Five more Greenpeace activists arrested on Slope

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Five more Greenpeace activists were arrested at a North Slope oil development for trespassing on Tuesday, bringing to nine the number taken into custody this week.

State troopers said the five were arrested shortly after 6 a.m. after they crossed a no-trespass line at BP Amoco's Northstar oil project, a few miles offshore in the arctic.

The five are identified as Tom Platt, 39, of Denver; Stephanie Hillman, 34, of Seattle; Phil Dunn, 39, of Vancouver, British Columbia; Paul Ruzycki, 35, of Toronto; and Martin Cotterell, 32, of Great Britain.

The Greenpeace group hooked a fiberglass hut to the back of a snowmachine and dragged onto BP Amoco's side of the no-trespass line, said trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson.

Two of the protesters had chained themselves inside the hut, while two others were on foot waving an anti-Northstar banner.

Wilkinson said troopers and North Slope Borough police used boltcutters to remove the chained pair. All five were arrested without incident.

Dan Ritzman, a Greenpeace spokesman in Anchorage, said the trespassing was was intended to get the Northstar project into the news in advance of a Thursday meeting of BP shareholders in London.

''We go out there and take the stand and do what we feel is right to draw attention to bad projects,'' said Ritzman, who himself was arrested for trespassing at Northstar last month.

The environmental group is pushing a motion to shut down Northstar and divert the money for its development -- nearly $700 million -- to BP's solar-energy division.

The group maintains that the Northstar project will add to global warming and its pipeline could spill oil that would damage the fragile arctic environment.

Ronnie Chappell, a BP Amoco spokesman in Anchorage, said the publicity stunt was not likely to yield dividends at the London meeting.

''We believe (Northstar) meets the environmental expectations of our shareholders,'' he said. ''We don't expect a Greenpeace-sponsored proposal to garner significant support.''

Four Greenpeace members were arrested at Northstar on Monday.

One of the four reportedly climbed onto a backhoe laying the undersea pipeline that will carry Northstar oil to shore.

Four other Greenpeace activists were arrested last month. They were accused of entering the Northstar project site in the Beaufort Sea without permission.

Greenpeace has had a camp with heated huts on the ice about a mile and a half from the Northstar field since mid-February.

Ritzman said six Greenpeace activists remained at the Beaufort Sea camp.

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