It’s a rare and beautiful thing when people all across the world unite in defense of peaceful protest and action on climate change. That’s what happened this past weekend when thousands of people took part in solidarity events for the Arctic 30, a group of activists and independent journalists currently detained on piracy charges in Russia after a peaceful protest to stop climate change.
Thousands of people raised their voices at 250 solidarity events in nearly 50 countries across every continent. The vigils started at sunrise and continued all day until sunset the other side of the world in cities from Bangkok to Washington DC, from Moscow to Mexico City. They were joined by human rights groups, trade unionists, faith groups, students and environmentalists. Global figures like Alejandro Sanz, Jude Law, Oscar-winner Ricardo Darin, Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel called for the Arctic 30 to be freed. Law was there in support of his friend Frank Hewetson, one of the Greenpeace activists.
The vigils were particularly important for loved ones of the Arctic 30. Friends and family of the 30 gathered and spoke at many events and the family of the Arctic Sunrise captain, Peter Willcox, organized two events in the US.
We’ve been astounded by the huge response of people across the world. Over a million people have written to their local Russian ambassador to call for the release of our friends. Thousands of handwritten messages of support have been collected for the 30, and Saturday showed that thousands are prepared to come out onto the streets to stand up for the Arctic 30 and what they believe in.
The activists and journalists detained in Russia need to know that the world supports their release and the action that Greenpeace was taking to protect the fragile Arctic and the climate. If you haven’t yet, please add your voice to calls for their freedom.