Patrick Barkham writes for The Guardian on the problems Greenpeace has faced over the past five years:
Dawn was breaking when the campaigners used slingshots to fire ropes on to the rig. But as they began to scale the Prirazlomnaya, aiming to unfurl a banner denouncing Russia’s attempts to drill for oil in the Arctic, their hopes of another successful Greenpeace “action” swiftly faded. They had been anticipating high-pressure hoses that sprayed freezing seawater at intruders. They weren’t prepared for balaclava-wearing soldiers shooting at their inflatable boats.
One soldier grabbed the rope used by one of the climbers, slamming her body repeatedly against the rig. They captured two other activists. Then the Russians demanded to board the Greenpeace ship. But the Arctic Sunrise’s captain, Peter Willcox, fearing his boat would be seized, resisted.
“I said, ‘Well, go ahead – open fire. But don’t hit that silver tank back near the stern because that’s gasoline and that’s going to blow us all up.’ They must’ve been thinking, ‘Who the fuck is this idiot?’ And then I was sitting in jail thinking, ‘Who was that idiot?’ But the adrenaline gets flowing.”