The protest over the construction of a large telescope on top of Mauna Kea continues.

On Sunday, hundreds of people marched down South King Street in Honolulu to Iolani Palace, blocking lots of traffic on the way. Media reports put the eventual size of the protest at about 3,000 people.

Meanwhile, the Pūkoʻa Council, a Native Hawaiian group with representatives at University of Hawaii system campuses, has called for a system-wide walk-out among all Hawaiian Studies departments on Monday at noon.

“The walk-out will be supported by various professors, staff and students throughout the University of Hawaiʻi system,” according to a media advisory from the council.

The walk-out will lead to a rally at UH Manoa Campus Center, followed by a press conference at 12:30 p.m. at the center courtyard where the Pūkoʻa Council will issue statements and letters regarding its position.

TMT protesters on King Street

TMT protesters rallying on South King Street in Honolulu Sunday afternoon.

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

The Pukoa Council says that UH, which purports to be a “Hawaiian place of learning,” continues to “disregard the voice of the Hawaiian community in its opposition to the construction.”

“Mauna Kea is sacred to Native Hawaiians and is part of the corpus of Hawaiian national lands but this is not simply a Native Hawaiian issue,” English Professor Candace Fujikane said in the press release. “This is an environmental issue, one of upholding legal protections for the environment as well as one of good government. There are three court cases yet to be resolved over the TMT so why is the University beginning construction?”

Demonstrators sit and rest on the TMT site after praying and singing.  10 april 2015. photograph by Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Demonstrators sit and rest on the TMT site after praying and singing on Friday.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

A moratorium on TMT construction is in place until April 20.

Meanwhile, a press release Saturday from the Sacred Mauna Kea Hui says, “Kanaka protectors and supporters continue to maintain their vigil at 9,000 feet above sea level to protect Mauna Kea, also known as Mauna a Wakea, on Hawaii Island amidst growing support pouring in from around the globe.”

As Civil Beat recently reported, protesters on the mountain remain committed and are prepared for another showdown with police.

Supporters of the TMT argue that it has survived a seven-year review process that included multiple public meetings, that controls are in place to address cultural and environmental concerns, and that the TMT’s benefits will be tremendous for both science and the Big Island.

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