(BIVN) – Calling the University of Hawaiʻi’s proposed administrative rules for Mauna Kea an “act of war” and issuing a kāhea to the people of Hawaiʻi, Ruth Aloua spoke with passion at Tuesday evening’s public hearing at the Waiakea Elementary School in Hilo.
Aloua was one of many testifiers to criticize the UH rules that would govern public and commercial activity on university-managed lands on Maunakea. The University of Hawaiʻi holds a master lease for the lands on the mountain, issued by the Hawaiʻi Board of Land and Natural Resources.
“We keep calling them rules,” Aloua said, “but what they are, they’re an act of war upon the very existence of Kanaka Maoli.”
“We’ve gone beyond criminalization, we’ve been criminalized,” Aloua said. “It’s happened and it’s happening.”
The current draft of the rules was prepared after a first round of public hearings in 2018 and a three-month, informal process that started in January 2019.
Aloua calls them “the rules of engagement.”
“I’m a frontliner,” Aloua said, talking about her stand on the mountain. “Let’s talk about aloha over there. Let’s talk about aloha, when we put our families on hold when we quit our jobs, and will be getting blacklisted cuz we can’t get hired again.”
“Where (Governor David) Ige stay?” Aloua asked, looking around the room. “Where Suzanne Case? Where is David Lassner? I was thinking, you know, they might be cowards.”
“They’re telling us our charges,” Aloua said of the proposed rules. “Why? Because we’re not gonna go away. So when I see these rules… I’m hearing that UH is proceeding. TMT is proceeding with their plans. So what does that mean? Hoʻomaukaukau. Get ready, folks. Get ready to ascend the mountain.”
“This is a kāhea to all of our people throughout Hawaiʻi,” Aloua said. “To our relatives abroad: we will need you, if you stand for peace, if you believe in indigenous rights, in peace for the earth. We will need you to stand with us and to spread the message of aloha.”
Big Island Video News will be uploading the entire video of the hearing.