Published on
Common Dreams

Seven Greenpeace Activists Arrested for Blocking Arctic-Bound Drilling Vessel

Only thing they tried to steal was "future of the Arctic from the desperate clutches of Shell and the oil giants"

Common Dreams staff

Lawless with a Greenpeace activist on Saturday during their protest on the oil ship (Photo: Nigel Marple/Greenpeace)

Seven Greenpeace activists were arrested and charged with 'burglary' in New Zealand early Monday, after occupying a Shell Oil drilling vessel for four straight days.  Among those arrested was Lucy Lawless, an actress well known for her portayal of the television hero 'Xena: Warrior Princess'.

In what Bunny McDiarmid, Executive director of Greenpeace New Zealand, called a "legal slight of hand by the police," the activists received a 'burglary' charge as opposed to the expected 'trespassing' charge even though they stole nothing from the ship.

"Though maybe we did," reflected McDiarmid in a blog post on Monday. "When I think about the actions of these seven and the 133,000 people globally who joined them, we have gone a long way towards stealing back the future of the Arctic from the desperate clutches of Shell and the oil giants."

The group boarded the ship early Friday morning and ascended to the top of a 170ft drilling tower on the vessel which was docked in Port Taranaki, New Zealand. One activist was arrested on Saturday, while the other six remained on the platform.

Sky News reports today:

The group began protesting on Friday to prevent the chartered ship from leaving on a drilling mission in the Arctic over the weekend.

Lawless, 43, a native New Zealander, told reporters on Friday she wanted to take a stand against damage to the environment.


Our Summer Campaign Is Underway

Support Common Dreams Today

Independent News and Views Putting People Over Profit

"I've got three kids. My sole biological reason for being on this planet is to ensure that they can flourish, and they can't do that in a filthy, degraded environment," she said.

"We need to stand up while we still can."

In a series of tweets before her arrest Lawless described some of the challenges of staying on the tower.

"I found last night pretty darn scary," she wrote. "Not for sissies."

Greenpeace released this video on the action and their Save the Arctic campaign:


This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Share This Article

More in: