Greenpeace suggests campaigners should be willing to risk arrest

Greenpeace has called on more environmental charities to brave arrest over illegal direct action protests, after four of its activists were placed in police custody for hijacking the Stena Don oil rig off Greenland.

Direct action: Greenpeace
Direct action: Greenpeace

As the activists were held in Greenland police custody after occupying the Cairn Energy rig for 40 hours last week, protester Leila Deen spoke to PRWeek from Greenpeace’s ship the Esperanza.

Deen said: ‘We are now in the last few years in which we can massively reduce carbon emissions. We have to rethink the way we bring change. We’re not going to get radical change without all of us crossing as many lines as possible. I’d encourage more organisations to be brave.’

She added that she bel­ieved the news that BP wa sbacking off from plans to drill in the Arctic came as a direct result of Greenpeace’s ‘edgy’ campaign against Cairn.

Deen, formerly of activist group Plane Stupid, hit the headlines last year for pouring green custard over Peter Mandelson in protest over his support for a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

Also on board the ship is Greenpeace head of media Ben Stewart, who was arr­ested in 2007 for scaling the chimney at Kingsnorth power station as one of the ‘Kings­north Six’.

The Stena Don activists boarded the rig and stopped drilling for two days, following a week of being moored near the rig, resulting in confrontation with a Danish warship.

Harsh arctic weather conditions finally forced the four Greenpeace activists to end their occupation by climbing up on to the gantry of the rig, where they were arrested.

The Greenpeace ship exp­ects to remain in the Arctic for the coming weeks, to document the impact of climate change on the environment.

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