Maui News

Thousands Take to the Streets to Protest TMT

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Photo Courtesy: Carl Yoshihara

Photo Courtesy: Carl Yoshihara

Photo Courtesy: Carl Yoshihara

Photo Courtesy: Carl Yoshihara

Photo Courtesy: Carl Yoshihara

A sea of Hawaiian flags billowed through Kaahumanu Avenue Saturday morning as a few thousand Maui residents marched in solidarity with the ongoing protest against the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. 

The rally began with a ceremony of hula and oli, or chants, at the War Memorial baseball fields and ended with a series of speakers and a concert at the University of Hawaii Maui College. 

Kahoʻokahi Kanuha, one of the front liners of the anti-TMT movement, offered a few words to close the event. 

“We have the right to determine for ourselves, our sacred places should be protected because we are real people just like anybody else,” Kanuha said.

“It’s not just hundreds or thousands of people on Mauna Kea that are against this telescope. There are thousands of people across Hawaʻii who are against it and there’s hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of people around the world who are against this.”

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Those who support the TMT say the telescope would support the local economy and astronomical research.

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TMT representatives have announced that they are seeking the necessary permits to construct the telescope at their plan B site in the Canary Islands, but maintain that Mauna Kea is their preferred location. 

Both sides say there will be no compromise.

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