lefty astronomy – supporting the mauna kea protests

willb/ July 25, 2019/ Lefty Astronomy/ 0 comments

What is happening on mauna kea?

Construction of TMT on Maunakea was scheduled to resume Monday, July 15, 2019. On July 14, 2019, AP reported that unarmed National Guard units will be involved in transporting personnel and supplies, and enforcing road closures. Exact details of the situation on the mountain are dynamic, but as of Wednesday, July 17, 2019, the authors of this letter were alarmed to see multiple confirmations on social media that local law enforcement has begun arresting native Hawaiians who are peacefully occupying the summit and blocking the road to the construction site.

Open letter opposing criminalization of Maunakea protectors, by Mia de los Reyes and Sal Wanying Fu

What can you do?

Actionable items: 
Sign in support of this letter (link here) and the following demands:
Ask the TMT collaboration and the Hawaiian government to remove military / police presence from the mauna, to stop arrests, and to not charge protectors who have already been arrested
Ask the TMT collaboration to engage protectors in discussion with an aim to reach consensus
Watch the livestream and bear witness to events on the mauna: https://www.facebook.com/Kanaeokana/videos/485669822180209/
Contribute to the bail fund for the kūpuna (Kānaka Maoli elders) and their assistants who have already been arrested: http://hawaiicommunitybailfund.org/
Donate to KAHEA, a community-based organization that is also helping with legal funds for Maunakea protectors: http://kahea.org/

Open letter, Mia de los Reyes & Sal Wanying Fu

My short statement (as someone with no influence, importance, authority, etc)

This moment in time is a chance for colonizers to re-evaluate the impact of their actions within the context of global imperialism and motivate a strong, caring, and working relationship between native people, their land, and astronomy. This begins with decriminalization of protesters, but extends far beyond this singular event. Astronomy is a human endeavor, and requires the consent and participation of everyone.

I am signatory 733, I hope you’ll join me in supporting this movement.

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About willb

I'm Will, an undergraduate astronomer studying transition disks, direct imaging, and planet accretion and formation at the Follette Lab at Amherst College. I use they/them/theirs pronouns.

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