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. blake

    Another leftist Hollywood moron. Who cares what Lawless thinks?

    February 24, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandra

      Obviously you do, or else you wouldn't have commented. "Leftist Hollywood".. you forgot other FAUX NOISE talking points, like MAIN STREAM MEDIA.

      February 24, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Surfer George

      Lots of us do.
      The "THINKING CLASS" (all the way across the political ideological spectrum) actually thinks about the future and the POTENTIAL consequences of our actions today.

      Stay dumb, you'll be dead long before the check comes due.

      February 24, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    Can you spell "y'all?"
    If you can't, can you spell anything?

    February 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MikeInNebraska

    Bring back Xena!

    February 24, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John

    Wonder how much fuel she used to get there?

    February 24, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don Saito

      About one one hundred-thousandth of what it takes to haul a tanker (one way) from New Zealand to Alaska.

      February 24, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. default

    Nice plastic helmet, nylon jacket and gloves, and elastic hair bands. We'll just politely ignore that all of those require oil to manufacture.

    February 24, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Newport Pagnell

      You forgot the plastic water bottles,makeup and anti-depressants.

      February 24, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      You should look up "bioplastics". More items are being developed all the time.

      February 24, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. fernace

    The point here is that this actress is standing up for what she believes! Why all the harsh critique!? Another point is that if we don't clean up our act, or arbitrarily repeal clean water & air laws (like Bush did & Perry wants to), this planet will be rendered uninhabitable & we'll become an endangered species by our own hand! The next few generations should tell the tale!!

    February 24, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Timetogo

      I think John & Default answered your question.

      February 24, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nah

    Publicity stunt for a t.v. actor no one's heard about since the 90's.

    February 24, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nah

    Publicity stunt for an actor no one's heard about since the 90's.

    February 24, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • DBPlant

      Not that it mattes in the first place, but she's had plenty of high-profile work since the 90s.

      February 24, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. GetAwayFromOil

    "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."

    If what she says is true, then I support their action – we should not drill where where cannot clean up. And no, I am not some liberal tree-hugger; I live on top of the Bakken in North Dakota and get royalties from oil wells on my land. I would not mind less money if it means cutting our dependence on oil; we need to invest more in tech like fusion, wind, solar, etc.

    February 24, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • CommieHippiePeaceCreep

      Bravo to you! I am so heartened to hear that someone is willing to give up a little for the long term benefit of the planet! Thanks for commenting.

      February 24, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Big Balls

    Ms. Lawless has bigger huevos than most of the armchair conservative crybabies that are whining about their desire to exploit every last ounce of fossil fuels. They're all hoping that Magic Jesus will perform some miraculously slight-of-hand for mankind ounce the fossil fuels are depleted in the next 45 years. Sorry grandkids, you're on your own!

    February 24, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Newport Pagnell

    Hose them off the ship like you would seabird guano.

    February 24, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. SherwoodOR

    "Lucy goes lawless protesting aboard drillship."

    Oh dear!

    Wait. Why should I care?

    Who is she, anyway? I assume that she must be some scientist, some environmental expert. If not, then why does her opinion matter enough to warrant a headline on cnn?

    February 24, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Hurriquake

    She thought about her kids when doing this? Clearly she didn't.. just like she didnt think about having to explain why mommy's private parts are all over the internet when they get old enough.

    February 24, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Loki

    First, I wish I looked that good without makeup. Second, it's nice to finally see "Hollywood Activists" getting off their asses and joining a movement/ doing the dirty work, rather than just talking about their opinions on TV/newspapers while they sip champagne and eat caviar. Third, I still don't get why America has so many drilling sites for oil, yet we are still so dependent upon the Middle East for oil. Even all the drilling in the Middle East will cause irrepairable harm to our planet. So, I agree with the person who wrote about exploring the potential of wind, solar, etc. There are so many options out there for alternative fuel sources, yet our government won't invest the money to research, test and develop them. I have a whole new respect and admiration for Lucy Lawless. It takes balls (figuratively speaking) to do what she and the others did, not knowing what lies beyond the initial boarding of that ship. You go girl!!!!!

    February 24, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ed

    I can't wait for the headline , "Former Xena, Warrior Princess invents new fuel to supersede oil" until this happens I'll continue to think she is a misguided tool being used for her celebrity.

    February 24, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • leelanau

      always fairly well known in entertainment circles as being as dumb as a stone.

      February 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rags

      Bash her if you will but she does have a point about the seeking of oil by large corporations who don't give a darn about the environment.

      February 24, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shane

      @leelanau-Yes, because you would know who's "well known in entertainment circles"... What a tool you are. Keep your pie hole shut.

      February 24, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
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