Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Associated Press
Updated 7:40 am PDT, Saturday, July 20, 2019
FILE – In this Sunday, July 14, 2019, file photo, Native Hawaiian activists pray at the base of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, background. For activists who say they’re protecting Mauna Kea, the fight against the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope is a boiling point in Hawaiian history: the overthrow on the Hawaiian kingdom, battles over land, water and development and questions about how the islands should be governed. lessFILE – In this Sunday, July 14, 2019, file photo, Native Hawaiian activists pray at the base of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, background. For activists who say they’re protecting Mauna Kea, the fight against the proposed … more
Photo: Caleb Jones, AP
Photo: Caleb Jones, AP
HONOLULU (AP) — Protesters fighting the construction of a giant telescope on a mountain some Native Hawaiians consider sacred say the standoff is about more than the project.
Longtime Native Hawaiian activist Walter Ritte says he’s opposing the telescope for the same reasons he fought military bombing practice on a small island decades ago.
Ritte and other activists say they’re protecting Hawaii’s highest peak, called Mauna Kea, because of other critical issues like land and water rights, development and sovereignty.
A telescope protest leader says a cultural renaissance is fueling a new generation of Hawaiian activists.
Kaho’okahi Kanuha says the resurgence in cultural pride has allowed younger people like him to grow up speaking Hawaiian and learning about Hawaiian history.
The opposition isn’t universal among Native Hawaiians. Some support the project’s educational opportunities.
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