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. TrueAmerican

    She is a LOSER!!!! Please press charges since she broke the law.

    February 24, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thunder

      All that Silicon shes carrying has to hazardous.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. forreal89

    wow wish I had time to act radical I need to work

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

      obviously you had time to write that. Get off your computer. Mother earth needs you

      February 24, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Handy McHanderson

    Nice rack on that Warrior Princess 🙂

    February 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Colo

      Lawless is naked in a few episodes of Spartacus.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tony

    Green peace, peta and Anonymous are always belly aching about issues but they never have any solutions, thats the reason we (the greater world) will never take them serious.

    February 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • MandoZink

      You've got to be kidding! Solutions abound! The whole reason for the protests are that people are ignoring the solutions. The status quo is maintained by money interests and people who are told not to think or care. By the way, the 1% on top have great lobbyists – the rest have none.

      February 24, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. KC

    Gooooo Lucy! To hell with shell.

    February 24, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Booaaah

    When they start ripping up Antarctica, the last place left not destroyed by humans, pick me up, I'll help!!!

    February 24, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Meki60

    she looks like an oil ship

    February 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Richwood7

    The Artic is already being destroyed by clobal warming but the Republicans consider that area expendable.

    February 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dave

    This is why I'm in favor of arming merchant vessels. If a bunch of "peaceful protestors" (trespassers) can get aboard this easily, what's to stop people with less violent intentions? An armed security force onboard could have thrown these folks off.

    February 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BigDaddy123

    If they are off the coast of NZ and on drilling platform, wouldn't that be the Antacrtic? Just curious...

    February 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • DMM

      The ship is leaving NZ for the Alaska. Not many ships of its kind exist.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Booaaah

      It's leaving for the Arctic. These companies are sending in drilling ships all over the world for "exploratory" purposes. There is a massive oil grab going on for the Arctic from countries and companies all over the world. It's so gross. Antarctic is also being aggressively pursued. Thank God the weather is so inhospitable.

      February 24, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Uncle Toad

    Sail to international waters and shoot them for piracy.

    February 24, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ClamForbes

    The acting jobs must not be panning out much for Xena...bless her heart.

    February 24, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Colo

      She's one of the leads in Spartacus, the popular Starz series.

      February 24, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    I oppose Greenpeace.
    Peace is nice, if sometimes inappropriate.
    A lot of times, I dislike the color green because someone I hated was fond of green. She is currently dead.
    Emeralds are nice.

    February 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Peace4All

    I wonder what kind of coverage and reaction we would have if Ms Lawless and her group had trespassed on an abortion clinic. Trespass is trespass. The sea is no place to have a direct confrontation; somebody can easily be hurt or worse.

    February 24, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tom

    Simple – the owners can bring them along, & when they beg to get off after months straight onboard simply tell them to find & secure their own transportation back. Or else swim back – Meanwhile they might also learn a few things about how safe the drilling operations are, and would likely end up changing their tune. A little education while out on the job won't hurt them a bit.

    February 24, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jobs for all

      I agree maybe the bunch would enjoy working the rig and stay on board. Helping to run a safe and responsible operation that protects the environment is a core value.

      February 24, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
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