WARSAW, Poland (AP) – Environmental group Greenpeace said Tuesday that armed and masked Polish border guards boarded their ship as it was trying to block a delivery of coal to the port in Gdansk, arresting activists and seizing the vessel.
Greenpeace said the activists were holding a “climate emergency protest” to make Poland phase out its dependence on coal.
Marek Jozefiak, a campaigner with the group, said that the ship’s captain and one activist remained detained, along with the ship, the Rainbow Warrior. He told The Associated Press the border guards were armed and broke a window to get inside.
He expressed “surprise” at the scope of the border guards’ action against what he called a “peaceful action in defense of the environment.”
Jozefiak said that for several hours the activists on board the Rainbow Warrior and in smaller boats had blocked a shipment of coal from Mozambique from entering the Gdansk port. They had painted “Stop Coal,” as well as “Poland Beyond Coal 2030,” and “No Future in Coal’ on the cargo ship’s side.
Polish border authorities said eighteen activists were brought to their local headquarters for interrogation after guards forced their way onto the Rainbow Warrior on Monday night.