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TMT opponents, supporters turn to social media for awareness


    An aerial view of Pu’u Huluhulu at the intersection of Daniel K. Inouye Highway and Mauna Kea Access Road on Hawaii island on Aug. 11.

From students to musicians, and now surfers, the opposition to the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea is being spread via numerous social media campaigns.

At 11 a.m. on Sunday, the nonprofit Mana Maoli teamed up with Pu’uhonua o Pu’uhuluhulu, numerous musicians and supporters of the kiai, or guardians of the mountain, to coordinate a #jam4maunakea across the globe.

From Mauna Kea to ‘Iolani Palace to several U.S. mainland cities, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, supporters of the kiai sang and posted the same medley of “Ku Ha‘aheo” and “Hawai‘i Loa” in support of keeping the $1.4 billion telescope from being built on the mountain.

The “Jam 4 Mauna Kea Worldwide,” is posted on Mana Maoli’s YouTube channel, and has been shared widely on Facebook and Instagram via several accounts. Some individuals played solo at the same time, on ukulele, cello and harp.

The latest campaign, #surfers4maunakea, is being spearhaded by surfers as protests against TMT enter the fifth week.

On Sunday, thousands of surfers across the world also raised awareness about the struggle to protect Mauna Kea from the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope with hashtags #SurfersForMaunaKea #MaukaToMakai.

The surfers supporting the protection of Mauna Kea say the mountains and oceans are all connected. on Aug. 25, Protect Mauna Kea is organizing several paddleouts at various beaches to support the kiai.

Among prominent Native Hawaiian surfers that have posted their support for the protection of Mauna Kea on Instagram are two-time World Surf League (WSL) World Longboard Champion Kelia Moniz as well as Championship Tour competitors Seth Moniz and Ezekiel Lau.

WSL champion John John Florence of Oahu’s North Shore also joined in the #SurfersForMaunaKea campaign.

Supporters of TMT, meanwhile, have launched a TV ad featuring master navigator and captain Kalepa Baybayan expressing his support for the telescope.

In the ad, which is also posted to social media channels @TMTHawaii on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, Baybayan says: “As a Native Hawaiian, I believe Maunakea is a deeply spiritual place. There is more than enough room for people to have their own practice, cultural practice, scientific research. We just need to have the collective will to share the Mauna.”

The ad is accompanied by hashtags, #imuaTMT and #WeSupportTMT.

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