I guess it is some sort of badge of courage that world governments and populations take an interest in you, but one would hope they do so for similar reasons. This is not the case in Frankfurt, Germany at the moment.
While people around the world revere Captain Paul Watson for the stands he takes to save whales, as featured on the popular Animal Planet series Whale Wars, the German government has him under arrest for a 2005 complaint for the very actions millions cheer for each week. I hear the arresting officers were fans of the series, which was recently released there.
As I understand it, Paul Watson was arrested on an Interpol warrant for a complaint from Costa Rican fishermen for a collision at sea. Watson claims the fishermen were illegally poaching shark, and he intervened. The incident in question was caught on video by the crew filming Sharkwater, a feature length documentary film originally released in Canada in 2007. I have not seen the film, but understand the original arrest was featured and no one was injured nor was there any property damage.
Sea Shepherd has a past history of favorable actions in Costa Rica. In addition to Sharkwater, my film, Confessions of an Eco-terrorist documents Watson and his crew chasing illegal poachers out of the Cocos Island, a Costa Rican national park since 1978. This was something the local authorities had not been able to do by themselves for years.
Again, no one was injured.
Who cares, and why arrest him now? Have Watson's actions against Japanese whalers finally hit home? Is it finally getting to the Japanese? Australians? Americans? Governments will only put up with rebellion for so long and perhaps Watson has finally pushed them too far? Perhaps it's not a coincidence that the extradition request by Costa Rica was issued the same month (October 2011) as the Japanese lawsuit against Sea Shepherd was initiated.
Let's face it, governments, in general are guilty as hell of double-talk pretty much all of the time.
We Americans oppose whaling and we have laws against it. Why then does our government, as "green" as they appear, sign waivers to allow the Japanese to kill whales every year? The Australian people oppose whaling yet their government does nothing to stop the Japanese from reaping their slaughter within their economic zone. Why? Quite simply: money.
Let's hope the German government is wise enough to see through this harassment and release Captain Watson. I understand he was on his way to Cannes, the film festival, obviously on a covert mission to save the earth. He is no danger to anyone except those profiting from the death of our planet. It is better off for all of us that Captain Watson is released and allowed his freedom of travel.
The Danish Faeroe Islands are killing whales, the Japanese will continue to take whales in a sanctuary, and Germany holds Watson in jail for bumping a ship flagged to Costa Rica?
Do I understand this right?
I support law enforcement in some cases, but this is ridiculous. Let the man go free. Let him get back to his business of saving our oceans. Unless you are a whaler, you have to agree. We need whales in order to survive, and I come down with those who believe we don't need so many illegal fishermen, no matter where they come from. I will watch the proceedings in Germany, and others should too. We cannot let legal harassment such as this sidetrack our focus.
Let's quit screwing around and free Watson. Believe me, future generations will appreciate it.