Two years ago I posted films and words from the cargo ships that took me to – and the sailing boat that sailed me around – the High Arctic.
Whilst waiting at Longyearbyen port for the first of the cargo ships home, I was amazed to watch the Arctic Sunrise dock. Asking the captain whether they could take me with them to their next port of call: Amsterdam – he said, ‘if you can volunteer as a deckhand then yes’.
So that’s how I came to travel for one week with the Arctic Sunrise and how I met that expedition’s crew, some of whom are now in a Russian prison.
One week ago I read Open Democracy’s article about the seizure of the Arctic Sunrise, the arrests of the crew, journalists and activists – and the West’s muted response.
Every day new battle lines are drawn in the fight for our future. Almost imperceptibly those with power – those exploiting our planet and exploiting us – crumple stories that could inspire and give people hope.
The arrest of the Arctic 30 and the West’s acquiescence – our leaders’ acceptance that innocent people – doing the right thing – will be punished, breaks away at our understanding of what democracies depend upon and should fight to protect – our planet, human rights, a protest ship.
When I was on board the Arctic Sunrise welcomed me and made me feel part of their crew. John, Po Paul and Paul – all sailors – are now in prison. Below is some footage I took of them.