Paul Watson, risking his life to save the planet

Posted in Interviews, SharonSpeak on November 4th, 2009 by Sharon Feinstein

The man is hugely inspirational. While the rest of us are getting on with making more money, dealing with our domestic world, and stressing over the day’s shopping, he’s risking his life to save the planet.
Paul Watson and his volunteers go into treacherous conditions in the Antarctic, on highly dangerous missions to stop the aggressive, bloody, Japanaese whaling fleet from brutally killing humpback and fin whales. These butchers use harpoons which explode the whales organs and decimate their bodies for around 35 minutes of excruciating, unimaginable pain. “ I cannot abide doing nothing, “ is Paul’s maxim.
Consequently, his is the only ship down there trying to stop this illegal atrocity which no government is willing to bother with, even though the Japanese are contravening all the laws and treaties in place. Paul, a Canadian, founded Greenpeace, but left because they don’t believe in direct action, and quite rightly in my view, he calls them nothing more than a feelgood organisation. He is a modern day pirate of the high seas and his clients are the whales, dolphins, seals and all marine life.
His next mission, which launches on December 7th, will see him take the most dangerous steps of his brave life – in a new fast vessel he will try to intercept the harpoon boats and position himself between them and the 36,000 kilogram whales, the creatures known for their intelligence and renowned for their extraordinary, complex songs. He has told the crew that they must be willing to die for the whales as that is exactly what could happen. He believes that each of us can make a difference, that great change comes about with indviduals who channel their passion, and I firmly believe this too, as with my Campaign to stop the Slaughter of Leatherback Turtles. One small step, and the belief, is the way to get there.

The following is a audio clip of my recent interview with Paul Watson:

Paul Watson speaking about his upcoming trip

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Pirate for the Sea, Paul Watson

Posted in SharonSpeak on October 1st, 2009 by Sharon Feinstein

I went to a private screening of the must-see new film Pirate for the Sea, which details the life and work of Paul Watson, a hero of our times.
Watson, having formed Greenpeace, was booted out by them for being too radical, which means he couldn’t stomach sitting on a ship and being an ‘ observer, ‘ while  Japanese fishermen coolly and cruelly harpoon the majestic fin whales, a slow, horrific death during which their organs explode, and electrodes are sent through their bodies. This is done in the name of scientific research, of course. Suffice to say these Japanese scientists have produced just one paper on research in the past 20 years which states that some whales eat fish. No, it the meat they are after, fed to their school children and minced into burgers.
Paul Watson treats all forms of life equally, human beings are not rated above the rest of the earth’s creatures in his books. He cannot bear to watch the Canadian seal hunters booting and bludgeoning seal pups into bloody  messes while their mothers sit beside the carcasses, pushing them and trying to revive them for as long as two days. Some of these men even feel it’s good to let off steam that way, you know, get away from the wife and kids, have a drink and smash in a seal pup’s head. They have said as much. Paul Watson feels the seals’ pain and puts himself on the line time and time again, arrested in Costa Rica, attacked in Canada, threatened in the Antarctic, in danger on the high seas.
He is dependent on volunteers and other like-minded individuals who want to save what is left of our planet. As Paul says, if you went into the Sistine Chapel and started to smash it up you’d be arrested or shot, same with the Wailing Wall, or a holy mosque, but people go into the great cathedrals of nature and ravage the rainforests and the oceans, and the rest of the world just tut tuts and has another conference.
Watson is trying to do something every day, to save the whales, the seals, the sharks, the great creatures of the sea. It is cold, dangerous and lonely work. He is a great man who will be remembered  when all the little men who scurry round on their hamster wheels and cling to their safe worlds have long been forgotten.

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