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Protesters continue to block telescope construction in Hawaii

The number of protesters daily blocking access to Mauna Kea in Hawaii and thus prevent the start of construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) grew to more than 2,000 yesterday.

The police arrested 33 people, but did nothing else to clear the road. Meanwhile, Democratic governor David Ige finally took some action, albeit mild.

After a day of growing crowds and arrests of elderly demonstrators, Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed an emergency proclamation giving law enforcement more options to end the blockade. The state hadn’t decided whether to remove protesters from the mountain, but the proclamation makes that an option, Ige said. “We are certainly committed to ensuring the project has access to the construction site,” Ige said. “We’ve been patient in trying to allow the protesters to express their feelings about the project.”

If Ige had moved firmly at the beginning of the week, the situation would likely not have escalated, as it has. Removing the protesters now will be far more difficult.

As is usual for modern reporting, the article spends most of its time promoting the perspective of the protesters. However, it does get one quote from a native Hawaiian who supports the telescope’s construction, and that quote reveals how little this protest has to do with religion:

Some Native Hawaiians say they don’t believe the project will desecrate Mauna Kea. Most of the cultural practices on the mountain take place away from the summit, said Annette Reyes, a Native Hawaiian from the Big Island. “It’s going to be out of sight, out of mind,” she said.

During the legal battle the court took testimony from many native Hawaiians who confirmed this position. Moreover, the public negotiations that produced the agreement to build the telescope (while removing five other telescopes on the mountaintop) included the most important religious leaders among the native population.

This is a power game being played here by the protest leaders. They are vying for power and influence both within their community as well as across Hawaii. Moreover, they want a level of power that will make them immune from any legal or democratic process. If they win they will have obtained the dictatorial right to unilaterally rule, on any issue.

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  • Milt Hays, Jr.

    Robert, as you observe, “[The protesters] want a level of power that will make them immune from any legal or democratic process. If they win they will have obtained the dictatorial right to unilaterally rule, on any issue.”

    Exactly. As far too many people still fail to understand, the ultimate goal of the “progressives” is to destroy our system of open democratic process itself and to install a rigid, Stalinist style dictatorship in its place. The problem is, most people
    — aided by the presstitute media — still think that the progressives are simply advocating MORE democracy, and nothing could be further from the truth.

  • Don C

    Sacrifice the protestors by throwing them into the active volcano? That would appease the spirits of any desecration from the observatory.

  • Suburbanbanshee

    In Polynesian culture, ignorance of the sky is ignorance of the gods. Hawaii was particularly big on spreading astronomical religious information in song.

    But I guess these protesters do not care about new information on what their gods and heroes want them to know; they want humanity to remain ignorant and irreligious, as well as easy to lose at sea.

  • Buzz

    The protesters need to get a life.

  • wayne

    What are you rebelling against?
    The Wild One

  • Dano

    The crowd probably consists of many of the same people that violently opposed the shark cull of large maneater species (mainly Tiger sharks) after several bathers were attacked and some killed. The advanced thinkers said the sharks were reincarnated family members. No wonder this group is against science.

  • Kekapukainohea

    I lived Hawai’i for 5+ years of my life. I even had (sadly passed, sorely missed) a Kupuna(sort of like a Native grandparent-like figure who teaches you about Hawai’i) who was active in protesting. I always supported his right to protest. I even took part in those which I believe were pono (righteous), which was not nearly as many as it sounds. Much of why they protest ANY construction , as so many claim, is to prevent the desecration of iwi(bones). My interpretation: so many of the protestors start with a pono reason, such as the overthrow of the Kingdom, which America did help to perpetuate, and end up basically wanting to bring it back, which I believe can be done, if you include more than just those with the American-defined Blood quantum. But so many want to be leaders, and no one wants to be a follower. A few are in it to do dope, which would’ve been legal under the Kingdom. They also do not have a plan for those NOT Native to be intergrated into the Kingdom and culture they protest for. Many are communist and rail against all things they relate to capitalist. Some, like me, believe the State of Hawai’i craps all over anyone in Hawai’i. So when I see a protest, their reason is noble, but reasoning is flawed. Plus, if iwi is invoked, what they are really saying is “resistance to anything not from a Native Hawaiian”. In closing, the Kingdom they fight for, those iwi, who were citizens of the Kingdom, were ALL Hawaiian, according to the Kingdom. So to restrict their movement to “Natives” means they’ll spin their wheels, all wanting to be leaders, and in essence, will never get the iwi peaceful rest and the Kingdom back with such tactics. But I wish them well and I am for the pono part of why the protest.

  • Felix the Cat

    English please. You could have been using made up words for all I know. If you want to make a point, make sure people can understand what you are saying. You failed in that regard.

  • D3F1ANT

    LOL! Leftists will protest a ham sandwich. That’s why the word “protest” just makes us raise our eyebrows and shake our heads.

  • Cotour

    Q: Who was the most successful agent of real change that used non violence that caused a world power to voluntarily surrender their own Colony?

    A: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Schooled in London as a lawyer.

    How did he come to his understanding of protest and change?

    He was a successful lawyer in South Africa and attempted to book a first class ticket on a train. He was denied the ticket and was told to travel as a “Colored” in third class. This annoyed him to say the least. What book did he happen to read while he was being detained?

