A sign of solidarity for Mauna Kea

  • Ryan Collins / The Garden Island

    From left to right, Samantha Younf, Kenui Topp and Stormy Sosa with her 2-year-old son hold signs Friday in Lihue at a protest on the corner of Kapule Highway and Ahukini Road.

  • Ryan Collins / The Garden Island

    Tyler Schump, left, and Eman Zafirides, right, show their support for Mauna Kea at a protest Wednesday in Lihue.

LIHUE — Several protesters held signs in a show of support for those protesting the building of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Big Island at the intersection of Kapule Highway and Ahukini Road Friday morning.

The second organized protest on Kauai came amid U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s call for the withdrawal of an emergency proclamation by Gov. David Ige and to delay construction of the TMT until further discussions take place.

“We believe that sometimes the community needs to have something that they have had their whole lives and something that has been a part of the culture since day one,” Eman Zafirides said. “Changes like what they are going to do on the Big Island is going to mess up the flow of the culture that Hawaii lives with today and that they should live with for the rest of eternity.”

Zafirides said the more the community becomes aware of what is going on, the better.

“Then they’ll know who the real people are,” he said.

Zafirides was joined by his friend Tyler Schump, with Zafirides holding a boogie board with the words “Ku Kia‘i Mauna” spray-painted on it (meaning “guardians of the mountain” in Hawaiian), and Schump holding a surfboard with the words “Rise up.”

“They can’t ignore it once it becomes a common topic for everyone, once it becomes a true problem for everyone in the community,” Schump said.

Next to the two friends stood Stormy Sosa with her 2-year-old son in her arms, and Kenui Topp. They were there to show their support for Native Hawaiians and the protesters entrenched on Mauna Kea.

Even if one person who was unaware of what is going on at Mauna Kea saw this, they are now aware, Topp said, who was draped in a Hawaiian flag.

For Sosa, the big thing that is being created with the Mauna Kea situation is the Kapu Aloha movement.

“It’s not just about my son and his future. It’s about the future of his sons and his family,” Sosa said, who was there with her three friends and son to show their support.

The peaceful protest was one of three that took place on Kauai Friday, with a second in Hanapepe later in the afternoon.

5 Comments
  1. Amused July 20, 2019 7:05 am Reply

    Bernie supports it? Best reason yet to oppose it!


  2. harry oyama July 20, 2019 10:51 pm Reply

    Bernie Sanders, just like Elizabeth Warren and most of those white politicians are like parasites, saying anything just to be under the same media coverage for their own selfish agendas. Where were him or others when Native Hawaiians were subjected to oppression before this?

    Not a single word, since they would not have benefited from no media coverage.


  3. LMat July 22, 2019 10:40 am Reply

    “Then they’ll know who the real people are”…?
    We certainly know who the real ignoramuses are.
    How is a telescope on top of a mountain going to negatively impact anyone’s future? You can still say your prayers and practice your rituals on the mountain. No one’s stopping you from going up the mountain. This isn’t an amusement park or a hotel up there. Stopping the TMT isn’t going to give you your sovereignty back. It isn’t going to magically transport all the haoles out of Hawaii. It isn’t going to de-commodify the Hawaiian culture. The majority of the protesters are jumping on this because of the social media buzz. And that ain’t peaceful!! I’ve read the vilest, most ignorant and intolerant comments from idiots online. But omg!! Jason Momoa said aole TMT so let’s join the trending movement!!
    This is a handful of people stopping the progress of the ENTIRE human race. I don’t care what gods you believe in, or what you think is sacred, it’s not more important than that.


  4. Ralph July 23, 2019 4:40 am Reply

    Know more brown skinned haoles than any other. Claiming solidarity while driving tonka trucks on state roadways and federal roadways with expired tags and safety checks. Spending state welfare monies while flying Hawaii state flags upside down. Using federally backed student loans, and then not repaying them. Overfishing and then claiming Hawaiian spirit. It’s sad that the word haole is only applied as slander instead of reserved for the true spirit less. This new protest is more the same. All the big trucks with flags upside down. Most of these people who have no rights in the kingdom. The royals were top of the people. The royals also brought the white man in through their interest in worldly things and through marriage outside of the Hawaiian blood.


  5. Ralf July 23, 2019 4:41 am Reply

    Know more brown skinned haoles than any other. Claiming solidarity while driving tonka trucks on state roadways and federal roadways with expired tags and safety checks. Spending state welfare monies while flying Hawaii state flags upside down. Using federally backed student loans, and then not repaying them. Overfishing and then claiming Hawaiian spirit. It’s sad that the word haole is only applied as slander instead of reserved for the true spirit less. This new protest is more the same. All the big trucks with flags upside down. Most of these people who have no rights in the kingdom. The royals were top of the people. The royals also brought the white man in through their interest in worldly things and through marriage outside of the Hawaiian blood.


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