July 22, 2019
Elders take long view against giant telescope
A Māori academic who attended last week's protests against the construction of a giant telescope on Hawaii says the steadfastness of the Hawaiian elders brought her to tears.
Dr Mera Penehira says the protestors are challenging not just the right of the United States to build the 18-storey high Thirty Metre Telescope 40000 metres up Mauna Kea on the Big Island, they are also challenging its occupation of Hawaii.
She says the arrests she witnessed of elders was a breach of human rights in their wheelchairs and walkers.
"We're talking about elders who are in their 80s and 90s beng removed from their sacred mauna and told they cannot sit there, they cannot stand there for her protection. It's just ludicrous and the whole world is watching. We need to let the US know that. They need to be stopped," Dr Penehira says.
She says it's important for Māori to stand in solidarity with other indigenous people around the globe who are fighting for the protection of their lands.
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