As you read this, there are eight Greenpeace activists trapped inside an office, surrounded by an angry mob of 300 loggers in trucks, vans and on motorbikes. You can read more about the story here.
Shortly after arriving in the office this morning, I learned Greenpeace activists in the Amazon were trapped inside a government building that was surrounded by loggers. As I was updated on the situation, there were chills running down my spine. I can't make believe to know exactly how they are feeling, but do remember what it is like to be surrounded by an angry mob in the Amazon.
Last year, I went to the Amazon to take action with other activists and close down Cargill's illegal soya plant in Santarem. Shortly after we arrived at the facility, our ship and the plant were surrounded by angry soya ranchers and farmers. I can remember standing on the deck of the Arctic Sunrise and watching boat after boat of angry men screaming and shooting fireworks at the ship. Eventually, the Captain decided the situation was too dangerous and we were all ordered down into the hold of the ship. Because I was fielding media inquiries, I ended up with 2 other people in the radio operators room just next to the deck. As the angry mob boarded the Arctic Sunrise, we could hear them breaking windows, knocking in doors, firing fireworks and screaming. Even though I was comforted to be with other activists, knowing that we were trapped inside with nowhere to go was still very frightening. Eventually, the military and federal police boarded and the men went back to their boats.
It's almost 5:30 in DC and it's for some of us to head home for the day. I am inspired by the work our activists were there to do today and waiting to hear about their safe return. Stay tuned, I'll make sure to update you all as soon as we hear something.