HONOLULU, Hawaii – A mural painted by students for an upcoming university art festival has been partially painted over because of its defiant, anti-development message on behalf of Mauna Kea, and the move has ignited passions across the islands.
Several university approved murals have been painted recently on the University of Hawaii at Mānoa campus in anticipation of the Ka Leo Arts Festival, set for Thursday, October 24. But the creators of the Mauna a Wākea mural say the Ka Leo Newspaper painted over the mural in an attempt to censor its message.
A call to action that went out on Facebook reads:
|Over the weekend, about 80 students, faculty, staff and community members came out to UH Mānoa and helped paint a beautiful mural that expresses our connection, especially as Kanaka ʻŌiwi, to Mauna a Wākea. The mural was created by student and community muralist, Haley Kailiʻehu, who oversaw the project from start to finish. We mahalo everyone who put their mana into the painting and are need to inform you that Ka Leo painted over what they didn’t like.
This event was organized by student hui hauMĀNA and was used to raise awareness about the telescope struggle on Mauna a Wākea and the University of Hawaiʻi’s role in its desecration. On our mural, we included the following:
UH CANNOT BE A HAWAIIAN PLACE OF LEARNING WHILE LEADING THE DESECRATION OF MAUNA A WAKEA.
HEY UH, BE ACCOUNTABLE…
When we arrived this Monday morning, our message was painted over by Ka Leo, who sponsored the mural paintings in preparation for the upcoming Ka Leo Arts Fest, in sloppy green paint with the words “Ka Leo Arts Fest” painted on top.
Ka Leo has decided to censor our message. Ka Leo has decided to suppress student dialogue over an important issue that impacts all Hawaiian students and people. Ka Leo has decided to protect the University of Hawaiʻi’s image against robust dialogue and discourse on the University campus, which goes against the very principles of higher education!
Ka Leo did not have to paint over our image. When they first confronted us on Saturday about the message, letting us know it would be likely that UH would order it taken down, we encouraged them strongly to step aside and let UH administrators take up their issue with the students.
However, Ka Leo is playing police for the University and is actively suppressing free speech, and a Kanaka Maoli critique of the exploitation of our national lands and natural resources by the University of Hawaiʻi.
KITV covered the situation in this exclusive report:
KITV – UH paints over students’ protest mural
Now, an Aloha ʻĀina Rally will be held at the Mauna a Wākea mural starting at 10 a.m. today (Tuesday, october 15th)
Organizers plan to tell Ka Leo and UH “that they cannot censor Kanaka Maoli student voice!”