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Mauna Kea Hui of Protectors Gain Support

April 6, 2015, 12:29 PM HST (Updated April 6, 2015, 3:00 PM)
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Mauna Kea Hui of Protectors have been joined by Hollywood actors Jason Momoa and Kala Alexandra as they demonstrate against the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope. In addition, world-renowned surfer Dustin Barca joined the group of demonstrators on Mauna Kea. He was among those arrested on Thursday.

Organizers say the Native Hawaiian public figures have assisted in building worldwide public support that includes floods of phone calls and e-mails to Governor David Ige, in-person support, and funds being raised for Mauna Kea protection efforts and legal appeals.

More than 1,000 people joined the efforts on Mauna Kea Saturday to chant, sing, dance, and to support each other and the mountain, according to organizers. In addition to their presence, the group added more than 4,000 names to its petition that asks Gov. Ige and other public officials to stop TMT’s desecration and the arrest of demonstrators immediately.

On Sunday, hula groups that are on the Big Island for the Merrie Monarch Festival took the trip up the mountain to pray, dance, and make offerings to the revered elders shrine located at Pu’u Huluhulu, near the Mauna Kea access road.

Organizers released in a statement Monday morning that despite the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ call for a thirty-day moratorium, it is not in the plan of the Mauna Kea Hui of Protectors.

“Some public officials have suggested that negotiations are going on during a 30-day rest period. To be clear, no one has asked the Mauna Kea Hui of Protectors to take a 30-day rest period, nor have we agreed to a rest period. We are not resting – we are continuing our stand for Mauna Kea – In Aloha we remain!”

On the TMT side,  Project Manager Gary Sanders released the following statement on Thursday:

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“TMT respects the rights of everyone to express their viewpoints. We also respect the law of the State of Hawai’i and the seven-year-public process and authority that granted us permits to build the Thirty Meter Telescope in the Maunakea Science Reserve’s Astronomy Precinct. Like most people in the community we truly believe that science and culture can coexist on Maunakea as it has for the past 50-years along with other public uses.”

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