MAUNA KEA, HI — About two weeks ago, Native Hawaiians and their allies began occupying the bottom of Mauna Kea — considered the most sacred mountain of native Hawaiian religion and culture.
Their goal to block construction equipment for the 30-meter telescope from accessing the summit.
“This is not simply about Mauna Kea, it’s a larger project of imperialism, capitalism, and patriarchy where the land is seen as the profit, a land that can be bought, sold, despite its sacredness. Despite the community’s objections.”
They said the development of a 30-meter telescope will not only have environmental consequences. It also disrespects Sacred Land.
“We are standing as guardians, to protect not only our culture and our heritage, but to also show the world that aloha can change the world. And that we are not against science, we are for the betterment of our people.”
Many Filipino activists have taken a stand to show their support for the Native Hawaiian community.
Members from a local group, Decolonial Pin@ys even wrote a statement to the governor to show their solidarity with the native Hawaiians.
“The Filipinx letter was created to raise awareness around these kinds of issues and to really bridge what the relationship is between the Philippines and Hawaii, but to also raise awareness amongst Filipinos about what’s happening in the sovereignty movement.”
“To me, it’s almost a shame that we are kind of taking a step back, like okay this is a Hawaiian issue, you know, I’m Filipino, I live in Hawaii but I’m Filipino. I think for me personally, it’s a human issue.”
“As other Ilocanos and Filipinos are, we have a Kuleana to support Kanaka Maoli in Mauna Kea, regarding Mauna Kea, to defend the mountain and also to be with them in their quest for sovereignty.”
The state has invested in having the project on Mauna Kea because they claim it will bring in more money and work opportunities to Hawaii.
The protection of Mauna Kea has been going on for a long time and the Native Hawaiians have been letting it known to the state, the university and the other stakeholders of their disapproval of the project for many years.