Saturday, September 21, 2013


In violation of international law, and following the arrest of two Greenpeace activists scaling a Gazprom oil platform in the Arctic, Greenpeace reports (what is believed to be) the Russian security service SFB aggressively storming the Arctic Sunrise via helicopter and ropes, and after 11 warning shots were fired over the ship on Wednesday. Brandishing guns and knives, the group of men rounded up the 28 Greenpeace crew members on board, ordering them into the mess while holding the captain at gunpoint in the bridge.     

From ABC in Australia:
London-based Greenpeace campaigner Ben Ayliffe told Radio National that 30 people were arrested on board the ship.
"They had people marched out and laid on the deck at gunpoint," he said.
"They kicked their way into the bridge of the ship, they kicked their way into the radio room, so it was pretty hairy stuff.
"We've had 30 people on board have been arrested, we've just heard, and the captain has just been charged with some pretty serious offences: terrorism, breaching a security zone, attempting to take over an oil platform and undertaking illegal scientific activity."
At present, the two activists previously arrested are also now on board the Arctic Sunrise, bringing the total to 30, the boat now in tow to a Russian port.  

Greenpeace reports that the Arctic Sunrise was boarded in international waters outside Russian jurisdiction while the Russian authorities claim otherwise.

Safety Pod Used As Pretext For Aggression On Activists

Greenpeace reports using a big foam tube called "a safety pod" to shield activists from water cannons during environmental protest actions.  The pod interior measures 3 meters long by 2.2 meters wide (about the size of a Mini), is painted on the outside in bright colours, and was made following a public competition.  A pod tour in the following video:

Via Russian reports, the state oil company Gazprom - presently working with Shell to soon begin environmentally devastating oil drilling in fragile Arctic habitats - have described the safety pods as "resembling bombs," with this ludicrous description presumably a pretext for violently storming the peaceful ship of an organization known globally for 40 years as committed to non-violence.

You can send an email here to the Russian ambassador in London demanding that the Russian coast guard release the peaceful protesters immediately.  Or here to the Russian ambassador to the U.S.  At the time of this posting, 250,000 people have emailed the Russian embassy.
Some brief yet dramatic footage of the action:

Coverage via EuroNews:


From Video Media:

From South African news:


Some photos of global protest actions shared via twitter:


Photo credit/top, via Greenpeace, photo of the Arctic Sunrise. 

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