Lack of Environment

A blog on the politics and psychology underlying the denial of all our environmental problems

It’s official – Arctic 30 protestors are not pirates

with 9 comments

As Kumi Naidoo, International Executive Director of Greenpeace International has said, this is an historic event. The actions of the Russian government two months ago – and the continuing failure of the UNFCCC to agree action to mitigate climate change – do not give confidence that humanity will avert an environmental catastophe. However, it is good that it has at least been agreed that peaceful protestors abducted at gunpoint in International waters cannot be jailed for piracy and/or hooliganism.  Here is the email I received yesterday:


Dear supporter,

Today is a historic day – a day when the fundamental rights of the Arctic 30 have been upheld by an international court of law.

As you may recall, there was a hearing on November 6 at the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea. The Netherlands brought the case seeking the release of the Arctic Sunrise and its crew.

Today, just moments ago, the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea ordered the Russian Federation in a binding ruling to release the Arctic Sunrise and the 28 activists and two freelance journalists who were on board upon payment of a EUR 3.6 million bond.

ITLOS orders Russia to release Arctic 30
The Arctic 30 were detained only because they stood up and courageously took peaceful action against Arctic oil drilling and to halt the devastating impacts of climate change.

I have just come from the UN climate talks in Warsaw where governments again have failed to take action against climate change. The Arctic 30 took action and it is time that governments acted with them. It is time for the Arctic 30 to come home to their loved ones. It is time for the Arctic to be protected. 

Russia is now under an obligation to comply with the order: the Russian Constitution itself states that international law forms an integral part of the Russian legal system and Russian courts are under an obligation to implement this order. Greenpeace therefore expects Russia to respect International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea, as it has done in the past.

As we keep saying, it is still not over for the Arctic 30. So this is also not over for you or me. We must continue to stand firm until all charges against the Arctic 30 are officially dropped. Thirty people stood up for 7 billion people. We must stand with them. 

Here are 30 things you can do to help us continue to make the case for the Arctic 30 and against drilling in the Arctic.

In solidarity,

Kumi Naidoo
International Executive Director
Greenpeace International

9 Responses

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  1. The Russians are ignoring most of the International Law of the Sea and, while 29 of the Arctic 30 have been released on bail, they are unlikely to be allowed to leave the country. The 30th, Australian, Colin Russell is still being held and may not be released on bail until next year. The reason behind this is unknown, but there is a growing concern that communications between Australian PM Tony Abbott and Russian president Putin are behind the continued detainment. Tony Abbott’s ultra-right-wing stance, hatred of anything ‘green’ and desire to make up for his rudeness and snubbing of Putin at a recent international meeting, is likely behind such a move.


    23 November 2013 at 11:37

    • Thanks for reminding us all that this is not the end of the story, Mike. I was aware of the exception of Collin Russell- and his nationality – but not aware of the possible causes of him alone being refused bail. What exactly are you suggesting, that Tony Abbott would agree with Putin that an Australian citizen be kept in jail in defiance of International Law? Surely it is much more likely that Putin is just still annoyed about Abbott turning up late for the Indonesian Summit and thus not singing ‘Happy Birthday dear Vladimir’ (and/or giving him a present)…?

      Back in September, I presume you did not miss ‘What next for Australia’s climate policy?’, by Frank Jotzo on The Conversation website?

      Martin Lack

      23 November 2013 at 12:54

      • Given that Scott Morrison is prepared to lock up unaccompanied minor asylum seekers in offshore detention centres despite his “Christian values”, and given Joe Hockey’s preparedness to increase our foreign debt and extend our country’s debt limit by 40% despite bleating on about a “budget emergency” and blocking similar moves prior to the election, and given that Tony Abbott has dismantled every green and climate change associated government initiative that he has been able to without needing parliamentary approval, and given his ideological drive to remove government diplomatic postings of people he deems to be non-conservative and given his ideologiccal push to remove employees from the CSIRO associated with climate change research, coupled with his desire to have his government oversee all funding research applications, and his track record of writing glowing references for paedophile priests, intimidating female opponents with physically threatening behaviour and numerous other morally questionable activities for the sake of ideology, I wouldn’t be surprised if Abbott hasn’t asked Putin to have Colin assassinated. He displays all the characteristics of an ideologically driven psychopath and I wouldn’t put anything beyond him.


        23 November 2013 at 14:25

        • Abbott not on your Christmas card list then? Seriously, though, I am surprised to have had such a prompt response from you? I agree, however, that it takes a special kind of ideological blindness to get elected on an anti-science ticket in the ‘western democracy’ most at risk from climate change. The only question is who is the most blinded (i.e. the politicians, the media, or the electorate)?

          On the subject of Scott Morrison, it is my understanding that Australia has been operating an extremely hard line policy against illegal immigration for some time and, indeed, that this was one factor in the defeat of the Labor Party in the election?

          On the subject of sovereign debt, in terms of living beyond its national means, I think Australia is a long way from the top of the global ‘Hall of Shame’. It is very hard to avoid the conclusion that all those countries that have bought into the Ponzi Scheme of globalised Capitalism are destined to hit the fiscal wall of reality very soon.

          Martin Lack

          23 November 2013 at 18:31

        • We have an uncouth saying here that I think sums up my feelings about Abbott…. I wouldn’t piss on him if he were on fire. A number of things enabled Abbott to get elected. 1. A dysfunctional government hopelessly divided. 2. A right wing MSM headed up by Murdoch in print and millionaires on boards of commercial tv stations. 3. An ageing electorate just greedy, racist and stupid enough to swallow the copious piles of garbage spewed out by the media every single day. 4. Clive Palmer. He attracted the centre to right leaning disenfranchised whose preferences flowed mostly to Abbott. 5. Finally, Abbott himself. He used the compliant media to perfection and basically lied his way into power. There was no budget emergency. The carbon tax was not negatively impacting anybody. There was no flood of terrorists arriving by boat. He didn’t accept the science of climate change etc etc. The electorate is now starting to see the real Tony Abbott as he has started breaking promises and has manipulated parliamentary standing orders to stifle debate, transparency and accountability. He is a fascist. Australians were hoodwinked and future historians will not be kind to him.


          23 November 2013 at 21:48

        • All those who pick a fight with science and history will lose. The problem is that the only winners will be extremophile bacteria.

          Martin Lack

          24 November 2013 at 15:00

    • Was Colin Russell the only Australian in the group?


      23 November 2013 at 14:44

  2. […] 2013/11/23: LoE: It’s official – Arctic 30 protestors are not pirates […]

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