Both Momoa and Johnson have posted photos and messages earlier this month on social media while visiting the base of the volcano, where protesters have been camping to block heavy equipment from going up the road. The mountain is located on the Big Island and is considered sacred ground by some Native Hawaiians,” according to CNN. While visiting with the protestors, Momoa said he supported the campaign opposing the Thirty Meter Telescope construction.
Momoa said, “I’m so very honored to be here, to bring my children and all my (family) here,” according to KGMB/KHNL. “There’s one thing that’s not gonna happen. That telescope’s not being built here.”
Johnson, who spent time growing up in Hawaii, also posted about the campaign and visited with protestors. Johnson wrote that he’ll “always be an advocate for scientific advancement, but not at the expense of human beings who are hurting. I remain optimistic our leaders will do right by the people.”
Johnson later appeared on The Tonight Show, saying: “What I wanted to do was get my boots on the ground, go there personally—because I grew up on Hawaii, and I understand what it’s like to have that sacred land. It was really a beautiful experience. It was so inspiring… and then I realized something, this is so much bigger than the telescope being built, this is humanity, these are human beings whose hearts are hurting.”
Protesters have been camped out for nearly three weeks and have also had singers Jack Johnson and Bruno Mars lend support. Mauna Kea, which is a dormant volcano and one of Hawaii’s highest mountains, already has 13 observatories on it, according to the official Hawaii website.