Organizers of an online petition calling for the immediate halt of the Thirty Meter Telescope said 7,809 pages containing more than 150,000 signatures were delivered to the office of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in Palo Alto, Calif., on Wednesday.
At the latest count this morning, 174,000 had signed the petition launched last week by a group calling itself Mauna Kea Education and Awareness. The goal is now to reach 200,000 signatures.
The group said its members in the San Francisco Bay Area delivered the pages to the foundation “to show them that this movement is not just a few Hawaiians, but an ever growing global movement with support from all around the world.”
The foundation is one of the entities targeted by the petition, along with seven others, because it has committed $200 million toward the California Institute of Technology and the University of California in support of the TMT’s construction.
“We recognize the strong feelings both in support and in opposition to this project,” said foundation spokeswoman Holly Potter in an email. “We respect every person’s perspective and the right of all to express their points of view. We hope all actions on the mountain will continue to be respectful and peaceful.”
Native Hawaiians in the Bay Area also held a sign-waving rally Wednesday in Palo Alto to show solidarity with their counterparts on Hawaii island, according to local news sources.
The group is also asking its supporters to fill out an online survey put out by Hawaii Gov. David Ige, seeking comments on the $1.4 billion telescope slated to be built at the top of Mauna Kea.