Paul Watson: Environmental Actovist
by; John Duff Burris
GreenPeace(where Paul began)
GreenPeace is a widely known environmental charity group dedicated to peaceful protests. Well it wasn't always so peaceful, not as long as Paul was there. Back in 1969, when nuclear testing was being held on the far islands of Alaska, Paul and some of his friends decided to protest this act. So they all decided to get on a boat and sail to the next island and stay there to test the government and see if they were willing to put their lives in danger. Sadly they were caught by the coastguard after making a stop along the American coast without their passports. They never made it to the nuclear test sight but the captain of the coastguard vessel let them off with a warning because he was in favor of their cause. Soon after these events, the GreenPeace organization was founded.
Pauls extreme protesting
Paul Watson always took things one step further. He was always willing to put himself int the face of danger. Whether it was from going to a nuclear test zone to coming face to face with a USSR harpoon gun, he would always stick to his beliefs no matter what. In one famous example in 1976, Paul was leading an expedition to go fid and stop baby seal hunters in Northern Canada. Usually the people they protest against would listen and reason with Greenpeace, but not these hunters. as soon as Paul began yelling into his megaphone the ships anchor began to rise. When Paul realized he wasn't getting through to them, he took action. Pul ran up to the boat on the ice and grabbed the anchor chain and got pulled up the side of the boat. He suffered a concussion and a small case of hypothermia but he did succeed, the seal hunting stopped after this
GreenPeace gets rid of Paul
After all of Pauls daring protests he was eventually caught and put in prison for a few years. After he got out he began searching for a new place to protest, but Greenpeace changed. Once they saw what Paul was doing they realized what bad credit would come towards their name. They wanted to gear more towards peace and not waging wars over what they believed. so the executives of Greenpeace international held a vote, and with a deciding vote of 11-1, Paul Watson was kicked out of his own company.
Many of you probably know of the show Whale Wars. Well Paul Watson is the captain of all the ships used to stop the whalers in that show. After greenpeace he decided to take up protesting by himself and managed to pick up a spot on tv where he went to extremes to stop whaling ships. And if you've seen the show then you'll know how crazy Paul Watson can get
What i took from this project is that when you normally hear about conservationists and protesters. you usually imagine large groups of people peacefully asking politely for change, but in this case it wasn't like that at all. Sure he did save a few species from getting hunted, and yeah he was fighting for a good reason but at the same time he was called a "terrorist" and "psychopath" and here we sit today watching him ram these huge ships into smaller ones while still legally fighting for the environment. So what i learned is that just because some people fight for a good cause, doesn't mean they are the best of people.
At first i wasn't going to pick Paul but then i realized that he would be a great example for how over the top people can be about something they love.