Actress Lucy Lawless Arrested After Protesting Oil-Drilling in New Zealand

Lucy Lawless Green Peace - H 2012
Greenpeace International/Facebook

Lucy Lawless Green Peace - H 2012

The "Xena: Warrior Princess" star was among a group of activists who camped out on a ship to raise awareness about Arctic oil drilling.

Actress Lucy Lawless was arrested in her native country of New Zealand on Monday after protesting aboard an Arctic oil-drilling ship.

Police arrested the Xena: Warrior Princess star along with five Greenpeace activists after the group boarded the ship to prevent it from leaving on an oil-drilling excursion, and raise awareness about Arctic oil drilling.

Lawless and the activists arrived at the Port of Taranaki on Friday, and climbed the 174-foot drilling tower of the Shell drillship the Noble Discoverer. The ship was set to leave for the Chukchi Sea for a series of exploratory drills over the weekend.

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While the activists could have been charged with "unlawfully being on a ship,” police have instead decided to charge them with a more serious crime of burglary. In a press release, Greenpeace stated that no property was taken or damaged during the occupation.

All of the activists have been released and are scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

"This chapter has ended, but the story of the battle to save the Arctic has just begun," said Lawless, in a statement from Greenpeace. "Seven of us climbed up that drillship to stop Arctic drilling, but 133,000 of us came down."

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Greenpeace stated in a press release that after Lawless and the activists made camp on the ship, more than 135,000 people sent an email to Shell executives telling them to cancel their plans to drill in the Arctic.

Shell New Zealand Chairman Rob Jager said in a release that the protests had endangered lives and he was glad it was over. He added that the Greenpeace protesters did not accept the company’s offer for a "productive conversation" about the protests.