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Activist a 'pirate,' not eco-terrorist
AP, Seattle Post Intelligencer ^ | February 28, 2007 | Rod McGuirk

Posted on 02/28/2007 12:16:19 PM PST by Dane

Activist a 'pirate,' not eco-terrorist

By ROD MCGUIRK ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Paul Watson flies the Jolly Roger from his ship and boasts of ramming more boats than any living seafarer, part of an anti-whaling crusade that even Greenpeace calls too radical.

Watson and his group came under withering criticism this season, summer in the Antarctic, for tactics that some say put the lives of whales above the lives of people.

A Japanese whaling ship caught fire after being chased and harassed by Watson's fleet, the ships and volunteers of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which not only rammed the whaling boats but fired smoke canisters and ropes to entangle the propellers.

Japan announced Wednesday that it was ending its whaling season early because of the fire, which killed a crewman. Although the blaze came a day after Watson's group pulled back for lack of fuel, and there's no alleged connection, Japan calls Watson a terrorist.

But the 56-year-old Canadian, who founded the society 30 years ago, dismisses the complaints.

"Call for a boycott of tuna fish these days and they call you a terrorist," he said.

Watson has spent his adult life as a conservationist, beginning with Greenpeace, which itself has a strident reputation. The turn to radicalism came, he says, when he made eye contact with a harpooned whale as it rose above his dinghy before falling back into the sea.

"Paul recognized a flicker of understanding in the dying whale's eye. He felt that the whale knew what they were trying to do," the Sea Shepherd Web site says.

The society bought a ship with donated money in 1979, allowing members to disrupt seal hunting in eastern Canada. Later that year, the group rammed its ship into a whaler in a Portuguese harbor, and the pattern was set. Sea Shepherd claims responsibility for ramming six whaling ships and for playing a part in 10 others going out of the whaling business.

Watson says his whatever-it-takes tactics threaten lives no more than whaling itself. He points to the Japanese whaling factory ship Nisshin Maru, which was crippled in February for 10 days in ice-strewn Antarctic waters after the fatal fire.

"I think the Japanese are extremely reckless taking a floating factory down to a pristine and fragile ecosystem with the potential of causing a major oil and chemical spill and of course killing endangered species," Watson said.

The Nisshin Maru and its five support ships were Sea Shepherd's main targets this whaling season.

Sea Shepherd's attack ships, the Farley Mowat and the Robert Hunter, circled the Japanese factory ship, dispensing Zodiac inflatables into the heavy seas for the close-in attack.

Society volunteers used nail guns to fasten plates over the Nisshin Maru's drain outlets, which spill whale blood into the sea.

The attack ended when one of the Zodiacs cracked its hull in a collision with the Japanese ship and the Zodiac's two crew members, Australian Watson Karl Neilsen and John Gravois of Los Angeles, became lost for more than seven hours in heavy fog and falling snow.

Julie Farris, a 27-year-old American volunteer, said the hours of searching were tense and scary after the Robert Hunter's helicopter couldn't take off to search for the missing men because of the snow and fog.

Soon after the two men were found, the Robert Hunter discovered a Japanese spotter ship among the sea ice and tried to snare its propellor before the two ships collided. Other tactics include hurling smoke and stink bombs at the whalers' decks.

"These are not mere acts of sabotage, but literally an attack. We call these an act of terrorism but I don't think it is an exaggerated phrase," Hajime Ishikawa, deputy director of the Japanese government-linked Institute of Cetacean Research.

Sea Shepherd is at an extreme fringe of a movement that has broad popular support. Most whaling opponents distance themselves from the group's tactics.

"We don't think violence is the answer," Greenpeace spokesman Shane Rattenbury said. "If you are conducting violent action, the discussion becomes about the violence, not the issue."

New Zealand and Australia - leading anti-whaling nations - condemn Sea Shepherd's tactics as an unacceptable threat to human life.

The International Whaling Commission canceled Sea Shepherd's accreditation as a non-government organization after it claimed responsibility for sinking two Icelandic whaling boats in Reykjavik harbor and the wrecking of a meat-processing factory in 1986.

Lou Sanson, chief executive Antarctica New Zealand, the government agency responsible for that nation's operations on the frozen continent, said tactics like those of Sea Shepherd increase the risk of damaging the fragile Antarctic environment.

