Tag Archives: greenpeace

My random protest

Yesterday I was casually walking along Princes street, as you do, when I saw a man with a megaphone and a crowd. My curiosity immediately peaked as when I saw a woman dressed as a fairy. I joined the crowd and ten minutes later I was involved in a huge march around Edinburgh. It turns out I was part of the ‘People’s climate march and gathering’.

It turns out the man with the microphone was Arron Thiery.

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He was one of the organisers of this march. This was to capture New York’s attention as three summits are being held on climate change I was informed, while standing next to a woman who looked like a tree (pictured below), that despite years and years of meetings and laws being introduced to prevent climate change, virtually, nothing has happened. Another one of the key points was to ‘bring people together and have fun.’

image << Tree woman with a fairy ahhh!!!

So after 10 minutes of listening to the earth’s gradual decline and how we could change it me and my slightly bewildered friend, we only went out for a subway, began to march.

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The march was actually fun. For 40 minutes I was a revolutionist amongst like-minded people. I happily waved at bus drivers as they waited for the looooooong group of hippies to move on. People gave us the finger, I viewed this as a backwards sign of love and moved on.

It was amazing to see so many people passionate about this cause. It wasn’t just young students who decided to join Greenpeace because it looks good on their CV but people of all ages. There was groups in their 60s, I presume, marching with their signs, families with young children and even dogs.

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About 20 minutes into the march I started feeling passionate about climate change. Simply put, global warming is happening so quickly. One of the facts mentioned was that in the 14 years since the millennium, 13 have been the hottest in history. If this continues to be ignored it will have serious consequences.

The slogan of the march was action not words.

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One of my favourite moments was when I heard a woman let out an exasperated sigh and walked over to a sign and grammatically corrected it. That was a beautiful moment.

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The march made me realise that this an issue that needs to be addressed more seriously. The more people that become involved the better chance climate justice has of being recognised. It is currently the Edinburgh World Justice Fair and these marches aren’t just happening in Edinburgh but all over the world. To become more active search Facebook for ‘World Justice Fair’ and see which one is local to you. Peace and love and all that jazz.

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The next Free Willy?

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Californian assemblyman, Richard Bloom, has proposed a ban on orca captivity in the Californian state to take place. The bill would make it illegal to hold in captivity, or use, a wild-caught or captive-bred orca for performance or entertainment purposes.” It also would ban artificial insemination of captive killer whales and block the import of orcas or orca semen. After controversial documentary ‘Blackfish’ by Gabrielle Cowperwaithe highlighted the alleged abuse on orcas at SeaWorld there has been a lot of support for this bill to be passed. However, there are many who claim that this bill is irrelevant and could potentially be dangerous for the killer whales.

This proposal for the law to be passed was after the wake of controversial documentary on SeaWorld ‘Blackfish’. After ‘Blackfish ‘was released it went global after originally only been shown at five cinemas in Canada after the Sundance festival. This has sparked major backlash on SeaWorld and many are demanding the orcas be released. Richard Bloom has stated: ‘There is no justification for the continued captive display of orcas for entertainment purposes. These beautiful creatures are much too large and far too intelligent to be confined in small, concrete pens for their entire lives. It is time to end the practice of keeping orcas captive for human amusement.”

This is not a foreign concept at India, Croatia, Costa Rica, Hungary and Chile have banned cetacean captivity and Switzerland have banned dolphin captivity. Under this law there would be 10 orcas that would be released from SeaWorld in San Diego ranging from wild caught orcas such as Corgi aged 36 and captivity bred orcas such as Kastaka.

Green Peace member and active petitioner, Oskar Bindere, stated:

‘I am in full support of Bloom’s movement. I feel that orca captivity is outdated and barbaric. Not only orca captivity but a lot of captivity for animals, it is unfair and unjust.’

When asking Bindere how he felt towards the documentary, Blackfish that led to this proposed law he stated:

‘I did watch Blackfish. I have mixed feelings towards the documentary. On the one hand, I understand where the documentary comes from and they’re not untrue ideals they have presented. On the other hand I do feel like the truth has been twisted slightly to fit their point. That is something I do not agree with the truth speaks for itself.’

The proposal has shocked the captivity world. There has been positive and negative feedback on the proposal. However, after the proposal was made there was a reported drop in SeaWorld stock.

When Bloom was speaking with takepart.com he stated that captivity was not on his radar before watching the chilling documentary Blackfish.

Bloom states:

‘I’m not a big fan of extremists in any form. This bill came about as a result of my involvement in the issue. No one had influence over me, other than my having seen Blackfish and contacted scientists.

As for their second argument, I completely understand the economic value and jobs that SeaWorld provides. But I don’t think anybody would ever argue that we can justify jobs by supporting bad conduct.’

If the bill is passed it is reported that SeaWorld will be the ones to do the clearing up. They will have to relocate the orcas whether that be releasing them into the wild or sending them to sea pens.

After receiving word of the proposed law SeaWorld’s lobbyist released a statement saying that this is the doing of “extreme animal activists” some of whom “partnered with PETA in bringing the meritless claim that animals in human care should be considered slaves under the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — a clear publicity stunt.’

Another critic towards the idea is Marine Mammal Parks past President Billy Hurley. He stated:

“It’s very easy for some of the extremists to say things like, ‘Oh, if we had a sanctuary, if we had a sea pen, it would just be so much different.’ And the reality is that if you had a sea pen, you would still need veterinary care, you would still need qualified people to take care of the animals, you would still need to be careful about those types of environmental changes that could occur while the animals were in those conditions. The list goes on and on.’

Personally, I am for Bloom’s proposition and I am very intrigued as to what will happen when the bill is passed. However, I am very aware of the fact that there are both pros and cons.

I am aware that orcas have sensory deprivation in captivity and their lives are being shortened. However, a lot of whales will die if they are released back into the wild. I do believe that captivity led to the killer whale Tillikum’s psychosis and that eventually led to Dawn Brancheu’s death.

Orcas are intelligent creatures and, in my opinion, there is no valid argument to capture these mammals and make them perform for entertainment and money.