HONOLULU — Hundreds of vehicles began leaving Maunalua Bay in Hawaii Kai at 9 a.m. Sunday, with people shouting “ku kia’i mauna” as they headed toward Maili.
An hour later, dozens of vehicles — many outfitted with Hawaii flags — were still pulling out of packed parking lots in East Honolulu.
The first group of approximately 70 vehicles was escorted by Honolulu police, but subsequent groups had to travel along with regular westbound traffic on the H-1 Freeway.
Several people in the line of vehicles said they wanted to show support for the protesters — also known as protectors — on Maunakea on Hawaii Island, as well as teach a new generation how to protest peacefully.
Jon Kiko, of Kalihi, helped lead the convoy on his Honda CBR 900 RR motorcycle, along with fellow motorcycle club member Danny Zukeran of Waipio Gentry, who rode a Harley-Davidson Street Glide.
The convoy shows that Hawaiians “are not forgotten,” Zukeran said. And the protest against construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea is “not only pono. It’s righteous, ” he said.
“We want to support the Hawaiian community best we can,” Kiko said.
Kamakoa Zablan, of Kaimuki, waited in her 2019 Toyota 4Runner with her three boys — ages 8, 5 and 9 months old — near the back of a line of vehicles trying to leave the Maunalua Bay parking lot an hour later.
The back of her 4Runner had a stenciled sticker that read “Ku Kia’i Mauna.”
“The boys are asking, ‘Why are they putting more telescopes up there when there’s so many?’” Zablan said.
During the trip to Maili, where a potluck was planned, supporters lined Kalanianaole Highway and its overpasses along with H-1 overpasses through town to wave at the convoy.
Dozens of people waved signs or held their hands aloft with thumbs and forefingers together to symbolize support for Maunakea.