Protesters occupy OHA ahead of Board of Trustees meeting

Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Protesters are preparing to occupy the Office of Hawaiian Affairs building ahead of an upcoming Board of Trustees meeting.

The sit-in was organized by MANA, Movement for Aloha No ka ʻᾹina, one of several groups against the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea.

“We have a right to be here and we expect the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to be decisive about this issue,” said Andre Perez of MANA. “Our objective is to ensure that they get involved and put this issue on the agenda, not avoid this issue.”

The board is scheduled to meet at 12:30 p.m. Thursday in the OHA board room. Mauna Kea is not on the agendabut it has arranged for a meeting Friday for representatives from the Governor’s office, the University of Hawaii, the Office of Mauna Kea Management, the Mauna Kea Hui, the Mauna Kea ʻOhana, and OHA to discuss the Thirty Meter Telescope.

The board announced later in the day that it will call a special meeting to discuss its position on Mauna Kea and the telescope on Thursday, April 30.

Protesters are also asking OHA to join their fight to protect Mauna Kea and support the efforts of beneficiaries who are occupying the mountain.

Perez told KHON2 he met with OHA leaders Wednesday afternoon, and noted that while his group wants to create waves, they also plan to keep the rally peaceful.

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