"It's a dangerous enough environment to be operating in as it is without building in the additional risk of ramming ships," he told The Associated Press.

But Watson dismisses Greenpeace - an organization he helped found in 1971 before a falling out - and other mainstream conservation groups as "feel good corporations." He also insists the U.N. World Charter for Nature gives him legal authority to save whales by sinking or disabling whaling vessels.

He has repeatedly been the target of legal action, but says he has never been convicted of a felony. He was convicted in absentia by Norway and sentenced to 120 days in prison on a charge related to the 1992 sinking of a whaling ship. He spent 60 days in Dutch custody, but they refused to extradite him to serve out his sentence.

The society boasts volunteers from 14 countries, who endure cramped and barely sanitary conditions.

Aboard the 677-ton Farley Mowat, the crew of 21 shares just two toilets and some of them have to sleep in linen lockers for lack of space. On the 1,017-ton Robert Hunter, limited fresh water means one brief shower every three days for the 33 crew members.

Japan has called on governments with Antarctic territory - including Australia, New Zealand and the United States - to do more to stop Sea Shepherd attacks. But exactly who has jurisdiction, what can be done under the law and how to collect evidence for prosecutions isn't clear.

Australian Justice Minister Chris Ellison warned that "if they were to call into an Australian port, they could well face the consequences of Australian law, if they have breached it." But Australian police are not investigating Sea Shepherd ships that are docked at Melbourne.

"I've probably rammed more boats than any person alive," said Watson, though he says he hasn't rammed a whaler since 1992. He said collisions he was involved in the this season and last were the whalers' fault. The whalers say otherwise.

"I've never seen a whale die since I started Sea Shepherd in 1977 and we've never hurt anyone by effectively preventing this crime," Watson said.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: canada; ecoterrorist; envirowhackos; greenpeace; japan; paulwatson; pirate; seashepherd; watson
Paul Watson, the poster child of the democrat party base.
1 posted on 02/28/2007 12:16:22 PM PST by Dane
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To: Dane

Maritime law says pirates can be hung, or shot on sight.

Have at it..


2 posted on 02/28/2007 12:17:37 PM PST by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: Dane

Arrrggghhh!


3 posted on 02/28/2007 12:17:56 PM PST by GQuagmire
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To: Dane

If he is willing to fly the "Jolly Roger" for real, then he is willing to die a pirates death. Cut him and then make him walk the plank in the shark infested waters near the great barrier reef.


4 posted on 02/28/2007 12:18:37 PM PST by frogjerk (If ignorance was bliss, liberals would be happy.)
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To: Dane
"I've probably rammed more boats than any person alive," said Watson, though he says he hasn't rammed a whaler since 1992. He said collisions he was involved in the this season and last were the whalers' fault. The whalers say otherwise.

He needs a more peaceful hobby, like Russian roulette.
5 posted on 02/28/2007 12:19:33 PM PST by kinoxi
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To: Dane
"Paul recognized a flicker of understanding in the dying whale's eye. He felt that the whale knew what they were trying to do,"

These people are certifiably insane.

6 posted on 02/28/2007 12:19:38 PM PST by frogjerk (If ignorance was bliss, liberals would be happy.)
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To: Dane

Hang him from the yardarm. Seriously, if these whaling ships carried a machine gun for such attacks, the attacks would cease immediately.


7 posted on 02/28/2007 12:21:51 PM PST by ozzymandus
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To: All
ARTICLE SNIPPET:

"Japan announced Wednesday that it was ending its whaling season early because of the fire, which killed a crewman. Although the blaze came a day after Watson's group pulled back for lack of fuel, and there's no alleged connection, Japan calls Watson a terrorist."

8 posted on 02/28/2007 12:22:46 PM PST by Cindy
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To: Dane
Sea Shepherd's attack ships, the Farley Mowat

Argh, Farley Mowat is my cousin.

9 posted on 02/28/2007 12:25:26 PM PST by doodad
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To: Dane

Shiver me timbers, avast.


10 posted on 02/28/2007 12:26:43 PM PST by showme_the_Glory (No more rhyming, and I mean it! ..Anybody want a peanut.....)
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To: Dane

The Japanese need to send an armed vessels down with their whaling ships and capture these modern pirates. After that, bring them back to Japan and hang them in accordance with anti-piracy laws.


