New protest against construction of giant telescope near the Mauna Kea volcano’s summit in Hawaii

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The Office of Hawaiian Affairs condemned the arrests in a statement saying in a statement that “native Hawaiians have constitutionally protected rights to reasonably engage in traditional and customary practices, and regulations cannot eliminate the exercise of these rights.” Protester’s reaction was already strong: “Last night’s arrest only made us stronger. We walked out of the police station even stronger,” Kuuipo Freitas said in a post on Facebook. The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is an astronomical observatory project of The US National Academy of Sciences with government-level support from China, Japan, Canada and India and will have a 30-meter mirror built from 492 segments. The TMT would enable astronomers to conduct research which is unfeasible with current instruments. The observatory and telescope are expected to be operational on Mauna Kea by 2024.

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