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Tue, 21 Jan 2020 05:19 GMT

Climate Activists Blockade Cruise Ship as Global Protests Continue


Leona Stratmann

Mon, 10 Jun 2019 19:36 GMT

About 50 climate activists made their anger clear about cruise ships’ carbon emissions when they took to the water to blockade a cruise ship for six hours on Sunday 9th June.

With the help of a lot of small boats and climbing equipment, the protestors managed to blockade the vessel for six hours in a German harbour, police said on Monday.

The group behind the initiative calls itself "Smash Cruiseshit" and explained on Twitter that heavy fuel-powered "cruise ships contribute to the heating of the planet" and generate soot particles that settle on Arctic ice. The activists further stated that they were protesting against the "catastrophic local and global consequences of cruises" as well as what they claimed are the crew's poor working conditions.

Banners held up during the blockade had slogans such as "Cruises kill climate" while several activists climbed on to the ship and on to a harbourside crane.

The ship, which is called the Zuiderdam and is operated by Holland America Line, had its scheduled departure from the North Sea port of Kiel to Copenhagen delayed. After police temporarily detained 46 activists, the ship finally left around 10 pm for its destination.

Climate change has become one of the biggest issues of modern politics and has seen increasing numbers of activists and groups protesting to raise awareness.

In recent months, Greenpeace blockaded the head offices of oil and gas giant BP in London, to protest the company’s exploration of fossil fuel, while activist group “Extinction Rebellion” started their own string of events aiming to disrupt “business as usual” and push for change.

A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion, Jamie Kelsey-Fry, told 7Dnews in April about the urgency of the matter. “We have known the science for so long. We are pushing this species to extinction,” he said.

Greta Thunberg is of the same opinion. The teenage activist started the “Fridays for Future” school strikes movement in 2018 in her native Sweden and it spread across Europe from there.

In late May, school students held another round of strikes in several European countries as well as in other parts of the world to demand tougher action against climate change. The reported numbers reached 1.4 million participants, with strikes in more than 1,400 cities in over 110 countries.

It seems the agitation for change is not slowing down. And how could it be, when the situation is as dire as Greenpeace climate campaigner Morten Thaysen expressed to 7Dnews: “We are at a point in history where we need to make drastic changes fast so we can avoid some of the worst consequences climate change can have on us in the future.”

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