Hundreds of Mauna Kea protectors led convoy from Hawaii Kai to Waianae
Hundreds of Kiai or protectors of Mauna Kea took their cause to Oahu's roads Sunday morning for a convoy. Opponents of TMT say that was another way to show their solidarity to protect the mountain.
"We like to drive, we like to wave our flags. It's a form of display that is unique to Oahu because we have such long roads, freeways, it kind of made sense to utilize the resources on our Island that a convoy would be the best idea," Jamie Rodrigues, the Mauna Convoy organizer, said.
So she started planning it with the community.
"I don't think anything like this has come around in a long time so it's a big movement and such a show of unity so it's important that we stand together," Mike Leanio, co-organizer of the Mauna Convoy, said.
"As the numbers grew, as people were continuing to contact us, it was circulating around social media, it made sense to get the permit so that we could have co-operation of the city to make sure the presence of HPD was out and our community knew what was going on and make sure that our participants arrive safely," Rodrigues said.
The city permit allowed 70 cars in the official convoy but that didn't stop a couple hundred cars from joining the movement. Heavy traffic was seen on traffic cameras as drivers made their way from east to west Oahu.
"We wanted to have people on the overpasses. We wanted people to come out of their house. We wanted people to spend the day at the beach with us. We wanted people to rally and share and show up with their inner most feelings and pride about being who they are," Rodrigues said.
After the convoy, demonstrators gathered for the noon protocol, the same practice that happens on Mauna Kea everyday. Protectors hope Sunday's efforts are felt up on the mountain as well.