Lawless, Greenpeace activists arrested
Mon, 27 Feb 2012 7:14a.m.
By Dan Satherley / NZN
Actress-turned-Greenpeace activist Lucy Lawless has been arrested, along with five other Greenpeace activists.
The arrests end the group's 77-hour protest at the top of a 53m drilling tower on Shell oil exploration ship the Noble Discoverer.
“This chapter has ended, but the story of the battle to save the Arctic has just begun,” said Lucy Lawless, before being arrested.
“Seven of us climbed up that drillship to stop Arctic drilling, but 133,000 of us came down.”
One protester had already quit the protest for 'personal reasons'. Greenpeace says 133,000 people sent emails to Shell, telling them to abandon plans to drill for oil in the Arctic.
“I can’t wait to get home to my kids to tell them all about this amazing journey, but I’m so glad I took part in this peaceful action,” says Lawless.
“We did what we came to do. Together we sent a clear message that has been heard and echoed across the globe: there’s no place in this world for your reckless Arctic oil.”
Police confirmed all the remaining protesters were under arrest.
"I can now confirm that all of the protesters are under arrest and are starting to make their own way down the tower," said communications manager Kim Perks.
"It is likely to take some time for them to make their way down. Once down they will be taken to the police station and decisions will be made with regard to any charges."
Over the weekend, the protesters say they were subjected to "Guantanamo-style tactics" of loudspeakers and bright lights.
They boarded the Arctic-bound ship and scaled the drilling tower on Friday morning, locking the access ladder to barricade themselves on the derrick.
Lawless, speaking from the ship late on Sunday night, told Fairfax they were being bombarded with persistent booming sounds from loud speakers, including screams and feedback sounds.
She said Shell was "going Guantanamo on us".
Shell denied the claims, saying the noise was just a horn.
"Routine work standard procedure requires the crane's horn to be sounded when the crane moves over the vessel," says Shona Geary, Shell corporate communications manager.
"It appears that on Saturday night the protesters disabled the light at the top of the drill tower. These lights are there for safety reasons.
"A spotlight had to be used instead to light up the area to help ensure the group were safe during crane and other night time operations."
On Saturday night the group endured loud music blasting at 3am and spotlights shining on them all night, Greenpeace New Zealand said.
The group has supplies to last several days and plan to stay as long as they can.
One member of the group, Ilai Amir, left voluntarily on Saturday and was arrested and charged with unlawfully boarding a ship.
The Noble Discoverer was scheduled to leave the port on Sunday to drill three exploratory oil wells in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska.
Greenpeace is calling on Shell to cancel its plans to open up the Arctic to oil drilling.
Shell says it is disappointed by the protest and its planned drilling exploration is environmentally responsible.
NZN / 3 News
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27/02/2012 8:54:51 p.m.
@Tom - "Of course they aren't demanding the end of use of oil." Rubbish. You have no idea how extremist Greenpeace really are. They won't stop until there is zero oil extraction of any kind.
27/02/2012 8:20:01 p.m.
The noises that they are alluding too as being purposefully set off by Police was little more than an alarm set up on the rig as a warning for when the rig moves. The rest of the lights and sound could have come from a fully functioning successful port that employs people in the region. Simply they put people’s lives at risk as Police, in the end had to scale the rig to ask them to come down. Just like Green Peace claim to love the environment, but I bet they travelled to Taranaki in PETROL powered cars, those Officers have families and people who love them too. It’s my understanding that the Green Peace members were even disappointed because they didn’t originally receive the attention they were seeking, well good job. I’m all for freedom of speech and expression, but not at the cost of innocent people who are just turning up to work to do a job and not at the expense of a Port that is trying to provide employment, while attention seeking has-beens try to make a name for themselves.
27/02/2012 6:22:48 p.m.
In response to: "Yup she drove off to the airport, only to be told that US immigration will not allow convicted criminals into the good old USofA. Ha, brilliant career move Ms Lawless."
JD, one would have to have had a trial in order to be convicted.
To Lucy and all involved, thank you. Words cannot express the gratitude due.
27/02/2012 5:04:42 p.m.
Yup she drove off to the airport, only to be told that US immigration will not allow convicted criminals into the good old USofA. Ha, brilliant career move Ms Lawless.
27/02/2012 2:52:59 p.m.
And off she drove in her petrol car to the airport and got on her av gas aeroplane.
What a waste of time
27/02/2012 2:41:01 p.m.
Don't you dare talk about whales when Japan comes into the Southern Sactuary and slaughters them with minor protest from NZ. These 6 (six!)activists broke the laws of our land and got locked up. Sorry "A Fish" but you need to redefine criminals. Surpisingly a criminal is not someone who disagrees with your point of view!
27/02/2012 2:28:18 p.m.
Come down! It is nice to be home from your not so amazing journey. Don't forget to tell your kids that you are trying to take away the oil that light the house and power their playstations.
27/02/2012 2:27:38 p.m.
Good on Lucy and Greenpeace for standing up for the defenceless. Of course they aren't demanding the end of use of oil. But they call for less wasteful use, for a genuine search for alternative and cleaner ways, and for respect of an invaluade resource so we don't squander what we have. And we don't endanger precious other resources chasing oil. Stewardship of the earth is like treating the whole planet like it's your garden. Isn't that just plain good sense?
27/02/2012 2:21:10 p.m.
would 'normal operating procedures' include using the crane there, at that time of night?
it reads like perfectly legitimate reasons... for doing exactly what was claimed. sort of like 'temporary communications equipment failure' allowing all those military types on TV shows to ignore orders without immediately getting in massive trouble (usually in situations where it works or they die, mind you, but still.)
entirely legitimate... if it weren't all an excuse to get away with something.
of course, the reason that 'works' is because it legitimately Could be true. as could this. or it could be a conveniant use of regulations to allow exactly what they're claiming it isn't.
27/02/2012 1:56:56 p.m.
Arrest them and also they should pay for police time and any potenail earning for shell, you break the law that is final, it is like a terrorist action so put them on the no fly list as well,
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