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. Obama

    This is "Lawless"!

    February 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Texas Coyote

    If anyone asks yet again, why the OCCUPIERS (OCCUPY is a worldwide permanent protest movement for justice and more equity for the working class) all over the United States and World are protesting. Listen up!“You control our world. You've poisoned the air we breathe, contaminated the water we drink, and copyrighted the food we eat. We fight in your wars, die for your causes, and sacrifice our freedoms to protect you. You've liquidated our savings, destroyed our middle class, and used our tax dollars to bailout your unending greed. We are slaves to your corporations, zombies to your airwaves, servants... to your decadence. You've stolen our elections, assassinated our leaders, and abolished our basic human rights as human beings. You own our property, shipped away our jobs, and shredded our unions. You've profited off of disaster, destabilized our currencies, and raised our cost of living, while lowering our wages. You've monopolized our freedom, stripped away our education and have almost extinguished our flame. Now you (international and domestic corporations) are trying to cripple/sabotage the internet by making our U.S. Congress create and pass SOPA/PIPA type legislation to end our ability to communicate and/or protest online effectively!! We are hit...we are bleeding... but we ain't got time to bleed. We will bring the giants to their knees and you will witness our revolution! WAKE UP AMERICA! SUPPORT OCCUPY!

    February 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • WiscBadger

      Sure hope you don't drive a car, heat your home or eat cooked food because that causes air pollution. Where do you think all that energy comes from?

      February 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coyotes are kill innocent sheep

      These are the words of a stark raving madman.... so let's see. Oil, which NATURALLY is produced in ground will kill all our grand kids? You are an idiot. .... or are you? is this more about having a crazy cause so that you can inflict mayhem and disrupt everyone else's lives. Maybe you are an environmental dictator, twisting science so that can bully people into giving in to your demands.

      Xena should have been thrown overboard into the ocean, where she could play with the dolphins and actually get a taste of how harsh the environment really is.

      February 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • 66Biker

      Yet another misinformed Texas wingnut. I don't know what you think SOPA/PIPA is about, but it sure appears you have the wrong idea. Because it has nothing to do with the ability to communicate and/or protest online. It's a weak attempt to stop online piracy. In other words, the theft of Intellectual Property. Something you obviously know nothing about since you don't have any.

      February 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Magical Arctic

    We support Greenpeace and Lucy Lawless! Stop Shell and all other oil companies. Enough is enough! It is all about money! The big companies are raping Mother Earth but only a few say STOP. Wake up people! At this rate our grandchildren wil be paying the price for everything. We do not need oil. Science has provided us with alternative clean energy long time ago but it touches the pockets of the big companies. Time for a change, time for a better world, time for taking responsibility in our hands instead of watching others. Stop the censor of news, stop the oil companies TODAY!! No more drilling, no more oil! Show your support! #SaveTheArctic

    February 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oil - it couldn't be more natural

      Yeah, oil is the evil in this world. It brings warmth, powers our factories and allows us to work. And the enviros in the their self-righteousness want it all shut down. Not, used in an appropriate way or used carefully. Just shut down because they want it. The problem is, the facts don't support the crazies accusations. Oil spills can be damaging to the environment. But if done right (not like in Saudi Arabia), it has a limited effect and the environment does come back. And if done right oil spills can be few and far between.

      So my point to the fools that give their lives to save a couple of sardines ... if you live in a house that is warm, drive a car or bus, you are a hypocrite...if you really believe this you wouldn't be part of the system.

      February 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOB

      Oil...nautral, you are clueless about how arctic ecosystems work.

      February 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • FairbanksAk

      While I am not really a fan of greenpeace, I applaud any effort to bring light to this situation. I live in Alaska, so oil is a constant issue. Oil companies always say they can minimize the chances of a spill, and if a spill does occur they always say they have an effective cleanup plan. Then when the inevitable spill happens they flail around without a proper response. Everyone hears about the big spills, but there are small spills all the time. Another concern is that people don't seem to understand that the environmental impacts in the arctic are not only greater because of the climate, the environment takes much longer to heal than most folks could ever imagine. Look at the Exxon Valdez. It was said nothing would happen, if it did they were prepared for the containment and clean up. It happened, they weren't prepared, the environment has not yet healed, Exxon is still fighting responsibility in court and those who lost their livelihood (a potentially sustainable one) have yet to be fairly compensated. So lets look at the facts and history of the oil companies, and not buy in to false promises.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • JLPl

      What should we use for heat, jobs and to power our vehicles? Not everyone is an actor.If you drove to the ship,you probably burned gas or used electricity,either way, you consumed energy.The ship you illegally boarded burns fuel of some kind.

      February 26, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bp

    i think its time that some people realize that by doing this, it doesnt change the course of anything. shell will still drill no matter what. its not all about money, its about providing energy for our future. so the next time you complain about drilling and gas prices, take alook at everything you use in your daily life, because over half the things you use is a petroleum based product or contains a form. taking over oft he noble rig is stupid, in a way that puts the personels life at risk along with the activists. last time i checked, ones life was more valuable than a simple protest.

    February 26, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lobelia

    I generally believe in what Greenpeace believes in, and I even believe that non-violent protest in principle can be used to good effect, but I do not support Greenpeace's specific tactics in this instance or most others I've read about. Sorry, Greenpeace.

