US Human Rights Network Blog

US Human Rights Network Blog



Update: Mauna Kea

Sep 27, 2019

Following a September 17 press release by Mauna Kea Protectors, the USHRN Coordinating Center reached out again to multiple United Nations representative to report on increased provocation and possible misconduct by law enforcement on Mauna Kea, and to request UN support. We believe that law enforcement are attempting to create a false pretext to justify use of force against peaceful Protectors. 

Earlier in September, the US Human Rights Network Coordinating Center filed formal communications with the United Nations to request deescalation at Mauna Kea. Following USHRN direct advocacy with the United Nations, Expert Member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Tarcila Rivera Zea sent a public letter to Hawaii Governor David Ige on September 16.

Expert Member Tarcila Rivera Zea’s letter urges the respect of the rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Hawaii to practice their cultural and religious traditions, including the preservation of Mauna Kea, and calls for a participative dialogue between the State of Hawaii and Kanaka Maoli Protectors to seek a peaceful resolution to the tension on Mauna Kea. Read the full letter on our blog, or download a pdf version here.

We were deeply encouraged by the Expert Member’s public letter to Governor Ige and look forward both to the State of Hawaii's response and to further action from the United Nations bodies.

In Hawai’i, Mauna Kea Protectors are inspiring other movements of Indigenous Peoples and Hawai’i residents. Last week, 33 people were arrested protesting Waimanalo Bay Beach Park Project, a 75-acre sports complex project that will develop Sherwoods Forest Park. The community park sits on recognized historic lands, home to ancestral burial sites and an endangered species of Hawaiian bat. The protestors in Waimanalo say they are inspired by Mauna Kea Protectors and stand in solidarity with them to protect ‘aina (the land). 

Learn more about USHRN’s engagement with Mauna Kea Protectors here.

Learn more about the issue and ongoing protests at Mauna Kea here.

Learn more about the Sherwoods Forest Park protestors here.