VIDEO: Hawaiian Groups Unite to Protect Maunakea

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VIDEO: Kahookahi Kanuha, Noenoe Wilson-Wong, Lanakila Manguail talk about TMT, July 14, 2019. VC: Crystal Richard

In a statement of unity on Sunday, July 14, 2019, Hawaiian groups have pledged to protect all people peacefully gathered at Puʻuhonua O Puʻuhuluhulu, a designated place of refuge, at the base of Maunakea, according to a press release from The Royal Order of Kamehameha I, HULI, Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge-UH Mānoa, Hui Aloha ʻĀina, Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, Mauna Kea Hui and Nā Wahine ʻĀpapalani, who  pledge to protect all people gathered peacefully at Pu‘uhonua O Puʻuhuluhulu.

Native Hawaiian groups establish refuge at Pu‘u Huluhulu, July 14, 2019. PC: Crystal Richard

With the TMT expected to begin construction at 7 a.m. Monday morning, July 15, reports that the State of Hawaiʻi plans to sweep the Puʻuhonua late Sunday night has prompted Hawaiian groups to stand as a lāhui (people) to affirm the establishment of the puʻuhonua and protect their right to seek refuge there.


Through the aliʻi authority of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, and with the support of the kia‘i of Maunakea, Puʻuhonua o Puʻuhuluhulu was formally consecrated.

Alika Desha, Kālaimoku of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, said, “In fulfillment of our kuleana, we are committed to upholding the sanctity and safe haven of this space for our akua, our ‘āina and our people.”

Native Hawaiian groups establish refuge at Pu‘u Huluhulu, July 14, 2019. PC: Crystal Richard

Leilani Lindsey, pelekikena of the Hui Aloha ‘Āina, who participated in yesterday’s ceremony, said “Puʻuhuluhulu has been recognized as a puʻuhonua for generations and that has been reaffirmed by the Royal Order of Kamehameha I. We will stand here together in the spirit of our kūpuna and in deep aloha for our ʻāina.”


John Osorio, dean of Hawaiʻinuiākea said, “We are a living people with a living culture. Any attempt to intrude on this pu‘uhonua is a direct attempt to erase our people and culture and divides all Hawaiians.”

Native Hawaiian groups establish refuge at Pu‘u Huluhulu, July 14, 2019. PC: Crystal Richard

Ku Ching, member of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, stated, “We are doing a religious thing that is constitutionally protected. We are having an indefinite religious retreat.”

Kealoha Pisciotta of the same organization said, “This is further evidence of state violence hostility and disrespect for our aloha and our religious freedom.”


In the wisdom of Liko Martin and Aunty Pilahi Paki, Hawai‘i loa, kū like kākou (All Hawai‘i stands together).

About HULI

HULI was formalized in May to build capacity for Hawaiʻi-based activists and movements by providing trainings around organizing, nonviolent direct action and movement-building for people in Hawaiʻi. Their objective is to empower our community to struggle smarter, harder and for as long as it takes to win. They conduct training in non-violent direct action, organizing and movement building for the lāhui.

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