Twenty eight activists, a freelance photographer and a freelance videographer, were involved in a protest against the Gazprom Arctic drilling platform Prirazlomnaya on 18 September. Two of the activists tried to climb the side of the platform to hang a banner. One day later, Russian security services descended from a helicopter onto the deck of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, seized the ship at gunpoint and detained the entire crew.
The activists, crew and journalists were at the Gazprom rig because they felt compelled to bear witness to the slow, unrelenting destruction of the Arctic. As the ice is retreating, oil companies are moving north to drill for the fuels that drive that melting. The Arctic 30 are people who care enough about the world we live in to take a stand and protect it. The Arctic is a stunning place, home to unique species including polar bears and Arctic foxes. Drilling for oil there is an appalling act that threatens this extraordinary environment, and the world’s climate. The vigil outside the Russian Embassy in Wellington, marked the beginning of an emergency global day of solidarity calling for the Arctic 30 to be released from Russian jail cells. The peaceful event was held as twenty-eight Greenpeace International activists from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, as well as two freelance journalists, have been charged with piracy in Russia. If convicted, the offence carries a maximum 15 year jail term. New Zealanders Jonathan Beauchamp and David Haussmann were among those charged. Oil Free Wellington went along to show their support to our brave friends working on the frontlines.
Sign the petition here to Free the Arctic 30