I have for me okay know Malika Bilal and you're in the stream today in Hawaii will protests help save a secret summit we look into the controversy over the proposed construction of a billion dollar telescope on Hawaii's Mauna Kea and we want to know what do the Mauna Kea protests mean to you share your thoughts with us via Twitter or in our live YouTube chat Moana Kia is more than just the tallest mountain in Hawaii for some Native Hawaiians the summit represents the realm of the Earth's creator but pro-business groups and scientists interested in boosting Hawaii's tech industry what Moana Kia – also housed what would be the largest telescope in the northern hemisphere known as the 13 meter telescope or TMT the project has four years drawn criticism because it's proposed location is considered to be one of the most sacred sites for Native Hawaiians for more than two weeks protestors have been blocking construction vehicles from entering the mountains access road and on Tuesday Hawaii's governor David EJ announced an extended deadline for telescope construction to start before September 2021 protesters on the mountain called themselves the kiai or protectors they say their current struggle is yet another chapter in a long history of racial discrimination and the denial of indigenous rights by the state so with us to talk about these issues and Hilo Hawaii kealoha Pisciotta president of Mauna Kea and aina ho or people who pray for the mountain that is a cultural organization that advocates for the protection of Mauna Kea in Honolulu David Coelho copper is staff attorney with the Native Hawaiian legal corporation also in Honolulu blaze lava a reporter who's been covering the thirty meter telescope story for Honolulu Civil Beat we also reached out to officials in the Hawaii government as well as representatives from the thirty meter telescope project to join our program and they said they were unavailable to comment at this time so welcome to the rest of you I'd like to bring in our community right away and start with this tweet we got from Christopher Chan who tries to put this all in perspective for those who might be new to this story Christopher says the telescope can be built anywhere in the hemisphere with roughly the same meteorological conditions why on sacred land colonial hubris is what's holding science back not native people were protecting a cultural place and their ancestors so strong words right there kylo are for you what do you see these actions on mounted kia someone call them protests others would call them protections but what do they look like for you you know this is this is Hawaii's version of joining all these global networks from you know that are actually pushing back on the colonial and and I'm gonna say corporate structure that's happening now that that's suppressing humanity basically this is what I think Monica is about it's about raising the standard of Aloha and couple Aloha because that is our cultural way and unleashing the peace from our from our cultural way you know you are protesting protecting us Mauna Kea pretty much every day but you're not there right now but what are you there doing can you explain can you set the sink and you describe what wouldn't only be around you and what the aim is well you know there's there's global kie there's AI from all the different islands you know I'm just a ki ie we've just been doing it for a really long time so we're recognized in that way we've been doing the legal aspects as well on many levels but basically when it comes down to it we're all just joining together staying in couple Aloha raising the standard of Aloha for Hawaii and the world every people every people indigenous peoples and everyone's indigenous to somewhere have a gift to give and I think Aloha is one of our gifts and it's time for us to unleash that in the world blase kilo has a very beautiful way of describing what she is doing but as you as a report I have to do you know exactly what do you see what is going on are people lying in front of construction vehicles how are you doing this story for your audience yeah as a reporter we really need to you know get both sides but I think with what the protectors are doing there on the mountain it's a very peaceful demonstration it's also very well-organized demonstration that's one of the points I want to hit is that there they've utilized public relations tubes companies governments would use but I mean in my opinion they're controlling the narrative better than possibly the project in the state government has and showing how they're demonstrating peacefully so on the other side of this debate are people like Peter Peter here is on Twitter who says the thirty meter telescope is essential for scientific scientific advancement and discovery it's not a resort condos a tourist trap strip mall or anything such as that it's a research institution with science under siege around the world my home state should stand up to defend it David you've been involved in at least three lawsuits surrounding Mountain Kia what is at the heart of them and and this point from Peter is is this one of the issues well at the heart of all of the legal disputes around the mountain account really is this idea that Native Hawaiian culture and rights appear to be foreign in their homeland and like Peter views this as a battle of science versus space but what it really is is recognizing that the people from Hawaii the people who are Hawaii consider this place to be sacred and their beliefs are entitled to be held in the highest theme like science like everything else that is not subordinate to this idea that we need to have science and progress and and really it comes down to holding these beliefs these practices is being important their constitutional rights they should be honored protected and not just considered another roadblock to construction kill Noah and I Adam yeah can I just have him there because you know this idea that it's hawaiians against science is really a canard and it needs to be addressed here because really what this movement is about is raising the indigenous voice we are indigenous also we're First Nation people and our our knowledge our wisdom that it's millennia old is a form of science and what we're doing here is actually reaching out to science to say science we need you to do better because basically destroying the Earth destroying where we're living isn't it isn't the way to go about it you know Mauna Kea is is it contains the biodiversity of Hawaii because Hawaii's endangered species capital of the world and every species is either rare threatened and/or danger up there of plants and animals also protecting our water so saying yes to development means we're saying no to all of these things so I really want to break that canard because it's it's really not correct I want to show you I think media also has a role to play in it I've seen in the national media the narrative is that this is Native Hawaiians versus science and maybe to a local extent local media also have a part to play in this but I think journalists around the world