On Monday, the actress Lucy Lawless was arrested in New Zealand.

Usually when a celebrity gets arrested its not good news, but in this instance rather than feeling pity, regret or contempt for the celebrity who’s had a brush with the law I have to say I had increased respect for Lawless.

I’ll admit that as a teenager who religiously watched her show Xena: Warrior Princessmy feelings for Lawless were slightly less than respectful.

Ah, Xena, be still my beating heart.

Lawless was arrested following her part in a Greenpeace protest in Wellington, NZ, in which she and 5 other activists climbed up a 174 foot drilling tower on an oil ship in order to protest Shell’s oil drilling campaign and stop the ship from being able to leave port.

The group spent four days on their perilous perch before being removed by the police and charged by the authorities.

Lawless atop the tower.

Having been interviewed on Friday, Lawless spoke about feeling compelled to protest and take a stand against climate change. She said:

“I’ve got three kids. My sole biological reason for being on this planet is to ensure that they can flourish, and they can’t do that in a filthy, degraded environment…We need to stand up while we still can.”

I got a lot of respect for that, and for all people who chose to peacefully protest and make their voice heard. Its an admirable quality, and while I don’t always agree with people’s opinion, I do feel respect for them going out and making a stand for what they believe in.

Peaceful protest is a cornerstone to democracy, I think, and encourages an open and frank discussion and exchange of ideas.

As ever, when I hear about stories like this I can’t help feeling that I’m failing to do my part, there are many things I’m opposed to, but aside from ranting on here, retweeting things and signing the occasional petition I don’t really do much in the form of activism.

I did go on a march a few years ago to protest against the war in Iraq, and I look back on that with a small amount of pride, regardless of the fact it made no difference, I at least attempted to voice my opposition and show that a large section of the population were against the war.

I always wonder when I watch history shows how I’d have acted at the time, if I’d been in various places at different times, what would I have done. I like to think that I’d have taken part in anti-war marches in the sixties, protested against nuclear weapons and maybe even been a freedom rider, but the fact is, judging by my current actions I’d probably have done nothing, and just followed the events on the news.

Maybe I could add this as a belated resolution. To be more active, maybe look into joining Amnesty International or something, and attending protests if I’m able.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. TTFN

All information taken from this article.

Listened to today: More Than This: The Best of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music.


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