UH President Visits Mauna Kea, Protectors

July 29, 2019, 10:08 AM HST
* Updated July 30, 11:27 AM
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University of Hawai‘i President David Lassner visited the TMT protest site for the first time Sunday, July 28, 2019. PC: Darde Gamayo

University of Hawai‘i President David Lassner visited the site of the protest against the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) for the first time Sunday, July 28, 2019.

He offered a ho‘okupu, or gift, of blankets to the kūpuna who continue to block the Mauna Kea Access Road before entering their tent to greet them individually. President Lassner then spoke briefly to the protectors.

“I told the press I wasn’t here for them, and I am not here to answer their questions,” he said. “They know where to find me when they need me.”

“I came here because I wanted to see you, I wanted to feel your spirit,” he continued. “I wanted to witness for myself firsthand what is happening here, and that’s important to me. I’m committed to find a peaceful way forward, for all of the people of Hawai‘i. That requires that I understand better than I did before I came here.”

The visit lasted about 30 minutes total.

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