Arctic 30

(18 Posts)
prissyenglisharriviste Thu 03-Oct-13 14:24:09

So, just found out that my friend was charged with piracy yesterday in Russia. Am o'seas at the mo, so not sure whether the UK gov't are trying to get the six Brits released, or quite what is happening. The greenpeace site is naturally very pro, but I was wondering what the support levels were like in general - and I can't find a thread about it (unusual on mn, and I use this site as a social barometer for UK news wink)

Care to share if this is news at all in the UK, or if they are essentially being ignored as environmental activists?

telsa Thu 03-Oct-13 21:28:49

I heard a tiny bit on news when it first happened. Then there was something else short a couple of days ago, but in the media I imbibe it has been only a very minor story.

claig Sun 06-Oct-13 16:59:11

It was on radio and TV news and I have just seem an article in the Mail about a demonstration outside the Russian embassy in London which includes famous people like Jude Law and Damon Albarn.

Warning, do not read the comments of Daily Mail readers at the bottom of the article, as they are highly likely to upset you.

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2445994/A-listers-outraged-Jude-Law-Damon-Albarn-host-celebrities-protest-outside-Londons-Russian-Embassy-ludicrous-decision-charge-Greenpeace-activists-piracy.html

claig Mon 07-Oct-13 19:45:57

Very long report on it today on Channel 4 News with Vivienne Westwood arguing in favour of Greenpeace.

Reading between the lines, it looks like Putin will release them after a while. He has said it is not piracy. But the Russian expert said that Greenpeace broke their promise to the Russians and my guess is that Putin wants to impress on Greenpeace the consequences of breaking promises in the future.

VerySmallSqueak Tue 08-Oct-13 14:31:18

i too,was surprised by finding no thread on this.

I would hope support is high.

I heard about this a few days ago on the news - apparently it was also discussed on the Jeremy Vine show yesterday.

VerySmallSqueak Tue 08-Oct-13 21:34:59

I listened to the Jeremy Vine chat on catch up,and unfortunately the Greenpeace activists were not getting a very positive response - or,at least,positive responses were not getting equal air time.

prissy I hope everything calms down - it must be really worrying for the activists and their friends and families.

Elasticsong Tue 15-Oct-13 14:14:49

I too have a friend involved. Twitter seems to be the best way to find out what's going on... They've all been refused bail on the piracy charges. The Russians seem to be (in the words of Kate Adie many years ago) 'willy waving'.

From what I can gauge, people are supportive when you tell them what's been going on, but it has kind of dropped off the news radar now. The Guardian is still reporting.

Hoping for a swift resolution and that this piracy nonsense is dropped sharpish.

VerySmallSqueak Tue 15-Oct-13 21:57:52

It is horrible that bail has been refused. It may be a display on the part of the Russians,but what must be going through the activists minds?
It seems they are not being kept together - it must be extremely tough on them.

I hope this ends soon.The uncertainty must be terrifying and draining.

Elasticsong Wed 16-Oct-13 07:53:52

The bail refusal is ridiculous really. Greenpeace has spoken up to guarantee the 'prisoners' wouldn't leave the country but the Russians are being intransigent, it appears. Being kept isolated must be awful, yes. All we can do is keep talking about the situation and ask people to sign the petition. hmm

oricella Wed 16-Oct-13 08:08:23

There's more to it than just Greenpeace I believe: a lot going on at the moment with Dutch-Russian relationships (the ships sails under a Dutch flag) - and this seems to be part of it. Only English language blog I could find is on the economist. Last night a Dutch diplomat was beaten up in his home in Moscow.. will be interesting if the scheduled visit of the Dutch king to Moscow next month will take place

claig Wed 16-Oct-13 08:47:48

Agree, oricella. I think there is much more behind it than Greenpeace, "save the polar bear" and "save the planet".

The article you posted is interesting and it is unfortunately beginning to look like this may not now be solved quickly. I thought that Russia would release the people soon after showing that they took the incident seriously. But I am not so sure anymore.

I think we will see a campaign against Russia which involves lots of different governments, since there are apparently nationals from about 18 countries involved.

Russia has the Sochi Winter Olympics and predicatably they already experienced a campaign against them over that with some calls for boycotts etc, and that may now intensify.

You have to wonder why Greenpeace carried out their action. I don't think the Russians really believe it is about saving the polar bear and saving the planet. They appear to believe that there may be other motives.

"Not only did Kremlin administration head Sergei Ivanov recently speak contemptuously of Greenpeace in an interview, but the Russian leadership as a whole sincerely believes that members of the organization are paid to "carry out the orders" of Russia's enemies — in this case, its rivals for the natural resources of the Arctic. Convinced that they are correct in this assumption, the Russian authorities are prepared to push the case much further than is supposed by those who think the environmentalists will get a slap on the hand and an easy release after two weeks in detention."

"Speculation is rife as to what political game might develop around this high-profile case, with some observers suggesting a possible connection with the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi. Others argue that Russia's actions might prompt several countries and athletes to boycott the games over unfair treatment of the "green" activists who attempted to hang a banner on Gazprom's Prirazlomnaya oil rig located in the ecologically fragile Pechora Sea."

www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/putins-war-on-greenpeace/487539.html

I hope it is resolved quickly with the release of all of the Greenpeace protestors.

claig Wed 16-Oct-13 09:15:35

What do Greenpeace want, what are the objectives of their 'Save the Arctic' campaign? This is from their website.

