July, 2008, activists from all over the world traveled to
Chile to lend a voice of resistance to the slaughtering of
whales with a united message to end all whaling. Members from
Cascadia Earth First! Joined local efforts in sending a clear
message to pro-whaling nations that the majority of people
around the world want to see whales protected. It is
only a small minority that could drive these animals to extinction
and so it is the responsibility of the majority to protect
the whales and prevent that from happening, says one
EF! activist from the US.
IWC is the international commission that regulates whale related
issues in the oceans including the controversial continuation
of whaling by Japan, Norway, Iceland, and Indigenous tribes
of North America. Commercial whaling has been banned since
1986, yet every year these rogue member nations have completely
disregarded the majority vote passed by the commission to
end whaling. The IWC is not equipped to hold these nations
accountable, so the killing of whales continues.
oppose Japan´s pseudo scientific research whaling program
where the country has killed an estimated 30,000 whales since
the 1986 moratorium, including the endangered Humpback and
Fin. Demonstrators oppose all forms of whaling primarily because
whale populations are struggling to recover from near extinction.
Local animal rights organization- Coalición por los
Derechos Animales (CDA)- has been preparing for this meeting
since December of last year by holding demonstrations outside
the Japanese and Norwegian Embassies. The group, coordinated
with several groups and individuals from all over the country,
collected over 25,000 signatures against whaling to present
to the Commission, networking and coordinating with other
organizations, as well as holding educational tables. It
is the responsibility of everyone to take action against the
whaling slaughter, so we have to do all that we can with our
resources to alert people, says Gabriela Penela of CDA.
Every form of life is intrinsic and valuable. This species
is endangered because of corporations supported by a few governments
that are trying to keep bloody and outdated traditions alive.
from CDA and Juvan, an animal liberation group from Concepción,
rushed the hotel to disrupt the meeting. Repression surged
on the activists as water-cannon and tear-gas vehicles arrived.
With the intense police presence, most of the un-permitted
protesters were detained and arrested.
that week, roughly 50 activists with CDA held a candlelight
vigil for the tens of thousands of whales murdered by members
of the (IWC), and by the greed and ignorance of humans. We
are at a pivotal point in our history where we can determine
whether we value the great whales and want them to continue
to exist or not do enough to protect them and watch them vanish.
Historically, there were millions of whales in the oceans.
During the last four hundred years, humans perfected ways
to hunt these animals to near extinction. While certain whale
populations have slightly rebounded, their populations are
only a small fraction of what they used to be. Whales have
the right to exist, no human on this planet has the right
to kill them.
the scheduled lunch break of the conference, Japan gave a
presentation detailing their pseudo-scientific
research program, JARPA II. JARPA II doubles the number of
whales killed each year in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary, compared
to previous research programs. Up to 935 minke whales will
be hunted each year. For the first time, the fin whale- the
world´s second largest whale-is being hunted under the
program. There has been repeated criticism of the validity
and necessity of Japan´s scientific whaling program
at the IWC. The IWC has passed more than 40 separate resolutions
rejecting scientific whaling since the moratorium came into
effect. In June 2005, a resolution was passed condemning the
JARPA II program and calling for its amendment or withdrawl.
The adoption of this resolution was co-sponsored by 26 countries.
ridiculous facade of Japan´s presentation was met by
stink bombs to demonstrate that Japan´s scientific research
is not only unjust and unnecessary, but it ´STINKS!´
Today Japan received a foul-smelling reminder of what their
whalers are accustomed to out at sea. We are here to make
sure that Japan will be confronted with resistance wherever
they go- city or sea- until they stop slaughtering whales.
Particularly to the bogus scientific research program Japan
has been hiding behind for the last 21 years as a front to
continue to kill whales in order to appease an outdated tradition.
We are facing a global crisis with pollution, global warming,
and overpopulation. Japan keeps coming up with new ´programs´
as an excuse to keep killing whales to sell as food. Japan
has no respect for protected Sanctuaries, and they have no
respect for the demands of the rest of the world.
after the stink bombs were released, a member of CDA went
toe-to-toe with conference organizers and police in defense
of whales by locking his body to the front doors of the Sheraton
Hotel. International media and police swarmed him as he passionately
shouted a demand for an end to all whaling. After two failed
attempts, police finally extracted him as a witness burst
into tears from the protester´s emotional plea. There
are nations that are still killing whales with any excuse
to make money. This is genocide that we must stop!,
said Wladimir Madrid. Every tactic which applies pressure
is valid to end whaling.
in the evening, demonstrators returned to the IWC conference
to hold a street theatre whale cemetery to honor the great
whales massacred to near extinction. Two blood-splattered
men posed as being freshly harpooned to make the connection
between human and animal life. They stood in the middle of
a cemetery with whale-tail tombstones labeled R.I.P. We
think that animals have the right to live just the same as
humans, said Abel Cisterna from Juvan. Whales
are living beings who can suffer the same as us, and they
are at risk of being extict.
numbered 20 for the week, a 75 foot banner was unfurled from
the edge of a cliff and then a billboard, and there was only
one run-in with the Chilean SWAT team...who let us keep our