‘We fight in aloha’

Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

Peleke Flores and Dan Ahuna get the group grounded during a protest against the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea, Tuesday afternoon at the Ahukini Road intersection.

Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

Mahana Dunn leads a line of protestors Tuesday afternoon at the Ahukini Road intersection.

Jessica Else/The Garden Island

Shara Bucasas shields her son Ili from the hot sun during Kauai’s protest against construction of the thirty meter telescope atop Mauna Kea.

Jessica Else/The Garden Island

(from left) Kahiau Niheu and John Tremaine hold upside down Hawaiian flags as a symbol of a nation in distress.

Jessica Else/The Garden Island

Shara Bucasas shields her son Ili from the hot sun during Kauai’s protest against construction of the thirty meter telescope atop Mauna Kea.

Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

John Tremaine and Kahiau Niheu lead a line of protestors, Tuesday afternoon at the Ahukini Road intersection.

LIHUE — In Tuesday’s early afternoon heat, kupuna and kanaka gathered at the intersection of Ahukini and Kapule Highway, known as the airport corner.

It started with about 30 Hawaiian natives, longtime residents, community members and supporters of indigenous rights standing in a circle and listening to the stories from Dan Ahuna and Peleke Flores, both recently returned from the summit of Mauna Kea.

“This is stronger than holding your sign out there,” Flores said as he talked about rallying support to stop construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea, where hundreds are gathering in protest.

He told the story of groups on different islands rising up to stop construction.

“For centuries different indigenous people have been fighting battles, but we never did see each other’s fights before,” Flores said. “Now we have these (cell phones and social media). If we win this it will be the start of the people rising up.”

“Astronomy owns the mountain now,” Ahuna said, addressing several keiki who were at the rally. “And we have to drink the bitter water now, so you don’t have to drink the bitter water later.”

He continued: “We fight in aloha and aloha is not weakness.”

As they spoke, the crowd grew from 30 to 50 and then to 100 as people found parking and joined.

Shara Bucasas, an educator who has worked at both Kamehameha Schools and Waimea Canyon Middle School, shielded her son, Ili, with a Hawaiian flag while Ahuna and Flores spoke.

“I brought him here because if I don’t show him, he won’t know,” she said. “We have to educate our children about the ‘aina and what’s sacred. If we don’t protect it for our keiki, they won’t have it.”

After storytelling and conversation, the people spread out on the grass along the intersection, waving signs and flags and cheering. Drivers passing by honked horns and threw shakas; some even engaged in conversation as they were waiting at the stoplight.

Kahiau Niheu and John Tremaine held several Hawaiian flags between them, all hanging upside down.

“It’s a sign of a nation under distress,” Niheau said. “Not in agreement with Mauna Kea.”

  1. Charlie Chimknee July 17, 2019 9:02 am Reply

    Aloha Kakou,

    Since the Marquesan and Tahitians, (who as some say descended, from the Samoans, and before that era, descended from S.E. Asians…well right or wrong…) the Hawaiians did have sole custody of these Hawaiian Islands for + or – 50 generations, (with some chants displaying that chronology); they too, in their adaptation to, and incredible successful survival all that time in these islands, developed cultural and religious sacred sites as many other cultures and societies have done over hundreds and thousands of years.

    For the Hawaiians, these Sacred Places, the likes of which maintained their valuable human culture until gun powder and measles and other decimating entities plagued their aina and shores. But think about it, gun powder and disease do not destroy Sacredness.

    How come other cultures and religions can have their Sacred Places, and not the Hawaiian?

    1. For the Christians, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Christ hung from the cross on Mt. Golgatha, until presumed dead, then put to rest in a cave, then miraculously escaped, and then ascended outward from our planet, though at that time our planet was thought to be flat. (The vector of his ascension giving indication of the direction of Heaven, another religious Sacred Place,)

    2. For the Muslims, the Islamic most Sacred Place is the Kaaba in Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

    3. For Judaism, their most Sacred Place in the world is the Foundation Stone of their first temple also in JeruSalem.

    4. Hinduism, has many Sacred Places, one of which is Varanasi in India. Hinduism also has a vast array of Gods.

    5. There are even more world religions and cultures with historically Sacred Places. Even surfers have Sacred Places around the world driving annual

    6. Science Believers, going blindly, ignoring the Big Picture, fomenting with their Blind Faith, the destruction of our very own Sacred Place Earthly Habitat, certainly a place more Sacred than, and taking preeminence over all the Sacred Places of all the World’$ Religions; and then there are the AMERICANS and their International Scientist partners, who for some Billion Dollar notion think that in spite of all the world’s Suffering and Problems that extracting the human population’$ food and housing money by mis-directed taxation allows a microscopic amount of people to think they can take a precious amount of food and shelter $$$ and use that $$$ to look selfishly outward to Outer Space but not in a search for Heaven…

    …but with their rockets ascending into the Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars on different trajectories to the Moon and Mars both of which hold some kind of Scientific Sacredness of Place, for them, the few, in spite of those places of worthlessness to the earth’s 7.5 Billion Club members, a population of certain majority containing all the World’s Religions and Non-Theists, no matter how much in harmony or conflict or competition.

