22 Jul 2019

Hawaiian Caucus weighs in on telescope protest

1:03 pm on 22 July 2019

The House of Representatives' Hawaiian Caucus has called on the US State's governor to cancel his emergency proclamation related to the protests on Mauna Kea.

The observatories at the top of Hawaii's Mauna Kea mountain.

The observatories at the top of Hawaii's Mauna Kea mountain. Photo: Wikimedia commons

Over a thousand people, who say the site is sacred, are protesting against the planned billion dollar construction of a 30 metre telescope on the mountain's summit.

Last week the governor, David Ige, signed an emergency proclamation giving the authorities greater power to clear the area, including the ability to call in the National Guard.

More than 34 people have been arrested since.

In a statement the Hawaiian Caucus chair, Daniel Holt, said when an issue of such magnitude and sensitivity arises, it demands an approach of utmost care and understanding.

The caucus said Governor Ige should immediately rescind the emergency proclamation to de-escalate the situation and to allow space for the voices of Hawaii's people to be heard.

Earlier the non-profit Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation launched legal action against the governor over the proclamation.

The governor earlier said the mass of protesters created a hazardous situation but the lawsuit refutes this.

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