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. Hahahahahaha

    Aww that's so cute and insignificant.

    February 25, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. sam

    Lucy is mother who is teaching her children to break the law.Welcome to the terrorist list Lucy. You are now a eco terrorist. You nothing but a criminal and hope to God Shell throws the book at the lot of you.Shell should not change their plans to find new oil- to do so would be caving to blackmail– note to Shell update your security... they walk right in Lucy herself said she was surprise no one stop them.SUE THEM Their are nothing but CRIMINALS– why isn't the nz police dragging thir asses offf to jail.nz police need to man up/pathetic///what a bunch of nz losers with Lucy at the top.

    February 25, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • ella jay

      lucy is showing her children to stand up for what's important to them, because those in power aren't always doing the right thing and/or with our best interests in mind. she is teaching them to think for themselves and to not sit mutely and accept the status quo, presumably. i can think of few better messages to teach children. she also is teaching them that the fact that you may fail at something, or that the odds seem insurmountable, is not an excuse to not even try. at least that is what i'm reading. go, lucy,

      February 25, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kurt

      All those "law" breakers are evil and must be executed immediately, like Rosa Parks, Gandhi, and MLK. Because clearly the law is always right? If we believed this way, we'd still have serfdoms and we'd all be eating dung for dinner.

      February 25, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • EdNV

      Terrorist really. Epic fail.

      February 25, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • fritzzz

      You will be one of the first sheep that will get crushed by corporations, your life is getting worse day by day and you protest those that are angry at this. Wake up.

      February 26, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • AmericanAirForce

      Wow Sam. On the Oil Lobby payroll much? Oil is a finite resource my friend, we spill blood over it and it destroys the environment. Ask Nigeria or Equador what Shell and Chevron have done to the jungles and marshes there. You sir are an ignoramus and I feel sorry for you.

      February 26, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael Carrafa III

      THAT'S RIGHT, SAM.....TERRORIST! Just like Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and our other founders of this country that stood up for the RIGHT THING!! Back then it was our country of America and our freedom, now the world stage is everyone's responsibility. One spill is too many. Have you heard of ecosystems, Sam?? Large corporations in search of large revenues are the true criminals and we fight that NOT with loud gunfire but, A LOUD VOICE!!!! DO YOU HEAR ME??

      February 26, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael C

      THAT'S RIGHT, SAM.....TERRORIST! Just like Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and our other founders of this country that stood up for the RIGHT THING!! Back then it was our country of America and our freedom, now the world stage is everyone's responsibility. One spill is too many. Have you heard of ecosystems, Sam?? Large corporations in search of large revenues are the true criminals and we fight that NOT with loud gunfire but, A LOUD VOICE!!!! DO Y.OU HEAR ME??

      February 26, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Xena the hypocrite

      Kurt ... newsflash. You aren't Gandhi or Rev Martin Luther King (MLK just sounds like a type of sandwich) or even Rossa Parks.

      If you want to "save" the environment. Then work for using and reclaiming oil in your own backyard so that the environment isn't put at risk. If something happens in the Arctic ... it all belongs to Greenpeace. Because you've made it impossible to drill safely where we could have drilled (unless of course you have those solar powered cars yet).

      February 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Xena the hypocrite

      terrorist ... yes.

      Gandhi ? Benjamin Franklin, George Washington? You must have been eating lead paint when you were 3... maybe that's the real environmental issue here.

      February 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. EdNV

    Good for you Lucy, and thank you.

    February 25, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jim

    They should either kick their butts off of the ship, and into the ocean, OR arrest them for their CRIMINAL behavior!
    I get so tired of these washed up, hollywood actors, trying to revive their careers with publicity stunts. She's not even a "has been", she is a "wanted to be" actor, that could only rise as high as a children's fantasy show!
    Lock her butt up.

    February 26, 2012 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
    • BarbD

      IMDB is your friend.

      February 26, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. Juton

    I've worked for and with Greenpeace, along with several other humanitarian organizations. It is truly sad how misguided so many people's thoughts are about our Mother earth. As if we can go on taking oil, like we are doing in the Tar Sands, or in the Middle East, forever. Sadly our economies are run on the black blood, but for how long? Some turd said 'save humanity let the arctic take care of itself like it has for billions of years.' Fool, a billion years, man wasn't mucking up the place like we've been doing for the past hundred years...

    Save humanity, how bout starting off with education or if you really want to put that prejudice judgemental hate to work, go to war or get an opinion that is actually intellectually valid. Either way you look at our current economic to planet earth consumption for profit methods, it's time for reform. Eventually you must deny a system of eternal consumption it's belly full, like so many already starving... Second thought, why doesn't that foolish angry kid go work in an orphanage over seas, or in its community. Save something or someone, stop spreading angry foolish words, peace is the key to life, even if we'll never see it.

