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“Ministry of Oil” charges Greenpeace NZ head, Russel Norman

Government’s “Ministry of Oil” charges Greenpeace NZ head, Russel Norman

11 April, 2017: Greenpeace NZ executive director Russel Norman has been charged under the Crown Minerals Act along with two others for their peaceful protest at sea against the Amazon Warrior, which is searching for deep sea oil on behalf of Chevron and Statoil.

Russel Norman, Greenpeace NZ executive director, Sara Howell a 25 year old Greenpeace volunteer from Wales, and Gavin Mulvay, a kite maker from Ashburton, have been charged with interfering with the oil exploration ship Amazon Warrior under the Section 101B(1)(c) of the Crown Minerals Act, known as the Anadarko Amendment.

In response, Norman has made the following statement:

“Three of us who got in the water yesterday in front of a climate-destroying oil ship have been charged.

We have been charged, not by the police, but by “The Ministry of Oil” (the petroleum division of MBIE) - the Government's ministry responsible for supporting, subsidising and propping up the oil industry here in New Zealand, using public money.

The science of climate change is unequivocal. It tells us that if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change we cannot burn even known fossil fuel reserves, let alone new oil - which is exactly what The Amazon Warrior is looking for.

The oil industry is the most powerful industry in the history of humanity and they have huge influence on governments.

Ours is no different.

Our Government are backing that industry’s greed over the collective interests of its own people and all humanity.

For the first time in New Zealand history, we are being charged under the” Anadarko Amendment” - part of the Crown Minerals Act for interfering with a mining ship.

This piece of legislation was specifically written and passed to stop peaceful protest at sea after Greenpeace protests against Petrobras in 2011.

It was put in place by the Government to protect the interests of big oil and to stifle dissent.

It is an anti-democratic law designed to silence the voice of reason - a collective voice that demands we stop this insane trajectory toward self-destruction on that is drilling and burning oil which drives climate change.

Because of our Government’s complicity with the oil industry, and its failure to protect us from dangerous climate change, we had no choice but to take action yesterday to secure our common future.

We will continue to resist the oil industry by every peaceful means available - until our action, and the collective action of millions of people here and across the planet, eject this industry from New Zealand and from the rest of the world.

If all of us are to have a future. The oil industry can have no future.

We are the generation that ends the age of oil. “



Footage of the charges being served is available here:

Footage of the protest at sea is here:

Image of Russel swimming


Russel Norman, Greenpeace NZ executive director, Sara Howell a 25 year old Greenpeace volunteer from Wales, and Gavin Mulvay, a kite maker from Ashburton, have been charged with with interfering with the oil exploration ship Amazon Warrior under the Section 101B(1)(c) of the Crown Minerals Act, known as the Anadarko Amendment

Russel Norman and the others have been aboard the crowdfunded Greenpeace vessel, Taitu, 50 nautical miles off the Wairarapa coast confronting oil the seismic exploration being carried out for Statoil and Chevron by the largest seismic blasting ship in the world - The Amazon Warrior.

This is the first time anyone has been charged under the Anadarko Amendment.

To find oil, the Amazon Warrior is using seismic cannons to blast the seafloor with sound waves every eight seconds, day and night. It needs to travel in straight lines along a grid to get data about potential oil reserves, and any deviation makes this data unusable.

The blasts it lets off are comparable in sound to an underwater volcano and can cause chronic distress to whales and dolphins in the area.

Statoil and Chevron have permits to drill to extreme depths of up to three kilometres if oil is found – twice as deep as Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, which caused the world’s largest and most devastating oil spill in 2010.

The Fossil Fuel President, Donald Trump, has shares in Chevron, and the oil company funded a large part of his presidential inauguration.

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