Twenty arrested for blocking trucks to different mountain telescope in Hawaii

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Twenty protesters were arrested on Friday trying to block trucks leaving for the summit of Haleakala on the island of Maui, as part of the work building the new Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope there.

This protest did not involve Mauna Kea. It suggests that the hostility to astronomy and outsiders on Hawaii is growing. It also suggests to me that maybe astronomers and outsiders should consider going somewhere else for their research and tourism. Let’s find out how happy these Hawaiian protesters will be if the money these industries bring to their island disappears.

Another article notes that seven others were arrested on Mauna Kea as well. It thus appears that the Hawaiian government is finally moving to enforce the law there.



  • Brent Badua

    It’s not the money though Hawaii could use it.It’s just that the Hawaiians and the local people are tired and frustrated for hundreds of years of outsiders taking land,forcing up prices where locals can’t afford homes or even rent.The American government took control over Hawaii illegally,putting our Queen in jail.Businesses took land and resources from the common people.Thank God for America,it brought a lot of good to Hawaii but the Hawaiians are still angry.The telescopes are on some sacred land and we just want a little respect.The Hawaiian people are just some of the nicest most kind and generous people you can ever meet.They just want a break.Very good and informative site you have,I really enjoy it.Mahalo for listening.

  • Brent,

    My impression of these protesters and their opinions are that they are downright bigoted. They rank people not by what they do but by their birthright. If someone’s ancestors were not from Hawaii, than they aren’t considered as valuable a person. And if you are white and have ancestors from Europe, you are an oppressor who shouldn’t have any rights at all.

    You can say that “The Hawaiian people are just some of the nicest most kind and generous people you can ever meet” but my impression from this protest is quite different. I am instead getting the impression that native Hawaiians are increasingly bigoted and hateful due to their support of these protesters.

    I wish I was wrong. I unfortunately have not seen anything to convince me otherwise.

  • Nick P


    When it comes to world class skies for astronomical viewing, there are really only two viable choices in the world. The high plains of Chile and Mauna Kea. It’s not like they’re turning it into a toxic waste dump. It’s being used for the most noble of purposes and there really isn’t an alternative in the northern hemisphere. All they do there is look at the sky. That’s not desecration, it’s an honor.

  • Michael G.Gallagher

    Crush them.

  • Michael G.Gallagher

    You lost. We won. We won the civilisational contest because while you were dreaming in the sun and worshipping volcanoes and sharks, we produced people like Da Vinci, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton, Darwin and Adam Smith, not to mention an almost endless stream of inventors that created almost any thing of value over the 500 years. You dreamed in the Sun. This will undoubtedly seem very racist to you, but its time for the peoples of the West to shake off their guilt feelings and be proud of their achievements once gain.

    The telescopes represent the the best of humanity in its search to expand our knowledge and horizons. The TMT will be able to directly image planets orbiting around other stars. It may even find the late Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot.” Is your Ahina worth more than that?

  • Brent Badua

    Hey Michael,I really hope you enjoy Mexican,Central and South American cuisine amigo. Also if my history is correct your name is Irish,who was and still is conquered by the British so I wouldn’t gloat too much.

  • Edward

    Some of us think of ourselves as American, united together, rather than as our ancestors’ cultures. Apparently others prefer to think of us as divided along ancestral cultural lines. No wonder some people have trouble getting along.

    As for the latter group, we seem to have our answer to Rodney King’s famous question, and this explains the behavior and arguments surrounding the Hawaiian telescopes.

    The map from the linked article of this post by Robert shows that the University of Hawaii was the first to build a telescope on Mauna Kea in the 1960s, suggesting to me that the mountain is more sacred this century than it was last century.

    It seems that this is a successful tactic for our enemies to create divisions between Americans (e.g. he’s Hawaiian, you’re Irish, she’s British, and this land is now sacred; please fight among yourselves). Divide and conquer.

  • Brent Badua

    Edward,you are so right.I didn’t start off being mean spirited.I just wanted to help explain why some of the locals in Hawaii are angry and are protesting.The response I got just got to me.I am proud to be an American,I served in the Armed Forces and I know all the good the U.S. has brought to Hawaii.Thank you for bringing me back to my senses.I am a Christian and I want to live with all people peaceably.I also realize that this website is about astronomy and such,not about venting our prejudices.I also want to apologize to Michael for taking a jab at him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *