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Actor Jason Momoa rallies TMT protesters at Mauna Kea: ‘Telescope’s not being built here’

Published: Jul. 31, 2019 at 10:08 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii actor Jason Momoa visited the TMT protest at the base of Mauna Kea on Wednesday, becoming the latest celebrity to do so.

Momoa, who has been vocal with his opposition to the Thirty Meter Telescope in social media posts, was greeted by hundreds of protesters and received a ceremonial welcome, with chanting and hula.

Momoa, of “Aquaman” fame, also addressed the crowd briefly, appearing to get choked up when he told them he’s sorry “it took me so long” to visit.

“I’m so very honored to be here ... to bring my children and all my ohana here,” he said. “There’s one thing that’s not gonna happen. That telescope’s not being built here."

Also Wednesday, TMT opponents got support from Hawaii’s Bruno Mars.

He posted a photo on Instagram of the kupuna, or Native Hawaiian elders, who have been at the base of Mauna Kea for the past several weeks. The caption reads, “I love you Hawaii, and I’m with you."

#LIVE: Jason Momoa, perhaps the most vocal celebrity supporter of Thirty Meter Telescope protesters, arrives at Mauna Kea.

Posted by Hawaii News Now on Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Momoa and Mars are among several big names in entertainment to show their support for the protesters, who have been at the base of Mauna Kea for 17 days to block the only access road to the summit so that TMT construction equipment can’t pass.

Opponents of the $1.4 billion telescope say it will further desecrate a mountain they consider sacred. Supporters say it will bring jobs and push the science of astronomy significant forward.

As the protest drags on, Thirty Meter Telescope officials have said repeatedly that they’re still committed to moving forward with the project.

Protesters have urged TMT to move to its back-up site in the Canary Islands.

On Tuesday, musician and environmentalist Jack Johnson arrived at the base of Mauna Kea to perform songs and meet with TMT opponents.

And last week, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made a surprise visit to the camp, meeting with kupuna and calling for “leadership with empathy” to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Johnson will also make an appearance on The Tonight Show on Wednesday.

In the interview that airs at 10:30 p.m. on KHNL, “The Rock” talks about his visit to Big Island saying, “The truth is the mountain is their church. It would be like building on their church.”

“I wanted to go get my boots on the ground get a deeper dialog with them and then I realized something,” Johnson said to audience, “this is so much bigger than the telescope being built, this is humanity, these are human beings who’s hearts are hurting.”

Before his visit to the mountain, Momoa has been vocal on social media about his support for protesters, posting multiple videos and photos on Instagram.

It’s been over two weeks since activists started gathering at the base of Mauna Kea to protest the giant telescope – a protest that’s been drawing attention all across the nation.

Hollywood A-lister Leonardo DiCaprio also posted his support for protesters in an Instagram post on Tuesday.

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