Gee, I didn’t see that coming

Tuesday: CTV reports Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise heading for Toronto, “calling attention to the pollution caused by coal energy as Ontario enters an election”.

Thursday: Arctic Sunrise and crew disrupt normal maritime navigation and commerce into Nanticoke Generating Station.  Crew boards commercial bulk carrier Algomarine and chains themselves to the ship.

There is one thing, and one thing only, that Greenpeace does with its ships.  It puts them in the way of governmental or commercial activity that it doesn’t care for:

  • 1971Phyllis Cormack sails to Amchitka to protest U.S. underground nuclear testing there.  The original intent was to bear witness in the “Quaker tradition of silent protest”1.  Turned back due to weather. Greenpeace Too! sails to Amchitka to protest U.S. underground nuclear testing there.  Nuclear test executed successfully while vessel is a few hundred nautical miles away.
  • 1972Astral attempts to ram French helicopter carrier Jeanne D’Arc in Vancouver harbour.   Fast action by the French captain prevents carrier from making roadkill out of filthy hippies.  David McTaggart sails Greenpeace III to Mururoa to protest French nuclear tests; gets the beating of a lifetime.
  • 1975-6 – Several vessels oppose the Soviet whaling fleet and Canadian sealing fleet.
  • 1978Rainbow Warrior protests whaling fleets in Iceland and Spain.  Gets sunk by the French in 1985.
  • Same old shit keeps on happening up to the present day.  Only with less sinking by the French, proving that even hippies can outgun the French on a good day.

I know the Canadian Coast Guard isn’t actually charged with maritime law enforcement, at least in a non-fisheries, non-quota sort of way.  But I’m wondering why the RCMP or some other agency that might want to prevent seagoing crime2 didn’t figure this one out way in advance.

I’m also wondering why the crew of the Algomarine failed to use their marine firefighting equipment to wash these idiots into the lake and prevent the boarding in the first place.  Maybe they didn’t have a topside fire hose.  I don’t know.

1 I’m no Quaker (nor even a student of Quakerism), but I think the Greenpeace founders missed the boat.  My understanding is that silence is integral to the Quaker Meeting and is not necessarily protest-oriented, as this 18th century description indicates:

Many times after a long silence a man preaches first, and when he gets through a woman rises and preaches; and after her comes another man or woman; occasionally only the women speak; then again a woman might be the first, and so on alternately; sometimes only men rise to talk; now and then either a man or woman gets up, begins to puff and sign, and endeavors to speak, but is unable to squeeze out a word and so sits down again. Then it happens, also, that the whole congregation gather in the meeting-house and sits there silently for two hours, waiting for someone to preach; but since none has prepared himself or as they say feels moved by the Holy Spirit, the whole audience rise again at the end of the period and goes home…

But don’t let that stop you from making wacky interpretations to support your enviro-luddism, by any means.

2 How about the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, s. 78.1 (1`).

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2 Responses
  1. Gorthos says:

    Dang… I was working at the powerplant on Tuesday till Wednesday. Now I’m worried that all my friends who see my wife’s facebook status update “spousey is at Nanticoke for a few days. I’m all alone” will think I was doing bad things instead of work.

  2. Chris Taylor says:

    Nah, they nabbed three of the offenders and published the names. =)
    Charged them with mischief, would you believe. Mischief! As if they were teenagers tagging the school entrance with graffiti.