HONOLULU – The construction of a huge telescope will resume next week after long court battles and passionate protests from those who say it is being built on the highest mountain in Hawaii it will dissolve sacred land for some Native Hawaiian.
State officials announced on Wednesday that the road to the top of Mauna Kea on the Big Island will be closed starting Monday as the equipment is delivered.
Scientists reveal the mountain above the clouds which gives a clear view of the sky with a little air and light pollution. Astronomers say it will give them a chance to come back 13 billion years to answer fundamental questions about the advent of the universe.
The Thirty Meter Telescope project was allowed to proceed last month. While it was the final legal step, the colleagues promised to keep the fight and even catch them if necessary to stop the building.
Gov. David Ige that unarmed National Guard units will be used to carry personnel and supplies and enforce some road closures, but will not be used in law enforcement capacity during planned objections.
"We are just asking people to be safe … we will certainly ask them to respect those who have to work on this project," said Ige. "We certainly appreciate those who choose their disagreement with the project – we understand that is also important."
Four protesters held signs in the governor's office reception area after officials announced construction plans. The violations of the mountain will be peaceful, said Healani Sonoda-Pale.
Rhonda Vincent said that like access to a church stopped the road to close.
"If we can not access our own gods, our own spirituality, that is not wrong?" she said.
The American Union of Civil Liberties of Hawaii sent a letter to Ige and other state officials expressing concern that the state purchased a long-range acoustic device called "sound gun" or "sound gun." The letter claimed that the state would not use it for any anti-protest attempts or crowd control during telescope protests.
Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors said the device is not intended for any strong use and is used to communicate with large groups of people.
Attendees say that the $ 1.4 billion telescope will decompose sacred land. Supporters say that the pioneering instrument will provide educational and economic opportunities for Hawaii.
“We aim to build an TMT for the benefit of all human beings and the world in which we all belong,” said Henry Yang, chairman of the board of governors of the International Observatory Thirty Meters Telescope.
A group of universities in California and Canada consists of the telescope company, with partners from China, India and Japan. The primary mirror of the instrument would make a diameter of 98 feet (30 meters). Compared to the world's largest visible light telescope, it would be three times as wide as nine times larger.
Plans for the project begin until 2009, when Mauna Kea scientists selected five-year campaigns worldwide to find the ideal location.
It won a series of approvals from Hawaii, including permission to build on conservation land in 2011.
Protestants applied for a brand new and haunting ceremony at the site in 2014. Subsequently, the exhibitions intensified.
Construction ceased in April 2015 after protests were blocked by protesters. A second attempt to resume the building was completed a few months later with more catches and crews withdrawing.
Last year the Supreme Court upheld the building consent of the project.
As the telescope is such a segmented issue in Hawaii, some say that they are afraid to publicly support the project because they are afraid of actors.
The views were shared challenging, said David Lassner, president of the University of Hawaii, who is landing close to a Mauna Kea summit to the telescope project.
"There are also many people who see the benefits of the project, including many maoli kanaka," he said, referring to Indigenous Hawaiian. "Many people choose not to speak out in support but many of them want this project to be built to enhance human knowledge, contribute to education, contribute to the economy and influence the discovery."
It is not yet clear what protesters are proposing to do. Kahookahi Kanuha, who was arrested three times as he protested on the project, said it is still not certain that he will go to Mauna Kea next week, but he hopes that many people will create it.
"We all know that this is a controversial issue. We all know that there are people on all sides of it," he said, adding that he wants supporters and opponents to remain committed to non-violence.
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