28 international activists and two independent journalists currently sit in Russian cells with charges of piracy and hooliganism as a result of a peaceful protest again Arctic oil drilling.
The Arctic 30 were on the scene back in September at an off-shore oil platform owned by Russian oil giant Gazprom. When they arrived, the Russian Coast Guard fired warning shots and then illegally boarded and seized the Greenpeace ship, the Arctic Sunrise and the 30 individuals.
These charges carry with them maximum sentences of 15 and 7 years in a Russian prison.
Peaceful activism is vital when governments fail to respond to catastrophic climate change, and this disproportionate response is purely to intimidate people who stand up to companies and countries that are causing global warming.
Nearly 2 million people across the world have signed petitions to Russian embassies asking for the release of the Arctic 30. They are also taking action in other ways including climate action in their own lives and artistic support of the Arctic 30.
Here are 6 totally original artistic pieces inspired by the Arctic 30.
6. Canadian artist Gary Taxali created this powerful poster in solidarity of the Arctic 30.
5. 30 artists and activists create a mural in front of the Russian embassy in Argentina.
4. Martin van Breems, a longtime sailing friend of Captain Peter Willcox who is among the Arctic 30, sailed from Norwalk, Connecticut straight down the coast to highlight the situation in Russia. He convinced some of his friends to join him. Four boats with handmade sails executed 30 circles on the East River in front of the United Nations building to honor the Arctic 30, .
3. This artwork was created by Italian illustrator and painter Riccardo Guasco, who said: “I tried to express my solidarity with the arrested activists and the importance of safeguarding the Arctic with a simple drawing. An image is quick, it can be viewed by many people, so it becomes a stimulus for reflection.”
2. A ballet dancer performed her own version of the famous “Dying Swan” – perishing in oil sludge.
1. Famous street artist Eduardo Kobra exhibited his support for the #Arctic30 in Moscow with this mural demanding freedom for his fellow Brazilian Ana Paula Maciel.
If you’ve done something to combat climate change and stand up for peaceful protest, post it here!