Sunday, October 20, 2013

Po Paul And The Arctic 30

About a month ago I wrote about my long-time friend, Po Paul, who was arrested along with 29 other Greenpeace activists and ship crew members. They have now been dubbed The Arctic 30, and here's what Greenpeace had to say about them, followed by pictures of each member:
The courageous crew of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise protested at that Gazprom rig because they felt compelled to bear witness to the slow but unrelenting destruction of the Arctic. The ice is retreating, oil companies are moving north to drill for the fuels that are driving that melting, species are at risk, including our own. Thirty men and women, some young, others not-so-young, all with a moral compass, actually did something about it. Just as in years past, the resolve and courage required to win a better future for our children requires personal sacrifice, a sacrifice the Arctic 30 are now making. They made their stand in the interests of us all.

They also urge you to sign this online petition.

Vigils and protests took place all over the world, but one held in New Zealand got my attention, where the vigil took place around a mock prison cell, where members of Greenpeace and Amnesty International as well as a few celebrities took turns imprisoning themselves, notably Lucy Lawless (a.k.a. Xena, of whom Po Paul was a huge fan):

All in all, some 250 events were held in 50 countries, almost simultaneously.

All 30 members of the ship have now officially been charged with piracy by the Russian authorities. Most of them are isolated, and were denied contact with other humans for over a week when they first got there; they can now see their lawyers, and other visitors, which is how I was able to get this picture of Po Paul, where he looks like he's aged 20 years in 30 days:

Hang in there, my friend. I don't know for how long, and I'm not sure exactly why (except for the obvious ''disrupting the status quo''), but the fact that your cause is just will could should be of some solace. That, and the fact that everyone who knows you fully supports you.

And even some pretty prestigious people who don't:

We miss you.

It's too bad there were no Americans on that boat; Jimmy Carter would have gotten all of you out by now.

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