especially in Hawaii need to do a better job of telling that story and I think local media has done a better job in national media at breaking that narrative that it isn't just Hawaiians versus science this is this is a very complex issue there's a lot of moving parts and there's a much more nuance in that simple conflict give us an example of that nuanced and blaze go ahead well for example um you know you could say it's Native Hawaiians first science but it's not native hawaiians versus science a lot of the Native Hawaiians on the mountain on Mauna Kea or aren't opposed to science a lot are opposed to TMT even some of them say that it could be moved to Spain in the Canary Islands a lot of them are scientists themselves there's also cultural issues at play called issues of heritage this for a lot of the protectors on Mauna Kea this is just the latest event in the long line of unfortunate events that started with the overthrow of the Hawaiian government the way the United States came and it's all these things co-leading into what what TMT has become a symbol for which is you know too many of the oppression of indigenous people mm-hmm you know please it's so interesting that you mentioned that and Collette kealoha also mentioned it because we got a comment from someone via video who talks about having to choose being forced to choose because of the way this narrative has has come out in in media this is Aurora a PhD student in Honolulu and here's her take on it I am not involved in direct action on Mauna Kea but I've been watching concerned and have been through writing challenging the dehumanizing narrative that resistance to TMT construction on Mauna Kea reflects Hawaiians that are anti science backward obstructionist which is how it's been portrayed until recently in in local media I have deep concerns so for this framing because it's affected not only me and my peers but also students have worked with and forced people to feel as if they have to take sides so when it comes to taking sides kela you must understand this struggle because you yourself were a telescope systems specialist you're there consulting talk to us about that dichotomy having to be forced to take sides I understand this and I do I really appreciate Aurora's minato her philosophy here and and for her to express that struggle the the thing is is like I said it's a canard this idea that that I mean basically the racism in it is for them when they they called us this in court they called us backward looking extremists now those are hotbed words and the irony is is that astronomy itself is based on looking back in time right looking back towards the origin of the universe when you look back and then and in actually astronomy has the issue to prove that it has modern relevancy because some of the things we're looking out there are say 200 million years light years away that means it happened to whatever event were looking at now the light took 200 million light years to get I mean years to get to us so that's kind of the dichotomy we're actually looking at but she's correct in assessing that we're having to defend not only our cultural rights which should be protected not only by the United States Constitution even though we challenge US occupation here but u.s. constitutional and provisions as well as state provisions that that Colima was speaking about these are primacy you know supreme rights that that should be honored in this narrative is this is an incredibly large immense structure it is gonna be the tallest on the island and built in a place which both legally and culturally has traditionally been held to to be the most important to have the least amount of development or disturbance so you know people are often pissed okay this is science versus culture I mean this is about protecting a place that is incredibly sacred is even under the law is a place that should have very little disturbance yeah we're seeing just a massive structure that can have incredible effects on the environment and the landscape there and that often gets swept under the rug when we're talking about okay this is about science versus Native Hawaiian so that's not what this is about at all David this idea of the land being incredibly sacred I don't think we can underlying this enough because this is the key to why would you build not just one giant telescope but multiple telescopes that are already there so there's obviously a different way of thinking from native hawaiians and the way that the government are thinking or the University of Hawaii are thinking how can you work out that that clash that cultural clash that that understanding as to what this mountain represents and whether there should be even a single telescope there let alone another one that has been proposed to be built there I think go back to Native Hawaiian rights and culture being viewed at as foreign I think if this was a normal Western burial site or a church that I think a lot of people would be able to wrap their minds around it and say okay we understand but it seems like almost a across-the-board reluctance to accept what but I would say a large amount of Native Hawaiian people believe to be true and believed to be sacred and important and they're just being looked at as well we don't believe you and that seems to be what underlines a lot of legal cases here where we have to have lawsuits to just say hey Native Hawaiians have right to be involved in court process and to be involved in the development and permitting of projects and there there's a history of cases like that that had had to have been brought because Native Hawaiians are not given a voice when it comes to important decisions that affect Hawaii things I want to show you something with you this comes in the United Nations Human Rights office of the High Commission going to put up their response to us this was the statement they sent me told them we were doing this show this is the thing that they sent it's huge but they obviously were very concerned about what was happening in Hawaii this sentence jumped out at me violating the rights of Native Hawaiians in the name of science cannot be justified in any way they go even further the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples regards these actions I the building or the attempted building of TMT or Mauna Kea as discriminatory and racist that's a UN rapper tour but how do you Hawaiians and people who live in a way how are they singing it are they seeing this as racism I think Nino coins here that's one of the things that they're looking at is it could be as I said another event in a string of cultural oppression but I think project leaders and the stay the way they're justifying it is with the possible economic impact that the telescope could bring everyone talks at number one point four billion dollars the total amount the tusko but we with any construction project you never know what kind of actual economic impact it could have if it will actually create local jobs and how much dollars it will actually bring into the local economy that's that's things reporters here are all