Target: Thirty Meter Telescope project manager Gary Sanders
Goal: Stop the desecration of sacred Native Hawaiian land with the construction of a massive telescope.
Native Hawaiians are fighting against the construction of the world’s largest telescope on the sacred site of their creation story on the top of Mauna Kea, one of the state’s dormant volcanoes. This peak is where their creation story begins and has long been considered hallowed ground. However, scientists think that it’s more important to build a big telescope there because it’s a remote area with good conditions for viewing outer space.
Hawaii’s native culture has already been decimated by the influx of white Americans in the 1800’s which led to the overthrow of its monarch and its being annexed by the U.S. Since this invasion, the island’s culture has been repeatedly disrespected by its white-dominated government.
While the science of astronomy is an important pursuit, it does not overrule the importance of maintaining native culture and respecting sacred land. This telescope would be the biggest yet built, meaning it would cover a huge part of the land which is so essential to the Native Hawaiian religion. It would be like building a telescope on top of the Wailing Wall.
Protesters have already been arrested for trying to stop the construction of this telescope. It seems that the U.S. government simply can’t find it in itself to respect the native lands that it’s invaded time and time again, and activists must therefore keep fighting to stop this kind of desecration. Please sign to implore the manager of the project to build this massive telescope to leave sacred Native Hawaiian land alone.
Dear Mr. Sanders,
I understand that you’re managing a project to build a massive telescope atop Mauna Kea, which is the site of the beginning of the Native Hawaiian creation story and therefore sacred land. Because of this, Native Hawaiians have been protesting the project that will violate this hallowed ground. Although you’re apparently saddened by the arrests of protesters, you’re still planning to go ahead with the project.
Don’t you think that the Native Hawaiians have suffered enough since their islands were invaded by white people and illegally annexed to the United States? How can you claim to care about the protesters when you’re continuing to do the thing they’re protesting against? I understand that your science is important to you, but it no way is a telescope more important than the culture and religion of an already oppressed people.
I implore that you bring a halt to the Thirty Meter Telescope project and find somewhere else to build this massive construction. Your need for a remote and sheltered position does not overrule a culture’s need to have their sacred land and burial grounds respected. If you care anything at all about people besides yourself, you’ll stop the project.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: NASA via Wikimedia Commons