Greenpeace activists stormed a Russian oil rig on Friday to protest drilling in the Arctic. They remain on the rig, which is hundreds of miles from the nearest port, the group announced.
“I took part in this peaceful action today to declare — together with Russians and citizens around the world — an end to the madness that is putting the profits of an elite few above the interests and safety of the rest of us,” writes Kumi Naidoo Greenpeace’s international executive director, in an open letter to the people of Russia.
Early Friday morning six activists set off in inflatable speedboats, scaled up the side of the oil rig Prirazlomnaya in the Pechora Sea, and put up a banner saying “Don’t Kill the Arctic.” They did not face much resistance from oil workers, according to the AP.
Naidoo has even told the AP that the oil workers “have been very friendly, engaging in conversations with us, asking where we come from and offering us soup.”
“We’re here peacefully and we will continue to draw the attention of Russian people and people around the world to what’s happening there,” Naidoo told the AP. “It’s bad for Russia, it’s bad for the planet.”
Prirazlomnaya is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Gazprom, the state-owned energy company. The drilling platform was installed the last year and is preparing to begin drilling its first well.
According to the AP, Naidoo said one of the platform workers told him the coast guard helicopter was on its way to detain them.
“Time is running out for us to avert catastrophic climate change — and oil giants like Shell and Gazprom must be stopped from profiting from a disaster of their own making while doing further damage to our planet,” Naidoo continued in the letter.
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