We’re very close to the site where Texan oil giant Anadarko want to drill, around 110 nautical miles off the west coast of New Zealand. November’s warming sun in our eyes, the stinging salt water on our faces and the whiff of sun cream in our noses say that summer’s on the way.
But today I can pretty much only think of the cold cells in St Petersburg that hold our friends. The Arctic 30 have been imprisoned by the Russian authorities for nearly two months now. And today we heard that the prosecutor is asking for a further three months while they carry on their investigations.
The authorities have already taken two months to investigate an imaginary crime in which the so-called perpetrators sent out a news release explaining exactly what they were doing, and then released detailed video footage of them actually doing it. Now the authorities need three more months to investigate? Come off it. Those brave men and women are being held not because of what they did but because they shone a light on dangerous Arctic oil drilling.
Our friends are facing charges of piracy and hooliganism. They are very obviously neither pirates nor hooligans. They are heroes. They stood up for our future. They stood up and protested against the oil giant Gazprom. They stood up to save the Arctic.
That’s why today, on the global day of action for the Arctic 30, we took a message saying ‘Free the Arctic 30’ and flew it from our boats which make up the Oil Free Seas Flotilla as we sail towards the spot where Anadarko hopes to begin high risk deep sea drilling.
The Arctic 30 stood up against dangerous oil drilling, and we shall aim to do the same.
You can support the Arctic 30 by sending a message to the Russian Embassy here, and you can support the Oil Free Seas flotilla by taking part in the Banners on the Beach day on Saturday 23rd November