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Protest or Piracy? Greenpeace Activists Remain Jailed in Russia
by Democracy Now!
Friday Oct 11th, 2013 11:00 AM
September 26, 2013: Thirty Greenpeace activists remain jailed in Russia facing possible piracy charges after they attempted to board Russia’s first Arctic offshore oil rig. Many of the activists are appearing in a Russian court today, facing up to 15 years in prison if Russian prosecutors bring threatened piracy charges. We’re joined by Greenpeace Executive Director Kumi Naidoo, who took part in a similar action against oil drilling in the Arctic last year. "This is a disportionate use of state authority to try to silence of every important global conversation that needs to be had," Naidoo says. "We are reaching the tipping point on climate. The Arctic serves as a refrigerator and an air conditioner of the planet. And rather than treating the warming sea ice during the summer months as a warning sign that we need to get serious about climate change, sadly Western oil companies like Exxon, Shell and so on are partnering with Russian-owned companies to go and try to drill for the last drops of oil in this most fragile, remote and risky environment."
Protest or Piracy? Greenpeace Activists Remain Jailed in Russia After Boarding Arctic Oil Rig

(Greenpeace segment begins at 14:50 into the show.)

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Thirty activists with Greenpeace remain jailed in Russia and face possible piracy charges, one week after they were detained after a peaceful protest against Arctic oil drilling. Many of the Greenpeace activists are appearing in a Russian court today. A freelance photographer and a Greenpeace spokesperson, Roman Dolgov have just been ordered to be jailed for two months. On September 18, Greenpeace activists attempted to scale Russia’s first Arctic offshore oil platform. A nearby Russian Coast Guard ship with agents masked on board responded. The Russians proceeded to ram and slash the Greenpeace inflatable boats, sprayed the activists with water cannons and fired warning shots. They detain two Greenpeace activists who had managed to climb onto the oil platform.

AMY GOODMAN: A day later, armed Russian coast guards descended on the Greenpeace’s main ship, the Arctic Sunrise, using a helicopter and ropes. They reportedly lined up the majority of the 30 activists on board and held them at gunpoint on their knees on the ship’s deck. Officials then towed the boat and its occupants to the port Mermansk where the activists were held incommunicado and questioned by investigators. On Tuesday, Russia’s top investigative agency said it would prosecute the Greenpeace activists on piracy charges. If convicted, the activists could face up to 15 years in prison. On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin defended the Russian Coast Guard’s decision to apprehend the Greenpeace activists. He spoke at an international conference on the Arctic.

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: It would be better if Greenpeace representatives sat with us together in this hall and told us what they think about the problems we are discussing. They could state their complaints, demands, and concerns. No one is trying to brush them aside. We gather for meetings like this specifically to discuss such problems. It is obvious they are not pirates, but they tried to storm the platform. Our security forces and border troops did not know exactly who exactly was trying to seize the platform under the Greenpeace guise. It is obvious these people violated international law by coming dangerously close to the platform.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Human rights groups have called on Russian authorities to drop the piracy charges. Amnesty International Russia Director Sergei Nikitin said the activists legitimately exercised their right to peaceful protest.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by R.L
Friday Oct 11th, 2013 8:34 PM
Piracy, according to article 101 of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is DEFINED AS:
"... any act of boarding (or attempted boarding) … and directed: against a ship, aircraft, persons or _property_ in a place outside_the_jurisdiction_of_any_State … any act of voluntary participation in the operation of a ship or of an aircraft with knowledge of facts making_it_a_pirate_ship or aircraft”.

Greenpeace, did you get it? ANY ACT OF BOARDING (OR ATTEMPTED BOARDING).

According to internationally recognized DEFINITION of PIRACY ...
It does not matter what kind of intentions.
It does not matter if you call it peaceful or not.
It does not matter if weapon was or wasn't used.
It does not matter if that was ship or oil platform as it was directed "against property".
It does not matter if that was committed in international water.

Break law - serve your term.
by uh, not so fast
Friday Oct 11th, 2013 9:59 PM
Ok, Mr. Letter of the Law, ignore the spirit of the law in that no country has ever tried to apply pirating law against protesters.

But, even accepting your quotation with ellipsis as is, it clearly reads "any act of voluntary participation in the operation of a ship or of an aircraft with knowledge of facts making_it_a_pirate_ship or aircraft"

Somehow I don't think Greenpeace was trying to make the oil rig a "pirate ship" by any understanding of that phrase. Additionally, I'd say that clause gets at intent, "knowledge of facts," which you said didn't matter.

If you hate Greenpeace, fine, but don't twist the law to suit your desire to end protests against drilling in the arctic by use of precedent-setting and draconian prison sentences.
Funny how the Imperialist Camp never learns before it is too late. Proof is that the oxygen is being burned out of the atmosphere faster than mother nature can replace it. That is since the First Industrial Revoluton, 40% of the world's atmosphere has been burned out to carbon-dioxide, and we cannot live on the CO2 replacement.

Aggressively waring for more and more coal, gas, oil and atomic energy will only speed up the burn-out of the remaining 60% of the oxygen. Extinguishment of the O2 atmosphere is not liberation of the planet, but rather a lose, lose situation that changes the fail-safe mode we now exist in, to the last and final mode of No Return.

We cannot live without oxygen so for goodness sakes Russia let these GreenPeace Revolutionaries out of Jail, and so they can proceed to re-tool the industrial revolution to wind, tidal, and solar power--the renewables that transforms to electricity and is more power than all the fossil fuels combined. Electricity gives light, heat, cold- refrigeration, communication, and transportation in a win, win mode.

That would allow the Earth Mother to return the world's oxygen to a plus valence once more.

Workers of the world unite!! End pollution wars, not endless wars for more and more pollution. You yet have a world to win. Viva socialist liberation!! Scrapping the Weapons of Mass Destruction makes a path to real liberation globally.