Mauna Kea, Kaʻohe, Hāmākua, Hawaiʻi For Immediate Release April 7, 2015
Protectors of Mauna Kea update the status of their encampment on the mountain
The protectors of Maunakea continue to camp out across the Maunakea Visitors Center at approximately 9,200 feet elevation night in and night out and will soon reach the two week mark of their encampment. Although over 30 arrests were made on Thursday, April 2 by the Hawaii County Police Department and the DOCARE officers of the DLNR, the protectors atop the mountain of Wākea, continue their stance against the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope and continue to build momentum and gain support.
One reason for the building of momentum and support, they say, is what they are calling the Kapu Aloha. “Abiding by this is what has fueled and protected us in this movement,” says Lanakila Mangauil. Mangauil says the Kapu Aloha is about conducting oneself with respect towards others, under any and all circumstances. Over the weekend, hundreds of supporters ascended the mountain to join in the protection efforts, with many flying in from Maui, Molokaʻi, Oʻahu and Kauaʻi. Although no construction has taken place since the day arrests were made, the protectors have kept a constant presence and plan to continue to do so while attempting to garner more support.
Protectors of the mountain have many reasons why they oppose the proposed construction of the TMT, one being that the mountain is considered sacred and perhaps the most sacred lands in all of Hawaiʻi. The mountain is named after Wākea who mated with Papahānaumoku to birth Hawaiʻi Island. The peak of the mountain is considered to be wao akua, or the realm of the gods, as it is the dwelling place of gods and goddesses such as Poliahu, Waiau, Lilinoe, Lihau, Kukahauula, Kahoupokane and Mooinanea.
Another reason for the opposition to the TMT is the fact that protectors feel that the TMT does not adhere to the developmental laws of conservation lands as determined by the State of Hawaiʻi and the mountain also contains many religious shrines as well as burial sites and sits on top of the largest aquifer on the island of Hawaiʻi and therefore they consider it to be desecration.
Lastly, the protectors realize and understand that even if the TMT was in compliance with the laws of developing on conservation lands, the State of Hawaiʻi is illegal and the Hawaiian Kingdom was never lawfully annexed by the United States of America and therefore continues to exits today according to International Law. This stems from the fact that Americaʻs only claim to annexing Hawaiʻi is by Joint Resolution on July 7, 1898, which is really just a domestic law having no authority outside the boundaries of its territory, and Hawaiʻi clearly was not a part of the U.S in 1898 since it required annexation.
Because the State of Hawaiʻi is illegal, the protectors argue that every extension and branch of the State is therefore also illegal and due to this, all contracts between the contractors and the State of Hawaiʻi are void and illegal. Protectors of the mountain call upon all countries involved to honor the continued independence of Hawaiʻi that America has refused to acknowledge for the last 122 years while illegally occupying Hawaiʻi in violation of the laws of occupation.
The protectors of the mountain know that there are many out there who have and continue to offer their support through donations of food, water, money and other necessities, and while appreciated, those atop the mountain humbly and respectfully ask that any attempts of raising funds and collecting and delivering donations be communicated first with the protectors so as not to mismanage resources and cause confusion amongst the people in regards to what certain funds and donations could be used for.
Kahoʻokahi Kanuha, one of the protectors and one who was arrested in the first group last Thursday, says “We canʻt thank everyone enough. The amount of support we have received over the past week is absolutely unbelievable and simply amazing. I am not quite sure our people have seen a movement like this in their lifetime and I think itʻs a testament to the fact that our people have been ignited and are ready to move forward and solidify ourselves once again throughout the world as a people and a country.”