Here's me, mug shot and all. Scarily if does look like one of those celebrity mug shots and it does look like I've had a few - but no it's a bit more pertinent than that.
I was joined today by Greenpeace supporters and members of the public at a Greenpeace anti-whaling stand set up outside the Japanese embassy in Wellington where during the lunch hour around 150 people had 'mug shot' style photos taken that read "co-defendant, arrest me as well I want to save the whales".
As I type the photos are being presented to the Japanese Embassy.
Everyone was declaring themselves as 'co-defendants' to an upcoming court case involving anti-whaling activists.
The story unfolds like this…two of our activists that work out of Japan were arrested several months ago for exposing really dodgy dealings within the Japanese Government sponsored whaling fleet (as if whaling wasn't dodgy enough!!).
And Arrest Me Too!
Some of the whaling crew decided to 'embezzle' prime cuts of whale meat - gross. They send it home and then sold it on the black market - making huge amounts of money (buying houses and the like).
So our guys; Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki (from Greenpeace Japan), exposed this activity but bizarrely they were the ones that ended up being help in police detention for 26 days!
Here's a sample of the strange, politically charged proceedings……
April 2008: The Japanese Government sponsored factory whaling ship the Nisshin Maru docks in Tokyo Harbour after its five-month whaling voyage. Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki track one of the offloaded boxes to verify its contents. They discover 23.5 kg of prime whale meat cuts, worth between 100,000 yen (US$1,000) and 300,000 yen (US$3,000).
15 May 2008: Greenpeace Japan holds a press conference in Tokyo, exposing the full details of the whale meat embezzlement scandal. As evidence, Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki display the box of stolen whale meat that they intercepted, and then deliver it to the Public Prosecutor in Tokyo, along with a full report of the four month Greenpeace investigation.
Following this undercover investigation the Japanese authorities responded with a politically-motivated prosecution, arresting Junichi and Toro and raiding the Greenpeace Japan office in June 2008. They have now been awaiting trial for 172 days under bail conditions which prevent them from continuing their Greenpeace campaign work to end whaling. The trial is expected to begin early next year; they are both facing up to 10 years imprisonment.
The Kiwi activity coincides with activities around the world at Japanese embassies. Brazil, USA, Argentina, France, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Mexico, Spain, Greece, Canada, Italy and on Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, many other activists and people declared themselves as 'co-defendants', by asking the Japanese Government to "Arrest Me Too" and to put "Whaling on Trial".
So watch this space as the saga unfolds……….