Scientists are wanting to build a huge range telescope on top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii so they can have a better view of the sky. They say they need the highest point available, and there are many people in protest of having the telescope there because Native Hawaiians say it is a sacred place and should not be disturbed. Protests spread as far as L.A., Las Vegas, and even as far as New York as Hawaii’s people look to protect what is theirs.
In Las Vegas, Nevada, Hawaiians stood at the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign to show they are spreading the word across America in hopes the officials in higher offices can help stop the construction. They went as far as New York’s Union Square to spread their message by holding flags and signs in peaceful protest.
Though there is no violence, protesters have blocked the roads to try and stop the construction on the top of Mauna Kea. State officials said there were about 1,500 people at the beginning of the week, and by the weekend the numbers went to over 2,000 people. Hawaii’s Lt. Governor Josh Green said he does not know if it is possible, but there will have to be some sort of compromise for the project to move forward.
Hawaii’s Supreme Court ruled the permits for the construction to be valid, but there is a question if it is legal. Green stated after meeting for hours with the elders, “This is a cultural question and the question about an entire culture’s sense of self. I don’t care what the rulings were. It boils down to how the Hawaiian community perceives itself and what vision it has for the future. It’s time for a grand reconciliation with Hawaii’s host culture.”
Governor Green feels the state is taking a strong and positive stance for the U.S. to recognize the Native Hawaiians in this situation. He also stated the Native Hawaiians are not backing down like they did when the Hawaiian kingdom was overthrown in 1893. Green will also send out a request to Governor David Ige to fan out the flames of the situation by withdrawing the Hawaiian National Guard.
The protest has entered the Hawaiian tourism sector, and several businesses shut down for one day as a “tourism boycott” to protest and show support for the activist. Old Lahaina Luau on Maui canceled its nightly luau. There were a total of 450 people who received refunds for the cancelations. The director of public and cultural relations at Old Lahaina Luau, Kawika Freitas stated, “So we decided, you know what, it would really show our support to our employees and at the same time reflect our support to Hawaiian culture for us to have everyone be able to take off that day.”
Zipline rides were also canceled to the summit of Haleakala, which is the tallest peak in Maui. Hundreds of customers were affected. Jennifer Puha, who works in reservations stated, “We did have a few people that were a little bit upset, but 90 percent of the people were very understanding.” She also spoke of the company’s owner and on his behalf, “He feels that we have a duty to stand by doing the right thing.” Everything in the Hawaii tourism sector was expected to resume as normal on Tuesday.
Governor Ige closed the roads for the construction crews to pass thru, but the protestors have blocked the road until they get the answers they want. Nothing was done as of this time and only a few of the telescopes already on top the summit will be decommissioned. Officials in the local area and the people are still working to resolve the situation. Monday 13 lawmakers and county council members reached out to Governor Ige, but nothing was done to resolve the situation as of yet. Only other issues were discussed.
With only a few arrests made for blocking the roadways, there is no violence, and everything remains peaceful. Even with protestors traveling to the mainland of the U.S. cities, there is no violence or problems. Everyone has the right to protest about something they believe in, or stand up for what they feel is right. That is what makes America great! The Left and all the Liberals out there in the country should take notes and learn something from the great people of Hawaii. They should learn how to protest peacefully and not cry about everything if they cannot get their way.