The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel calls for an immediate halt to construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on the sacred site of Mauna a Wākea (aka Mauna Kea), and to the violence the state of Hawai‘i, the University of Hawai‘i, and the National Guard are directing towards those standing to protect the mountain from the building of this $1.4 billion behemoth.
Settler colonial violence in Palestine and Hawai‘i take different forms, but both constitute attempts to disappear the indigenous people of these lands, while also devastating the land itself. Just as we oppose Israel’s US-sponsored occupation and colonization of Palestine, and conditions in Palestine of apartheid, siege and blockade, martial law, displacement, and dispossession, so too we oppose the University of Hawai‘i, and the state of Hawai‘i, as they go forward with the construction of the TMT, and for their criminalization of those putting their bodies on the line to protect their mountain from desecration.
For the past 10 years, Kia‘i, or protectors, have staved off construction of the TMT through legal channels, and through direct non-violent action that is an expression of Kapu Aloha—and that the state has met with mass arrests. Last October, the Hawai‘i State Supreme Court affirmed the Board of Land and Natural Resource’s approval of the University of Hawai‘i’s permit to construct the Thirty Meter Telescope. This June, the Hawai‘i State Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands led a 4 a.m. stealth attack on Hale o Kūhiō, and Hale Kū Kia’i Mauna, a small traditional hale that has stood for the last three years on Mauna a Wākea as a place of prayer and ceremony and a symbol of Hawaiian resistance to the continued desecration of the mountain. At a July 10 press conference, the Governor of Hawai‘i, the president of UH, and other key players confirmed their decision to start construction aided by the National Guard and LRAD, a device of sonic warfare (though they deny its danger). They expressed readiness to engage in mass arrests. Observers have seen trucks with canisters of tear gas heading up the mountain. On July 12, the University of Hawai‘i “leadership” (in an act of cowardice, the authors are unnamed) issued a threat to punish and criminalize anyone standing in the way of construction. UH also has in place draconian administrative rules that will penalize protectors for “violations” such as using flashlights or cellphones on the mountain.
These tactics used by the settler state resonate with those Israel uses against Palestinians, and with those the US uses to criminalize BDS as well as other forms of principled dissent, including at Standing Rock.
Meanwhile, protectors have established Puʻuhonua O Puʻuhuluhulu, a place of refuge at the base of the mountain. With construction set to begin today, July 15, eight Kia‘i have locked themselves to a cattle guard at 3 a.m., on the road where construction is set to begin. A line of Kūpuna, or revered elders, tied together, have joined them in putting their bodies on the line, in front of trucks, construction gear, and the National Guard. Hundreds more stand behind them, blocking the access road. On the mountain, and across the islands, thousands of Kia‘i and allies are gathering to stand for Mauna Kea, and in solidarity with those facing a militarized police force with nothing other than love for the land, or aloha ‘āina.
In both Hawai‘i and Palestine, people have been rising up, and will continue to rise up, to meet colonial violence with resistance and a love for people and land that is stronger than colonial courts and the military might of settler states that work together, as the US and Israel do. And when we come together, and connect our struggles for justice, we are stronger and more sustained.
USACBI calls for an immediate halt to the construction of the TMT. We express our solidarity with Kanaka Maoli in their protection of Mauna Kea and all of Hawai’i. We also oppose all aspects of the violence the State of Hawai‘i and the University of Hawaiʻi are leveling against Kia‘i and their allies as they oppose the TMT and stand for their sacred occupied lands. #AoleTMT #KūKiaiMauna
ACTION ITEMS AND INFORMATION
Petition opposing the TMT:
Form to send a message (suggested, or your own) to the TMT Board and Partners:
Link to vetted donation sites:
Link to press coverage on the TMT:
10 Questions about Mauna Kea whose answers might surprise you:
On social media, you can follow the official accounts of the Puʻuhonua o Puʻu Huluhulu (sanctuary and base camp of the protectors on Mauna Kea):
- On the web: https://www.puuhuluhulu.com/
- On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/puuhuluhulu/
- On Instagram: @puuhuluhulu (Puuhonua o Puuhuluhulu)
- On Twitter: @puuhuluhulu
- Also, for livefeed from Mauna Kea, follow Kanaeokana on Facebook