Jason Momoa has had a very busy summer, though it’s not because of another movie: He has joined protests against a telescope planned for Mauna Kea in Hawaii, and he’s using his massive Instagram presence (13.1 million followers) to draw attention to the cause. This isn’t a one-off celeb shoutout, either. Momoa has been in Hawaii and posting about the movement regularly for the past few weeks.
If you’re not up to speed with the situation on Mauna Kea, here’s a quick recap. The Thirty Meter Telescope, if completed, will be the world’s largest visible-light telescope. Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain in Hawaii at over 13,000 feet, was selected as the location for the telescope, but it’s also considered sacred ground by Native Hawaiians. Construction was supposed to begin in 2014, but protests prevented the groundbreaking from happening. Hawaii’s governor announced that construction would begin in July of this year, but renewed protests have blocked construction crews from reaching the build site. Jason Momoa, along with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, joined the protesters this summer.
In one of his latest Instagram posts, Momoa included a picture of the construction of the Subaru Telescope, another observatory on Mauna Kea (the mountain currently hosts 13 telescopes in total). “This is what telescope construction looks like,” he wrote. “We must protect our scared mountain from further desecration.”
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FUCK THIS. And TMT is 4x bigger. Sorry Warner Bros we can’t shoot Aquaman 2. Because Jason got run over by a bulldozer trying to stop the desecration of his native land THIS iS NOT HAPPENING. WE ARE NOT LETTING YOU DO THIS ANYMORE. Enough is enough. Go somewhere else. Repost. This is what telescope construction looks like (Subaru Telescope, 1992). The TMT will be four times larger on unscathed land. We must protect our scared mountain from further desecration. #KuKiaiMauna #WeAreMaunaKea #TMTShutdown
In another post, Momoa described the protests as part of movement to unite kanaka, or native Hawaiians, with other residents of the state to protect the island’s culture and natural beauty.
“We are trying to unite both kānaka and Hawai’i born peoples alike to protect not only the mauna, but also our way of life and greatest natural resources in Hawaii as a whole,” he wrote.
Although the conflict has been dragging on for years, there may be hope for the protesters: As a result of the controversy, the group overseeing the Thirty Meter Telescope is also exploring the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean as a possible site for the observatory.