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State Troopers And BP Security Storm Barge

State Troopers And BP Security Storm Barge To Arrest Greenpeace Activists

Auckland, August 9, 2000 -- Five Greenpeace activists occupying a barge carrying BP drilling supplies and equipment were arrested this afternoon (late yesterday afternoon local time Alaska, 8 August) by Alaska State Troopers.

The 130-metre barge was en-route through the Arctic Ocean to BP’s controversial offshore Northstar oil installation when the activists boarded it from the Greenpeace vessel MV Arctic Sunrise early Monday morning (local time). Three of the activists arrested were from the United Kingdom and two were from the United States. The state troopers, accompanied by BP security, also apprehended a videographer and a photographer who were recording the event.

If oil drilling from BP's Northstar project is allowed to proceed it will fuel global warming, which is already causing a severe meltdown in polar regions. Northstar will also pave the way for further offshore oil expansion in the vulnerable Arctic Ocean.

“We occupied the barge for 39 hours, which is a small reprieve for the climate,” said Greenpeace campaigner Melanie Duchin aboard the Arctic Sunrise. “Our campaign to stop Northstar goes on. Greenpeace wants BP to live up to marketing claims that it’s a “green” company, by canceling new Arctic drilling plans and investing the savings in the new solar energy revolution. Anything less is simply hot air.”

Today’s peaceful direct action follows years of campaigning by Greenpeace to halt BP’s Northstar oil development project. Most recently, Greenpeace sponsored a resolution, supported by 13 percent of BP’s shareholders, calling on the company to cancel Northstar and divert investment to solar power. And for two months this past winter Greenpeace maintained a camp on the frozen Arctic Ocean to protest Northstar construction. Lawsuits are also pending in U.S. federal and Alaska State courts, challenging the project on a number of significant issues including water use, oil spills and the cumulative impact of offshore oil on the climate and ecology of the Alaskan Arctic.

Notes to editors:

The arrested activists are Matteo Williford, 28, North Carolina, US; Kimberley Medeiros, 25, Massachusetts, US; Stephanie Tunmore, 45, North London, UK; Stan Vincent, 37, Templecombe, Somerset, UK; Kevin Benn, 39, Frampton on Severn, Gloucestershire, UK. See www.greenpeace.org/~arctic

For more information: Sue Connor at Greenpeace New Zealand on (09) 630 6317 or 021 213 5603; Melanie Hill or Melanie Duchin on board the M/V Arctic Sunrise; 011 872-130-2577; Dan Ritzman in Anchorage: 907-227-8324 or 907-229-1500

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