The Fight To Save Sacred Hawaiian Land Intensifies

The Fight To Save Sacred Hawaiian Land Intensifies

Via Instagram

"Game of Thrones,"actor and local boy Jason Mamoa stands with the words "We Are Mauna Kea," across his chest.

Ongoing protests attempt to stop the building of a 30-meter high telescope located on the volcano Mauna Kea on Hawaii’s Big Island.

The project will allow construction of the biggest telescope known to mankind. However, the site of construction has been the cause of the protests for it stands on sacred ground for the Hawaiian people.

“Game of Thrones,” actor Jason Mamoa is from Hawaii and plays the character Khal Drago in the HBO fantasy television series is one of many celebrities that have used social media to voice their opinion on the matter.

“WE ARE MAUNA KEA. The ocean embraces her. The land bows before her. Her reach extends to the heavens. Within her core lies all that is essential for life. WE ARE MAUNA KEA,” said Mamoa, whose father is native Hawaiian, in a caption of an Instagram post of him shirtless with the words “We are Mauna Kea,” written across his massive chest.

The peak of Mauna Kea extends over 5 miles from the bottom of the seafloor, making it the tallest mountain on the entire planet when measured from the bottom of the ocean.

Ancient Hawaiians believed the summit of Mauna Kea was the meeting place for the Sky Father Wakea and the Earth Mother Papahanaumoku, which are believed to be the ancestors of the entire human population.

There are already 13 other telescopes in operation on the summit already. None are as big as the one projected, that would allow important astrological observations.

One protest in early April, half a dozen arrests when 15 trucks parked in order to block the road to prevent construction workers from getting to the site. Another, which happened more, recently involved 30 people getting arrested.

On April 15, At the University of Hawaii at Manoa, when students and faculty staged a walkout in the middle of a school day which thousands of people took part in all calling for the ending to the construction.

Protesters have been successful to the extent that Hawaii’s Governor, David Ige originally called for a one week halt in construction, which he most recently extended by another week.

Mauna Kea is known in Hawaiian dialect as the “white mountain,” because of the snow that often builds up during the autumn and winter months. Nowadays it is a popular travel destination because of this blanket of snow in which people commonly ski and snowboard down.

Kelly Slater the 11x surfing world champion, and Kauai’s Dustin Barca are just a few of many surfers who have voiced their support for the protection of the Hawaiian sacred grounds.

“The newly planned telescope is seen as a continued desecration of that land and culture by many citizens who love this place,” said Slater in part of his caption on a selfie Instagram post in which he is facing his palm forward with the words we are Mauna Kea written with markers.

There are currently two petitions in circulation that supporters are able to sign at Moveon.org and Change.org; also people can donate to the Mauna Kea O’Hana at GoFundMe.org.

Supporters are also encouraged to take to social media using the hashtags #ProtectMaunaKea and #TMTShutdown.