    This apparently is the book by, Henry David Thoreau that he read while being detained that he based his efforts to free India from the Brits on. I will assume that the Hawaiian’s also base their efforts on the same or similar.

  • Dick Eagleson

    I think the U.S. needs to be end institutional support of vestigial tribalism. It’s one thing to be proud of one’s ancestors, but quite another to imagine oneself still part of one’s ancestral culture on an ongoing basis.

    My own ancestors were tribal and clan Scots. I like to go to Scottish fairs, listen to the pipes, watch the tossing of cabers and such, but I’m under no illusion that I’m actually Scottish in the way The Wallace or The Bruce of yore were. Nor would I wish to be.

    Yet I’ve met plenty of Native Americans who seem to imagine they are only a hairsbreadth removed from being Sitting Bull or Cochise. They’re not. They’re 21st century Americans just like me in nearly all respects and can no more “live off the land,” track men or animals in the wilderness, kill game with a bow and arrow or make fire without matches or a lighter than I can.

    If Native Americans want to select a day – maybe the anniversary of Custer’s Last Stand – to celebrate their heritage, I’m all for it. Bring out the feathers, the headdresses, the drums, the dances and the chants. Some of us Scots wear kilts to Bobby Burns Day dinners. Italians have Columbus Day. The Irish have St. Patrick’s Day. But Native Americans need to get over the idea that they are, except around the extreme edges, the same as their ancestors. They’re not.

    “Native” Hawaiians aren’t their ancestors either. If forced to live the ancestral lifestyle, all but a handful would be dead inside a month. Government needs to stop nurturing such self-destructive illusions. That means all preferences and carve-outs based on ancestry need to be ended – reservations, casino monopolies, the whole nine yards.

    The U.S., I think, is also in serious need of a realistic reappraisal of the meaning of religious freedom in the context of the 1st Amendment. When the only significant non-Christian religion in the U.S. was Judaism, an absolutist position was easy to maintain. Judaism is not aggressive or even evangelical.

    But the ancestral religions of many Americans involve animal or even human sacrifice. That is true of the Native Hawaiians as well as of many Mexican-Americans whose ancestors were Aztec. I think it’s safe to say that, 1st Amendment to the contrary notwithstanding, any attempt by Native Hawaiians to bring back traditional worship of Pele, by Mexican-Americans to do likewise anent Quetzocoatl or even of Indian-American Hindus to revive suttee – the ritual burning alive of widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands – would be quickly suppressed.

    A new practical understanding of just what the limits of religious practice are needs to be hammered out. Matters less fraught than human sacrifice, though still major departures from American tradition, such as Muslim notions of dhimmitude, jihad, sharia and the scripturally-based “right,” or even “duty,” of Muslims to kill or enslave non-believers, need to be clearly and consistently addressed in American law. Simply put, they need to be outlawed and suppressed. The British colonial administration ended both suttee and the murderous Thugee cult in India without any obvious damage to Hinduism as witness the fact that Indians, since independence from their former British overlords, have shown zero inclination to bring either back. I suspect it will fall to us to do likewise anent the more repellent aspects of Islam.

  • Cotour

    An interesting concept, if you want to “reconnect” to your ancestors you must live as they lived. Without the modern conveniences and advantages that you are afforded by the civilization that you are included in and provides those advantages by your “Oppressors”.

    Choose one.

    Because to attempt to choose both and live both in the modern and ancient worlds simultaneously you are in fact an insult to yourself and your alleged cause and belief system that you allege is paramount.

  • DeathMerchant

    Let’s hope the asteroid that was missed due to this project not being completed targets this area as ground zero.

  • Edward

    Dano wrote: “The advanced thinkers said the sharks were reincarnated family members. No wonder this group is against science.

    Reincarnated family members turned into cannibals? What a tragedy.

    Felix the Cat,
    Whose point did you miss?

    Dick Eagleson wrore: “If Native Americans want to select a day – maybe the anniversary of Custer’s Last Stand – to celebrate their heritage, I’m all for it.

    I like the idea of celebration of heritage, but I favor the celebrations that are more inclusive than exclusive. On St. Patrick’s Day, everybody gets to be Irish (or at least an American version of Irish), and wearing green or a shamrock are celebrated.

    On Cinco De Mayo, it has been deemed racist to eat a taco.

    It is too bad that so many religious holidays are treated as exclusive. There was a time when everyone celebrated by saying “merry Christmas,” but the politically correct decided that exclusion was necessary, so the celebration has become “happy holidays.”

  • wayne

    “Cinco de Mayo”– a made-up Fake “holiday,” nobody in Mexico celebrates.
    Along the same lines as “Kwanza,” an equally fake & made-up “holiday,” that didn’t exist until the late 1960’s. (cuz’ they made it up, just like they manufacture the News.)

  • wayne

    Soul Asylum –

    “They say misery loves company,
    We could start a company and make misery.
    Frustrated Incorporated….

    Well I know just what you need,
    I might just have the thing,
    I know what you’d pay to see.

    Put me out of my misery.
    I’d do it for you, would you do it for me?
    We will always be busy making misery…

    We could build a factory and make misery.
    We’ll create the cure; we made the disease.
    Frustrated Incorporated
    Frustrated Incorporated…”

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