(BIVN) – Two wahine that have been on the frontline in the stand against the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea testified, side by side, at Wednesday’s Hawaiʻi County Council meeting in Kona.
Jennifer Leinaʻala Sleightholm and Hokulani Reyes were speaking in support of a council resolution “strongly urging” Governor David Ige and Mayor Harry Kim to honor the request of Hilo’s State Senator Kaialiʻi Kahele “calling for a moratorium on the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna A Wakea.”
“It’s one thing to be watching on the news or watching live streams on Facebook,” Sleightholm explained, “of what it feels like to be standing in a line, arms locked with other wahine, but to be staring into the soulless eyes of enforcement who are there, just doing their jobs, in full riot gear.”
“And to be standing in that line and looking over and seeing my adult children,” she said with emotion, “looking over at me, and to reassure them from that line that I’m okay. That we are all okay.”
“We don’t have millions of dollars like the corporations have,” Sleightholm said, “but we’ve been standing for years also with just aloha.”
“I think that the 60-day moratorium is necessary,” she added, “because I think that the governor is making very rash decisions, very reactive.”
“You go up to the Mauna, you feel that aloha,” testified Reyes. “I’ve had to come down two days ago to hoʻomaha and to rest for myself, but as I came down there wasn’t anybody exchanging aloha with me like they do up there. So I am in complete support of Senator Kai Kahele’s… 60-day rest because in Hawaiʻi, it’s very important to hoʻomaha, it’s very important to hoʻoponopono after something that’s been so heavy.”
The Council ultimately passed the resolution by a 6 to 3 vote.