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. Fr33th1n3r

    I bet you the boat they used to reach the oil drilling platform runs on gasoline. I bet you that when Lucy Lawless goes home from work, she is driving a gasoline powered car. I am sure a few of those loincloths and brasiers Lucy wore on the show were made from polyester or rayon or some other synthetic, petroleum-based fabric. I am sure Lucy's car uses rubber tires as well. I am sure Lucy has quite a few things in her home that are made of plastic as well. Nothing says "hypocrit" like Greenpeace....

    February 26, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bp

      i agree very much.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Winston5

      You have a firm grasp of the obvious (among other things, I'm sure) sitting in your chair reading articles on the computer. Would you even do anything as "vertical" as Lucy?? (crickets...)

      February 26, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. lewtwo

    II wonder if R. Teheng & D. Manzanill ever expected to see their names in a news story that circled the globe ?

    February 26, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Winston5

    Damn that women's cool. Go Luce!

    February 26, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      lock up the trespassers

      February 27, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  4. Violette

    Our household supports Greenpeace and Lucy Lawless and all the other brave people standing up for all the rest of us who know that the oil companies do not have anyones best interests at heart but their own.

    February 26, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Trying to impose your will by breaking laws is called anarchy. As polite as you try to make it sound it operates on the same principal as a home invader or r-pist.

      And you get to work how? There are laws and regulations that govern how oil companies should explore and extract the sludge you burn in your SUV(yes, I know you know they're bad for the environment but YOUR kids need to be safe or else YOU are not a good mom) and I burn in my Prius. If you don't think they're obeying those laws, drop the dime and report them. If you don't think that the laws are strong enough, lobby. However please spare us the tears and chest beating drama of "they have the government(s) in their pocket!" if so, prove it.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Andrew, I doubt that anyone who has suffered the terror of a home invasion or "r-pist" would agree that this action is anywhere close to the same thing.

      February 27, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Samwise

      "As polite as you try to make it sound it operates on the same principal as a home invader or r-pist." I think it's kinda dumb, but it's not a home and they are doing an act of civil disobedience to make a point. Being a drama queen about it and pretending carrying a sign is equivalent to indecent assault doesn't really make your own point, by the way.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Hello?

      Andrew- If people only follow the law because its "the law" the we never would of had the Civil Rights movement of the '60s, we would still have a prohibition on Alcohol, and you would be a British subject due to no American Revolution. I am so glad i do not live in the world that exist in your head. (and i dont even own a car, let alone a SUV or Prius. I ride a bike and take public transportation by choice. I am 35, have a great career, and am in better physical shape than most 20 year olds.)

      February 27, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Politicat

      ANDREW–Spot on! Couldn't have said it better myself.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Duke5343

      SO your part of the NY Group with sign "I DONT NEED GAS I TAKE THE BUS"

      SO all who support Lawless and Greenpeace- HOW did they get to drill ship- FUEL on their boat thats how, what year did Greenpeace get afine for their BOAT leaking Fuel & OIL 2002?? Guess it is OK if your on the side of RIGHT fighting big OIL who employe people NOT like a Great USG agency-

      You liberal Greenies need to move in a cave and live off the land with NO IPads, Cell phones or autos, kill animals to survive and grow your own food- GROW UP

      February 27, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      So...do what you want when you want if you oppose something. What if zealots oppose Hollywood movies because of moral decay? OK to hold filming hostage?

      February 27, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. kc10boom

    Any woman that can survive a massive attack on her house by Spartacus and crazed gladiators, pretty much does what she wants...Green Peace or otherwise. Long live the domina!

    February 27, 2012 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      are you a boom operator?

      February 27, 2012 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  6. Andrew

    Its too bad she doesn't have the fight in her to actually board actual drill ships in the arctic. That is a little too cold for these Hollywood types. They board the ships while they're in warm weather.

    February 27, 2012 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
    • angryersmell

      They shouldn't be protesting at all. All those hydrocarbons that are trapped in the Earth shouldn't be there; they should be floating around the universe free to do as they please. We're liberating them.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • zrxgrim

      It was actually Zoe Bell that clambered aboard and then Lucy swapped spots with her while Shell called the authorities...

      February 27, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jason

    Lucy can only do this because she has nothing better to do. Now that no one is willing to pay her to run around in a glittery swimsuit, shee feels the need to get attention for herself by trespassing. Get a job, Lucy.

    February 27, 2012 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Duke5343

      Correct – MORE Dollars than Cents

      February 27, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ben

    How is this the #3 story on CNN's world board? Let's see...Syria, Libya, Iranian Nukes, world econ/Greece...ya, I guess this is important.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. citizen

    Throw them in the water. No wait, that would be polluting.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  10. angryersmell

    More drilling. Faster. More power plants. More cars. Go, go, go, go. The faster we drive this train off the cliff, the better. Bring back polio! Down with recycling! BURN, BABY, BURN!!!

    February 27, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. oneyeopen

    How did Lucy get to the platform did they sail? If she doesn't use anything that requires oil (Cars, electricity, any moving mechanism) then she can speak up but we all know she drives cars that use oil so her protset seems flat to me!

    February 27, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  12. dave

    I just paid $4.11 for a gallon of gas and the middle east is getting filthy rich from drilling the desert. Enough said!!!

    February 27, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bongo Charm

    No idea how many days they'll be at sea? Try zero. The ship is clearly in port and not about to sail with stowaways.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  14. D. C.

    How did they get there in order to protest? Well, that's easy.

    First, they coordinated their efforts via a corporation made device called an iPhone. Then, they all got into their corporation produced vehicles and drove to the airport on petroleum-derivative-asphalt coated roads. Then they got onto a corporation made airplane and were served snacks and sodas made by Coco-Cola or Pepsi. Once landing, they got onto a motorized boat and zipped over to the platform.

    Once there, they proudly showed off their mass-produced t-shirts (cotton blend, made on industrial machines) with printing on it (likely screened ink, all of which is made by corporations) and paraded around in their plastic hard hats (petroleum derived), Levis, mass produced Nikes, and ate their company packaged peanuts and chocolate all of which are made from imports (probably).

    Anyway. In order to be a proper protestor, they should have cycled to the coast via leg power, only eating food they grew themselves and wearing cotton blend clothes they also grew themselves and spun + loomed by hand. Then they would take a sail-powered boat across, all while wearing a hard hat made with a giant nut. Since, of course, that is a perfect demonstration of who they are: nuts.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  15. Carl

    $5 a gallon oil doesn't bother her or her rich buddies. People who can't make ends meet and don't have time to wander off to the Artic have a different view.

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