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. Brett

    She sure lives up to her last name.

    February 24, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. josh gonzalez

    Go Lucy!

    February 24, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Phil

    Jupiter's Cawk!

    February 24, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Merlin

    So rather than obstruct a legal operation from the process of oil exploration, why not support alternative clean fuels aggressively instead? Find a solution before you condemn the energy that fuels the world. I guess we'd all be happier and better off with clean air and no cars? Let's come back from La La land, since that won't happen and think about it. Some people don't realize chemicals and plastics are hydrocarbon based products. I guess they think "man-made" means magic. We will continue to require petroleum products long after most vehicles are electrically powered.

    February 24, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Parker

      Does she drive a car? Or use one to get her family around? WHen she was an actress, did the production company use oil, gas and other petroleum products to get the shooting done? Had their been no use of petroleum or oil products, she never would have been on a tv show, an actress, and now of some notoreity. She can thank oil and gas for making it possible to film the show she was in. And now she is protesting the stuff? Kinda hippocritical, don't you think . . .

      February 24, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • jk

      Yes, she does do those things, as you could have found out easily. And even if she didn't, how does that make her wrong to point out the potential devastation of an Arctic oil spill? Drop the cheap rhetoric and think for 10 seconds.

      February 24, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Randy T.

    Gas should be $10 a gallon & not get oil from an area no one lives in. They should throw her off the ship.

    February 24, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • jk

      The true moralist, willing to killing for cheap-ish gas.

      February 24, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. p-body

    Xena Warrior Princess. That was my favorite show when I was a kid, I think we all know why. She is basically Wonder Woman.

    February 24, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Lawless

    lawless did something ...LAWLESS.

    February 24, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Dywlf

    Board the vessel arrest the looney tunes and get the driller underway.

    February 24, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • jk

      You forgot one step: Sign you up for any oil spill clean-up duty.

      February 24, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dywlf

    Yall is yall yankee.

    February 24, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Leigh2

    Isn't that a bit risky what that group did? I mean, what if they had been mistaken for pirates? I look for something bad like this to happen because people aren't thinking ahead.

    February 24, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Jacko

    I wonder what kind of fuel these criminals used to get to the ship

    February 24, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • jk

      Dunno, but I know what cheap rhetorical devices you use to prevent your worldview from being challenged.

      February 24, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. geekgirl42

    She has many skills.

    February 24, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. smartaz

    Greenpeace vs PETA: Which is the most annoying? I give the nod to PETA.

    February 24, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dennis

      How could you find naked models annoying?

      February 24, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. P. Gadapa (RAJ)

    I don't understand how some people take up one issue/problem (Like environment, animal rights, pro/anti aborsion...), make it their lifetime goal and take it to extremes as done in this incident. They behave as if there is only one issue in this world. You live only once don't just be stuck with one issue, try to understand life in its totality.

    The environment and ecosystem has constantly getting altered due to many natural processes, one being human civilization. End of the day its Darwin's theory "Survival of the Fittest". The bottom line is humans cannot survive or exist as the dominant species without effecting the ecosystem/environment. I am not suggesting we all go destructing every thing that comes in our way; we definitely should try to strike a balance because somewhere deep down we all love/care for planet earth and the natural creation but I don't see any reason for us to become all emotional. If we really care so much for other animals / environment, let us start slowly moving back to the jungles.

    Let us look at human civilization with another perspective. One should not underestimate the technological achivements humans are making in various industries like aerospace, automobile, medical, information tech, ete. in spite of all our problems. Oil drill is not only one of them, it is second most advanced industry. I myself being a professional in this industry, let me tell one thing: It is not fun to drill miles into the ground, sometimes through miles of sea/water depth.

    No offense but I have to say that its easy and less intellectaully demanding to be an environment activitist then to actually come up with ways to drill oil or to fly a stealth.

    February 24, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • EndoftheLine

      "End of the day its Darwin's theory "Survival of the Fittest""

      and we're too dumb as a species to notice when we are killing the world we must inhabit.

      February 24, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • kurtinco

      Humans can affect positive change on the environment without having to resort to chucking it all and living in jungles. And if humans throughout time had not spent their entire lives concentrating on a single subject, which you seem to disagree with, we probably would be living in jungles. Do you think we could have developed music, art or mathematics if everyone took only a passive interest in them?

      Finally, oil is bad, period. It contains massive amounts of carbon dioxide which, over the course of a few million years, was absorbed by the oceans until everything died in the dead zones the process created and sank to the bottom; layer upon layer finally becoming oil locked away safely within the earth allowing the planet to thrive and humans to evolve. Our use of this filth substance is causing a million year process to hyper-accelerate. The oceans are again absorbing excess CO2 from the atmosphere and once again causing dead zones. But we can be thankful for one thing. In another million years, the planet will have corrected itself and oil will once again be buried safely deep inside the earth. Next species, please.

      February 24, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. informedunion

    Is she still alive?

    February 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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