Greenpeace furious after judge rules “ramming” incident in Canaries was lawful
Greenpeace has revealed shocking new video footage of the moment the Spanish Navy “rammed” two of their boats during a protest over oil exploration in the Canaries.
One of the protestors, a young girl, was thrown into the freezing ocean and had to be saved from drowning. She suffered a serious leg fracture, cuts and bruises when struck by a propellor and spent several weeks in hospital.
The environmental organisation is furious that a Spanish judge has dismissed their case which alleged excessive force by the authorities. He ruled this was NOT the case and the Spanish peacekeeping boats acted within the law.
Video footage of the incident, which was viewed by nearly one million people on Youtube, was distributed at the time but now Greenpeace has released new images from the air which shows the extent of what happened in November 2014. The video is posted on its Facebook page.
The Spanish Navy boats are clearly seen speeding towards the Greenpeace dinghies and going over the top of them. One of the occupants is also seen diving in to rescue the 21-year-old girl who was catapulted into the sea.
Greenpeace activists were protesting about plans to drill for oil near Lanzarote and Fuerteventura and were circling near a Repsol ship.
The test drilling was eventually called off when no oil was found.
The incident happened in November 2014 and led the Spanish Army and government to defend its actions in the wake of widespread condemnation for the force used. They called the Greenpeace campaigners “pirates”. Two other activists were injured.
Greenpeace launched its lawsuit against the Spanish Government for the injuries to the three campaigners. They said they were only exercising their right to demonstrate, it was a peaceful protest and the Spanish Navy was “more violent than the Russian army.”
Lanzarote’s president, Pedro San Ginés said at the time that it was “a brutal aggression” and described the video of the conflict as “pictures of shame”.
The Spanish magistrate who has ruled against Greenpeace said what happened did NOT constitute a crime and has dismissed the case.
He ruled the Navy’s actions were within the law to prevent protestors from boarding the Repsol oil drilling ship. They were carrying out a safety function and “maintenance of public order”.
He said the Greenpeace boats had been asked several times to withdraw and the Navy boats had approached only after asking for clearance from their superiors. They were therefore simply obeying orders.
“The Greenpeace activists showed a pattern of clear rebellion, knowingly and willingly penetrating a maritime exclusion zone,” he said.
Greenpeace says it released the new video footage following dismissal of its case.
The organisation still maintains it was “a disproportionate and brutal action against activists” and feels the video continues to prove the point.