MAUNA KEA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - Professional surfer and former Kauai mayoral candidate Dustin Barca was among those arrested Thursday while conducting peaceful demonstrations at the summit of Mauna Kea.
Barca, who has also been a vocal opponent of GMO farming practices, joined with a group of activists who say the Thirty Meter Telescope project will desecrate sacred ground.
"We not going to beat anyone with force," Barca said. "This is what we've got to do. We've got the solution. This is what we've got to do for aloha aina. This is what we've got to do for our future, our keiki."
The University of Hawaii is responsible for managing the mountain, as well as the construction process for the telescope, which has already been approved.
But activists have been outspoken in their opposition to the project, including actor Jason Momoa, who took to Instagram to ask other Hawaii-based celebrities--including Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Kelly Slater--to join protesters atop Mauna Kea.
"Proud to be kanaka maoli," Momoa wrote in an Instagram post. "I will do everything in my mana to protect Mauna Kea."
Other celebrities -- like Oahu native Nicole Scherzinger and actress Jill Wagner -- also joined in on social media.