Aquaman 2 faces delays as Jason Momoa joins Mauna Kea protest

Star prioritises defending Hawaiian sacred site

by Jennie Kermode

Jason Momoa as Aquaman
Jason Momoa as Aquaman

The sequel to last year's superhero hit Aquaman is facing potential delays because Jason Momoa is refusing to leave the sacred Hawaiian site of Mauna Kea, where he has spent the past few weeks protesting against the construction of a new giant telescope, it emerged today. The Honolulu-born star has joined other celebrities including Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and a large group of fellow Hawaiians arguing that the dormant volcano, believed to be the home of benevolent spirits, deserves to be protected. He says he'll be unable to work if he's been injured by a bulldozer during the protests, which have seen several less prominent demonstrators arrested.

The announcement comes on the same day that an agreement brokered between protestors and state officials allowed scientists working at the site's existing telescope facilities to return to work, moving materials to and from their buildings without obstruction.

Mauna Kea is attractive to astronomers because its remote location means there's very little light pollution and at altitude the air in the region is very dry. It has been argued that it will bring much-needed jobs to the area. Protestors, however, are concerned that the process of construction, originally supposed to begin in October 2014, could pollute important local water sources as well as desecrating a spiritually important area. The issue has attracted the attention of Native rights campaigners right across North America, who argue that treaties established to protect sacred Native sites when Europeans first settled in their lands have been persistently discarded in favour of commercial interests.

Momoa has argued that there are equally good sites available in the Canary Islands, whose regional government has said it would welcome the telescope, or in Morocco. "There's one thing that's not gonna happen: they're not building it here," he said.

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