Jason Momoa opened up about taking a stand with protesters against construction atop the tallest mountain in Hawaii.
The “Aquaman” star appeared on CNN this week to talk about the protest, which has blocked all access roads on Mauna Kea to stop a giant telescope from being built on the sacred peak.
“It’s kind of the umbilical cord to earth,” Momoa said of the mountain. “You know, if you think about the Hawaiian islands, that’s the biggest mountain in the world, right? All the way up. So Mauna Kea is the most sacred. They call it the belly button, too. That’s like our birth place. You can imagine that in the middle of the ocean. That’s how our islands were formed. So how can that not be sacred?”
The Hawaiian-born star has been working with protesters since he first learned about the plans for new telescope.
“It started in 2015, heard the news about it and you know, it’s, it’s my home. I’m Hawaiian. It’s my nationality. What’s happening over there was just not right,” Momoa recalled. “And I wanted to bring awareness to it. And I went over there to meet with everyone and from then on, it’s just been this constant as a devotion to bringing awareness to the world.”
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To all my friends and fans please watch our NEW episode link in bio THIS IS MY HEART Mahalo @cnn for helping me spread the awareness. There is a growing movement in Hawai’i that cuts to the core of native rights to protect sacred lands and ensure the continuation of cultural practices. Mauna Kea was selected for the construction of the massive Thirty Meter Telescope being imposed by the University of California and CalTech along with the countries of Canada, China, Japan, and India. Despite another suitable location beyond Hawai’i, the TMT project is pushing forward to build 18 stories high and bore several stories into the ground over the island’s natural water aquifers in a conservation district. Hawaiians and their supporters have taken a ceremonial peaceful stance in solidarity with people around the world, not as an opposition to science, but as protectors of their sacred and revered mountain. Hawaiian people are truly children of the land, our history and language are infused in it. Our survival depends on what it can provide, and we look to our environment for spiritual guidance, it is part of our ancestral identity. To desecrate Mauna Kea is to do the same to the people. This is why we stand and say, “We are Mauna Kea!” Aloha J
He added, “You also have to remember, that’s our water source. So having an 18-story building built on top of the tallest mountain from the sea level on our water table, that’s seven stories just to go in and crack into our water table. Well, there’s not even eight, seven stories allowed to build in Hilo or in Kona (both located on Hawaii’s Big Island.) So we can’t go that high in Hilo or Kona, why can you build double and go into our water table? I mean it’s just kind of preposterous.”
Asked about the 13 other telescopes that currently sit on Mauna Kea, Momoa said, “Most of them are outdated and they’re not as big. They’re just up there and they promised to remove them and they never have. It’s just another one of those promises… and we’re done. We’re over it.”
The protests against the telescope have also received support from other celebrities, including Dwayne Johnson, who appeared at a protest during a recent trip to Hawaii.