11 posted on 02/28/2007 12:28:27 PM PST by Quick or Dead
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To: Dane
Thanks ImageShack!
12 posted on 02/28/2007 12:30:32 PM PST by avg_freeper (Gunga galunga. Gunga, gunga galunga)
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To: Quick or Dead
The Japanese need to send an armed vessels down with their whaling ships and capture these modern pirates. After that, bring them back to Japan and hang them in accordance with anti-piracy laws.

Sink them, go away, forget it.

13 posted on 02/28/2007 12:31:59 PM PST by Gorzaloon (Global Warming: A New Kind Of Scientology for the Rest Of Us.)
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To: Dane
OK, he wants to play pirate with the Japanese,
let them defend themselves in the traditional way...


14 posted on 02/28/2007 12:32:53 PM PST by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll.)
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To: Dane

He's fightin' global warrghh-ming!


15 posted on 02/28/2007 12:35:16 PM PST by SlowBoat407 (A living insult to islam since 1959)
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To: xcamel

"Maritime law says pirates can be hung, or shot on sight."

By anyone. One of the rare historical instances of universal jurisdiction.


16 posted on 02/28/2007 12:49:43 PM PST by Flash Bazbeaux
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To: Dane

Don't most ships carry small arms? If these terrorists are nailing plates to your hull, why can't you use a rifle or pistol to repel them?


17 posted on 02/28/2007 12:56:56 PM PST by Truth29
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To: Dane
As is the norm with liberal double standards, all you have to do is follow the money. these guys are D-I-R-T-Y. From activistcash.com:

Where does Watson get the funds for his exploits? In part, from an eclectic cadre of shadowy personalities.

That includes Susan Bloom, a long-time donor to the most extreme factions of the environmental and animal-rights movement. Bloom was the founder and main financier of the British Columbia animal-rights group Bear Watch, which employed David Barbarash, a former “spokesman” for the terrorist Animal Liberation Front (ALF). Paul Watson has hosted at least one Bear Watch fundraiser.

Ann Johnston gave SSCS almost $2.7 million in stock in 1997. Her husband, Pritam Singh (aka Paul LaBombard, his real name), is a real estate developer and a member of SSCS’ financial and management advisory board. According to the Key News Journal, he’s under investigation by the FBI for his questionable business dealings. One Key West attorney has also filed a civil lawsuit against Singh, alleging almost 20 years of criminal activity -- including racketeering and fraud. Singh was fined $1.2 million by the federal Office of Thrift Supervision in 1995. And he quietly settled a lawsuit filed by members of his sales staff who said he illegally withheld their commissions.

Johnston’s 1997 stock donation included shares of a company named Northern Development Associates, a for-profit business which is now 100-percent owned by Sea Shepherd.

Corporate records show that the company’s officers include Watson’s ex-wife Lisa DiStefano and longtime associate Michael Kundu. Northern Development’s mailing address is the same as Pritam Singh’s Key West Golf Club. Watson and DiStefano also serve, with Singh, on the board of something called the Sea Trek 2000 Foundation. The mailing address for that group is the same as one of Singh’s Miami lawyers.


Ann Johnston is my cousin.
18 posted on 02/28/2007 12:57:06 PM PST by snowrip (Liberal? YOU HAVE NO RATIONAL ARGUMENT. Actually, you lack even a legitimate excuse.)
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To: Dane

I don’t understand why this guy is walking around free. He has violated numerous laws and should be arrested and extradited to Japan.


19 posted on 02/28/2007 1:01:42 PM PST by usurper (Spelling or grammatical errors in this post can be attributed to the LA City School System)
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To: snowrip

well give us the scoop....


20 posted on 02/28/2007 1:10:18 PM PST by statered ("And you know what I mean.")
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To: snowrip; doodad

Nice 'families' you got there! /s

I have cousins like that too. Fortunately, we haven't seen each other since I was a kid.


21 posted on 02/28/2007 1:15:15 PM PST by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
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To: Quick or Dead

The captain of the whaling vessle needs to invest in a .50 caliber. First shot over the bow, following shots at the waterline. After a few dozen they will have lots of other things to be worry about besides the endangered whales. Like bailing their ship to stay alive.


