Above: Mauna Kea Protectors, including Sacred Hui beneficiary and former candidate for Kauai Mayor Dustin Barca | Hawane Rios
After Governor Ige’s announcement today directing the TMT project to halt construction for a one-week period, Kamahana Kealoha, a Sacred Mauna Kea Hui Facilitator, issued the following statement on behalf of the hui:
Although the Sacred Mauna Kea Hui appreciates a welcome reprieve from the desecration of our sacred mountain summit and endangerment of our fresh water aquifer and endangered species environment, we know that these are still in danger unless a permanent moratorium is obtained.
This reprieve will also give the multi-billion dollar international TMT corporation, which has been allowed to circumvent the law, time to begin its process of identifying a new location outside of Hawaii for their TMT project.
We also hope this one-week moratorium will give the State of Hawaii, as well as the University of Hawaii and the Department of Land and Natural Resources the time needed to review the possible breaches of public trust the TMT project has caused. It will also give the DLNR time to review the possible abuses of the Conservation District Use Application process—a process that has permitted complete industrialization and desecration of a sacred conservation district and endangered species environment.
There is some speculation that the governor’s move is connected to the arrival, en masse, of Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners who arrived last week on Hawaii island for the Merrie Monarch Festival, which began on Sunday. Kumu Hula Vicky Holt Takamine called for a march up the mountain that same day. He may be hoping to diffuse tensions during the week-long hula festival and major cultural gathering.
Sacred Mauna Kea Hui is receiving donations from Native American tribes and others, for the purpose of supporting all efforts to protect Mauna Kea, including future bail for kupuna. Kupuna, up to 75 years of age, were among the first protectors taken away during the arrest of more than 30 protectors on Thursday, April 2.
Supporters bailed out all of the detainees within hours of their arrests. Funds such as Sacred Mauna Kea continue to welcome donations to assist with any future bail. The group also is continuing to request donations for flights to and from Hawaii between the other Hawaiian islands as well as much-needed accommodations, including food, ground transportation and other essentials. Visit www.gofundme.com/sacredmaunakea.
Another fund was set up for Naaiakalani Navas by Lanakila Mangauil, Kahoʻokahi Kanuha and Ruth Aloua.