Dwayne Johnson joined protesters at the base of Mauna Kea, considered a sacred site, where people are challenging plans to construct a massive telescope

By Alexia Fernandez
July 25, 2019 01:44 PM
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson with TMT opposition leader Kaho'okahi Kanuha during a visit to the protests against the TMT telescope
Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP

Dwayne Johnson joined protesters at the base of Hawaii’s highest mountain on Wednesday to try and stop the construction of a massive telescope.

The Hobbs & Shaw actor was photographed at the protest site on Mauna Kea, a volcano, which is also the location of a site some Native Hawaiians believed to be sacred, according to the Associated Press.

The protesters are against the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope which would serve as an astronomical observatory. Construction on the telescope has been blocked by protesters.

Johnson, who arrived at the tenth day of protests, told the crowd he was honored to be with them and said, “I stand with you,” according to the AP.

“This is such a critical moment and a pivotal time. Because the world is watching,” he added.

The actor and former wrestler lived in Hawaii as a child.

Johnson told reporters he “wanted to come here and see our people and stand with them and support them,” KGMB/KHNL reported.

Dwayne Johnson at a protest in Mauna Kea
Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP
Dwayne Johnson at a protest in Mauna Kea
Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP

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“The world is watching, and the world is saying we should take a pause and this is where care and decency and love and respect, not only for culture but for humanity really come into play,” he added.

“I realized as I was leaving it is much more than a telescope, it is people who have so much pride and are willing to sacrifice everything they have to protect something that is so incredibly sacred to them,” Johnson said.

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He added, “Mauna Kea represents all of Hawaii.”

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim told the AP he’s organizing a meeting between the government and Native Hawaiian leaders, adding he hopes the two groups can meet in the middle.

“We do not want this to become the cause of a polarized community,” Kim told the newswire. “That to me is a main issue here.”

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