A total of 44 activists,including crew members onboard the Rainbow Warrior and activists in inflatableshave been detained after they attempted to block the tanker from docking on thequayside. Greenpeace Captain Peter Willcox is among them.
Commenting on the news,Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo said:
"Our activists may bedetained but this campaign is just getting started. The Arctic 30 spent twomonths in a Russian prison to shine a light on the madness of drillingfor oil in the melting Arctic, and today they have shown real courage onceagain. We are hugely proud of their bravery and determination.
"From Russia to Rotterdam,our governments remain hopelessly dependent on oil, while the side effects ofthis addiction become more dangerous by the day. Breaking this chain is notjust an environmental imperative, it is a matter of peace and security. Thefight to stop Arctic oil drilling is one of the defining battles of our time.We will not be intimidated, and we will win."
At 6am this morning fouractivists on inflatable boats approached the tanker and painted "No Arctic Oil"in large letters on the hull. After it entered port, a separate group of twentyactivists in three inflatables then positioned themselves between the tankerand the quayside to prevent it from offloading oil. A second Greenpeace ship,the Esperanza, also took part to provide logistical support to theactivists. Seven members of the Arctic 30 took part in today's protest, includingBritish protester Phil Ball.
The 258 meter long "MikhailUlyanov" is carrying the first oil from Gazprom's Prirazlomanaya platformlocated in the Arctic Pechora Sea. The controversial platform was the site of ahigh profile protest last year which was met with fierce resistance fromRussian authorities, who fired warning shots and used knives to slashinflatable boats.
After the action theGreenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise was towed to a port in Murmansk, andthe 28 activists and two freelance journalists were jailed for over two monthson charges of piracy and then hooliganism. The activists were eventuallyreleased under the terms of an official amnesty. The Arctic Sunrise remainsillegally detained by Russian authorities in the port city of Murmansk, whereit has been for over six months.
Greenpeace's Save the Arctic campaign has collectedover 5 million signatures including faith leaders, CEOs and Nobel peace prizewinners.
Recent photographs of the action areavailable from the Greenpeace photo desk, and at www.photo.greenpeace.org