ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, May 1 (UPI) -- Dutch police arrested 44 Greenpeace activists attempting to stop a Russian oil tanker from unloading its cargo of arctic oil in Rotterdam.
Armed anti-terrorist police boarded the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior and made the arrests. Although the ship was towed ashore and those arrested were taken to several Rotterdam police stations, the activists were quickly released. Several were members of the “Arctic 30” who were arrested in Russia in 2013 and jailed for over two months on piracy charges.
Greenpeace said the action in Rotterdam, involving the ship, several inflatable boats, climbers and paragliders, was an attempt to stop the the tanker Mikhail Ulyanov, owned by the Russian energy company Gazprom, from entering the port. “It tells us more about how the authorities deal with dissent in Holland, compared to Russia. We had every intention of stopping the oil (from) being offloaded. The intention was just as serious as it was in Russia,” said Greenpeace spokesman Ben Ayliffe.
The international group has called for an end to offshore oil drilling in the arctic region, and has been critical of international oil companies’ joint ventures with Russian counterparts for drilling.