Social media fueling concerns atop Mauna Kea
Nearly two months after demonstrations against the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) started atop Mauna Kea -- social media is fueling concerns.
There are rumors of a movement against opponents of TMT floating around both on Instagram and Facebook, and demonstrators right now are taking the high road.
In bold letters 'Mauna Alert' grabs the readers attention. The call, 'Urgent', warning of a sweep at Pu'uhonua o Pu'uhuluhulu expected Monday morning -- a sweep that never happened.
It's not the first false alarm according to Kanaka Ranger Lakea Trask -- demonstrator against TMT, and nephew of longtime Hawaiian community leader Mililani Trask.
"There definitely is a lot of rumors, a lot of gossip, and a lot of misinformation that gets put out there strategically in order for us to react or over react in different ways," said Trask.
Other posts call out to supporters to be aware of out-of-state law enforcement -- even a National Guard presence in the coming days. But instead of allowing social media to fuel possible panic -- Trask said its important not to jump to conclusions.
"It's hard because these things happen, and then we have to ground ourselves again in our pule, in our strength, in our lahui," Trask said. "And setting that kahua, that foundation of aloha, aloha 'aina, kapu aloha. All these things that keep us disciplined to our purpose here, which is protection to the mountain and aloha 'aina."
One things for sure -- rumor or real -- Trask said support continues to pour in.
"So people are coming in the evening and coming in the morning. But there are over thousands of kanaka here," Trask replied.
And so called protectors, or kia'i, remain devoted to defending the Mauna.
Trask went on to say, "We expect, actually, those kinds of transgressions to come from the state. We expect even worse, and that it's going to get worse before it gets better."