    What could there possibly be in outer space to provide for food and shelter for the meek who have inherited nothing, nor have been adequately trained to survive in a modern society and a depraved Sacred Earthly Habitat…unless of course, the almost criminal search of outer space is to find missile launching un-Sacred Places on the Dark Side of the Moon.

    So you, yes you, try and build a 100’ tall multi million $ Outer Space Telescope on the’s Christians’ Mt. Golgatha, or Islam’s Kaaba, or the Foundation Stone of the Jews, or in central Varanasi of the Hindus, go ahead and watch the stark raving angry Believers rebuke your spaced out telescope…when hey, these telescopic pseudo scientists believing and drooling in the absconded misdirected tax money and they consider that fun and a worthy livelihood? Is there Karma in Outer Space?

    So why can’t they build a telescope that can see farther, like the relatively few thousand feet of height of Mauna Kea, when they are trying to see objects in space millions of light years away…and while they are at it if they need a dark sky how about some empty island or atoll in the Pacific so far from the big HONOLULU City Lights, where the darkness for telescope needs is not an issue.

    First it was gun powder and disease, now it’s spaced out pseudo scientists destroying Hawaiian Sacredness and Beliefs, and their Hawaiian Sovereignty and what remains of it.

    For many of us, we have been to Mauna Kea, and it felt Sacred and awe inspiring too…probably the closest Many of us have ever been to Heaven…maybe the closest We’ll ever get since Blind Faith does little but amuse so many of us.

    In just 12 generations the invaders have been able to do what…to Oahu…even wrapping the aina with concrete straps calling them freeways when they are really freedom-less shackles on the aina.

    When there is no Sacredness left, man will have lost his intelligence, and his way…and the gift of all the Gods, our Sacred Earth will have beed DESPOILED.

    In today’s freaked out toxic chemical world, there’s still a little real food in the Chemical Fake Food. Just read the ingredient WARNING LABELS.


    That’s a Moronic Ox if we ever heard of one.

    1. Cindy July 18, 2019 7:44 am Reply

      Your amazing!! These words are spot on, thank you, mahalo nui loa!

  2. Makani B. Howard July 17, 2019 9:16 am Reply

    I am betting most of these people have no idea what they are actually fighting for. Do they even know the history and “legends” of the mountain? Or are they just following others blindly?

  3. LMat July 17, 2019 10:17 am Reply

    The only thing your keiki won’t have is further knowledge of our universe. The stuff of life!! Creation and the cosmos!!! THAT is what’s sacred. You really think you’re religion and personal beliefs are grand enough to stand in front of that?!! The universe was here looooooooong before [you invented] your gods. You have no right to halt the progress of human exploration and the quest of knowledge. Knowledge that could benefit the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE, not just a handful of folks wishing to remain in the dark ages.

    1. Jake July 17, 2019 2:51 pm Reply

      Second that.

    2. aym July 17, 2019 9:04 pm Reply

      I second that!

  4. manongindashadow0711 July 17, 2019 12:15 pm Reply

    Why not let Madam Pele’ decide? She’s the real steward of the aina!

  5. Dt July 17, 2019 1:52 pm Reply

    Polynesians found Hawai’i through science, wayfinding via stars. They searched for a new land to call home. I bet at that time when they left there were many people who blocked the path and said it was suicide and useless.

    At some point we have to leave this planet. Science again will help us on our exit path. There is enough room on top of the mountain for rituals and science. People need to recognize and share, stop being so NIMBY.

  6. Craig Callaway July 17, 2019 3:51 pm Reply

    Which of you people is paying Charlie Chimknee by the word?

  7. rk669 July 17, 2019 6:49 pm Reply


  8. I saw a Vampire once July 17, 2019 11:01 pm Reply

    Not much to say. Just them fighting for a cause that started a long time ago. 1893. Over throw of the Hawaiian monarchy. The land and them.

  9. Charlie Chimknee July 17, 2019 11:08 pm Reply

    And what, Craig…another boring no info or education 1 sentence response…? Beware, if you read my comments your mind has been infiltrated…with Aloha…!

