Hula halau hold traveling island-wide ceremony to support TMT protesters

Published: Jun. 21, 2015 at 10:58 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 22, 2015 at 3:10 AM HST
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WAIMANALO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On the longest day of the year, several hula halau made the most of every hour by holding a traveling ceremony across the island to support opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope.

Kumu Hula gathered on the Summer Solstice Sunday morning at 5:50 a.m. at Waimanalo Beach Park to send pule and mana to protesters of TMT.

Every hour performances were held to send support to the mountain and those fighting the construction of the giant telescope.

Gatherings not only took place on Oahu; similar ceremonies were held on Mauna Kea, in the mainland and in New Zealand.

After the protocols wrapped up in Waimanalo, participants caravanned to Bachman Lawn at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. More protocols were held at the ahu which was built in April to show support for the protesters. The stones used to build the altar were passed down a human chain stretching all the way down Dole Street from the taro path behind the Hawaiian Studies building.

Doug Simons, the Executive Director of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, said he hopes opponents and supporters of the Thirty Meter telescope can come to a compromise that benefits and appeases all parties involved.

"Between Native Hawaiian interests, which are very important, an essential part of whatever we do with the future of Mauna Kea, and astronomy and environmentalists interests, education, business, hunters, I think we all have some voice in deciding the future of Mauna Kea." Simons said.

A TMT supporter at the vigil said the ceremonies held on the Summer Solstice are a sign peaceful protests will continue if construction resumes.

"Today is definitely a showcase that we're not going anywhere anytime soon. We're not going to fade out. We're here to send a message that we're going to aloha aina and malama aina. We're going to protect our lands." Mehana Hind said.

Final ceremonies were held at sunset on the west side of Oahu at Kaena Point.

After being delayed for over two months, construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope is scheduled to resume Wednesday June 24, 2015.

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