Construction of the thirty meter telescope on Hawaii Island starts this Monday. Road closures will block access to Mauna Kea. Those who oppose the project said they will continue to fight to protect the mauna.
The start of construction will not stop those opposed to TMT.
Luana Busby Neff, the organizer of O Hanau Ka Mauna A Kea, said that they will arm themselves with aloha and prayer, fighting with integrity for the land they believe is their kuleana to protect.
“We’re doing it. And our stand is kapu aloha-no guns, nonviolence. And it’s in ceremony. So really we’re looking at how do we engage these forces that are attacking us as a people,” Neff said.
That is the plan for those who stand against TMT.
Ed Sniffen, Deputy Director of Highways for the Hawaii department of transportation announced that they will close Mauna Kea Access road at 7 A.M. on Monday. Blocking access to the mountain for everyone.
“The concerns that DOT is working towards is making sure that the heavy equipment that is going to be used on the mountain gets there safely and efficiently,” Sniffen said.
The road will remain closed round the clock for what could be days until all the equipment that will be used to start grading work is at the site.
The location of the $1.4 billion thirty meter telescope is at nearly 14 thousand feet, almost at the top of Mauna Kea.
Over the past 10 years, those opposed to TMT have fought to protect Mauna Kea, which is considered a scared place to the Hawaiian people.
“We’re gathering this Sunday to prepare for what’s coming next and maybe the next ten years. And we will keep on coming. we will keep on moving forward, we will keep on fighting for our right to malama to take care of our island.”
Busby Neff said it will be a peaceful vigil to cleanse Mauna Kea.