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. Dan

    Lucy Lawless has profited greatly from the Hollywood media machine and now she wants to protest? What does she think that town and that industry runs on, Fairy Dust? Remember only a Nobody Walks In LA.

    February 25, 2012 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike D

      We don't change without someone or someones being out front to raise the flag. She's raising the flag.

      February 25, 2012 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
    • midnitejax

      you have some serious issues on freedom of expression and speech don't you? people who have the means and ability, and beleifs to speak out, or demonstrate should do so. if she lends her name to support a belief, and people follow her lead, what difference is that from your rhetoric you repeat from your right wingers?

      February 25, 2012 at 5:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dan

    Where does she think the plastic in that helmet on her head came from?

    February 25, 2012 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
    • midnitejax

      in response to Dan.......the plastic helmet is made from animal fats provided thru rendering plants around the globe. animal carcasses are rendered and the fats are blended with oils recovered from fast food eateries. the oil is used for everything from soaps, cosmetics and plastics. we also burned animal fats blended with heating oils to fire our furnaces.i knew of a gentleman that ran his diesel powered pick up on animal fats he recycled. just thought I would mention that since renewable resources are largley overlooked by people like yourself, who have fallen for the rhetoric of the oil companies.

      February 25, 2012 at 5:22 am | Report abuse |
    • another

      doesn't matter what it's made from, what good or bad it does, someone will find something negative

      February 25, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. RCDC

    She is cute...

    February 25, 2012 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jehovah Elohim

    I don’t know why she is worried anyway being from down here, if they turn the Arctic into a wasteland like the Gulf ... who cares !!, we are in NZ drill it ,if it fails stiff bananas, it'll just pollute the Northern Hemisphere regions mostly anyway, .... what’s the worst that could happen if it did go badly, …… there will be some outrage about how unforseen it all was, ...... noone will accept responsibility for any disaster, .......they'll have a few birds on TV being washed for the touchy feely angle, ….. and then they'll have a special guest star on TV just like Lucy to calm everyone down and to brainwash the sheeple that it’s all really ok, ..... the rich will get paid, and everyone else in the area will get to pay for it all ... ME HERE ..... I say go for it, drill baby, drill … as even it if did go badly, bugger all of the effects will bother us down here in NZ anyway !!

    February 25, 2012 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
  5. C

    Yay, the internet game of putting people down for anything we can think of. -_-

    February 25, 2012 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jonny


    Perhaps if any Christians out there really cared for Creation they'd be in full support instead of wasting time going after futility, such as Gay marriage!

    Wooooo Hooooo Lucy!

    February 25, 2012 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  7. James

    Way to go, Lucy!!!!!!!!!! And all you anti-environmentalists can go to heck. Deny our scientifically-proven impending environmental disaster all you want. One thing's for sure...your suffering grandkid's kids will be wondering how you deniers ever ignored the painfully obvious signs of our impending environmental disaster. But you don't care; it's all about you, today...not them in the future. And yet, most of you deniers also call yourselves pro-lifers. Figure that one out.

    February 25, 2012 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Like my old bold used to say "Who cares, use that paper it's our children that will have to worry about it" – That always cracked me up.

      February 25, 2012 at 3:11 am | Report abuse |
  8. Tom

    Burn all the oil baby!
    I like to think of it as doing future generations a favor, so they won't have to deal with oil spills and what not.
    It's kind of like Chemo, got to get sicker to get better.

    February 25, 2012 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
  9. Scottish Mama

    Refinery's are closing on the coasts, that is the reason for higher gas prices although we are using less. Yeah makes no sense to me either. Damned if we do damned if we don't.

    February 25, 2012 at 2:53 am | Report abuse |
  10. Larry

    I think that she is a brave and talented person. She very clearly made a choice and her mission has been accomplished. It is in the new, we now know about the exploratory drilling operation and its potential threat to the Alaskan coast line.

    She has my respect and admiration for having the courage to stand up for what she believes in and to knowingly face the consequences.

    February 25, 2012 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
  11. TampaMel

    Can Lucy and/or the other Greenpeace people state how much oil is being used by the ship they are on or does it run on solar power? How about their cars and homes? No matter what they do they are part of the process that requires drilling. Can we say the word "hypocrites".

    February 25, 2012 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. Saber

    Wow! There are 15 Mornons who have posted here. So if all of you have a viable and true solution to our energy problems I am all ears. But all I see here is, "No Oil, No Nuclear, No Hydro-Electric, No Geo-Thermal, No Natural Gas, No Coal, and just generally "no" to everything." With the exception of smoking weed, sitting on your butts and complaining about these things with no true and viable options. Sorry folks your windy and solar solutions are not solutions. Its technology we simply do not have, and have not perfected. If you want a viable option, nuclear power is that option as it will allow us to burn CHG, (Compressed Hydrogen Gas), and untilize it as a viable non-polluting fuel source. But the cost is going to be Nuclear Power Plants to make that fuel source a reality. As for Lucy, she needs to return to her Sparticus Series where her assets can be further admired in proper fashion of Xena the Warrior Princess! Oh Yeah!

    February 25, 2012 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
  13. pablo


    Go go go Xena Warrior!

    February 25, 2012 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  14. Whaaat?

    Is she showing the t-shirt or her t!tt!es? Those saggy pups didn't help Spartacus and I doubt they'll help save the liberal agenda.

    February 25, 2012 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. Rick1948

    Throw them back into the ocean. They got there by themselves – let them figure out how to get to shore by themselves.

    February 25, 2012 at 5:14 am | Report abuse |
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