Norwalk Captain Peter Willcox, 'Arctic 30' Crew Granted Amnesty In Russia

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Norwalk native and Greenpeace activist Peter Willcox will be allowed to return home after being granted amnesty by the Russian government. Photo Credit: Kirill Andreev/Greenpeace

NORWALK, Conn. -- Norwalk native and Greenpeace ship captain Peter Willcox has been granted amnesty by Russian parliament, along with 27 other crew members and two freelance photographers after nearly three months in prison.

The 26 non-Russian members of the "Arctic 30," who protested Russian oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean by trying to hang a banner on a drilling rig, will soon go free and return to their native countries.

“I might soon be going home to my family, but I should never have been charged and jailed in the first place," Willcox said in a statement. "We sailed north to bear witness to a profound environmental threat, but our ship was stormed by masked men wielding knives and guns. Now it’s nearly over and we may soon be truly free, but there’s no amnesty for the Arctic."

Willcox's ship, Arctic Sunrise, was boarded by Russian authorities wielding weapons during a September protest. The ship was towed to shore, where the crew was charged with piracy and jailed.

In the legal battle that followed, the charges were reduced to "hooliganism" and finally dropped altogether. Willcox and others were released from custody recently but not allowed to leave Russia. Celebrities and politicians from around the world voice their support for the arrested protesters during their jail time.

Willcox and the others will be free to return home once they are granted exit visas by Russian authorities.

"We may soon be home, but the Arctic remains a fragile global treasure under assault by oil companies and the rising temperatures they’re driving," Willcox added in the statement. "We went there to protest against this madness. We were never the criminals here.”

Read more Daily Voice articles about Willcox and his crew here.

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Comments (4)

Greenbeanie:

The Russians must be getting soft. This self-dramatizing clown needed to do some serious jail time in Siberia. Now he'll be back here, as a "hero", doing his Captain Ahab imitation, on the speaking circuit, raising money for the bunch of infantile hippy wannabes who comprise "Greenpeace"--a terrorist organization.

cap Bob:

Greenpeace a terrorist organization ? Sir , I do not believe that Greenpeace needs me to defend them , so don't get my message wrong . I am a Alaskan commercial fisherman , have been for forty years . The past two years I have been following my great uncles life in the Arctic one hundred years ago . One of my crew members was the founder of a science center in Alaska . He opened my eyes to what is going on in the Arctic . The resources are their, the corp money is their to get them , so drill baby drill . After all its only the Arctic . My advice to you is read a book called the Firecracker boys . Heck it was only three nuclear bombs , and only the Arctic. And if you can read that then read Icemasters , and if that is to much reading I will paraphrase it for you . I have a 50 foot motor sailer , of the months I spent in the Arctic , I couldn't find another human that knew how to clean up oil . Oh , except for us, we are proud members of Servs , thats the biggest oil response team in Alaska , if not the USA . In the Arctic there is no equipment , and no one to man the equipment to clean up oil . Remember those cooperation I was talking about ? They want to make the billions of dollars , but they wont put a clean up plan into effect . I been down this road, I crossed that bridge , Exxon changed my life forever . If not for environmentalist Exxon would still being doing business as usual . Hippie wannabes ? My goodness , come out of the 60s..............as always respectfully cap Bob

The Collective:

A true American hero

Tony G:

Chicken Little & the climate change cluckers.

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