[QODLink]
Europe

Dutch police detain 31 Greenpeace activists

Activists attempt to stop Russian tanker carrying first oil produced by new Arctic platform from mooring in Rotterdam.

Last updated: 01 May 2014 13:39
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Activists painted the words "No Arctic Oil" in white letters on the hull of the Russian tanker. [EPA]

Dutch police have detained 31 Greenpeace activists who attempted to prevent a Russian tanker from carrying the first oil produced by a new offshore platform in the Arctic Ocean from mooring at Rotterdam Port.

On Thursday the environmental group sent two ships, plus a fleet of rubber rafts, paragliders and activists to meet the Mikhail Ulyanov, a tanker chartered by Russia's state-controlled oil company, Gazprom OAO.

Activists painted the words "No Arctic Oil" in white letters on the hull of the Russian tanker and hung the same slogan on a giant canvas on one of their own ships. After several hours, the Ulyanov was able to dock safely.

Greenpeace opposes oil production inside the Arctic Circle, warning of the danger of a spill in a pristine and difficult-to-reach area - as well as the threat of worsening global warming caused by using fossil fuels.

Rotterdam police spokesman Roland Ekkers said Peter Willcox, the captain of the Rainbow Warrior, had disobeyed police orders to move his ship. Ultimately police arrested Willcox and towed the vessel to a different part of the port. A further 30 activists were detained for trespassing or blocking the Ulyanov's mooring place on rubber rafts.

Russian prison

Willcox was one of a group of 28 activists and two journalists arrested by Russian authorities last year and charged with piracy after a protest near Gazprom's Prirazlomnaya offshore Arctic platform. They spent months in a Russian prison before being released shortly before the Winter Olympics in Sochi earlier this year.

"The fight to stop Arctic oil drilling is one of the defining battles of our time," said Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo. "We will not be intimidated, and we will win."

Stanislav Chichin, the captain of the Ulyanov, said the Greenpeace action violated "fundamental principles of international conventions for safety at sea as well as environmental safety".

"Manoeuvring in the confined waters of a port is no less dangerous than sailing in the Arctic, especially when another vessel is trying to interfere with a tanker transporting 67,000 tonnes of crude oil in an area of high intensity shipping," he said.

352

Source:
Associated Press
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.