Protest

Shots fired so close they felt the splash in the water. Knives bared to slash their rubber boats. Russian special forces storming their ship from a helicopter. Five days incommunicado at sea under armed guard. And now, two months of detention in Russian jails. All for a peaceful protest to protect the Arctic.

If this outrages you like it does me, stand up and raise your voice for our silenced activists. On Saturday, October 5, we’ll gather in cities around the world in a resounding global show of solidarity. Please click here to join me in Hong Kong or find out about the events happening in other places around the world.

Date: October 5
Time: 11:00 to 12:30
Location: Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza long staircase
Dress: Black shirt, a symbol of Arctic oil drilling and the ecological disaster it has the potential to unleash.
Enquiry: For membership enquires call (+852) 28548318 or email . For public enquiries call (+852) 28548300 or email .

You already know that 28 Greenpeace International activists and two freelance photojournalists were detained by Russian authorities after attempting a peaceful protest at a Gazprom oil platform in the Russian Arctic to protect the fragile region from the disastrous consequences of reckless drilling.

Now all of those Greenpeace activists and a freelance video journalist have been charged with piracy under Article 227 of the Russian Criminal Code - an unfounded accusation that even Russian President Putin has dismissed. The maximum sentence, if convicted, is 15 years in a Russian jail. A further 15 activists and a Russian freelance photojournalist will appear in front of the Russian Investigative Committee one of the following days, we expect.

Over half a million people have already written letters to their Russian embassies, demanding the immediate release of our activists, and the call to #FreeTheArctic30 has spread like wildfire all over the world. From governments to NGOs and independent legal experts, there’s been a ringing global cry to free our activists that the Russian authorities will find it hard to ignore.

Gazprom just signed a massive deal with Shell, and together they are leading the mad rush to drill in the melting Arctic for more of the stuff that is causing devastating climate change. Just last week, Arctic sea ice reached its lowest point all year -- the sixth lowest in recorded history. An on Friday, the IPCC released a report stressing the urgent need for action on climate change.

This moment is critical. The time is now to raise our voices to protect the Arctic, to speak out for those who are being silenced by the authorities for protesting against the destruction of our planet, and to stand up against the collusion of governments and companies in crimes against our future.

Please click here to join me at the Global Day of Solidarity in Hong Kong or find out about the events in other places around the world. If you can’t make it, you can take action wherever you are by sharing the petition on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: Greenpeace activists stage a silent protest outside the Russian consulate in Hong Kong in support of the 28 Greenpeace International activists, as well as a freelance photographer and a freelance videographer currently in custody pending investigations into a peaceful Arctic oil protest. © Alex Hofford / Greenpeace