Thursday, 10 February 2011

EnviroLeaks: Sea Shepherd, Gitn Her Done

WikiLeaks / Cablegate: Sea Shepherd, Not Greenpeace, A Threat To Japanese Whaling

At the peak of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s anti-whaling activities in 2008, Greenpeace made public their opposition to the tactics of Paul Watson’s group, which coincided with Greenpeace’s refusal to help the Sea Shepherd vessel stop the refuelling of the Japanese whaler Nisshin Maru (Greenpeace later claimed to have driven off the same ship merely by their presence).

Greenpeace have long been antagonistic to the tactics of Sea Shepherd, something their statement makes clear:

Paul Watson has made many public requests for Greenpeace to reveal the location of the whaling fleet or otherwise cooperate with SSCS in the Southern Ocean when the ships of both organizations have been there simultaneously.

We passionately want to stop whaling, and will do so peacefully. That’s why we won’t help Sea Shepherd. Greenpeace is committed to non-violence and we’ll never, ever, change that; not for anything. If we helped Sea Shepherd to find the whaling fleet we’d be responsible for anything they did having got that information, and history shows that they’ve used violence in the past, in the most dangerous seas on Earth. For us, non-violence is a non-negotiable, precious principle. Greenpeace will continue to act to defend the whales, but will never attack or endanger the whalers…

In addition to being morally wrong, we believe the use of violence in protection of whales to be a tactical error. If there’s one way to harden Japanese public opinion and ensure whaling continues, it’s to use violent tactics against their fleet. It’s wrong because it puts human lives at risk, and it’s wrong because it makes the whalers stronger in Japan.

The last paragraph is key: if Greenpeace are correct then Sea Shepherd’s activities would not register in Japanese diplomatic circles – if anything it would be Greenpeace which would be seen as a threat. However, what is made very clear in the following cable (final paragraph) is that it is SSCS, not Greenpeace, that are considered a major obstacle to Japanese commercial whaling efforts. It seems that for all Greenpeace’s rhetoric, Paul Watson’s tactics are having the desired effect.

It is also worth noting that “looking at” implies that Sea Shepherd Conservation Society could potentially be classified as a terrorist organisation in the near future for trade purposes. More and the cables.

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