Honolulu Hawaii is seeing protesters gathering in multitudes to stop the invasion of their sacred land. The world’s largest telescope is all set to be built on what the natives proclaim is their sacred land.
Work resumed on Wednesday, after a setback of nearly two months, as the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Big Island’s Mauna Kea, started to take shape. However protestors are still saying they will try to peacefully stop the construction.
The construction had been put on hold after 31 people were arrested because they were blocking access to the mountain.
The protestor say that the construction will desecrate the land which is the Native Hawaiians believe to be home of deities. Some say that the development of the $1.4 billion project which is going to be 18 stories high should be halted.
13 other telescopes are also located on the mountain.
The partners in building this non profit telescope are India, China, Canada, Japan and the Thirty Meter Telescope Observatory Corporation, which was formed by the University of California and the California Institute of Technology.
Protestors had no support of the government as Governor David Ige said that Hawaii must do a better job of taking care of the mountain but the largest telescope construction has ever right to go on.
This site is particularly preferred by the Astronomers because its summit is well above he clouds and provides clear visuals of the sky 300 days a year. The mountain top has very little air and light pollution.
The arrested protesters assured that the protests will be respectful, but they felt that when the world sees Mount Kea full of telescopes, it seems to belong more to the foreign scientists than to the native Hawaiians.
In Hawaiian religion, the peaks of the island of Hawaii are sacred, and Mauna Kea (which means “white mountain” in Hawaiian, is the most sacred. An ancient law allowed only high-ranking tribal chiefs to visit its peak. Ancient Hawaiians living on the slopes of Mauna Kea relied on its extensive forests for food, and quarried the dense volcano-glacial basalts on its flanks for tool production, sourced from Wikipedia.