Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is taking a public stand against the proposed construction of a telescope on a sacred volcano in Hawaii, and showing his support on social media.
The protesters see themselves as protectors of the volcano, Mauna Kea, and in a recent Instagram post, The Rock stressed the need for understanding and empathy.
"Mauna Kea is very sacred land in Hawaii. It’s church for Native Hawaiians," Johnson wrote on an Instagram post in which he also shared a six-minute video showing his recent visit there.
"Hard to express how strong the mana and how heavy the heart was when I walked this sacred land with these people -- our people," Johnson wrote, referencing the Hawaiian word "mana" which means power and spiritual energy.
The former wrestling star-turned-actor grew up partially in Hawaii, and has ties to the island.
"This issue is much greater than a thirty meter telescope to be constructed on the Mauna. It’s humanity and compassion. It's respect for culture and approaching this with deep care and sensitivity," he wrote.
Johnson's Instagram video, posted Saturday, is the second such post he's shared on the issue.
"This is not about stopping the progress of science. I’ll always be an advocate for science advancement, but not at the expense of human beings who are hurting. When we lead with empathy, we make progress thru [sic] humanity," he wrote in a post from Friday.
There have been dozens of arrests at recent protests over Mauna Kea, according to The Associated Press, but politicians are hoping to come to a peaceful solution.
Hawaiian Gov. David Ige visited the protest site on Tuesday, along with Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim, who has been leading the government's efforts on the issue.
"We both share the goal of achieving a resolution that is peaceful and satisfactory to as many as possible in the community," Ige said in a statement released after his visit.
"I support the vision he [Kim] has widely articulated for Maunakea as a beacon of hope and discovery for the world that brings us together rather than divides us. And we both understand that the issues underlying what is taking place today are far deeper than TMT [the Thirty Meter Telescope] or Maunakea. They are about righting the wrongs done to the Hawaiian people going back more than a century," Ige said.