trying to figure out and that's something that we're going to have to wait and see and how it actually has why isn't that information readily available because this is this is land that's use my University of Hawaii it's in the public domain am i right in saying that so why can't you just find that information Anna can I say speak to that I just I'm sorry I'm sorry I just want to say correct something it's actually held in trust by the state for the benefit of Native Hawaiians and the general public its former its crowned and what what they call ceded lands and the the one thing I wanted to mention about the United Nations aspect is that they don't have the clear and informed consent of the indigenous people to like and the colonial activity that they're bringing forward is something that is the United Nations in the world community is trying to eliminate that's why it's not lawful to maintain that colonial stance and what we're facing now is a colonial corporate structure that is attacking Mother Earth and and to dominate that and were pushing back along with the many global movements around the world I wanted to picking up on what you're saying there I wanted to share this comment from a neighborhood organizer in Hawaii who talks about what this means and why it's so important have a listen to it Iike we have a core philosophy called aloha aina and it translates as love of land or love of country and it's what kept us going through the overthrow in 1893 it helped to stop the bombing holiday and on the mountain at Mauna Kea it's helped us to build a new community around with free health care free education free childcare and abundance of food and I think it's because people all throughout our community and internationally recognized that aloha aina is the alternative so I'll turn it to the capitalism and the forces which are destroying our earth we need to protect all of these places which we believe are sacred and I really believe it as that applies to everywhere so David you heard his viewpoint on why this is secret but I want to show you this this from someone watching live on YouTube Jason who says the TMT has been settled in court now the police are not doing their job protesting is great and fine but they are defying the law they meaning the protesters or protectors David where are we right now is this common accurate I think it also shows a failure to understand what's really going on it's one thing to say that a project has a permit and that the state issued that permit for development but is that really what should happen is it the will of the people and and it very clearly is not is it the best way to treat and manage these very important and sacred trust lands which kealoha is correct a bylaw they should be preserved and protected for the benefit of Native Hawaiians and the public and so if you know just because a one body and the government decided to allow for this desecration of state lands does not mean that Native Hawaiians and people who feel passionately otherwise should just be relegated to standing on the side of the road waving signs and while this sacred place gets desecrated that that is not the answer just because a government agency gave a rubber stamp to this project guess I want to show guess I if I if I may I want to show our audience something that I'm sure you've seen but they may not have seen this is an editorial by some of the top executives at TMT and they wrote this editorial on July the 28th is written by the executive director the observatory scientists and also the TMT VP for external relations they basically three very important people something really jumped out at me so it says right there at the bottom whether or not TMT is built in Hawaii will not bring closure to it that to me sounds like key Aloha we are not going anywhere we don't care what you protest we are sticking around what are you going to do next well let me let me just point this out TMT one of our cases is the failure to for TMT to put up the bond the financial bond which is required from the 1977 Monika's you know I'm gonna ask you to keep it simple for us who are just following this as an international audience so just tell us how that they do what are you going to do next well what we're gonna do is maintain your position non-violence couple Aloha and we are going to continue to stand to protect our sacred mountain TMT really is lacking all of the a lot of the requirements that they need to actually come through they don't have enough money to construct at this time right that that's a huge issue they also don't have the extended lease technically if they were allowed to build when they got done after ten years they would only have seven years on their lease for the land so their risk and we're challenging that and there's a lot of challenges Cahuilla has challenges as well and yeah we're going to continue to stand and we're going to continue to move Aloha and I'd like to add this I agree with what kilo has stain and to address TMT statement directly which I hear as hey we are just one telescope this you know we're just one issue well that's how things progress in history it it was one sacred site into the intent it was the bombing of coal Emmaus bombing of various areas throughout Hawaii by the military there are many sacred sites that have been bulldozed and built upon there are Native Hawaiian burial sites that have been dug up and desecrated and we have this telescope and you can take one instance and say okay this is just happening in one place at one time but it's the collective effect and really the dehumanizing effect that all of these actions have on the native wine people so I think it is unfair TMT to say hey we understand what you're going through but we're not in they are a part of this and and I think right now they are the flagship of it and it represents the struggle that indigenous people have to go through throughout history and at all times right and blaze just time for one more comment I want to bring this in from Curt Curt on Twitter who says Moana Kea protesters got this one wrong there is plenty of room for compromise ie build TMT which is needed not just for exploration but safety from space objects and tear down one of the other to facilitate that blaze from the people you've been talking to will that be enough blaze just about 30 seconds now with the people you've been talking to will tearing down some of the other telescopes be enough to stop this action Oh like numbers there at Mauna Kea I've made it very clear that they don't intend to move and they will not give way and even if you tear down a couple more telescopes TMT if the project wants it up there they're gonna try to get it up there and you'll still have a lot more telescopes I'm okay award wouldn't really change the situation well blaze thank you so much David Thank You kealoha thank you so much as well explaining why they're being protests going on for so long about Moana Kia and a giant telescope that is trying to be built there but not quite yet that's all the time we have leek and I will see you next time and so much