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NO USE HONOLULU MEDIA MARKET WEBSITES**~ Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the wrestler-turned-actor who has Polynesian roots, joined protesters on Wednesday against the construction of a giant telescope.
"The world is watching and the world is saying we should take a pause," Johnson said.
"You realize as I'm leaving it is much more than a telescope.
It is people who have so much pride and are willing to sacrifice everything that they have to protect something that is so incredibly sacred to them and Mauna Kea represents all of Hawaii." Native Hawaiian designer Manaola Yap says The Rock's presence at the demonstrations brings greater awareness to the issue.
The construction of the telescope was scheduled to start July 15th, which is when protests began.
Astronomers consider the Mauna Kea summit - already dotted with telescopes - among the world's best places for viewing the cosmos.
The 1.4 billion dollar Thirty Meter Telescope is expected to be one of the world's most advanced telescopes.
The peak of Mauna Kea - which stands at over 13,000 feet - is the highest point in Hawaii, a prime spot for astronomers but also Native Hawaiians who say the peak is crucial to their connection with ancestors and the heavens.