Native Hawaiian leaders have also been meeting with the state governor, the University of Hawaii and the police department to find an answer to this conflict. Those protecting Mauna Kea say that if construction starts before the courts reach a decision, the building will cause harm to the land and to the graves of their ancestors.
Kamahana Kealoha, a cultural practitioner and an organizer of the protest native of Waimea, Hawaiʻi, said, “This telescope is an atrocity the size of Aloha Stadium. It’s 19 stories tall, which is like building a sky-scraper on top of the mountain, a place that is being violated in many ways culturally, environmentally and spiritually.”
Kealoja said that the struggle is “about so much more … We are fighting against our erasure and ethnocide as well as the threat for all to our main water aquifer and endangered species conservation district.”