Lucy Lawless and six fellow Greenpeace activists were released from police custody earlier today, after being arrested aboard the oil rig Nobel Discoverer in New Zealand’s Port Taranaki and charged with burglary. But Greenpeace is calling the group’s three-day stay atop the ship’s tower, delaying its Shell-chartered trip to the Arctic, a success.
“When we started this seven of us went up the rig but 133,000 came down with us in solidarity,” Lawless said in a statement, referring to the number of people who sent letters to Shell, protesting its plans to drill exploratory wells off the coast of Alaska. “They’re writing letters and we know that new heros are going to spring up in our fervent mission to make sure the oil industry becomes an energy industry is one that is renewable and clean.”
On the third night aboard the ship, Lawless and company said they were bombarded with loud music and lights, but a Shell spokesperson told the New Zealand Herald that the music was from an alarm clock and the lights were necessary for routine work.
The seven protesters will appear in court on Thursday.
Lucy Lawless and six other Greenpeace activists have been high atop a tower on the oil tanker Noble Discoverer for almost 24 hours now, hoping to keep the Shell-contracted ship in its New Zealand port instead of heading to the Arctic. And despite the cold weather and daunting heights, and of course, the threat of arrest, the actress sounds every bit as fierce as the Warrior Princess character that made her a household name — in a peaceful way, of course.
“On watch. Pretty chilly but wind has died down. Can’t imagine being on this tub in the Arctic circle. These guys must freeze #savethearctic,” she tweeted, before urging protesters across the globe to remember the environmental organization’s nonviolent mission. “I hear there are protests at Shell Stns in Europe. Remember, we must be instruments of Peace. #savethearctic.”
In a blog post for Greenpeace, she admitted that the climb wasn’t a picnic. “I’m safe, I’m ok, my carabiners are sound, but it was pretty scary! I think I’d rather be home with a latte, but I don’t feel that I had a choice,” she wrote. “Clearly in a cost/benefit analysis, Shell reckons that an Arctic spill is an acceptable risk to them. But make no mistake, due to the harshness and remoteness of the Arctic environment, an oil spill up there will make the Gulf of Mexico look like a children’s party.”