Seiuli The Rock lends his voice to Hawaii protests again
Samoan film star Seiuli Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has released a new in support of native Hawaiian protesters seeking to block the construction of a massive telescope on what they say is sacred land.
Several hundred protesters have been camping for more than a fortnight blocking an access road to Mauna Kea, to prevent the construction of the ‘Thirty Metre Telescope’ at the summit of Hawaii’s highest mountain in action now drawing into its third week.
Sieuli paid a visit to protesters last week in a show of support that helped centre media attention on the protests, which had been running since July 15.
Now a new video posted to the star's Instagram is only likely to draw more attention to the cause.
“Mauna Kea is […] a sacred mountain to all Hawaiians and, certainly to all Polynesians,” Seiuli says in the new video.
“This is about respecting, with a heart full of reverence, a culture”.
The video has already been viewed nearly 10 million times.
Its release is likely to add to political pressure to resolve the telescope issue; protesters are in ongoing talks with the state’s government, which is being represented by the Mayor of Hawaii County Harry Kim.
"All of us should have only one mission -- to resolve this in a good way," Mr Kim told the Associated Press.
But there were few fruits from the latest formal negotiation, with the protest camp and government resolving only to meet again.
The former wrestling star-turned-actor grew up partially in Hawaii, and has ties to the island.
The telescope’s backers include the University of California and philanthropists.
They argue the mountain’s height offers a unique astronomical vantage point.
About a dozen other smaller existing telescopes on the mountain have been closed due to the protests.
More than three dozen people have been arrested in connection to the protest.
Seiuli's mother is Samoan and he spent part of his youth in Hawaii before he became one of Hollywood's most successful actors.
Seiuli is set to portray King Kamehameha the Great, the leader who unified Hawaii's islands in 1810, in a forthcoming movie to be produced by his own company.
The Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown by the U.S. government in 189