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. Kevin

    Lucy, show us your big naturals!

    February 24, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gary

    How did she get there? I'm assuming she burned thousands of gallons of jet fuel to get from Hollywood to New Zealand and maybe a couple hundred more gallons of gas or deisel fuel for transportation to the ship. Makes sense to me.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really Jersey

      It is better than sitting around because no one even recognizes you are an actress anymore. At least she got on camera one last time.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      American Express, which by the way is a petroleum based product.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maxine

      How else would she get there? Do you prefer she row a boat? We are a gas driven culture in a gasoline driven world.

      At least she is promoting change. And yes, to promote stopping relying on oil you are going to have to use products that were shipped with oil, drive a car, take a plane, etc. That's the world we live in.

      What are you doing to help solve the issue? Oil isn't a renewable resource you know. Once it's used up... it's gone!

      February 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • MyTake

      Of the thousands of people flying ... she is making a difference ...

      February 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • IndyGirl

      She lives in New Zealand

      February 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff

    I don't understand what everyone has against someone protesting. We protested the way we were treated by England and we started a revolution. Woman protested in order to not be treated like second class citizens and also be able to vote. All that changed by protests. The civil rights movement and protesting led to the end of segregation. We still act like protesting is a negative. Some of the best things involving our country came out of believing in a cause and protesting for it.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • onesittingbill

      Well said my friend

      February 24, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • anon


      February 24, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. js007

    I respect her for taking a stand – I just wish more of us would!

    Those of you who are hurling insults need to think about what you are protecting – a plutocracy of old men pushing their dirty energy down our throats, buying off politicians, and protecting the status quo by sowing doubt about solid science.

    The easiest way to feel ok about not doing anything about a serious issue like global warming is to pretend it's not happening – but your children who are going to suffer the consequences will not be so cavalier about reality.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • starbright

      oh, you don't use any "dirty energy"...ever? how are you even typing comments from a computer/phone then? i'm confused.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan Pellman

      you dont know what putocracy even means, you used it wrong,,,,,,,,,hahahahah and the device you used to type that on was made from oil........hahhaha you stupid hypocrit

      February 24, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Busted

      @starbright – I love how clever you people think you are. Let the environmentalist dictate energy policy and we won't be so dependent on dirty energy sources. This is about changing the souces we have today, honestly how is it so easy to make people like you look so dumb?

      February 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      I thought it was the hole in the O-zone layer? No wait it's global warming. No wait this week it's climate change. This week it's back to global warming. What new scare tactic lie will environmentalist tell us next week to scare us into believing their lies and doing what they tell us?

      Of course the earth is warming, it has been doing that for billions of years long before humans even existed. The fact that we supposedly are having such a huge impact on the earth's climates is hilarious and also completely unproven. Not one scientist has been able to provide accurate and credible data that man is causing the climate changes.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • BethTX

      I hope you're posting from a computer that runs on vegetable oil.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really Jersey

      Yet another twit protesting while using something made with the resources they are yammering about. How long do you spend on facebook js007? You know you could actually (gasp) meet with your friends in person to talk to them & conserve precious resources! That word is C O N S E R V E . Try walking to the mall too.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maxine

      @Matt – get your head out of the ground and turn away from FOX News and you'll learn the truth. Every credited scientist agrees in Climate Change. It's well known that more carbon in the air causes temperature changes. And we are putting more carbon into the air then ever before. As for the ozone – we recognized the problem, changed some habits, and thankfully the hole in the ozone issue was dramatically combatted. Just like when people turned their attention to hunting whales – now many of their populations are coming back after the Save the Whales Campaign in the 80's.

      Your ignorance hurts your message, your cause, and your side on the issue. My side, that climate change is real and is worsening due to human activity, is backed up by fact.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really Jersey

      Nope, the scientists are arguing about climate cycles now Maxine. Sorry you didn't get the memo .Funny, none of them go down & confront the people slashing & burning the rainforest. Without it, there will not be enough oxygen & we won't have to worry about the magnetic polar shift. Try supporting the Arbor Foundation. Most effective eco friendly environmental group. They actually get their hands dirty(unlike the broad with her rusty bosom) & do something concrete. They Plant Trees! Year after year without fanfare, they try to compensate for deforestation. Plus it is legal, & doesn't get you cavity searched. It is not newsworthy enough for the aging HOLYWOOD stars, pretending to be saints, though. Is this the 21 century midlife crises... California style? It's like they all suddenly wake up in their 40s & say "I must do something meaningful to talk about with my friends". Face it, this gal isn't a method actress, no Shakespeare, no Broadway...Last hurrah time. It would have been nice if she hadn't given the publicity to Greenfreaks who I remember well for being idiots at sea. Time to sigh & wonder why there is such a lack of intelligence in the entertainment industry.

      February 24, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • anon

      @reallyjersey, most scientists agree about climate change, it is only a few flat-earthers that are still in denial. 90% of climate-change denying scientists work for oil companies, so you could hardly say they are non-biased.

      February 24, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really Jersey

      Anon,if a group is not part of the solution they are part of the problem. Greenpeace has a record that sucks donkey b@lls. Try a REAL environmental group. There is one in your town, state, or country that needs hands that don't mind picking up trash along the shore in the annual shore cleanup(done that), hands to plant trees to reforest for Arbor day(done that). There are show offs that don't know enough about the sea & pollute the water with raw sewage(Greenpeace, look it up) OR groups that actually DO SOMETHING. Ask Lard@ss whether her gardener uses pesticides or chemical fertilizers Hmm. A large percentage of the ocean's pollution is runoff from lawn care. The chemicals also do a number on honey bees. Did you know their numbers are declining to dangerous levels. Plant flowering plants. Plant milkweed. There is a website to save monarch butterflies where you can get seeds. If you want a better world DO SOMETHING. All this LOOK AT ME GARBAGE is USELESS. She is nothing but a hypocrite fading star who jets from HOLYWOOD (it's not a typo...they think they are saints) to New Zealand gulping down the same petroleum she protests. Give me a real person who builds inner city gardens out of an abandoned lot instead, they actually DID SOMETHING I can admire!

