In court last week Lucy Lawless, the actress most famous for her character Xena Warrior Princess, pleaded guilty to charges of illegally staying on a ship.
In February Lawless and a few others were arrested after illegally boarding a ship owned by Shell which was on its way to the Arctic in order to drill for oil. They camped there for 77 hours in order “to tell the world that Shell has to be stopped from going to the Arctic.”
After her court appearance in Auckland, New Zealand, Lawless explained to the press that “for the first time in my life, I put my body and reputation on the line to stand up for my beliefs and do the right thing. I hope I’ve encouraged other people to do the same.”
Vivienne Rachel Hadlow, another of the activists who also pleaded guilty to the charges, read out a statement on behalf of Greenpeace which said that:
“We stand by our actions in occupying the Noble Discoverer. Our actions and those that have followed since against Shell-contracted vessels have brought the world’s attention to Shell’s insane plans and have brought 475,000 people to lend their names to stopping Shell’s drilling in the pristine Arctic.
Like the Arctic, New Zealand is also under threat from extreme frontier oil drilling. Companies like Petrobras, Shell and Anadarko are planning to start exploratory drilling in some of New Zealand’s most isolated, precious and exposed waters, possibly as soon as this summer.”
The protestor’s efforts have so far been successful as they have gained the attention of the world media giants.