Help free the Arctic 30
Who are the Arctic 30?
On the 18th of September, thirty Greenpeace activists headed towards an oil platform, the Prirazlomnaya, to climb onto the outside of the rig to peacefully protest against imminent drilling. This action had been part of a peaceful protest against energy giant Gazprom, the company that owns the Prirazlomnaya, and which is poised to drill for the first oil to come out of Arctic waters having just signed a massive deal with oil multinational Shell.
On seeing the activists in inflatable boats, the nearby Russian Coast Guard ship responded by launching inflatables manned with agents masked in balaclavas. They proceeded to ram and slash the Greenpeace boats, threaten those on board at gun and knife point and fire warning shots from automatic weapons.
On the 20th of September, the Russian Coast Guard illegally boarded the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise while in international waters and arrested 30 activists on board at gunpoint.
What happens to them now?
Twenty-eight Greenpeace activists, a photographer and a videographer appeared at a preliminary court hearing in Murmansk on the 26th of September. Most of them were remanded for two months without bail to await trial on possible piracy charges. Greenpeace lawyers have said that they will file a case with the European Court of Human Rights over the conditions faced by the activists in detainment.
Russian president Valdimar Putin has since said that he does not believe the team are pirates. Under Russian law, piracy requires an intention to seize a vessel, its crew or goods, and carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.
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How can we help?
Right now, all around the world, hundreds of supporters are flooding the streets outside the Russian embassies in their countries, to demand the release of the people who put their bodies on the line to protect the Arctic from oil destruction.
You can help by joining in with other Greenpeace supporters and demanding the urgent release of all activists, the immediate withdrawal of the Coast Guard from the Greenpeace ship, and an end to offshore oil drilling in the Arctic for good.
Together let’s show we are stronger than those who want to destroy the Arctic, and will not be intimidated into silence.