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. n1ck

    I wonder if anyone being critical of Greenpeace/Lawless (who by namesake is obviously required to cause trouble) ever breaks the speed limit or follows each and every law in their state/county. Likely not... put away your judgmental fingers, our country was started by a bunch of rule breakers.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rtarara

    I love Lucy Lawless. I'm 100% sure this isn't a publicity stunt. She has Spartacus and it's doing well. She doesn't do things just for publicity. She's a little nuts(in a good way), so she would have done something long before this if that was the goal. This is just something that is right up her alley. She believes in it. She isn't saying that no oil should ever be used. She's saying that drilling someplace that you can't clean up if something goes wrong is insane and likely to cause problems down the line.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Xena Fan

    GO LUCY! YOu fight for our world.

    February 28, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Lucy and friends some of who flew to New Zealand, drove a car to the port, and are wearing personal protective equipment made of petroleum by products. I'm sure the use petroleum and petroleum by products on a daily basis, but are protesting petroleum exploration. They are nothing but hypocrites.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Bri

      In reply to the comment below this one, by Mike. You clearly didn't RTFA, or read the shirts, which clearly state "#Save the Arctic". It is a CLEAR statement against drilling in the arctic, not drilling in general.

      March 4, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ghovde

    Do you idiots have ANYTHING to say to the world besides your idiocy about grammar??

    March 3, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
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