HomeAAPI ActorsBruno Mars joins chorus against telescope in Hawaii; Jason Momoa visits protest

Bruno Mars joins chorus against telescope in Hawaii; Jason Momoa visits protest

Photo from Daniel Gregory via Flickr Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Bruno Mars is one of the latest high-profile celebrities to speak up against the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project proposed for construction on sacred land, reports Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Mars, whose mother immigrated from the Philippines to Hawaii, posted on Instagram in support of the protestors opposing construction on Mauna Kea, a mountain sacred to Native Hawaiians.

And on Wednesday, Aquaman and Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa visited the protest at the base of Mauna Kea and spoke to the crowd. Momoa, whose father is of Native Hawaiian ancestry, has been extremely vocal on social media about his stance on the TMT project, with his posts garnering lots of attention, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Both Mars and Momoa were born in Hawaii; Mars grew up in Honolulu.

Momoa isn’t the only big celebrity to make a visit; just last week, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson joined the protest, releasing a six-minute Instagram video of his trip.

View this post on Instagram

Hard to express how strong the mana and how heavy the heart was when I walked this sacred land with these people – our people. This issue is much greater than a thirty meter telescope to be constructed on the Mauna. It’s humanity and compassion. Its respect for culture and approaching this with deep care and sensitivity. I’ll always be strong advocate for the advancement of science and technology, but never at the sacrifice of human beings who’s hearts are hurting thru mismanagement and breach of trust. I believe in forward progress, but only when it comes thru humanity. I don’t believe in leaving people behind, I believe in bringing people with us. The best of leaders find a way to make progress thru humanity and will always lead with empathy. I’m hopeful that leader will emerge to take care of the thing that matters most in this situation – the people. I appreciate the views shared with me from reps on both sides of this issue. It’s always healthy and critical to have open heart to heart dialogue. In the end, I stand with the people. #ProgressThruHumanity #LeadWithEmpathy #MaunaKea

A post shared by therock (@therock) on

The construction of the telescope has caused controversy since 2009, and state protests have been going on since 2014. The ongoing protest is taking place in front of the access roadway to the summit to prevent construction crews from entering.

On Tuesday, Hawaii Governor David Ige withdrew an emergency proclamation for Mauna Kea and told press that the state is giving the project a two-year deadline extension to begin construction.

“Governor Ige has admitted that he underestimated our strength, unity, and broad public support,” protesters said in a statement, according to Hawaii News Now. “Our numbers continue to grow and his ability to oppose his own people is increasingly becoming less and less justifiable. Ige’s rescinding of the emergency proclamation illustrates how he can no longer claim that we are threatening public safety. We are the public.”

“We continue to seek and find a peaceful solution to move this project forward,” said Ige. “For the safety of all involved, we do believe we want to deescalate things.”

Supporters of the project point out the significant contributions to science and the jobs it will bring.

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