Protesters, Lawless refuse to leave ship
Fri, 24 Feb 2012 7:15a.m.
By Dan Satherley and Kim Choe
Police have told protesters aboard the Noble Discoverer – including actress Lucy Lawless – they are under arrest.
Lawless and five others are protesting from atop the derrick on an oil exploration ship in Port Taranaki, trying to stop it leaving for the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska where it is due to search for oil deposits.
"They came up just to talk to us as a courtesy to say, "You are under arrest, we suggest that you come down," and we said, "No, we do understand that, thankyou so much for your concern, we feel we have no choice morally but to stay here and get our message out," Lawless told RadioLIVE.
Greenpeace New Zealand revealed the protest this morning on its Twitter account.
"BREAKING: Lucy Lawless and five Greenpeace climbers have boarded an Arctic-bound @Shell oil drillship in Port Taranaki -More soon."
The group scaled the 53-metre drilling derrick on the Noble Discoverer around 7am. The ship, operated by Shell, is bound for the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska.
"Our main aim is that this be a peaceful protest, but the law will do what the law has to do," Lawless told 3 News,
"We do what we feel we have to do."
One person, not aboard the ship, was arrested at the port's gates.
Lawless says she joined the protest "on behalf of the planet and my children".
“Deep-sea oil drilling is bad enough, but venturing into the Arctic, one of the most magical places on the planet, is going too far. I don’t want my kids to grow up in a world without these extraordinary places intact or where we ruin the habitat of polar bears for the last drops of oil.”
Lawless tweeted at around 9:10am, "All safe up here but a squall coming in. Good spirits."
The protesters apparently have enough provisions to last at least three days. Banners reading "Stop Shell" and "#SaveTheArctic" have been hung from the ship.
"The first half hour after getting up I was shellshocked, my mouth was dry, I just couldn't believe we weren't intercepted," says Lawless.
"But we weren't... so we just continued along our merry little way. But I was kind of in shock."
Greenpeace says if Shell finds oil there, it will spark "an Arctic oil rush".
"Freezing temperatures, unpredictable weather and remote drilling locations pose unprecedented challenges, making an oil spill impossible to contain and clean up," says Greenpeace campaigner Steve Abel.
Shell says it is "disappointed" with Greenpeace's actions.
"Actions such as this jeopardise the safety of everyone involved," the company said in a statement.
"While we respect the right of individuals to express their point of view, the priority should be the safety of Noble Discoverer’s personnel and that of the protestors."
Port Taranaki harbour master John Ireland earlier told RadioLIVE there are no Arctic-bound ships in port.
"I can categorically state that we have no Arctic-bound drill ships in the port," he told RadioLIVE.
The port has since been closed, and Mr Ireland was last reported to be in discussions with police.
Lucy Lawless aboard the Noble Discoverer (Greenpeace)
Last year the Xena: Warrior Princess, Spartacus and Battlestar Galactica star urged Kiwis to sign a petition calling for a ban on offshore drilling in New Zealand.
"I'd urge anyone who wants to protect our coasts from an even worse oil spill than that which we saw in Tauranga to sign this petition," she said in November.
"By doing so, they'll also be doing something positive about the climate crisis that this planet is facing."
In 2009 Lawless and climate scientist Jim Salinger tried to deliver a cheque to Prime Minister John Key to pay for his flight to the Copenhagen climate change talks, after he decided not to go.
They were stopped by Parliament security.
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11/04/2012 3:50:59 a.m.
us oil companies are selling us oil to us citizens at OPEC pricing. That is where these criminal and greedy a--holes dominate profits. We have environmentalism to thank. We could be free from buying oil from Saudi. We could have let us companies drill our own oil, but instead we caved in to a bunch of dread lock greasy smelling punks. Bravo. We are all taking it in the shorts because of a bunch of punk ideologues. Scew the poor people, their to stupid
28/02/2012 8:32:19 a.m.
President Shell Oil NZ added: "Shell has taken unprecedented steps to pursue safe, environmentally responsible exploration in shallow water off the coast of Alaska.
Really? Since when? You've got such a good record in Africa.
27/02/2012 1:03:07 p.m.
I believe that they should not be drilling, no question, but I also would wager that Lucy wants everyone to watch her tv shows , which is burning masive amounts of fuel,
25/02/2012 10:56:32 a.m.
the ship should have sailed with them up the derrick and greenpeace advised that the ship would hove to for an hour for the transfer of their people outside nz waters. or better still keep them up the derrick until they reached the drilling area.
