Community groups pledge to keep fighting for Mauna Kea’s protection, as protest enters 100th day

It has been three months since protests at Mt. Mauna Kea began, following the controversial announcement of a construction of a 30-meter telescope — they said could damage land considered sacred by some native Hawaiians.

Since then, demonstrators have established a 24/7 blockade at the base of the towering volcano.

This weekend marked the 100th day or la 100 of the presence of protectors at Mauna Kea.

“The logistics and the amount of people to take, to put something together like this and the, and the mechanism and logistics to, to feed people, to, to clothe people, to build these massive tents, to uh, take care of the kapunas the way that we’re taking care of the kapunas is, is not an easy task,” said Earl e Deleon Keouakalanikupua Pa’ikalaninui Maele, protector of Mauna Kea.

This protector of Mauna Kea has taken on this role for 43 years now.

“It’s our kuleana to take care of it. Our responsibility, it’s not a choice for us. It’s our given responsibility. Kuleana. That’s what they call that.”

To mark the 100th day of the movement to protect a mountain they consider sacred — some Filipino organizations visited the site to stand in solidarity with the Native Hawaiian community.

“We are, we’re suffering the same thing that you guys have been suffering for the last 200 years. So us as kanakas, we have no choice but to stand enough is enough. This is the last for us. We cannot back down. We will not, we will stay until the end one way or the other.”

Opponents of the thirty-meter telescope who were arrested at Mauna Kea in July are now being offered plea deals worth $100 each. It is unclear how many of the protesters would accept the deal.

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  • Mario
    28 October 2019 at 6:45 am - Reply

    Mauna Kea Mountain is the highest mountain in Hawaii Island, It is covered with SNOW during winter time.There are 3 existing observatory telescope, and another bigger telescope is being constructed. Local and mainland Astronomy students used this powerful telescope for research all the time.Those existing telescope are digitally connected with the NASA Hubble Space telescope. Environmental activist tried to stop the constructions. Hawaii activist should blame their owned Democrat Party who sponsored the construction 40 years ago. Hawaii had been under Democrat control for over 50 years.