Hawaiian telescope protest gets local support

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Kaho’okahi Kanuha, wearing a traditional Hawaiian battle helmet, addresses a group of protesters who are continuing their opposition vigil against the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope at Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii Friday, July 19, 2019. Hundreds of protesters trying to stop the construction of a giant telescope on land some consider sacred continue to gather at the base of Hawaii’s tallest mountain on Friday, July 19, 2019, as Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders expressed his support for the demonstration. (Bruce Asato/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP)

HONOLULU- More than one thousand protestors will continue to block Hawaii’s highest peak this weekend in opposition to the Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory plans to build a $1.4 billion telescope.

Saturday marks the sixth day of peaceful protests.

Late Friday, state officials said they will not call up additional National Guard troops or use force to remove the activists who are blocking access to Mauna Kea on the Big Island.

Protesters continue their opposition vigil against the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope at Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii Friday, July 19, 2019. (Bruce Asato/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP)

Officials in Hawaii said Friday that they will not call up additional National Guard troops or use force on peaceful telescope protesters blocking access to the state’s highest peak.

Hawaiians consider the dormant volcano, which has more than a dozen telescopes, sacred. The mountain is considered sacred by the Hawaiian people and already has 13 telescopes built on the peak.

FILE – In this Sunday, July 14, 2019, file photo, the sun sets behind telescopes at the summit of Mauna Kea. Scientists are expected to explore fundamental questions about our universe . But some Native Hawaiians don’t want the Thirty Meter Telescope to be built at Mauna Kea’s summit, saying it will further harm a place they consider sacred. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones, File)

The Thirty Meter Telescope obtained permits from the state to build after a decade-long review process. Last year the state Supreme Court ruled the permits were obtained legally, allowing construction to move ahead.

This photo provided by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) shows people who are against the construction of a Hawaii telescope continuing to block the roadway to the top of Mauna Kea, a mountain considered sacred by some Native Hawaiians, as the protest entered its fourth day Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Hawaii DLNR via AP)

There have been protests in other parts of Hawaii, including on Maui and at the state Capitol in Honolulu. Here in Utah, members from the Polynesian community protested near Orem’s University Mall last night in a show of solidarity according to the Daily Herald.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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