In wake of TMT arrests, scores gather to call for UH president’s resignation

Nearly 150 students protested against the construction of TMT at UH Manoa Wednesday

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Students, faculty, and staff at UH-Manoa who oppose the Thirty Meter Telescope held a rally Wednesday to call for President David Lassner’s resignation.

About 150 people gathered outside Bachman Hall with signs and Hawaiian flags as performers danced hula, sang songs and chanted.

While some opponents say they have compassion for Lassner and understand he’s in a difficult position, others condemned the university for supporting TMT ― especially in light of arrests Wednesday at a protest at the base of Mauna Kea.

The university is charged with the management of the mountain, where are a number of telescopes have already been built.

Opponent Konia Freitas called the university’s actions “despicable.”

“It’s disgusting,” Freitas said. “You don’t arrest people in the name of research. It’s unprincipled. You continue mediation, you continue negotiation.”

Lassner did address the crowd Wednesday, saying that he’s proud UH students and faculty are standing up for what they believe in.

“I will continue to do all I can to keep everyone ― our students, our faculty, our staff, and the community, and the law enforcement officers, who are many of your families as well I’m sure,” he said. "I want nothing more than for everyone to be safe and for peace.”

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