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31 Greenpeace activists detained in the Netherlands

Dutch police detained 31 Greenpeace activists today as they attempted to prevent a Russian tanker carrying oil from a new Arctic platform from mooring in Rotterdam.

Greenpeace used two ships, Rainbow Warrior III and Esperanza, as well as rubber rafts, paragliders and on-shore activists to meet Gazprom’s Mikhail Ulyanov tanker.

Activists painted “No arctic oil” in white letters on the hull of the ship and hung a banner sporting the slogan on one of their own ships.

But the Mikhail Ulyanov was able to dock safely after several hours.

Rotterdam police said Rainbow Warrior captain Peter Willcox had disobeyed police orders to move his ship.

Officers towed the vessel to a different part of the port and the ship was returned to Greenpeace after the action ended.

A further 30 activists were also detained, some for trespass and some for attempting to stop the tanker docking by blocking its mooring with rubber rafts.

No-one was injured, though one activist fell in the water and was treated for hypothermia.

Captain Willcox was one of a group of activists charged with piracy after a protest near Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya offshore Arctic platform last year.

They spent months in a Russian prison before being released earlier this year.

“Thirty of us went to prison for shining a light on this dangerous Arctic oil and we refuse to be intimidated,” said Dutch activist Faiza Oulahsen.

“This tanker is the first sign of a reckless new push to exploit the Arctic.”

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