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. The Mic

    I wonder if Lucy understands that her hard hat, vest, shirt & lettering, gloves, glue & lettering on the greenpeace sticker as well as the sticker itself that she is wearing all are made with additives that come from crude oil. If you don't believe me then check out the NPRA, National Petroleum Refiners Association.

    February 25, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • pUCKLES

      You do not know what you are talking about. GP does not use these sources. There ARE alternatives. Duh.

      February 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keyser

      Moron. Unrewarding accusations.

      February 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • JLS639

      Hmm... Let's apply that to other situations. A city limit raises the speed limit on a residential street to 50mph. When people protest, folks like you (The Mic) say "You are too stupid to know people need cars."

      The Greenpeace activists were protesting specific drilling activities and specific oil spills not being cleaned up, as the article made clear. They were not opposed to all oil mining. Your position is weak because in order to criticize them you need to misrepresent their position (i.e. lie about them).

      February 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bentley

      Well said and so true.

      February 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • PMS

      So, which oil company do you work for? And how much are you paid?

      February 25, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • erm...

      "The oil that is captured will be burnt in the air to rain more destruction down on our grand children," she said.
      I think that falls into the "opposed to all oil mining" category.

      I find activist environmentalists and all-consuming capitalists equally foolish, most of the time.

      February 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Xena the hypocrite

      Don't argue with facts.... dang it.

      February 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Spartacus

    Gas prices rise 0.20, then drop 0.10. Rise another 0.15, then drop 0.5. And so on, and so on...
    Lately, after any talk in Washington over tax hikes for the wealthy and/or an improving economy guess what happens? An increase in gas prices.

    February 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • lance

      thats right folks listen to the know it all liberals and vote obama back in office – great gas prices and national debt that your great great grand kids can deal with.

      February 25, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. pUCKLES

    Go Lucy...Go Lucy......!

    February 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Keyser

    She's a Cylon, dammit!

    February 25, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • heeler


      February 25, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. E.L.

    Lucy Lawless, I love you. I love you Lucy Lawless. You're one of those celebrities who get into the news not by doing stupid illegal things or getting into stupid relationships, but by doing conscientious and courageous illegal things that you believe in. When I'm a 43 year-old hot mama of 3 kids like you, I want to still have my civil disobedience in me and do what is right for the collective good of the planet. Thank you for showing me that when a woman gets married and has kids, she doesn't have to become more conservative, but can still make sacrifices for her ideals. (Last time you were in the news you were a guest at TED, another of my favorite organizations. Damn it, do you ever get into the news doing something stupid like all the other celebrities?)

    February 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • max

      excellent. love that you wrote this 🙂

      February 25, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • EZRick

      Xena, Warrior Princess – hell yeah!

      Using your celebrity for the greater good, and not wasting it as too many in Hollywood do.

      I'm showing this article to my 10 year old daughter, and bringing it in to show my college classes as an example of modern day activism. You've become this business professor's new hero!

      February 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • dion

      EZRICK – show your friends some of the episodes of LAWLESS in the STARZ Spartacus series – SHES HOT

      February 25, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. forreal89

    Looks like someone is searching for that long lost notoriety

    February 25, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Spuny Ned

    If you really want to see Lucy doing something for humanity go to Youtube.

    February 25, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. earl

    just a silly unt!

    February 25, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Moonshine

    EARTH FIRST !!!!!!!! we'll drill for oil on the other planets later........

    February 25, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Carl

    Why don't the cops just go arrest these criminals? I can't break into someone's house and get to stay there forever by holding up a protest sign.

    February 25, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Well, no, but it *is* a damn fine way to get shot, depending on who owns the house you try to "protest" in.

      February 25, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kenny

    @ the guy in the back. If your gonna do this at least bring a hard hat! Drill rigs are dangerous.

    February 25, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. reywang

    Who authorized alll these hollyweed losers to act on everybody's behalf.They party all night eating excotic foods like caviar,lobster,and seafood that some are in danger of overcatching.Doing their desisner drus and they have the gall to preach.What a bunch of losers.I don't need no hollyweed loser to represent me for no cause.I don't buy no movies from these socialist losers.

    February 25, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      1. She is from New Zealand, and not Hollywood.
      2. She is an activist; no one has to authorize her to act upon a cause she believes in. She volunteers.
      3. You have spoken for yourself, and it speaks volumes about the kind of person you are.

      February 25, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cora

    You go, grrrl!

    February 25, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. christy

    Shouldn't the shirt say Save the ANTarctic !!!

    February 25, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • ella jay

      no ... because altho NZ is near the antarctic, you'll notice the article says, e.g., a "6,000 mile journey" [to drill in the arctic] ... and the whole project is 'save the arctic'. so, no ... but had the question been, which polar ice mass is nearer to new zealand, you would have answered correctly 🙂

      February 25, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul Johnston, PhD Economics

      Thank god somebody's got some balls to stand up against the destruction of the earth– and it took 'Zena' to do it!

      February 26, 2012 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dee Green

    How about a shirt that says "Stop Greenpeace. Help humans." The Arctic can take care of "itself" just like it's done for billions of years.

    February 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
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