    February 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lucy Fan

    I say good for her! All these people trying to make her look bad just needs a new hobby. Either that or they rather see celebs like Britney Spears get arrested for drugs or alcohol abuse or for being simply psychotic.

    I'm glad Lucy is out their doing something she believes in, even if she will be arrested. At least it isn't over something stupid. She's sacrificing her freedoms for something right, and that is pretty selfless. She is doing it for the environment, her children, and future grandchildren. If our species doesn't stop acting parasitic and using up all the Earth's resources there will be no Earth left to live on. Or at least it won't be able to support life.

    Lucy, I have been your fan since I was like nine or ten years old. I will continue to be your fan until I am old and gray.

    February 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. warrenhart

    i say let them stay up there the rig should depart for its destination,lets see how fast those fools cry and come scrambling down the rig when they realize they have a 6,000 mile journey at sea.
    quit kow- towing to these fools,if they sit in front of a train,run them over,if they chain themselves to a tree,cut it down,if they steer their boats in front of other ships,ram them.
    they only do this stuff because they think they wont get hurt

    February 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • GBG

      Sure do that and watch public opinion of your company plummet. Remember that the majority of the people will always side with a David over a Goliath no matter what the issue at stake is.

      February 27, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. klubweb

    High Seas Hypocracy: Lucy's shirt is a blend of cotton and polyester (Petro Baby), the device them drove out to the rig used Petro...or I forgot...they used her so they didn't need to use gas...her "manish arms" were enough to oar out. Common on people...get real and honest. Petro has been good for everyone and will continue to allow civilization prosper.
    Put down the hate and turn on the "pump." Remember the old adage: People who pump together, stay together...and I don't mean pump in the procreation way either. Just a thought.

    February 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenna Luo

      Ha ha. So well said. Couldn't agree with you more.
      Thanks for the savvy prose in the sea of insanity.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. April

    they walked out there? Looks like Xena walks on water... That boat was made of something.. wood or plastic.. which is oil.. Or it burned gas to get there.. She did not walk out there.. Come on. I am all for saving the world and all but dob't be stupid about it.

    February 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      She's a Cylon. You can't trust Cylons.

      February 26, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • "TM" TAG MEL

      Baby opens door into Indian trafficking ring
      Officials investigate suspected brothels

      February 26, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Judy

    I respect Lucy for taking action and walking her talk! She is fierce and able and DOING what she believes in!! I support her and Greenpeace in this effort!!

    ...and man arms...really? Anyone who resorts to childish name calling in an effort to be heard is a loser. Period.

    February 26, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fr33th1n3r

      So maybe you and Lucy can put your heads together, Judy, and suggest to mankind an alternative for:

      1) plastic
      2) gasoline
      3) rubber
      4) polyester
      5) rayon

      Until you can find viable alternatives to the above– you should shut your mouths and realize YOU are just as much a part of the problem as Exxon, Chevron, BP, Opec, etc.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Winston5

      way to fight the power there, Fr33th1n3r. (toolsayswhaaa?!)

      February 26, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • fiskenmann

      You need to get laid!!!

      February 27, 2012 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. Stevi

    While I agree that people need oil to "survive", I also support conservation efforts. I don't see why we must destroy an ecosystem for our own selfish gain. Warm houses, factories, everything that is using crude oil.. There are obvious alternatives, but the manufacturing of said alternatives is expensive. Sadly, America can't afford to make these changes but it would be nice if they could..

    February 26, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. SatelliteSteve

    Just read an article where:"Gas was 31 cents a gallon and a postage stamp was 3 cents." Some of you must remember we all wore cotton shirts made in the USA. If I may translate why most posts here are missing the point is: We like cheap stuff. We sell our oil for a profit. We don't need to do that. We let our best companies leave for cheaper labor costs. We should have taxed them to death. We didn't. OIL: It won't last another 30 years. Then what do we do? Stupid people with stupid remarks can't see up the road 100 years? Don't have kids stole their future.

    February 26, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Georjetset

    Less & Less oil in the planet means more radical & dangerous drilling. We need to shift our energy consumption habits from oil to something else....and fast!

    February 26, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bp

    yes we can have alternatives. however the companies that have tried, have gone bankrupt. Bet your bottom dollar oil will be around another 30 years. Not one person in this forum has a crystal ball in there hand to see in the future. Oil just isnt gonna stop flowing like closing a water valve. The technology within the industry very advanced, they know when reserves are at there maturity and they know where new reserves are at. introducing green energy will not happen overnight. the need for petroleum will always be with us. no one can seem to grasp that reality.

    February 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Fr33th1n3r

    I find it funny that most of the people who do things like this and protest the drilling for petroleum:

    1) wear synthetic fibers like polyester and rayon– just like the rest of us non-holier-than-thou's.
    2) drive gasoline powered vehicles
    3) drive gasoline powered vehicles that run on rubber tires and need various grades of oil to run
    4) use plastic products and electronics as much as the rest of us

    In short, it is difficult to take the uber-hardcore conservation types like Greenpeace serously, unless they start wearing loincloths and driving Flintstone cars with their feet pidder-padding under the car instead of an internal combustion engine....

    February 26, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
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