    The Oil that is being used way up near the arctic, there is no containment plan for an oil spill. Oh no wait, I saw an interview with a C.E.O type person who claimed they had one, and I almost believed him... Until he tried to describe it, as if the weather and harsh conditions of the northern hemisphere near the arctic weren't even a factor... *sigh*

    February 26, 2012 at 3:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Xena the hypocrite

      So maybe the real villain here is Greenpeace.... since they have made it so difficult to drill for oil elsewhere in our globe where we could prevent an oil spill and contain it properly. The issue of the Gulf spill (well, except that it was ecoterroism that caused it) is that it was a deep water drill. We have oil everywhere in the US, yet the politicians pander to the environmentalists and force it out of their neighborhoods (not mind you make sure it is done safely).

      Here's the catch. Greenpeace is all about show, not about really following through. They are all about show, because they need the money and the donations to keep afloat.

      February 26, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. kc10boom

    Personally, I prefer her back on Spartacus and off the oil rigs.

    February 26, 2012 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. Kitty

    She's Xena, she doesn't need to peacefully protest she can just pull out her Chakran and yell Ayiyiyiyi and make the oil companies listen.
    Oh wait, is that really Lucy?

    February 26, 2012 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Amber

      Xena for president!

      February 26, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. Beau A.

    I keep hearing they are not interfering with work on the rig.Well my brother is on the rig trying to overhaul the engines,yet cannot even start working because no one is being allowed on the deck!!!!!! My point is they are stopping people from doing their jobs,trespassing,and worried about this rig which is just exploratory ...It should be Alaska's choice if they don't want the drilling.Go back to California and worry about that coast. DRILL BABY DRILL

    February 26, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Q

      Are the engines on the deck? Seems like an odd place to put them. And she's from New Zealand not California. And why does Alaska get to decide what goes on in the Arctic?

      February 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Xena the hypocrite

      Someone who actually knows what is going on....:-)

      February 26, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jt_flyer

    With gas about to push to a all time high I'd say... Bad timing.

    February 26, 2012 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  10. Frank

    Dont feed them. They'll come down when they get cold and hungry.

    February 26, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Xena the hypocrite

      Love the idea. Day two they run out of the candy bars and sandwiches. Day four they will say they are ready to negotiate. Day 6 they start attacking the innocent seagulls. By day 9 on Xena will survive, feeding off of the others (okay ... not sure if that is appropriate, but it is funny).

      February 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. anonymous

    She is sooo freaking stupid. i hate people like this. there are all kinds of safety reqirments for drilling in the ocean now-a-days. not only that but oil supplies are diminishing. and until they find a way to find alternatives to oil (aka something that is similar) in the future then we will have to keep drilling and find ways to keep getting oil. oil doesnt last forever and it doesnt grow overnight. it takes thousands of years for the earth to produce oil underneath its surface. i hate people like this who protest about stupid things. not only that but risking your safety, other peoples safety is wrong. Especially when you are a mother (or father) you are teaching your children how to break the law, you arent teaching them whats wrong or right. As an actress or not what she did was totally out of line and i hope she loses respect from this stunt.

    Now I am concerned about the earth i live in just as anybody ele cares. i care whats going on and how things are done, but its life, alternatives and technology cant happen overnight, i think everyone knows this. So for all you who support this you are being rediculous. Let the pro's do THEIR job or guess what you will find yourself with nothing and nobody will respect you.

    thats my opinion on the matter

    February 26, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • AmericanAirForce

      Safety requirements? Tell that to the citizens living on the Gulf Coast. Or New Zealand where that tanker ran aground. You probably didn't hear about that last one, yeah, New Zealand just had a bad oil spill several months ago.

      Keep using your finite resource, eventually that well will run dry.

      February 26, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dan Green

    I'm all for alternative forms of energy, if they can be made affordable and available on every street corner like gas stations. We should work on something with the same urgency and zeal that we worked on putting a man on the moon. If for no other reason, because we are held captive by middle eastern countries that would be nothing without their oil. However, for the time being, we need oil, and I believe we should turn over every stone to find it, so we can reduce if not completely eliminate any need for it from the Arab world.

    February 26, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  13. fiskemann

    Uh, lets see.......they walked and/or rowed a canoe all the way to New Zealand to protest? Noooooooooooo, they used some form of transportation that uses fuel that possibly came from the same company they protested.

    February 26, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  14. on_my_soapbox

    Shoot her down like you would anyone else that trespasses on your property and will not leave peacefully. Stick to getting naked on Spartacus lawless and keep making your family proud.

    February 26, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • AmericanAirForce

      She was outstanding on Battlestar Galactica too. I'd be proud. She plays a tough, fully capable woman.

      February 26, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. AmericanAirForce

    I applaud Lucy because she is taking a risk to raise awareness as to the brutal damage Oil Companies are doing not only to the climate but the geopolitical landscape as well. We are bound into servitude for this finite resource, meanwhile, oil companies help suppress alternative fuels and electric vehicles with millions of dollars of lobbying on capital hill. Raise all forms of hyperbole you want, but in the end, human civilization will one day ditch fossil fuels, will be better off for it, and also look back on your disparaging remarks with embarrassment.

    February 26, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
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