From RT.com: A US federal court has branded the conservationist group Sea Shepherd as pirates, and ordered them to cease their operations at sea, opening the door for Japanese whalers to pursue legal action in the United States against the activists.
Chief judge Alex Kozinski wrote in an 18-page opinion that “you don’t need a peg leg or an eye patch” to be classified as pirates.
“When you ram ships, hurl glass containers of acid, drag metal-reinforced ropes in the water to damage propellers and rudders, launch smoke bombs and flares with hooks, and point high-powered lasers at other ships, you are, without a doubt, a pirate,” he said, adding that the group’s actions were the “very embodiment of piracy.”
Earlier, Japanese whalers from the Institute of Cetacean Research filed legal action in the US to stop the Sea Shepherd’s anti-whaling activism. But District Judge Richard Jones sided with the activists, leading to a ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed the original decision and criticized Jones.
The ruling will allow Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research to pursue legal action in the US against the Sea Shepherd’s activism. Even though whaling is illegal in Australian waters, the Sea Shepherd activists have no right to initiate a standoff, Kozinski said: “It is for Australia, not Sea Shepherd, to police Australia’s court orders.”
The US ruling also criticized Jones, stating that he was “off base” when arguing that the protesters’ tactics were nonviolent because they did not target people, just ships and equipment: “The district judge’s numerous, serious and obvious errors identified in our opinion raise doubts as to whether he will be perceived as impartial in presiding over this high-profile case.”
The case will now be transferred to another judge. Read more here…
reblogged by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee