The kia’i (protectors) announced Sunday night they will be departing from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa’s Bachman Hall sit-in on Friday at 5 p.m., after four months of occupation.
The Bachman Hall occupiers said in a press release that they maintained kāpu aloha, practiced Native Hawaiian culture and values, and challenged UH administration about Maunakea.
“In the spirit of Makahiki, we will be using winter break to ho’olono –to listen to our kūpuna, to our ‘aina, to our ‘ohana, to reflect on all that we have learned, to reground ourselves in our studies, and to further explore new strategies moving forward,” the kia‘i said in a press release.
“After a semester of consistent student-led protest, UH will never be able to claim that their students were unmoved, unwilling to communicate, non-solution oriented, or that the construction of the TMT (Thirty Meter Telescope) was only harmful to the far and few.”
For 50 years, students have used Bachman Hall to hold UH administration accountable for concerns relating to social issues. This sit in would be one of the longest held in UH history.
Since Gov. David Ige’s announcement on the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea, demonstrations boomed throughout the islands. Though the sit-in will end this week, kia‘i will continue to oppose TMT.
The kia‘i said the sit-in was not a failure – instead – they’re reassessing their next move to convince the administration to pull the plug on the TMT.
“We could’ve managed it, but we felt that we needed to take a step back and restrategize, especially because this was a more nice approach,” UH graduate student Tiele-Lauren Doudt said about the sit-in.
The next step for some of the kia‘i is to join the Racism Commission – created by Provost Michael Bruno – to take on an offensive approach.
On Dec. 9, Bruno launched the Racism Commission to address biases and racism throughout the UH Mānoa community. Nominations are currently going on and will be closed on Jan. 16, 2020.