We all need fuel of one type or another. Like for the powering of the greenpeace ships who are chasing and dogging the whaling vessels. or do they use sail or some fuel the rest of us are not aware exists. ... climbing a derrick and showing how Lawless and simple minded they are is a real example to to-days youth. they are by their actions guilty of home invasion.....and at the very least acting without thinking of the consequence's, actors are all a lot of LOOK AT ME TYPES anyway.
25/02/2012 6:17:45 a.m.
It's impossible to live, and not consume. Unfortunately, it's human nature to take all we can, and leave nothing. That will never change, no matter who protests, or what the cause is. We just aren't wired that way. Now that humanity has reached the 7 billion mark, I think there's little doubt that we will survive as a species past the next thousand years. My advice is enjoy life, use whatever you want, and don't have kids. And don't worry about saving the planet. It was around long before us, and will be here long after us.
25/02/2012 4:27:14 a.m.
Pat M wrote:
It is so easy to sit on your duff & post a comment. I too have the upmost respect & admiration for Lucy. Do you bother to know a person before you critize? This is not the first protest she has stood uo for. Like me, she believes we need to act now to protect our earth from further destruction to preserve it for future generations to come. When was the last time you critizers made a stand for anything or made an improvement in your environment? I for one am making contact with Greenpeace to come to NZ in the near future & help them make a difference. I am not wealthy. I work as a teacher's aide in the USA helping to make a difference for young children on the Autism Spectrum. As they say, put up or shut up. I am 61yrs. old, still work full time, am not wealthy or even financially comfortable. I will be selling some of my personal belongings just for airfare. Lucy Lawless is a fine actor, mother & caring person as far as I can see. Keep your comments positive for someone who cares enough for the world you are benefiting from to use her tome on earth to make a change to better the future. I hope someday I can look her in the eye & thank her!
25/02/2012 4:16:42 a.m.
I think the ship should sail with them on the mast. They should be told the ship is leaving and Shell is not responsible for their safety. They can choose to leave now or spend whatever time the ship is at sea up in the mast.
25/02/2012 12:36:40 a.m.
What Lucy is doing is using her status as a celeb to bring attentiont o the world that we need to stop drilling for oil and destroying our planet. Yes we are all in need of affordable fuel, but the costs of those *affordable* fuels are rising all the time. We need to look to cleaner energy use now, not wait untill the last minute when every drop has been drained from the planet, then running around like headless chickens wondering how the hell we are going to run our transport etc.
Mother Nature has been giving us fair warning of what will happen if we continue to ignore those warnings, and if we don't stop now what kind of a future are we leaving our children too.
Lucy is thinking of her children, and she does not think she is above the law. She know's the consequences's of her actions. Yet she still decides to stand up for what she believes in. maybe instead of criticizing from our armchairs we should join in and help, after all climate change is going to affect us all, and not all of it in a good way. The movie 2012 comes into mind while writing this, some of you may laugh at this. But I also remember thinking years ago about a self driving car, and bionic limbs. But they are out there now aren't they.
I am behind Lucy 100%, good on her.
24/02/2012 11:43:14 p.m.
I am neither rich nor a celebrity. I don't consider myself an animal lover either (except maybe how they taste). I don't even go into the wilderness and hug plants (I live in a city).
However, I am not a moron and I know that the amount of energy we consume for our western life styles is totally unsustainable. Some people want to bury their heads in the sand, or are gambling that they won't be affected by this dire fact in their life time. Me? I wish we would tackle the issue head on and start protecting our way of life by developing alternative ways to fuel it.
I don't understand how people can characterize this approach as anything other than pragmatic and logical, but I'm sure someone will accuse me of being a whale loving prius driving hippie or some such garbage.
24/02/2012 6:16:13 p.m.
Dan S. wrote:
Maybe Lucy would be interested in paying my painful (and ever-increasingly) exorbitant gas costs from my work-day commute? Otherwise, maybe she should STFU. Not everyone has B-list celebrity money. Most of us *need* affordable fuel if we want the little extras in life (like having a half-decent job, for example). I like the fluffy seals and the toothy whale things up there as much as the next guy (probably more even), but damn lady. Get some perspective.
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