Work on the world’s largest telescope, a Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT) atop the Big Island’s Mauna Kea , was put on hold again as the protesters blocked the construction. Opponents say the 1.4 billion US dollars (£880m) project that will be 18 stories high will desecrate land believed by Native Hawaiians to be the home of deities.
Henry Yang, Chair of the TMT International Observatory Board confirmed in his statement that construction workers had turned away.
“This is a difficult day for Hawaii and TMT. As we attempted to begin our work today, we were met by protests that regrettably resulted in some arrests. Boulders blocked our access to the construction site and the Department of Land and Natural Resources deemed it unsafe for us to proceed. For the safety of our team, we made the decision to bring them off the mountain and we are planning to resume when the issue is resolved… We want to acknowledge and reach out to those who disagree with our project. We respect their views and, looking toward the future, we hope we can work together to find common ground,” said Yang.
Photo courtesy of TMT International Observatory