WAKE UP!! WAKE UP!! It's yer faraging about...
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Sea Shepherd’s three vessels have left port with 88 crew members onboard. Their destination? The Southern Whale Sanctuary in the Antarctic. This is the 8th expedition to oppose the illegal activities of Japanese whalers. During last year’s campaign (numero 7) the Sea Shepherd crew sent the Japanese fleet home early and managed to save 863 whales that didn’t make the whaler’s quota (see SchNEWS 753).
So, as we wrtie, the Japanese Fleet is heading south to illegally hunt thousands of whales. This year the Japanese whalers have supported their illegal activity with 30 million dollars from the Tsunami relief fund following the disaster of 11th March 2011 (See Schnews 763). Whale hunting is in fact a rather expensive sport costing £22,500 per dead whale. Without government subsidies the industry would sink faster than the Titanic. However $30 million can go a long way. That kind of money can buy a great deal of support and influence, including security ships, mercenaries, bad boy PR firms and lawyers. After the failures of last year’s campaign the whalers needed extra support so badly they swiped it from relief efforts (how evil can you get?). For more information on swindling relief funds go to: http://www.avaaz.org/en/japan_disaster_funds_whaling_c?cl=1460470967&v=11637 With the extra heavies in tow, Japan plans to slaughter 1,000 Minke whales this year for their meat. The irony here is the meat usually gets stockpiled because no one wants to consume it.
The Sea Shepherd Crew are being joined by a motley crew of celeb supporters on the Sea Shepherd Board of advisors; the original James Bond, Sean Connery, World Surfing Champion Stephanie Gilmore, The Simpsons producer and director/co-creator Sam Simon and Symphony Orchestra Cellist Michael Goldschlager. Never a campaign to shy away from celebrity support, it seems they have the entertainment side of things covered. Meanwhile the volunteer crew will no doubt be labouring in the bilges as ever.
So while the rest of us are being assaulted by Christmas cheer, the fight in the Southern Sea will continue to be waged; keep updated at www.seashepherd.org/campaigns/operation-divine-wind/operation-divine-wind
The badgers aren't out of the woods yet, as the decision whether to roll out culling hangs in the balance.
The state-sponsored crackdown on animal rights activists continues next month, with the opening of the third 'conspiracy to blackmail' trial relating to vivisection giants Huntingdon Life Sciences in Winchester. Although there are three defendants, two are awaiting extradition from Holland, so the the third, Debbie, will stand trial alone.
Nasty Nigel bashed on the bonce with banner in Kent.
50th anniversary of the Hunt Saboteurs Association
Combe Haven protestors invoke the rain gods.
Nigel Farage, UKIP leader, shakes hands with huntsman cautioned for assaulting hunt protester just a week previously.
When the Badger Trust threatened Natural England with legal action for extending the badger cull, Natural England said the the claim was based on a fundamental confusion, but can you blame them, when those involved in the cull have been so, well, confusing. Between the secrecy, the lying, u-turns and even blaming the badgers for not co-operating with being shot. Schnews attempts to digest the badger farce a little...
Front line report from successful badger cull saboteurs, as the killing lurches towards a confused end.