Anti-whaling vessel Sea Shepard raided – by Australian Federal Police

Posted: February 22, 2009 in environment
Tags: , ,
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

It’s disgusting but not unsurprising. The vessel’s captain Paul Watson was met by Australian Federal Police (AFP) when his boat docked in Hobart on Friday. AFP officers consequently raided the ship, confiscating the log book, navigation records, video footage and 157 unedited Discovery Channel videos.

The raid throws a spotlight on the Rudd government’s hollow support for anti-whaling policies and actions. It even more highlights and further disgraces the biggest hypocrite in its ranks, former environmental campaigner and ex-Midnight Oil lead singer Peter Garrett. All his strong words about ensuring that no more whales will be killed once again prove to be as meaningless as all the other environmental commitments he made since joining Australia’s Labor Party and becoming  the country’s ‘environment minister’. Of course politicians constantly lie and delude the public for their own benefits, and that’s part of their career path. What is different in Garrett’s case is his 180 degree turn-around in and sell-out of his former values and environmental credentials (if he ever had any). I guess his former band mates must be livid: their royalty income must have shrunk to zero based on the spineless antics of their former lead star.

Back to the raid of the Sea Shepard: it seems obvious that the Australian government is kowtowing to Japan. Apparently the footage taken by the wildlife documentary group Animal Planet depicted some of the most dramatic scenes of of whale-killing ever filmed. Paul Watson said that the popular Discovery Channel’s first series of Whale Wars was embarrassing to the Japanese government and it was keen to prevent the second season from being screened (see also links below). In addition, the nature of the confiscation of material gathered by the raid can only be interpreted as providing the Japanese with prosecution evidence.

Green’s Senator Bob Brown has written to Prime Minister Rudd demanding an immediate explanation of how the raid could be in the ‘national interest’, but it can be expected that no response will come forward. Already a spokesperson for the US copycat Home Affairs minister Bob Debus said last night that no further comments would be made apart from stating that the matter was with the AFP. Bob Brown rightly described the government’s action as “outrageous” and labelled its purpose as wanting to secure “favour from the Japanese authorities”.

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