What Happens In the Dark Comes to Light For Shell
Editorial by MaryD
Well it's finally here (and barring any last minute adjournment), the Taranaki 8 will be sentenced today. What happens in the dark comes to light for Shell - Lucy and her Taranaki 7 fellow protestors brought into the light Shell's very quiet journey to the Arctic to drill for oil. This indeed would have been relegated to the inner pages of a newspaper and soon forgotten. Let's not talk about the rape of the environment up in the arctic. We have it covered, it's perfectly safe and if we make a few polar bears lose their home when we accidently have an oil spill, it's okay. No will really notice or care.
How wrong they were. Greenpeace was there. They noticed and devised a plan to send it protestors to make some noise. Boy, did they make some noise! Leading this valiant group of seven was one Lucy Lawless. Lucy, the mother and not the actress, decided to take a stand. She decided enough was enough and standing on the sidelines wasn't going to achieve anything. Actions speak louder than words for this mother. There was Lucy, successful actor rolling up her sleeves and getting her hands dirty by scaling an almighty high derrick (hands up those who knew what a derrick was without a google search before Lucy scaled it? Not me. I thought a Derrick was a man's name!).
Not only did she scale the derrick but sat on top of it with the other 6 protestors for 3.5 days! Their names are:
- Mike Buchanan from Christchurch.
- Shayne Comino from Christchurch.
- Raoni Hammer from Christchurch.
- Shai Nades from Wellington.
- Vivienne Hadlow from Auckland.
- Ilai Amir from Auckland
Why did Lucy do it? Why don't we leave it up to Lucy to explain in her own words. The following was published in the New Zealand Woman's Weekly on 17 December 2012:
A Letter To My Grandchildren by Lucy Lawless
Having spent four days occupying an oil rig bound for the Arctic circle – and cooling my heels in a jail cell – I’ve had a bit of time to think about why I took it upon myself to be part of the Greenpeace mission. It comes down to only one thing: I love you more than my life and I will fight like a tiger mother for your wellbeing.
I desire that you grow up in a world where polar bears and the magical narwhal still exist, where forests thrive, the air is pure, food nutritious and clean water is available to every form of life. What we now know is that our current practice of burning fossil fuels will guarantee you none of these things.
It is unthinkable that we who claim to love our children would knowingly choose to furnish them with a degraded and volatile environment in which to grow. Our unwillingness to move away from fossil fuels is sowing the seeds of a terrible harvest. We will have been neglectful of our duty to you.
Please know that in 2012 your grandmother and others risked life, liberty and reputation to engage in a peaceful and relentless battle to protect you even before you were born. There are many like us. We see oil drilling in the Arctic as an unspeakable violence against its native peoples and species and against you, my darlings.
One day it will be an accepted fact that crimes against the environment are crimes against humanity, but for now we must hold ourselves, our corporations and our governments accountable so you won’t have to. There can be no partial victory here. Failure is not an option.
With greatest love,
Your tiger grandmother,
I am so proud of Lucy. So proud of her for standing up for what she believes. There is no denying the fact that we have to act now to protect our environment. Standing on the sidelines and hoping that someone will speak up doesn't work all that well. I'm reminded of a poem which I have sticky taped in my office. It was written by pastor Martin Niemöller on the Nazi Rise to Power.
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Catholic.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.
We need to act now. Lucy and her fellow protestors acted. What are we going to do? Many of us can't scale derricks but we can speak out and let our voices be heard. We can take action in various ways and means.
To Lucy and Mike, Shayne, Raoni, Shai, Nades, Viv and Ilai - there may have been only 8 that went up that derrick but 2,564,589 came down and more are joining the fight!