22 posted on 02/28/2007 1:21:26 PM PST by Jack Black
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To: Quick or Dead

The captain of the whaling vessle needs to invest in a .50 caliber. First shot over the bow, following shots at the waterline. After a few dozen they will have lots of other things to be worry about besides the endangered whales. Like bailing their ship to stay alive.


23 posted on 02/28/2007 1:21:36 PM PST by Jack Black
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To: Dane

I honestly don't understand why this POS hasn't been killed at sea.


24 posted on 02/28/2007 1:25:43 PM PST by Psycho_Bunny (I'm holding out hope that at least the DEMOCRATS might accidentally nominate a conservative.)
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To: Dane
Pirate Ping!!!!

Aye Matey! Come and fetch your medicine:

Paul Watson, yea have the black SPOT!

25 posted on 02/28/2007 1:58:47 PM PST by Candor7
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To: Bigh4u2

Yeah I have never met him. He is not allowed in the country according to my grandmother.


26 posted on 02/28/2007 2:10:50 PM PST by doodad
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To: Dane
The Japanese have a lovely little ship named the "Kongo" ... sweet sea-keeper, with beautiful lines, a deep clipper bow ... and a fully automated 5" gun, CIWS, and AEGIS system.

Perhaps she should accompany the whalers next year. Just to make sure everybody stays nice and polite.

27 posted on 02/28/2007 2:15:26 PM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Dane

"Shiver me timbers, 'tis the climate change I be fightin'!"

28 posted on 02/28/2007 4:08:32 PM PST by WestVirginiaRebel (A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel-Robert Frost)
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To: ArrogantBustard

I'm more in favor of setting up some "bait ships". Lease them from the whaling and fishing companies. Crew them with some SF types. The look of the Sea Shepherd crew would be priceless when they see their doom as their ship is boarded and scuttled. Ooops, the Sea Shepherd vessel had a "fire", the "whaler" tried to render assistance, but the Sea Shepherd vessel had an "explosion" going down with all hands.


29 posted on 02/28/2007 4:09:03 PM PST by Fred Hayek (Liberalism is a mental disorder)
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To: Fred Hayek
.....it works for Me. :D
30 posted on 02/28/2007 4:24:56 PM PST by skinkinthegrass ( just b/c, you suffer from paranoia, doesn't mean they're not out to get you. :^)
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To: Dane
"If you are conducting violent action, the discussion becomes about the violence, not the issue."

Geez, I never thought that I'd agree with an ecowacko.

31 posted on 02/28/2007 6:16:21 PM PST by wbill
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To: Fred Hayek
Not bad, not bad at all. Consider this from the article: Japan has called on governments with Antarctic territory - including Australia, New Zealand and the United States - to do more to stop Sea Shepherd attacks. But exactly who has jurisdiction, what can be done under the law and how to collect evidence for prosecutions isn't clear. That can work both ways.

...which means that if surviving elements of the enviropirate organization initiate a search/investigation into the Sea Shepherd's demise, they're left with the Bermuda Triangle of jurisdictional wrangling.

...which may so frustrate the enviropirates that they dispatch the rest of their fleet to the area to conduct their own investigation.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

That darn Antarctic Triangle. Like fly paper for ecoterrorists.
32 posted on 02/28/2007 6:17:15 PM PST by Titan Magroyne ("Y'know, I've always thought of politics as show business for ugly people." Jay Leno:Al Gore 11/29)
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To: frogjerk

"Call for a boycott of tuna fish these days and they call you a terrorist," he said

Really? just calling for a boycott?
Ramming ships and causing Fires and causing deaths...Not his fault.

If he wants to act like a Pirate, then he is an Outlaw...that is "Outside the Law" that means that Japan can do whatever they want to Him and His Property on the open seas.

But you watch him cry for Law and Justice when he gets his ass kicked, and His ship sinks. watch him cry like a Punk-Bitch.


33 posted on 02/28/2007 11:27:15 PM PST by LtKerst (Lt Kerst)
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To: xcamel

I am surprised he hasn't already had a REAL big hole blown into the side of his boat a couple hundred miles from shore.


34 posted on 03/01/2007 10:03:12 AM PST by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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To: Dane

Where is the IJN Yamoto when you need it


35 posted on 03/04/2007 3:15:23 PM PST by Charlespg (Peace= When we trod the ruins of Mecca and Medina under our infidel boots.)
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