44 Greenpeace Activists Arrested for Blocking Russian Arctic Oil Tanker at Dutch Port
May 2, 2014
John Vidal / The Guardian & Greenpeace International
On Thursday, 10 Dutch armed anti-terror police boarded the Rainbow Warrior, Greenpeace Internatinal's flagship vessel outside Rotterdam and arrested 44 activists trying to stop a Russian tanker from unloading its shipment of Arctic oil.
Dutch Arrest 44 Greenpeace Activists
Blocking Russian Arctic Oil Tanker
Activists including members of 'Arctic 30' detained as they try to stop Gazprom ship delivering oil to Rotterdam
John Vidal / The Guardian
(May 1, 2014) -- The very different reactions of European countries to Greenpeace protests was seen on Thursday when 10 Dutch armed anti-terror police boarded the environment group's flagship outside Rotterdam port and arrested 44 activists trying to stop a Russian tanker from unloading its shipment of Arctic oil.
Although the activists were taken to several Rotterdam police stations and the Rainbow Warrior towed ashore, the ship and most of the protesters were released without charge within a few hours.
This represented a stark contrast to September 2013, when 20 armed Russian navy commandos boarded the group's Arctic Sunrise icebreaker, towed it 200 miles to Murmansk and jailed the crew of 28 environmental activists and two freelance journalists for more than two months on charges of piracy and then hooliganism.
Greenpeace activists, who used paragliders, climbers, a fleet of boats and inflatables in Rotterdam, said the action was a serious attempt to prevent the Gazprom tanker Mikhail Ulyanov from entering the port and was not stage-managed, despite a boatload of journalists being present and the port given advance warning of a protest.
"It tells us more about how the authorities deal with dissent in Holland compared to Russia. We had every intention of stopping the oil being offloaded. The intention was just as serious as it was in Russia last September," said Ben Ayliffe, Greenpeace International Arctic campaigner.
Seven of the "Arctic 30" were part of the Rotterdam protest, including the captain Peter Willcox.
"Thirty of us went to prison for shining a light on this dangerous Arctic oil, and we refuse to be intimidated. This tanker is the first sign of a reckless new push to exploit the Arctic, a place of incredible beauty which is melting before our eyes. I stand with 5 million others against those who put short-term profit above the common interests of humanity," said Faiza Oulahsen from the Netherlands, who took part in both protests.
The group is calling for an end to offshore Arctic oil drilling both in Russia and elsewhere in the world. The environmental group has heavily criticised international companies like Shell, BP and Statoil for their global Arctic ambitions as well as their joint ventures with Russian energy firms.
Greenpeace International executive director, Kumi Naidoo, said: "It's increasingly clear that our reliance on oil and gas is a major threat not just to the environment, but to global security. Arctic oil represents a dangerous new form of dependence on Russia's state-owned energy giants at the very moment when we should be breaking free of their influence.
We cannot hope for any kind of ethical foreign policy while our governments remain hopelessly dependent on companies like BP, Shell and Gazprom."
Last night the Mikhail Ulyanov was docked and preparing to offload its oil.
Russia is still holding the Arctic Sunrise in Murmansk.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.
Rainbow Warrior vs. Arctic Oil
Fran Grobke / Greenpeace International
(May 1, 2014 10:16 AM) -- Early this morning, 80 activists intercepted a Russian oil tanker, delaying it from docking in Rotterdam harbour. The tanker was carrying the very first oil from icy Arctic waters.
Among the activists were #Arctic30 members Sini, Faiza, Tomasz, Phil, Gizem, Pete and Anne Mie, who spent 2 months in a Russian prison last year following a peaceful protest at the very same platform this oil came from.
The Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior intercepted the tanker as it was entering Rotterdam harbour. As the tanker slowed to turn, the more nimble Warrior slipped in front and put itself in between the dock and the tanker, preventing it from mooring. Dutch police quickly boarded the ship and arrested the crew.
Four climbers managed to stay on the tanker for several hours, thus preventing it from offloading its dirty cargo.
All activists were released from police custody a few hours after their arrest and spirits are high.
This kind of real-world challenge to oil companies is only made possible by the support of people like you.
Thanks to over 3,500 donors, we reached our target of raising £75,000 towards our Arctic fight-back. This means we will be able to challenge more oil companies at more locations over the next 20 weeks -- I'll keep you posted.
In the meantime, share this image to show the world that we will continue to challenge Arctic drillers wherever they go.
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Deadly Cargo for Our Planet?
BREAKING -- A Russian ship carrying the very first oil from the icy Arctic sea is due to arrive in Europe in just 5 days. This first shipment could kick off a new dash to drain the Arctic of every planet-killing drop, spurring on Shell and other oil companies we've held back so far.
Or it could mark the moment when together we hit the alarm bells, and step up our fight-back. The Russian oil tanker carrying first oil from icy seas of the Arctic is trying to dock at Rotterdam but our ships, the Rainbow Warrior and the Esperanza have blocked her!
80 activists -- including 7 members of the #Arctic30 -- tried to block the tanker. Four climbers are still clinging to the side of the Russian ship, to delay the terrible symbolic moment when Arctic oil first arrives in Europe for as long as we can.
Before the ship arrives, we want to raise £75,000 to pay for a 20-week surge of real world action to protect the Arctic and stop the oil race. https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/arctic-oil-alert
Here's what's in the 20-week plan, if we raise the money we need:
• kick off an action plan to persuade UN to ban drilling in Arctic: first step, recruit thousands of us to build a network of influential political leaders to take fight to the UN.
• launch a major (& rather fun) campaign against a very famous company with surprising Arctic ties.
• set sail on an ocean-going mission to the far north: got to keep exact plans hush hush for now...
• execute daring high-profile actions to capture the attention of the media so people hear the news -- we're in a red alert moment and need to stop Arctic drilling NOW.
When the Russian oil tanker docks, let's meet it with a surge of fight-back cash and Greenpeace people power!
Sometimes it might seem like Greenpeace is only those remarkable people who bravely go out to risk their own lives and freedom for a better world, like the Arctic 30. But it's not. Our true strength is in the millions of us around the world, believing, signing our names, donating, caring, joining together, driven by love of the earth we call home and of each other.
The arrival of the first Arctic oil marks a red alert moment for every living creature on earth. We just don't have long before it's going to be too late to stop world-changing climate chaos. But now is our moment – and we have a plan. Help surge forward over the next 20 weeks – chip in before Arctic oil arrives.
Fran and the Arctic team
PS: Alex, Faiza, Frank and the Arctic 30 spent weeks in a Russian jail trying to stop these first drops of Arctic oil. Together, we we can stop it turning into a deadly flood.