    For those departing earth, because we will need to? Until it gets polluted worse then natural demand will take over and discontinue poison and you may be forced to stay. Knowing Kaua’i May be one the last Sacred Places to abandon…sung to the tune of…YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU GOT TILL IT’S GONE…

    IF YOU DO GO…ALOHA OE…until we may never meet again…,

  10. Bobber July 18, 2019 3:11 am Reply

    You belittle the scientific research and other religions, but consider this. What percentage of all the things there are to know do you suppose mankind currently knows? Virtually nothing. There are roughly the same number of stars as there are grains of sand on the earth. Each of those stars, like our sun, may have a number planets. Do you suppose there might an answer to some of our world’s problems that can’t be found here? Yeah, I don’t know either, but I am willing to find out.

  11. Tutululu July 18, 2019 3:39 am Reply

    Even if Mauna Kea wasn’t sacred to the Hawaiian people, there are some more compelling issues not to support it.

    1. There is no bond

    2. The lease for the land it is proposed to be built on expires 2 years after the expected completion date

    3. It is completely unnecessary and is already obsolete before construction even begins. There is an even larger and more advanced telescope already under construction in Chile due to be operational in 2025.

  12. JT July 18, 2019 8:46 am Reply

    Do any of these protesters have real jobs?

  13. harry oyama July 18, 2019 10:29 am Reply

    Hawaiians should forget about finding resolution through the corrupt white system of law and brutal force. Go back to your days of the dark black magic Kahunas and invoke those angry spirit-forms to bring much needed justice for all these years of abuse.

    The Christian god religion as well as others are all false and without power, but not what the Hawaiians practiced which is still feared by the Catholic Church and the primary reason why they sent their crony Father Daimon to subject the Hawaiians on Molokai when they simoned their beloved deceased chief who appeared and did wonders which to this day this Vatican that supports its thousands of child molesting pedophile priests consider “pagan and heathen savages”.

    I would say Hawaiians, flush this Christian religion down the toilet and go back to your roots and invoke the forces that many fear because apparently it works.

  14. harry oyama July 18, 2019 10:40 am Reply

    This is just the beginning, the corrupt racist legislatures who are predominant Japanese have already drafted laws that would exclude the right of Native Hawaiians to claim their access to millions of Hawaiian Crown lands of which this telescope sits on that the State “pays” $ one dollar a year, yet charges the tenants of their corrupt system $17 million! How much is this going to help Hawaiians?

    None, brudda and sista, Ala ala, go such rocks. Don’t be a fool, these corrupt desecendants of the plantation days are again setting themselves up to steal your crown lands by passing State laws that will equate or surpass your soverign rights to these Crown Lands by reclassifying themselves as “legal” public domain. Just like the ripoff system of “Quiet land titles” and evidenced by the recent Facebook land grabbing attempt using that back stabbing “Hawaiian” Carlos Andrade to do his bidding.

    Hawaiians should go back to their spiritual roots and invoke the dreaded and much feared Kahuna spirits which was most feared in Molokai and Kauai. It works, the Army already attempted it and ceased because most of its participants went crazy because they do not understand the methods which the Hawaiians mastered through many years of practice.

  15. W(V)ai July 19, 2019 10:45 am Reply

    To me it seems that real problem with “The Kanaka Maoli or Hawaiian” situation is that we are not respected as a people. Not told of the genocide that was done and is still being done today.

    It has been proven in the past and present countless times in our History and Present.

    What was taught now, meant a hanging before or a punishment. Truth untold stories. The defense of one self was punishable by death. We are arrested for peaceful protesting for the desecration of our most sacred of lands. Kulia I ka nu’u,!!! Or Rise to the Summit. Echos in my ears or pepeau.

    To Reach For The Highest is Ingrained in our DNA. We are thought to make the Land Prosperous. Yet those in control only wish to exploit and perform gentrification.

    We are not here to serve others, we are her to serve the Land and our ‘Ohana, the Land we belong too. We don’t own it, we belong to it, we are the Representatives of this land o aina.

    Mauna Kea is not source and problem of our situation, but it is the tip of the ice berg of it. A representation of the disrespect and harm to us as a people.
    Go build a telescope on Mt. Fuji? Go build one on Stonehenge! Build one next to the White House! The Eiffel Tower! Stonehenge? The Colosseum? The Parthenon, The Done of the Rock? The Palace? The Great Wall? The Kremlin? The Pyramids? St. Joseph’s Square?What do think would happen?

    There are many type of Hawaiians!

    Hawaiian Blooded

    Hawaiian Blooded born else where

    Hawaiian Born but no “Mea Koko”

    Hawaiian at Heart with “Aloha no” with true Allegiance

    Only one Kanaka Maoli!!!

    Then you have those other Hawaiian Rebels, their called Christian’s!!!!!!!!

    If you want your telescope, we want our Nation, we want real Repatriations!!!!!!

    Boots on da Ground!!!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.