Lucy goes lawless protesting aboard drillship
Lucy Lawless on the Noble Discoverer
February 24th, 2012
03:03 PM ET

Lucy goes lawless protesting aboard drillship

Who wants to get in a fight with Xena the Warrior Princess?

It seems that a major oil corporation doesn't have much of a choice. On Thursday Lucy Lawless, the actress who played Xena, and six other Greenpeace activists illegally boarded a drilling ship leased to Shell Oil off New Zealand's western shore. The group reached a 174-foot drilling tower and held a sign "Stop Shell #SaveTheArctic."

CNN spoke with Lawless on the Noble Discoverer Friday morning, the middle of the night in New Zealand. It was cold and noisy and she wasn't getting much sleep. But the actress didn't seem bothered at all. Asked to describe how she and the other protesters got on board, she said, "We walked like human beings wearing hard hats (but) I don't want to give away any trade secrets."

Greenpeace, in a statement, said the group had actually scaled the drillship which was in the Port of Taranaki in New Zealand. The activists were told to get off. But Lawless and the protesters refused to cooperate.

"We thanked them for adhering to their protocol," Lawless said, stressing that the exchange between the activists and authorities has been peaceful. "We know we'll be arrested. We have no choice but to stay where we are and send our message to the world."

Lawless said the activists are prepared to hunker down until their anti-Arctic drilling point is made. By early Friday afternoon it appeared that it was - stories were popping up across the Web and in news outlets across the globe about the stunt.

"We feel very much that what happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic anymore," Lawless said. "An oil spill can never be cleaned up because of the remoteness and the freezing temperatures. We risk trashing whole ecosystems and poisoning them from plankton on up. It's absolutely unthinkable."

The Noble Discoverer is owned by Noble Corporation and is contracted for operation by Shell, according to Shell spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh.

Lawless and the other activists have "occupied" the drillship to prevent it from departing on a "6,000 nautical mile journey from New Zealand to the remote Arctic to start an exploratory oil drilling program that threatens to devastate the Alaskan coastline," Greenpeace spokeswoman Szabina Mozes said.

"We are disappointed that Greenpeace has chosen this method to protest," op de Weegh wrote in an e-mail to CNN. "Actions such as this jeopardize the safety of everyone involved. While we respect the right of individuals to express their point of view, the priority should be the safety of Noble's personnel and that of the protestors."

Shell is investigating how the activists got on board, op de Weegh wrote.

Lawless, a longtime environmental activist, has never done any protesting as extreme as this. She said she thought about her three children and her family when deciding whether to participate in the Noble Discoverer demonstration.

"The oil that is captured will be burnt in the air to rain more destruction down on our grand children," she said.

Lawless has no idea how many days she and the group will be out to sea. She brought some chocolate and peanuts with her.

"We're here as long as it takes," she said.

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Filed under: Environment
soundoff (591 Responses)
  1. Dennis

    Thanks for keep us abreast on the latest developments,Lucy.

    February 24, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chun Gao

    This earth is our only home, princess is doing right thing to make us think if we want a clean environment for our kids and grandkids.

    February 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dood

    At first glance, I thought she was Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs".

    February 24, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. rodwick

    Love Goddess Lucys heat will melt the ice and only make drilling easier. It's all a corrupt plan so we think they are protesting.

    February 24, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Biily

    What does Maritime Law say can be done with stowaways? Hmm

    February 24, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. The Dude

    I guess being a TV star makes Ms Lawless a complete expert on oil recovery and oil spill clean up! Her statements reveal how utterly cluesss she is. Another self appointed expert playing out a do gooder scenario, to make her feel better about herself.

    February 24, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. DS

    They should just sail on that 6,000 mile journey and take these trespassing morons with them. Well see how much fun the protestors are having when they are 6,000 miles away from home with no food or shelter freezing their asses off on that boat. Then they'll want some heating oil or gas for a fire.

    February 24, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Uncle George

    I do hope Lucy Lawless realizes the minor faux pas in her protest: Her shirts say #SaveTheArtic, not #SaveTheAntarctic. I wonder if she realized she was in the Southern Hemisphere? At first I thought it was due to the t-shirts themselves; after all, I know there isn't enough B00B space on the guy's shirt, however Lucy has plenty of room on her shirt, for the whole message.

    February 24, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I do hope you realize they boarded the ship to *prevent* the ship from sailing to the Artic...thus making her shirt in fact correct and renendering the jokes about her boobage moot.

      February 25, 2012 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    So lets play devils advocate here. You have 7 activist who illegally board a maritime vessel , which the environmentalists preach is dangerous and harmful, and potentially and accidentally put themselves, the crew, and the environment at further risk. Obviously they must know what they are doing...I mean surely everyone goes to New Zealand to save the artic. ???

    February 24, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      *Sigh*
      They are trying to prevent the ship from sailing to the Artic.

      February 25, 2012 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  10. domo

    A lot of celebrities just talk and write checks, so this was pretty gutsy. If you're willing to move your feet (not just your mouth) when it's something you believe in, that's respectable. You don't have to agree with her, but don't feel good about yourself blasting her while you're sitting at your desktop.

    February 25, 2012 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  11. Brad

    Greenpeace protesters are so hypocritical. I wonder if they considered how much oil and resources they wasted getting onto that ship or did they just want a donor paid holiday to New Zealand.

    February 25, 2012 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • namerequired

      That was my very first thought when I saw headlining picture.

      February 25, 2012 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
    • I beg your pardon

      internet geniuses, but do you happen to know where Lucy Lawless is from? I'll give you a hint: she doesn't have to venture far for a holiday in New Zealand.

      February 25, 2012 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
  12. green what

    See no one cares about green peace, this just turned into a rant about the word y'all.

    February 25, 2012 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. Stan

    lawless is AMAZING

    February 25, 2012 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. chubbs

    Don't think it's want for a free vacation, the lady in question is a New Zealander you ignorant twot. The world doesn't revolve around the USA

    February 25, 2012 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Yes, it does. Get used to it.

      February 25, 2012 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
    • scott

      she's a washed up actress from New Zealand, aka Middle Earth, who's may claim to fame was starring in a cheesey sword and sandals show produced mainly with Hollywood cash. what's a twot?

      February 25, 2012 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
    • scott

      Actually the world does revolve around the USA. Were pretty much the only people who matter the rest of you are just bystanders in this thing called life

      February 25, 2012 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  15. gerk

    Maybe she should be at home taking care of those 3 kids, oh and what is heating her home and fueling her car. OIL!!

    February 25, 2012 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike D

      1953 much?!

      February 25, 2012 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
    • midnitejax

      maybe she has a loved one watching her kids? maybe you have an issue with women? you obviously prefer to have women sit at home and shut up, and let ignorant people like yourself determine when a woman should speak out.

      February 25, 2012 at 5:30 am | Report abuse |
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