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. Joe

    I hate to tell those greenpeace folks, but the Artic is in the north and New Zealand is in the south by the Antartic...

    She should take off her shirt in disgrace...

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

      Did you read the article? The ship is sailing from NZ to the Arctic.

      February 24, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr. B

      Reading comprehension isn't your strong suit, is it?

      February 24, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jerry

    Lucy, let them babes lose!

    February 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. / Through a Scanner, Darkly /

    Has she given up living with all petroleum products? This would also include ANY product brought to stores by a motor vehicle. I would have a Lot of respect forThat.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Chad

    man she did not age well

    February 24, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Eric

    Rising oil prices is probably not the best time to be protesting oil drilling...

    February 24, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. James Andrews

    So, Lucy Lawless is protesting oil drilling. Okay, how does she get to the States from New Zealand? Her carbon footprint has to be about 5,000 time mine. I'm not impressed. I'll also bet you that with her millions from acting, her house and vehicle carbon footprint is likewise way way higher than mine. Hollywood hypocrites!!!

    February 24, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • IndyGirl

      She lives in New Zealand not the States

      February 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lou

    So people dont look at the envernmental side. Money and gas and profits. Well with no clean water because of oil spills we have nothing left. Life on this planet is over. But people only think about their meager short existence. Save me money now and polute all you want. Let the next generations take care of our mess. Exxon was what, about 25 years ago. Still going to take a generation or a few to get back to some kind of normalcy in that region. Gulf coast 1st decade of the new millenium. Damage done. GL to us all. If we dont think about this planet......who will???

    February 24, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • James Andrews

      I agree with you 100%. I just don't tolerate hypocrites very well. The change from fossil fuels has to be slow and gradual. And it must come with a PLAN ... not a simple protest.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • anon

      @ james, protests are how attention is drawn to these issues, and we are all hypocritical at times, whether we are prepared to admit it or not.

      February 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jinpei

      Really, no clean water left on the Earth? Are you serious??

      February 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MJ

    More importantly, .. Lucy Shows them puppies off on Spartacus. Can't wait for the next episode !

    February 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. davenyusa

    You really shouldn't use the word "ya'll" and then accuse someone ELSE of being stupid.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • SherwoodOR

      And if you're going to use y'all, spell it right.

      Y'all is a contraction, much like you're. You're is the contraction of you and are. Therefore, an apostrophe is inserted at the point where the two words are contracted, between the u and the r.

      Y'all is a contraction of you and all. Therefore, an apostrophe is inserted at the point where the two words are contracted, between the y and the l.

      February 24, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • fritz

      Yawl don't spell it this way? :op

      February 24, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

      You understand contractions.
      Now do research into spelling "y'all" as "ya'll" in a celebrated tattoo boo-boo and T-shirt slap at grammar.

      February 24, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captain Kirk

      Ty Mr.Spock

      February 25, 2012 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick1948

      Ya"ll is singular. All ya'll is plural.

      February 25, 2012 at 5:51 am | Report abuse |
    • JonnyFreedom

      "Y'all" not 'ya'll' is plural – it means 'you all'. welcome to the south

      February 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Wow! I wish that we could teach this simple lesson to the entire world, particularly the ignorant news media, who think that ya'll is made-up expression used only by ignorant Southerners. Thank you, SherwoodOR, for your beautiful attempt to educate the few that are reading this.

      February 25, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Fr33th1n3r

      Can you also instruct us how to spell "PETTY"....?

      February 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Duke5343

      Yaall the proper spelling & pronuncing is YAaLL (ONE WORD) "Lake Conroe Texas "

      February 27, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Dr. B opposed to the term "youse guys" that I have heard from other regions of the country? Yeah... That sounds VERY intelligent.

      February 24, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      it is not youse guys , it is younse guys

      February 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aeromechanic

      Forum grammar cop ALERT!!!

      February 25, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
    • ccarracing

      Right On! Everyone knows it should be Yous Guys!

      February 25, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • PantyRaid

      Unless there is a shotgun involved...

      February 25, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • James

      Thats awfully jingoistic of you isn't it?

