You know, sometimes I canʻt help but feel a pang of disgust at someone taking advantage of another person just because of their self-proclaimed “right” to something. A bully, and older sibling an intruder, usurping something that is rightly yours and takes what is not intrinsically theirs to begin with. What is worse is, what is taken, is not used for the benefit of the people from whom it was taken. Hawaiians all know well what I speak about, itʻs the same series of phrases and the same set of words we use day in and day out, “ko makou `aina”, our land. We are set yet again to witness that which is rightfully na kanaka maoli, be used and built on, which was taken and seized from us in a very early American fashion, just take take take.
On October 7th, from 7am-2pm, on Saddle Road at the entrance to the Mauna Kea Observatory Road, there will be a peaceful protest agains the Astronomy industry and the “State of Hawaiiʻs” ground breaking ceremony for a thirty-meter telescope (TMT) on the summit of Mauna Kea. Now, “how can this be a bad thing?ʻ you may ask. Well, Iʻll play devilʻs advocate and play this out. For starters the group of organizations that are funding this project all have a vested interest in for the advancement of science and mankind alike. Here are the groups:
The Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation of Palo Alto, California
National Institutes of Natural Sciences in Japan
The National Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
The California Institute of Technology
The University of California
The Indian Institute for Astrophysics
Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA)
University of Hawaii
Now, these groups have nothing to do with the politics surrounding annexation and treaty violations from the United States and the Kingdom of Hawaii. They are all organization that have the scope of humanity in their focused vision. So how could this be a bad thing? Well… Some of the environmental concerns are: The principle fresh water aquifer for Hawaii Island is on Mauna Kea, yet there have been mercury spills on the summit; toxins such as Ethylene Glycol and Diesel are used there; chemicals used to clean telescope mirrors drain into the septic system, along with half a million gallons a year of human sewage that goes into septic tanks, cesspools and leach fields.
“All of this poisonous activity at the source of our fresh water aquifer is unconscionable, and it threatens the life of the island,” said Kealoha. “But that’s only part of the story of this mountain’s environmental fragility. It’s also home to endangered species, such as the palila bird, which is endangered in part because of the damage to its critical habitat, which includes the mamane tree.”
Now another stance is the legality, one small glimpse is the claims of Crown Lands. Professor Williamson PC Chang, from the University of Hawaii’s Richardson School of Law, said, “The United States bases its claim to the Crown and Government land of the Hawaiian Kingdom on the 1898 Joint Resolution of Congress, but that resolution has no power to convey the lands of Hawaii to the U.S. It’s as if I wrote a deed saying you give your house to me and I accepted it. Nobody gave the land to the U.S., they just seized it.”
“Show us the title,” said Kamahana Kealoha, cultural practitioner, “If the so-called ‘Treaty of Annexation’ exists, that would be proof that Hawaiian Kingdom citizens gave up sovereignty and agreed to be part of the United States 121 years ago. But we know that no such document exists. The so-called ‘state’ does not have jurisdiction over Mauna Kea or any other land in Hawaii that it illegally leases out to multi-national interests.”
“I agree with how George Helm felt about Kahoolawe,” said Kealoha. “He wrote in his journal: ‘My veins are carrying the blood of a people who understood the sacredness of land and water. Their culture is my culture. No matter how remote the past is it does not make my culture extinct. Now I cannot continue to see the arrogance of the white man who maintains his science and rationality at the expense of my cultural instincts. They will not prostitute my soul.’”
We would be very interested in hearing your stance on all of this, please feel free to comment at this link: KU | Rock Steady | TMT On Summit of Mauna Kea. Or below.