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Australia: Animal Liberation targets Japanese Consulate over Whaling

by Takver - Sydney Indymedia
Ten activists from Animal Liberation Victoria poured fake blood over themselves in a protest at the Japanese Consulate in Melbourne, Australia on December 27. Dressed in white body suits and carrying signs saying "Ban Whaling" the activists walked into the consulate on the 45th floor of the Melbourne Central Building to send a strong message to the Japanese Government over whaling in the Southern Ocean whaling Sanctuary.

Animal Liberation Victoria vice-president, Noah Hannibal, told ABC radio "The purpose of this was basically to let the Japanese Government know that the world is watching and that we're no longer going to sit idly by and allow this slaughter of up to 1,000 whales in Australian waters. It doesn't seem like they have any intention of stopping [whaling] so we thought these measures were necessary because we wanted to send a strong message that this slaughter of these defenceless animals is completely unacceptable," he said.

Activists attempted to clean the mess from the carpet afterwards. A spokeperson for the consulate said the activists acted like vistors so security wasn't called, and that the incident is regrettable. Australian Federal Police protective services officers removed the activists from the building. There were no arrests.

Nearly 12 months ago Animal Liberation Victoria (ALV) activist Jamie Yew was dropped into a clear water filled tank at St Kilda beach. Once inside the tank the water was turned blood red to symbolise the hundreds of whales currently being slaughtered by the Japanese whaling fleet in Antarctic waters. The protest was held to inform the public about the horrific cruelty behind the whale meat trade and put pressure on the Australian government to take action against this illegal slaughter of whales. The protest was also held in support of the Sea Shepherd crew.

The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin departed Melbourne early Thursday morning after harboring for 3 days to fix a blown piston on one of the two engines and to take on more fuel and supplies. The Greenpeace ship Esperanza has just reached the southern Ocean. The Australian Government is sending the Fisheries patrol ice-breaker Oceanic Viking to observe and document the whale slaughter for evidence in international legal action to stop the Japanese whaling operation.

Due to international public and diplomatic pressure the Japanese Government ordered the Japanese Fisheries Agency that the endangered humpback whales not be hunted this season. The Whaling fleet is still set to slaughter 50 endangered Fin whales and 935 piked (Minke) whales. The slaughter is carried out as 'scientific research' with the whale meat processed and stockpiled for commercial consumption.

Terri Irwin, the widow of TV "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, has announced her family is launching non-lethal research of whales in Antarctic waters in 2008 in co-operation with Oregon State University. Early in December Terri Irwin renamed the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship Bob Hunter to the Steve Irwin in honour of her late conservationist husband. Irwin told the Courier Mail newspaper "We can actually learn everything the Japanese are learning with lethal research by using non-lethal research ... that's what I'm embarking on in 2008. We are determined to show the Japanese they can stop all whaling, not just humpbacks."



§Ban Whaling
by Takver - Sydney Indymedia
§Sea Shepherd in Melbourne
by Takver - Sydney Indymedia
Steve Irwin at anchor off the Port of Melbourne doing repairs to a blown piston.
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