"We are taking a stand not only to protect our mauna and aina, our land, who we have a genealogical connection to," Kanuha said. "We are fighting to protect it because we know if we cannot stop this, there is not very much we can fight for or protect."

“This is our last stand,” he said.

Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory board said in a statement earlier in July that it was “committed to being good stewards on the mountain and inclusive of the Hawaiian community.”

On Wednesday, 33 protesters were arrested for forming a line and blocking a road.

Gov. David Ige said his office is focused on safety and wouldn’t use force to disperse the crowds.

“However, there are thousands of people on the mountain, and I encourage all to remain respectful and calm,” he said.

He also said the protest was disorganized and that there were “inadequate bathroom and rubbish facilities” as well as reports of drug and alcohol use — claims denied by protest organizers, who insisted the site was very clean.

“What we have here is not an image of dysfunction and not an image of a crumbling society,” Kanuha said. “We have images of, basically, people uniting, people coming together, and each and every day we get bigger and bigger and become more organized and get stronger and stronger.”

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson joins native protesters in Hawaii.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson joined native Hawaiians for a peaceful protest against a $1.4 billion planned telescope project at the to of volcano Mauna Kea Wednesday.

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