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MUA Pass Resolution of Support for Greenpeace Activists

MUA National Councillors Pass Resolution of Support for Greenpeace Activists

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is calling on the Russian government to release, with immediate effect, 30 Greenpeace activists who have been detained and charged with piracy.

The Arctic Sunrise

On September 20, the Russian Coast Guard illegally boarded a Greenpeace ship – Arctic Sunrise – while in international waters and arrested 30 people on board at gunpoint.

The activists were protesting Arctic oil drilling on the Gazprom platform, Prirazlomnaya, in the Pechora Sea off the Russian coast.

MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said the piracy charge was ludicrous and urged national council to unanimously support a resolution of support for the wrongfully detained activists.

“They are being detained on an outrageous charge that is completely unjustified,’ Crumlin said.

“You can understand why there is such an outpouring of support.

“This was a peaceful protest and these jumped up charges in no way qualify as piracy,”

“Make no mistake, the real threat to the Arctic comes not from Greenpeace but from oil companies like Gazprom that are determined to ignore both science and good sense to drill in remote, frozen seas,” he said.

Australian Greenpeace activist Colin Russell from Tasmania is one of 30 activists who could face up to 15 years in prison if Russian authorities persist with the piracy charge.

Worldwide protests were held last for the ‘Arctic 30’, who were detained in the port city of Murmansk with  successive rallies also held in Sydney, Hobart, Adelaide and Brisbane.

A British-born Australian resident and a New Zealand man who lives in South Australia have also been charged.

The MUA passed a resolution outlining the support at the National Council held in Sydney last week.

The following resolution was passed in support of the ‘Artic 30’:

The Maritime Union of Australia strongly condemns the Russian government and its Coast Guard for the illegal boarding of the Arctic Sunrise, Greenpeace International boat\’s which was engaged in a peaceful protest in international waters to protest the environmentally reckless drilling in the Arctic by Gazprom at the Prirazlomnaya platform.

The MUA knows very well the rule of law as it relates to international waters, shipping rights and piracy. The actions of the Arctic Sunrise were part of a peaceful protest, and not piracy as the Russian Government has falsely charged. International law, in no way, shape or form, conjoins peaceful protest and piracy. By alleging that a peaceful protest is piracy, the Russian government has made the sea a potentially more dangerous place.

We join with the thousands of people who engaged in 220 solidarity events in 48 countries and demand the immediate release of the 28 activists and 2 freelance journalists who are being held illegally by Russian authorities.

via MUA National Councillors Pass Resolution of Support for Greenpeace Activists.

About Darin Sullivan (1967 Articles)
President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union and a professional firefighter with more than 25 years’ experience. Father of two daughters, he lives and works on the NSW South Coast, Australia. He is a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around him. He is a Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and works with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist he has long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. Now a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and has decades of experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. He is passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. Darin is also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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