'WHAT'S THIS CAMPAIGN ABOUT?

We're coming together to push for action to save the Arctic. That means creating a global sanctuary in the uninhabited area around the North Pole (the region some people call the High Arctic) and a ban on offshore oil drilling and industrial fishing in the wider Arctic region.

....

AND THE FIRST STEP IS A UN RESOLUTION?

World leaders gather every September at the UN HQ in New York. We want them to pass a UN resolution expressing international concern for the Arctic. That means persuading more than half the world's governments that this needs to happen. A resolution at the UN General Assembly could help create the momentum we need to push for an agreement to create the sanctuary and a ban on offshore oil drilling and unsustainable industrial fishing in the region.

....

WHY DOES THE ARCTIC NEED PROTECTING NOW?

The Arctic is a unique and vulnerable environment. As well as being home to many species found nowhere else on Earth, the region also plays a critical role in regulating the global climate. But the Arctic is under threat — from climate change, from oil companies looking to drill in the dangerous and fragile waters of the Arctic Ocean, from industrial fishing and from shipping, all facilitated by the retreat of the sea ice."

www.savethearctic.org/en-GB/pages/faq

In order to stop Russia drilling, there are likely to be media campaigns against Russia, and there will probably be all sorts of famous pop stars and actors involved. But the Russians have warned countries not to intervene in the dispute with Greenpeace.

So far over many years, it seems that the Russians have gone along with the whole "save the polar bear", "save the planet" game, but who knows, if their vital economic interests are threatened by other countries, then maybe the Russians will reveal to the world the nature of the climate change scam.

Yesterday the Mail published an interesting article by Dominic Lawson on the Putin/Greenpeace dispute. Its views were quite different from those we so often hear on our BBC.

www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2458302/DOMINIC-LAWSON-Putins-brute-Greenpeace-bigger-menace-future.html

VerySmallSqueak Wed 16-Oct-13 09:21:17

It's not a new thing though that governments profess to believe that members of protest movements are in cahoots with their 'enemies'/rivals though,unfortunately,is it claig ?

As more and more files are disclosed and with leaks etc,we have seen that there have been sustained attempts to discredit legitimate protestors by our own Government.

claig Wed 16-Oct-13 09:32:23

VerySmallSqueak, you are right, but on the other hand we have also seen that there were some undercover policemen in some of those protest movements. It is always possible that some well-intentioned, sincere protestors may sometimes be manipulated in a grand political chess game of which they are completely unaware.

We are dealing with big power, big money and big oil and it is a strategic geopolitical game.

Greenpeace tells us on their website

"IS THERE A SERIOUS THREAT OF MILITARY CONFRONTATION OVER THE ARCTIC?

Nobody is saying war is about to break out. But the Arctic is witnessing a significant build-up of military forces as the region opens up to resource industries.

A research paper has warned that the build-up threatens to undermine stability in the region. According to the report — Climate Change and International Security: the Arctic as a Bellwether – growth of military forces in the Arctic is increasingly designed for combat rather than policing.

The paper, published by the US not-for-profit organisation, the Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), warns: "Although the pursuit of co-operation is the stated priority, most of the Arctic states have begun to rebuild and modernise their military capabilities in the region. The new military programs have been geared towards combat capabilities that exceed mere constabulary capacity." It adds: "States such as Norway and Russia are building new naval units designed to engage in high-intensity conflicts. While this capability may be understood as prudent, the ability of rivals to intimidate or subdue with sophisticated weapons systems could, if collegiality falters, undermine diplomacy and stability in the region."

www.savethearctic.org/en-GB/pages/faq

The stakes are very high, the money is huge and some rich billionaires want to prevent some countries gaining access to resources. It is always possible that "save the polar bear" and "save the planet" and "catacyclsmic catastrophic climate change" is just a blanket of snow that conceals the real game and the real aim.

If Russia is pushed too far in a negative media publicity game, then maybe Russia will reveal to the world just what is behind the climate change scam. Every cloud has a sliver lining.

Let's hope it can be quickly resolved and the Greenepeace people are all released and can go back to their families.

Let's hope that we as a world can all get along together and can work in cooperation without preventing some countries access to resources in their respective regions.

VerySmallSqueak Sun 27-Oct-13 23:49:20

It seems,if I am correct, that charges of piracy have been dropped,and instead the protesters will be facing hooliganism charges.

These charges carry a maximum of 7 years in prison,as opposed to 15 for piracy.

This whole thing is going on a long time and the protesters must be really feeling the strain sad.

MilllyMollyMully Sun 27-Oct-13 23:52:46

I think there ought to be a lot more coverage of this. There's some, but not a lot. Sorry for your friend, and for all of them, hope they're bearing up.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 21-Nov-13 20:04:21

Wanted to bring this back to people's attention.

Most of the Arctic 30 have now finally been granted bail (however one has been denied bail and given 3 months more of pre-trial detention).

This is not the end of the road though.They are still facing hooliganism charges that carry a maximum sentence of 7 years.

As far as I know,it's still not known if they can go home or if they have to stay in Russia for the next 3 months on bail.

Just didn't want people to forget about them.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 21-Nov-13 20:19:52

Although the charges were changed to hooliganism,the charges of piracy have not yet been removed.

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