The people in the photograph above are among thirty Greenpeace international activists who have been detained in a jail in Murmansk. These dedicated people may face long jail sentences because they followed their convictions and acted against climate change by peacefully demonstrating against Arctic oil drilling.
if you read no further please take the following actions
Send an email requesting the release of the Arctic 30.
This is a form letter, try and personalise it if you can, but send as it is if you cannot. Not all of us are good at writing, but do send anyway as it shows your support for the release of these unfortunate people who are trying to defend the arctic for us all.
While visiting the Greenpeace website be sure to sign the petition to make the Arctic a global Sanctuary:
http://www.savethearctic.org/?src=gpukhome “A new Arctic oil rush is starting. Shell, BP, Exxon, Gazprom, Rosneft and others want to risk a devastating Arctic oil spill for only three years’ worth of oil”
Here is what is happening:
Russia’s Gazprom, the largest extractor of natural gas and one of the largest companies in the world, is ignoring the climate crisis and is going ahead with drilling in the Arctic in an area of the ocean that is only now accessible as a result of climate change and where an oil spill would do irreversible damage. Despite the alarming consequences Gazprom’s activities in the Arctic are considered legal. The Green Peace Ship the Arctic Sunrise was part of a peaceful protest against Gazprom’s drilling operation in the Arctic. Despite the peaceful nature of the protest and whilst in international waters the Arctic Sunrise was illegally boarded by Coast Guards who held those on board under armed guard whilst they towed the ship to shore. The thirty Green Peace protesters aboard have been remanded for up to two months by a court in Murmansk. The authorities say they need time to investigate possible charges of piracy even though President Putin has said that he did not believe they were pirates.
This morning in my e-mail box I received the following post, extracts of which have been included below with some slight alteration. Please read and take the suggested action if you have not already done so.
““I have been shaking for most of the last 48 hours. I oscillate between fear, disbelief and panic.”
This is what Kieron Bryan wrote in a letter to his family last week. Kieron is one of the 30 people currently being held in Russian prison facing piracy charges.
It has been exactly three weeks since Russian agents boarded the Arctic Sunrise and arrested all 30 people on board. Now, they are all being held in Russian prisons. Many of them are being kept in freezing cold cells for 23 hours a day, with just one hour out for exercise.
The support team in Murmansk is working around the clock to ensure they receive care packages with food and books to make life a little bit more comfortable for them. But what they need more than anything is continued pressure from millions so we can get them released.
Over 1.2 million of us have already written to Russian embassies around the world demanding the release of the Arctic 30. Let’s double that.
This week, our international director, Kumi Naidoo, wrote to President Putin offering himself up as a guarantor for the Arctic 30. He pledged to move his life to Russia for the duration of this affair if the Arctic 30 were released on bail.
Countless human rights and legal experts have come forward to say the piracy charges against the Arctic 30 are unfounded and ludicrous. High profile people from Stephen Fry to Bianca Jagger and Jude Law have publicly voiced their support for the Arctic 30.
Let’s get them out! “
Please click the link below if you have not done so earlier.
If convicted of piracy, the protesters could face sentences of up to 15 years in jail. Vladimir Chuprov, head of Greenpeace Arctic says:
“Piracy means seizing someone’s property through a threat or an act of violence and a motive of making illegal profits from it, none of which can be applied to our activists, who were engaged in a peaceful protest against the harmful exploration of the Arctic.”
This is a grave injustice, people have the right to protest against the unremitting exploitation of our world. For the sake of us all, for future generations and the other species who inhabit this planet, we have a right to say enough is enough, we have a right to defend out environment in a peaceful and meaningful way without risk of facing ridiculous charges of criminal behaviour and loosing our freedom.
This world does not belong to exploitative oil companies like Gazprom or anyone else including the multinational corporations who are destroying our environment all in the name of greed. Everyone of us needs to be able to peacefully protest against the assault on our world without facing criminal charges. The Greenpeace protest was peaceful.
Please forward this, and the petitions, to your family, friends and other contacts and ask them to send an email to demand the release of the Arctic 30.
More information from Green Peace’s website