The construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), which would be a huge structure on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, has sparked strong feelings among Native Hawaiians, who believe the mountain to be sacred.
Many have been protesting the project since March 30. “We are not going to stop until this issue is brought to a halt,” said Jon Osorio, professor in the Hawai‘inui?kea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at the University of Hawai‘i at M?noa, at a press conference following a university walk-out, which was reported by KITV.
The protesters have garnered other support, but if you want to know how you can help, even from afar, here are four ways.
Sign a Petition
Two petitions to protect Mauna Kea from further development are currently circulating. One petition, on Change.org asks Hawaii Governor David Ige to halt all TMT-related construction on Mauna Kea, it asks that no other Mauna Kea protectors are arrested, and it asks him to protect the mountain.
The petition says that “Truly respecting the host culture of this land means respecting the sacred places that that culture has held in reverence for millennia. Doing so lays a good foundation for genuine healing of the longstanding historic wrongs that continue to affect the well-being of everyone in Hawai?i.”
Those who want to help can do so by signing a petition.
The other petition, hosted by MoveOn.org, is to be delivered to a number of various parties involved in the construction of the telescope, and is meant to also protect Mauna Kea.
“The State of Hawai‘i’s Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) is planning to issue the University of Hawai‘i (UH) new leases for another 65 years, that’s right, BLNR is planning to give Mauna Kea to UH for another 65 years. The new leases would end in the year 2078—how old will you be in 2078? The current BLNR lease is scheduled to end in the year 2033, but this date is not good enough for UH and the other national and international observatories because they want the power to continue to build newer and bigger telescopes,” points out the MoveOn petition.
Those on the ground, the protectors of Mauna Kea, need supplies like food and water, and sometimes even bail money. To help them keep protesting and protecting the sacred mountain, you can contribute to the Mauna Kea ‘Ohana on GoFundMe.
Mauna Kea protecters come in all ages.
Here’s a list of people you can write a letter to, send an email to, put a call in to, and let them know you are against what is happening at Mauna Kea.
U.S. State Department
Hon. Keith Harper, Ambassador of the United States to the United Nations Human Rights Council c/o Leslie Marks, MarksLE@state.gov
Deputy Director and Senior Advisor Lynn Sicade, DRL/MLGA (Office of Multilateral and Global Affairs, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor), SicadeLM@state.gov
Deputy Assistant Secretary Scott Busby, BusbySW@state.gov
Government of Hawaii
Governor, State of Hawaii, the Honorable David Y. Ige, Phone: (808) 586-?0034
Lieutenant Governor, the Honorable Shan S. Tsutsui, Phone: (808) 586-?0255, Shan.Tsutui@hawaii.gov
Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Robert Lindsey, Chairperson, email@example.com
U.S. Congressional Delegation for Hawaii
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, firstname.lastname@example.org
Use the technology we have to send your love and support from afar. Use hashtags like #TMTShutdown and #ProtectMaunaKea to help spread the word. Post your pictures on Instagram and Facebook for all your friends to see.
Thomas Hill posted this image to Joshua Lanakila Mangauil's Facebook page to show some support for Mauna Kea from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska
This list was adapted from Kauilapele’s Blog posted on April 14, 2015.