The Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise has finally departed the Russian city of Murmansk almost a year after it was seized by Russian authorities in the Pechora Sea during a Greenpeace protest against the first Arctic oil drilling. Russian authorities arrested and imprisoned 28 protesters and 2 journalists, all of whom were eventually released in December 2013 as part of the sweeping Russian amnesty bill that freed at least 25,000 Russian prisoners including the Arctic 30 (as the group came to be known) along with Pussy Riot.*
The mood was high-spirited and merry on twitter; crew members reclaimed the deck, declaring their firm intention to return to the Arctic to continue protesting; in the tweets shown below, among the many activists and celebrities sharing their support, Michelle Thrush along with Emma Thompson and her daughter; more photos here.
BREAKING: 1st pics out from aboard the Sunrise. Look at the crew's big smiles! (Russian translation: Save the Arctic) pic.twitter.com/JLySJu9zGk
— Arctic Sunrise (@gp_sunrise) August 2, 2014
First Nations actor and activist Michelle Thrush is coming on board the Esperanza to #SaveTheArctic! pic.twitter.com/7BjynfMHxK
— Greenpeace Aus Pac (@GreenpeaceAustP) August 2, 2014
#Emma: How am I going to save the Arctic with 140 characters? I suppose it depends on who they are. #savethearctic pic.twitter.com/nWQCC7U0yY
— Save The Arctic (@savethearctic) August 2, 2014
Rusia: #FreeTheArcticSunrise @gp_sunrise http://t.co/9Y2wMURaCK pic.twitter.com/kHhBqpkixj
— Greenpeace vols Chih (@gpvols_chih) June 4, 2014
Greenpeace spokesperson Faiza Oulahsen said:
“When the captain and crew boarded the Arctic Sunrise they found it in a bad state, with no maintenance for 10 months, and the ship’s navigation, communications and safety systems either removed or destroyed.
“The Arctic Sunrise is now headed for Amsterdam, where the ship will need to undergo extensive repairs, so that it can get back to protecting the Arctic from reckless oil companies like Shell and Gazprom”.
*With the U.S.A. having the largest prison industrial complex in the world, we Americans are still waiting on a similarly sweeping amnesty which requires even higher figures, statistically, to be freed now, considering the total population unjustly incarcerated in this nation.
**Photo credit, top, via Greenpeace, the newly freed Arctic Sunrise vessel departs Murmansk.