Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson protested the construction of a telescope at Mauna Kea.
“Here in the islands of Hawaii, Mauna Kea is a sacred land to native Hawaiians and to all of us Polynesians,” he said “And I am all for the progress of science and technology. I always have, I always will be. But it can’t be at the expense of humanity, or when human beings are hurting.”
The actor joined the protesters at the base of Mauna Kea, which is considered to be sacred by some Native Hawaiians. Their multi-day sit-in was in protest of the $1.4 billion Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) on Hawaii’s tallest mountain. Johnson lived on the island as a teenager and said the project should be paused.
“You know, when you have people who are literally there now willing to die at this mountain, that is an indication for all of us to go, ok, we love science, we love technology, we believe in the advancement of our American technology and science, but when human beings, our own human beings are willing to die, we’re gonna pause, and we’re gonna figure something else out,” he said.
The plan to start construction comes after nearly 10 years of legal battles and protests, with the Hawaii Supreme Court eventually ruling in 2018 that the project had a valid permit.