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Arctic 30 Activist Speaks Out: 'Sometimes You Have to Get the Ball Rolling'

"I am convinced that a common, peaceful and courageous commitment of many concerned people can bring force the protection of the Arctic world."

- Lauren McCauley, staff writer

A Greenpeace protester suspends a 'Free the Arctic 30' banner from the Eiffel Tower Saturday, October 26. (Photo: AFP)Over a month after the capture and imprisonment of the Greenpeace Arctic 30, a published letter from Swiss activist Marco Weber promises that he has no regrets: "Sometimes you have to get the ball rolling."

Imprisoned Swiss Greenpeace activist Marco Paolo Weber stands in a cage in Murmansk, Russia. (Photo: AFP/ Igor Podgorny) Published Sunday in the German newsweekly Sonntagszeitung, Marco writes (translated) that the "situation is hard to bear," though adding, "but the cry that went after our arrest by the world, and the knowledge to have acted on behalf of many people is incredibly invigorating."

Responding to written questions from the newspaper asking if he regretted his action, he replied, "I have no regrets. I know I did the right thing. This in turn helps me to endure the injustice of captivity and deprivation. It is important to follow our inner values ​​and downright stand for that.

"Sometimes you have to get the ball rolling," he continued. "I am convinced that a common, peaceful and courageous commitment of many concerned people can bring force the protection of the Arctic world. Moreover, it is also a matter of responsibility towards our planet and our posterity: This compels us also to venture [through this] initially hopeless endeavor."

Describing his imprisonment in the cold, 4 by 5 meter cell in the prison in the northern Russian region of Murmansk, Weber says he has been held in isolation for 24 days with no contact with the outside world besides regular visits from the Swiss consul.

Weber's testimony was published a day after a Greenpeace activist named Patrice suspended himself from the Eiffel Tower unveiling a "Free the Arctic 30 Banner" and closing down the landmark for two hours.

Greenpeace France activist Cyril Cormier told Euronews that the demonstration was also a plea to the French government to take action on behalf of the imprisoned activists.

“The Prime Minister will meet President Putin in a couple of days in Russia and we’re asking him to discuss the situation of our activists and to ask for their release with President Putin next week,” Cormier said.

The action followed the news Wednesday that the Arctic 30's charges were amended to "hooliganism" from "piracy"—a move that Vladimir Chuprov of Greenpeace Russia described as still a "wildly disproportionate charge."

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