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. Jim Wylie

    I believe she has confused her hemispheres.

    February 25, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • CBRian1K

      Yep. She should stick to showing off her hemispheres on Spartacus.

      February 25, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Valentijn

      The ship is currently in New Zealand, prior to departing for the Arctic.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • kiss

      She grew up and lives in New Zealand, The ship was docked there on the way to the artic. I agree with her if there is a leak in the artic how can we stop it if ships can't get equipment thru because of iceberg's etc. We have enough oil so much so we are exporting to other countries SAY WHAT!!! that's right. We need to keep our oil and lower prices

      February 25, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • VegasRage

      Clearly you are confused since you don't know which hemisphere she is from

      February 25, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. jason

    Stupid Hippies, i never liked that damn show anyway. and she is kinda Ugly without her makeup. GO GET A JOB AND LET ME HAVE MY GASOLINE!!!

    February 25, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Mack

      I'd say that statement is as good an example as any of the typical numbskull American thought process.

      February 25, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • ralf mouth

      there's plenty of gas.The US exports the stuff. remember?

      February 25, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ian

    Another left winger trying to find a reason to live

    February 25, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bill

    Whether or not you agree with her, at least some people are willing to get their hands dirty standing up for what they believe in instead of testing their wittiness from a keyboard.

    February 25, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Athiest Al

      Loved the statement, rotflmao. But who can stop a troll except for the government and internet regulation right.

      February 25, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • kiss

      @atheist al Yeah freedom of speech is bad and should be abolished. Give me a break if you don't like what you read no-one is forcing you to read this blog. go away

      February 25, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • IndyGirl

      Well said

      February 25, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TwoSlick

    I wonder how much oil she burnt in the air (to rain more destruction down on her grand children) to fly to New Zealand for this protest.

    February 25, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      Ummmm...she's FROM New Zealand, so probably not that much.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. Delphi22

    After reading some of these comments, I'd light to add a couple of thoughts:

    1) Lucy Lawless was born and raised in New Zealand and currently resides there. She did not have to travel far for this protest.

    2) She has been an environmentalist for many years. It's a cause that is meaningful to her at her core. This is not any kind of publicity stunt.

    3) She is taking a very big risk by bringing her protests up to this level. She's a highly successful actress (check IMDB if you don't believe me) and she risks alienating fans and show sponsors by doing this. To her, this cause is worth that risk.

    4) A question for those of you bashing her. Have you ever stood up for a single thing in your life? Taken a risk for something you truely believe in? My guess is no. Here's a thought. Instead of attempting to bring her down a notch, why don't you try to bring yourself up a notch?

    5) A question for those of you making rude and immature comments about her body. Really? Really??? Unless you are in junior high, you've got a lot of problems.

    February 25, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • person

      well put kind person.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • silverzurfer

      Brilliant statement Delphi. People complain about the world but don't want to do anything but criticize people trying to make a difference.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • geckopelli

      What he said!

      February 25, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Jr.

      Like the thoughts Delphi22, She's a great person for standing up for what she believes in and people who bash her for that aren't grown up enough see that. And have they every stood up in something they believed in? probably not. If they have there wouldn't be the comments that are posted here. So you go Lucy aka Xena , I would be there if I could and be your Joxer. May the Gods protect you....oh wait you kinda destroyed them ...oops me bad. (love the Xena references? hahaha ;P ). Be safe Lucy keep up the good fight.

      February 25, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • IndyGirl

      This is the best post yet!

      February 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Xena the hypocrite

      Much of Lucy's acting gigs are outside of New Zealand, usually the other side of the world. So,

      1) She must travel by catamaran to the US every month and then back again to see her family.
      2) She heats her home in New Zealand during the colder months by cuddling with her kids and telling stories of how the big corporate world is evil.
      3) She wears animal skins (and you thought it was just acting) so that she didn't have to participate in buy fabric manufactured in China from cotton that come from the US.
      4) The safety vest, helmet, and other clothing (outside of the Greenpeace shirt that was from the US, after being shipped from China from cotton that was shipped from the US) were stolen from an innocent oil rig worker.

      Maybe my subject line is not blunt enough. If you support GreenPeace, you are probably a hypocrite. GreenPeace is a joke and only cares about getting more publicity so they can get more funding from Bob Right and others in Hollywood. If you want oil out of the Arctic, then allow it to be drilled safely in your own back yard. Or you can ride a bike and wear animal skins. Otherwise, you have no credibility.

      February 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. QuixoticBlue

    Good for her–It's an important issue that most people don't pay attention to. I wish more people cared about the potential havoc we're creating in the Arctic by making economic choices instead of environmental ones.

    February 25, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  8. person

    yea! sad part is. they will never be able to stop the oil companies. it is entrenched in too much of modern life. it just sad i will never see all the animals in person that are going to be wiped out.

    February 25, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  9. kegor

    Did she walk to the Arctic? Then she had to use a gas/oil operated vehicle. she should mind her own business, the rest of us Americans are getting tired of environmentalists and Hollywood people and paying high gas/oil prices. When this country has more inground oil than the Middle East.
    And while I'm at, why are we exporting oil, and paying OPEC high prices?

    February 25, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Valentijn

      Did you learn to read? The ship is New Zealand prior to departing to the Arctic.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      While you're at it, you may wanna actually READ the story.

      You sit there asking these questions, regarding the oil companies, but instead of wanting to fix the problem entirely the only thing you worry about is the amount of cash coming out of your pocket? That worry in and of itself should be enough for you to wanna stop burning fossil fuel... But hey, common sense has always eluded the "F Hollywood and Enviromentalists" crowd.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Xena the hypocrite

      Yeah ... you are just asking these really stupid questions. Everyone knows that she "lives" in New Zealand. Except for the many times that she is in California! 😉

      So you missed that part of the story ... and yet are asking the most basic questions that the enviros are missing ... why are we drilling in the Arctic (and the middle east) and not the continental US when we have oil here? Because of GreenPeace. Now isn't that nice.

      February 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. PantyRaid

    I always thought the blonde on the show was better looking. I wouldn't mind taking a peek a Xena's boobies though...

    February 25, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  11. person

    The contraction for you all is not a word and should not be used or glorified. We really need to try and not 'write how we speak', as an English teacher once told me.

    February 25, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  12. palintwit

    At least they know how to spell their protest signs and shirts. Unlike Sarah Palin and her moronic teabagger buddies.

    February 25, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • kiss

      I would add OWS'ers to that list

      February 25, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • palintwit

      @kiss... No. The OWS'ers are for the most part educated. Plus they have all their teeth.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. Delphi22

    One more thing to the Lucy-bashers...

    Her goal was to create awareness to the dangers of arctic drilling. As I have read about this story in numerous places, I can only assume that she has achieved her goal.

    In other words, she's out there doing something positive for the world. You may or may not agree with the cause, but your sad little comments are doint absolutely nothing. If you want to be pro-oil then what exactly are you waiting for?

    February 25, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. Valentijn

    It should be obvious how they got on the ship – Lucy Lawless can fly.

    February 25, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  15. aj

    I just lost all respect for that woman.

    February 25, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • IndyGirl

      I just gained more.

      February 25, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
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