Hawaiians protest massive telescope on sacred mountain

Officials close road as opponents pursue legal halt

Annette Reyes is a Native Hawaiian who supports building a massive telescope on Hawaii’s tallest mountain.

Some Native Hawaiians say the project will desecrate sacred land. Reyes doesn’t agree.

She says there are many others like her, but they’re reluctant to publicly support Thirty Meter Telescope because of bullying from protesters she calls a “vocal minority.” She says she’s been called a fake Hawaiian for supporting the project.

Reyes says Hawaii’s youth can’t afford to miss out on the educational opportunities the telescope has brought.

She says science is an integral part of Hawaiian culture. She says ancient Hawaiians practiced science while farming fish and navigating the seas.

READ MORE: Minor planet named for Vancouver Island First Nation

READ MORE: Scientists reveal first image ever made of black hole

Protesters continued to gather at the base of Mauna Kea on Tuesday, the day after officials closed the road to the summit in preparation for trucks to begin taking equipment to the top.

Attorneys for a $1.4 billion telescope project say a petition filed in court seeking to halt construction on Hawaii’s tallest mountain has no merit.

In seeking a temporary restraining order, opponents say the project must post a security bond equivalent to the construction contract cost before starting construction. Thirty Meter Telescope attorney Doug Ing says the lawsuit is just another delay tactic.

About a dozen elders, or kupuna, sat in chairs at the start of the road on Monday, committed to being arrested if need be. Another eight shackled themselves to each other over a grate in the road.

They acted after state officials announced they would close the road to the summit of Mauna Kea so they could begin bringing equipment to the construction site in coming days.

The confrontation was a dramatic start to what could be weeks or more of protests pitting scientific discovery against cultural preservation and indigenous rights.

Authorities didn’t arrest anyone, saying their priority was installing concrete barriers along a nearby highway to create a buffer between speeding cars and the large numbers of people congregating in the area. No construction vehicles went up to the summit.

Hundreds of protesters remained at the scene and many promised to continue their fight.

Just Posted

Oak Bay father says he attempted suicide a month before murders

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

Thermal imaging cameras eye Salish Sea in hopes of better detecting whales

Cameras installed at BC Ferries’ terminal on Galiano Island, and off southern Gulf Islands

UPDATED: Kelly Ellard gets day parole extended for six more months, overnight leave

Ellard was convicted of killing 14-year-old Reena Virk in 1997

Proctor killer attended her memorial, still demonstrates little remorse

Parole Board of Canada documents details reasons for rejecting Kruse Wellwood parole request

Trudeau vows to stand firm against ‘increasingly assertive’ China

China has accused Canada of meddling in its affairs

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Province funds new shuttle buses for 13 B.C. senior centres

Activity, socializing helps maintain health, Adrian Dix says

BREAKING: Province approves Surrey police force

Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth green-lights city’s municipal police force

Police watchdog investigating two officers after Langley teen’s suspected overdose

According to IIO, two officers were deployed to help Carson Crimeni but did not locate him before he died

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. hockey player excited to join Humboldt Broncos

Defenceman Sebastien Archambault played last two seasons with Junior B Sicamous Eagles.

Hockey-puck-size injured Vancouver Island owl begins recovery

Rare western screech owl being treated at MARS near Courtenay after showing signs of a head trauma

High-traffic Victoria ATM compromised by card skimmer

VicPD suggest ‘wiggle test’ of any bank machine

Most Read