AEF and Amulsar Protectors Statement of Solidarity with Protectors of Mauna Kea
Armenian Environmental Front and Amulsar Protectors stand in solidarity with Kanaka Maoli in the struggle to stop the desecration of their ancestral lands. We support the peaceful civil disobedience of the Maunakea Kia’i as they stand in respect, love, and compassion (Kapu Aloha) against the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on top of the sacred mountain, Mauna Kea, on the Big Island of Hawai’i; which was approved without properly consulting with the people to obtain their free and informed consent.
We understand the urgency of this struggle by the indigenous people of Hawai’i to protect and preserve their culture, traditions, and natural resources against colonialism and capitalism. This is more than a struggle to save a mountain, this is about securing the lives of the future generations. We are aware that the residents of Hawai’i rely on the water that filters through Mauna Kea, beginning at the summit, the proposed site of the telescope. Water is life! We believe in the sacred power of water and the responsibility we have to protect it at all costs. That is why we were also in solidarity with the Lakota people of Standing Rock in their struggle against corporate greed and violation of their sovereign rights, the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline under the Missouri River, which has put their water supply at risk.
Thousands of miles away from you, we, too, are struggling for our water and clean environment. An offshore company, supported by US investors and the government, plans on open-pit mining for gold in Amulsar, a mountain where some of the most important water sources of our community and the whole country start. And as in the case of the TMT, the people of the community were not consulted to obtain their consent. More than a year ago the local community blockaded all mountain roads leading to the mining site and stopped the construction of the project. Thanks to our efforts, the mine has not started operating; we will stand strong till the government of Armenia listens to the voice of their people and shuts down this project.
We call on Governor David Ige to recall the emergency proclamation issued on July 17, allow the protectors to exercise their constitutional and human rights of peaceful assembly, and we call on the TMT Board to terminate the proposed construction of the telescope on Mauna Kea. Stand on the right side of history, stand with the people, protect Mother Earth, and gain the respect of the future generations.