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Watch: Greenpeace activist violently attacked by bluefin tuna fishermen

John Hocevar, from Greenpeace's flagship the Rainbow Warrior, writes about the assault on the Greenpeace staff blog:

"We are in Valletta Harbor in Malta. We learned that there were two vessels here owned by Fuentes, the tuna tycoon who controls over half the bluefin catch in the Mediterranean. We decided to board the vessel to inspect the cargo and documentation. Three women, Emma, Rita, and Liz, were the first to volunteer.

After the vessels refused our polite request to allow us access, Emma stepped on board to press the point. She was immediately attacked – they punched her, pulled her hair, picked her up and threw her overboard. One person hurled a large wooden pallet which whistled by our heads, and another tossed a full bucket of paint into one of our boats. If either of those had hit their intended targets, someone could have been seriously injured, but fortunately no damage was done."

This all reminds me about the video which shows peaceful environmental activists who were protecting an old-growth forest in Tasmania, Australia, being violently attacked by timber workers.

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In today's world of increased piracy, you cannot just board a ship when you are denied access. The crew of the ship has good reason, no matter where they are in the world, to be concerned about an unknown person boarding their ship. Boarding a ship after being denied permission is trespassing, and any illegal action that can be perceived as aggression cannot be considered a peaceful protest.

It's great that Greenpeace is bringing attention to irresponsible and unsustainable fishing practices, but common sense must be employed.

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I think this says pretty much about the fishermen:

"Last year, we overheard one tuna vessel owner complaining that it was not fair that Greenpeace activists were often women, as it’s awkward to beat them up. Apparently, times have changed – these thugs did not hesitate."

They are thugs!

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