HONOLULU — 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.