      February 25, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • pUCKLES


      February 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      Hey stupid!!

      " Y'all" is short for "you all".

      Before you go calling someone stupid, check yourself... and your grammar/spelling.


      February 25, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      And it is a contraction ONLY used by those who are illiterate and uneducated ok STUPID!!!!!!

      February 26, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Hey Stupid, Y'all is a contractiononly used by the illiterate and uneducated, you got that STUPID!!!!!!

      February 26, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jinpei

      Actually, you misspelled that genius. Try "y'all", as it is a contraction of the words 'You' and 'All'. Try looking it up in the dictionary (its in there.)

      February 27, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. Skipbt

    @Joe-..."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,"
    Perhaps reading the whole story would have helped

    February 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jinpei

      The President OK'ed more drilling. He must not think the "threat" is very high. Whats the problem?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. al

    shouldn't she be busy filming spartacus?

    February 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bubba

    I've a strange craving for some Hot Pockets right about now........................................

    February 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. not a flattering picture

    not a good picture...

    She's actually quite attractive. She's got nice boobs and a nice butt.

    Is Sparticus on Netflix yet?

    February 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • SPF

      Can' t she just do her Xena battle cry. that's all we want to hear anyway.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jinpei

      If she wore here Xena costume, now that would get a lot more exposure...

      February 27, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Throw them in jail

    These self-righteous, self-appointed protesters are determined to cram their vision of the world down the rest of our throats. This is just another cheap publicity stunt to raise funds for that multinational environmental group Greenpeace. As for Lucy Lawless, what has she done lately? Just another washed up actress trying to get some attention. The New Zealand police should arrest these people and the courts should send him to jail for a good long time. That might be a disincentive to the next bunch of environmental zealots thinking of doing the same thing.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • ah ha

      Sure and the GoP Republican would never do the same thing to the women of this country. You spew pure hiporocy my fiend.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nero

      I just don't understand how you can be so ignorant. You have no valid points. Why do you think it's okay to continue in our ignorance which will end in the destruction of earth and ultimately mankind.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr. B

      "Self-righteous"? And you're not?

      February 24, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Taylor

    I agree with the other posters....has she given up on all oil based products? How did she get to where she is at? Do they have electric ships? How did she get to the ship? did she drive an electric car? If she had an electric car and if she rode in in a electric did the engines stay water?.......Hollywood types are so hipycritical (sp)..woops)

    She tis from New did she get to Hollywood?......electric plane?

    Give me a break!!!!

    Tim Taylor

    February 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sad

      How could she give up oil based products? That doesn't make her a hypocrite. This is an oil drive society and world. We need oil for everything!

      I use my car to go give speeches about how the world's oil supply will be gone in 70 years and we need to think about new forms of energy. Does that make my a hypocrite? no!

      You have to use what there is in the world right now. What technology we do have to then promote new changes. Then make small changes like eating locally, driving less, flying only when you have to, etc. Buy some carbon credits – that at least helps. You can't just go off the grid and live off the land. It's not a solution and it's not practical. You must use oil and products made from it and eat foods that are delivered from oil burning trucks to promote switching to new forms of energy.

      Just like you aren't a hypocrite for hiding behind your computer and the anonymity of the internet to say bad things about people you don't know by also being a Christian.

      Don't be ignorant – it only hurts your side of the argument.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nero

      Uh let's think about this for a second... something you obviously didn't do before spouting off. If their was more alternatives to oil, which their would be if common sense ruled instead of politics, then I'm sure she'd go for it. We can't just stop living our lives because we don't like oil. While we may hate it, we are dependent on it and don't really have much of a choice but to use it. Sure, we can buy hybrids and stuff like that, but we can also make statements, such as what Lucy is doing, and hope that the ignorant politicians that put money before the health of our planet, finally start doing the right thing. Their will be sacrifices to do the right thing, just like american sacraficed to beat the Nazis in WW2. We can't have everything we want it. Sure I'd even like to not have to worry about things like this, but my conscience won't allow me to. The truth is we are slowly but surely destroying the planet for the few, when in the end it is the many if not everyone, that will suffer for our ignorance. It's just common sense.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
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