As a Scottish academic think tank working towards social, economic, and climate justice for all frontline communities around the world, we at the Third Generation Project condemn the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on the sacred land of Mauna Kea. In these times of ecological precariousness and uncertainty, we do not see extractive and violent knowledge acquisition and production as a necessary evil to understanding our world better. Indeed, since beyond the memory of the Western academy, the Indigenous people of Hawai’i, or Kanaka Maoli, have lived sustainably with their land and are called to forfeit their most sacred site when American and international academic, corporate, and governmental interests once again assert their power without prior and informed consent.
As Western academics, we are cognisant of the role the Academy and indeed science and social science has played in colonization, and in neoliberalism by proxy. Marginalised and targeted communities around the world face challenges to their rights on a daily basis, as they deal with the ongoing impacts of colonialism, and the ways in which dominant political and economic systems continue to deprioritise, marginalize, and/or directly attack their own knowledge systems and beliefs. It is therefore important for us to publicly stand in solidarity with the defenders of Mauna Kea in Hawai’i as many in our profession label this fight as an obstruction of science and human progress. This microcosm of colonial oppression in the name of knowledge and development should not be left to the Kanaka Maoli to fight alone.
Please join us and donate to organizations supporting the defenders of Mauna Kea: