Around 300 people gathered at the Hawaii State Capitol on Thursday evening to express their support for the Thirty Meter Telescope. Many said they felt the anti-telescope actions underway on Mauna Kea were obscuring broad support for the project.
There are 12 observatories operating 13 telescopes on Mauna Kea. Astronomy workers, who are members of the local community, are struggling to find a balance between pursuing scientific discovery and acknowledging cultural concerns.
A complex network of donations is keeping anti-TMT demonstrators well supplied with food, cold weather clothing, medical supplies, and even sanitation services. The system is making it possible to sustain the protest into the coming weeks.