      February 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. David in Houston

    You go, Lucy!

    February 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Really Jersey

    She can't get an acting job so she is trying to keep herself relevant. Waste of news film.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Busted

      Again another republican that has to literally make something up to solidify a position. It's flat out crazy how dumb some of you are.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maxine

      Sad. Does posting a comment about someone you don't know anonymously on the internet like that make you happy? How Christian of you (assuming you're a right wing christian wacko like the others on here).

      February 24, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • epicjourney

      Busted: If a liberal says a thing then it must not be true. for every dishonest repub there are numerous amoral lying corrupted libs sucking from the public teat. A lib representative does not vote for a tax increase unless they have first figured out how to get around it. Just look at Nancy Pelosi ( I would also mention Ted Kennedy but one should not speak ill of the dead).

      February 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      Spartacus season 3 dee dee dee

      February 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really Jersey

      I am just tired of fading Hollywood hypocrites who jet to other countries for their cause du jour. Yep, nothing like using up those resources & spewing carbons into the air for attention to try reviving their careers. We still have babies dying for that crusade against vaccines another H O L Y W O O D bimbo with more hair than brains launched because her eggs were less than fresh.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really Jersey

      Sad. To be idolizing shallow people. Especially one whose claim to fame is wearing cheesy costumes that prompted adolescents to "abuse" themselves with their hands while watching.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • anon

      No-one is idolizing anyone, simply saying good on her for taking a stand for the benfit of us all. I believe it is you who is sad, obviously very bitter and envious.

      February 24, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really Jersey

      I can compare my carbon footprint to rusty metal tahtahs & come up a 100Xwinner. Stars have big images to maintain that require them to have a huge consumption of resources per person in their homes & profession. I do not use a lawn company, bet she does. I use no lawn products, pesticides, or gas powered trimming equipment. Lawn companies always do & the runoff from the lawn products & pesticides is a major component in water pollution. My vegetables are grown organic & use NO petroleum to transport. Hers have to be transported. I get fresh eggs from a friend who has chickens, recycle & have a mulch pile for organics. I conserve energy. I participate in beach sweeps. Plant trees. I bet she spends most of her time on planes(guzzle guzzle guzzle) or on film sets that ooze with petroleum usage .
      Puttering in a garden as soon as it is light out during the season, breathing the scent of my flowers as I watch the birds & bees is a tranquil revivifying experience. In the winter, I kick back, with good book & a cup of tea. Not only do I live my life better... I enjoy it better. Sucks to be her.

      February 26, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Q

    Lucy Lawless can 'protest' me any time!

    February 24, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ellis

    idiots. all of them.

    Build some nuclear plants. It's the greenest form of energy we have today, yet greenpeace and their mentally-challenged followers would have us return to the technology of the age of Sparticus to survive and not use any natural resources.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carawaigh

      Explore thorium-based and pebble-bed technology. The hazards of accidental release and waste can be greatly reduced.
      Better yet, let's get on the stick with fusion, shall we? Not to mention solar for low demand-high reliability applications. What's the excuse there, anyway?

      February 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Groan

    That dirty energy is powering your PC/MAC/I-pad/etc. Oh by the way, a few million years ago the ambient temperature was higher then now. Were the dinosaurs driving fossil fueled vehicles? The planet cycles through temperature ranges naturally, geology tells us so. Meteorology tells us so. Global warming sells books/movies/t-shirts. Now look into something that is being contributed to by man, say the massive rise in heavy metals in water, the environments reaction to toxic waste, lazy people who throw their trash into the street cause they're lazy. It won't make a high end movie or sell a book, but it's how us normal folks can contribute.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Gerky

    That picture is prime for a photoshopping.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BethTX

    Well, she's a washed-up actress known only for a campy series that went off the air years ago. How else does she get publicity these days?

    February 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sad

      Do you have nothing better to do than leave negative comments about people you don't know anonymously on the internet? I feel sad for you.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really Jersey

      I think Sad is the president of the remainder of her fan club. You really dig women in armor, we get it, Sad. You must dream of polishing it Hmmm!

      February 24, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • IndyGirl

      She has been in all three seasons of Spartacus. Before that, Battlestar Galactica.

      February 25, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Busted

    Loughner you need to take your pills. This post doesn't make any sense, it's as if you pieced together all the things you heard on Fox News this week into a single comment. It's just dribble.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      "Drivel", as long as you're on the subject of making sense...

      February 27, 2012 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bobbie

    If they want to be on the boat so bad, let them go along for the 6,000 mile ride!! Let her eat her chocolate and peanuts until they run out! Maybe they would think twice about trespassing in the future!!

    February 24, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • BethTX

      Plus, I hope that chocolate was not made using cocoa picked by slave children in Africa, Lucy. And did you ever stop to think that some of your radical compatriots might be allergic to peanuts?

      February 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Willy B.

    She should breed with that other blowhard Al "I Invented the Internet" Gore.....Fat ugly babies make efficient fuel.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bcinwi

    green peace is one of the reasons we cant drill anwr for oil....a bunch of tree huggin hippies that are causing us to pay more at the pump .....someone should do us all a favor and sink that ship their on

    February 24, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
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