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Protests Aren’t Only About Religious Practice
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Author Jerry Smith makes a valid point (“Making Mauna Kea Sacred,” Aug. 18), but he is flawed in his assumption that the Mauna Kea protests are only about preserving religion practice.
What the protests are saying is that the state constantly takes advantage of our aloha and has continued to build things on our land even after hearing our objections to it prior to the planning. The state constantly serves special interests and not the interests of the people of Hawaii.
More than 10,000 people were at the aloha aina march in Waikiki recently, and many more who weren’t there supported this effort, and not even a minute long segment on the media? What the protests are saying is that we cannot stand around anymore and let outsiders do whatever they want to our land without even bothering to take our concerns seriously.
We are tired of being pushed out of our own homeland. We have participated in the process that the state asked us to go through, and it didn’t work. So we are trying something else.
I understand that we tend to put things under the guise of our religion beliefs, and I often struggle to see the relevance in an issue that is so political. Yes, the state has to stay secular and decide things based on the interests of its people. But clearly, that is not happening.
You want the state to stay logical and political — fine, it’s their job to listen to the interests of its people and serve those interests. The people are saying do not build that telescope. Even if you think it’s crazy not to build it, the people of the “state” decide. That’s called Democracy!
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