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. Brian

    a yawl is a rigging on a ship ... this story has a nautical angle ...

    February 25, 2012 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. D987654321

    Don't mess with the Deannas...

    February 25, 2012 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. NoPunIntended

    Greenpeace is a terrorist organization

    February 25, 2012 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Aeromechanic

      So was the French resistance.......to the Nazis.

      February 25, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. Tyron

    So were are they getting the money to buy the diesel to do this stunt? Hint hint diesel oil!?!?

    February 25, 2012 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. rearden215

    This is the same person who sat around reading the ratings for her tv show hoping they would go higher and higher.

    Higher and higher, of course, meant more and more television sets consuming massive amounts of electrical energy.

    Not to mention all the 'publicity' she is hoping to generate on the net which, of course, consumes no energy at all. Right?

    February 25, 2012 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
    • csmallfield

      Why can't someone have ideals bigger than themselves? Why is everyone's first reaction to try and make someone a hypocrit. Even if she was, does that change the fact that the message she is sending is true and factual and important? Whenver I read a comment like this, I immediately think that person justifies all of their own misdeeds by bringing everyone else down around them. sad.

      February 25, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tyron

    oh and way to go on getting off topic too.... rock paper scissors....

    February 25, 2012 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. John

    Wow she looks OLD!

    February 25, 2012 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. DeathToBigOil

    They are upset now, wait till humanity declares Total War on their toxic groups!!!

    February 25, 2012 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  9. Gene Cole

    She certainly has gone downhill. Bring back Xenia!

    February 25, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. John

    My wife's great grandmother was the last Cherokee Warrior Princess. When my wife's not happy, grown men RUN FOR THEIR LIVES!

    February 25, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. John

    She is actually helping oil companies profits. The fear factor from Eco-terrorists helps keep the price of oil high. Does Xena get royalties from Shell? Every minute she spends protesting brings in MILLIONS OF DOLLARS for ALL big oil companies.

    February 25, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  12. Gladiator

    Send Spartacus's rebel army to handle this problem in New Zealand

    February 25, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  13. truthfulster

    All you liberals are arguing for is a 50-50 proposition, if we don't drill for oil we all die anyway but I'd rather be warm with the ability to have light at night in the mean time. Instead of protesting what some genius discovered many years ago and we still use today, put some of your genius to use and discover something we can use which is perfect and cheap to use for heat, light and to make our cars move but you can't. You're all a bunch of windbags complaining about something you can't make right so you complain about whats wrong. You're just another form of politician and boy do they SUCK!!!!!

    February 25, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      More electricity comes form coal than oil. More homes are heated with natural gas than oil.

      February 25, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  14. No Headroom

    I still want to play with her greenpeace...

    February 25, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. John

    I once met a Gangsta named "LAWLESS" .His girl's name was "LOOSEY" cause she was loose. People said she was loose because Lawless had a giant Johnson.

    February 25, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
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