Lā 177: Thirty Meter Telescope Protestors Agree Not To Keep Continuous Vigil on Mauna Kea

West Texas News Written by Molly Solana on 18 Sep 2015

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Protestors of the Thirty Meter Telescope under construction atop a Hawaiian mountain said they will no longer keep an around-the-clock vigil on Mauna Kea. The protestors agreed to an agreement with the state under which they agreed to take down a large tent where protestors have been blocking the construction the telescope.

The announcement was made by the state officials on Thursday. According to Lanakila Mangauil, one of the protest leaders, the 24/7 vigil at the Mauna Kea was intended because they had no idea when the construction workers will come and stat construction.

He said now there is no need for them to stay in tent on the mountain because they trust the state. They’ve achieved their goal of being able to protect the mountain, he added.

Construction of the telescope has been halted since April, after several dozens of protestors were arrested for blocking crews from accessing the telescope site.

“We have not yet determined a date for when construction will resume. TMT will continue to work cooperatively with all parties involved as it considers its eventual restart”, said TMT International Observatory Board member Michael Bolte.

The protesters’ living in a tent on the mountain top prompted the state land board to approve an emergency rule in July. The rule aimed to prohibit people from being on the mountain during certain nighttimes hours, unless in a moving vehicle.

Mangauil also mentioned that taking down the tent not at all means that they have given up their fight. At this point the matter is of conserving resources, the food, equipment and time needed to camp on the mountain, especially as temperatures are stopping to drop, he said.