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Indybay Feature
Fri Oct 11 2013 (Updated 10/15/13)
Greenpeace Activists, and Journalists, Charged with Piracy in Russia
Fri Oct 11 2013 (Updated 10/15/13)
San Francisco Participates in 'Arctic 30' Global Day of Solidarity for Jailed Activists
On September 18, to protest against Arctic oil drilling, four inflatable dinghies left the Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise and headed toward a Gazprom company oil platform, the Prirazlomnaya. Activists attempted to climb and establish themselves on the outside structure of the platform to protest against imminent drilling. The Prirazlomnaya is the first oil rig to start oil production in the ice-filled waters of the Arctic. A nearby Russian Coast Guard ship responded by launching inflatables manned with agents masked in balaclavas. They proceeded to ram and slash the Greenpeace inflatables, threatened activists at gun and knife point, and fired warning shots from automatic weapons. Further, the remaining crew onboard the Arctic Sunrise counted 11 shots fired across the bow from the Coast Guard vessel’s artillery cannon. The two Greenpeace activists who had attempted to board the oil rig were arrested at the scene. Remaining activists returned to the Arctic Sunrise

The following day, the Russian Coast Guard seized control of the Arctic Sunrise and all who were aboard. The ship was directed to Murmansk, Russia. The activists were held without bail and told that Russia was investigating those involved in the protest for piracy, which carries a potential 15-year jail sentence. A Russian court has now charged twenty-eight Greenpeace International activists, as well as a freelance videographer and photographer, with the crime of piracy.

A global day of solidarity with the jailed activists was held on October 5. Tens of thousands of people participated in more than 200 events held in 49 countries throughout the world. In San Francisco, a vigil was held on the waterfront on the bay. Local supporters told stories about their involvement with Greenpeace and their relationships to those arrested in Russia. The names of all of those arrested were read.

videoSave The Arctic 30 Protest San Francisco | video'Arctic 30' Global Day of Solidarity | photoTimeline: Arctic Sunrise activists charged with piracy in Russia | videoProtest or Piracy? Greenpeace Activists Remain Jailed in Russia | Greenpeace's Save the Arctic campaign
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