Sea Shepherd and the Terroristic Sound of Nickelback

by Will Potter on April 9, 2010

in Activism & Activists' Response

nickelback sea shepherd

Japanese whalers have repeatedly labeled Sea Shepherd, the environmental group, a “terrorist organization” because of the campaigns to end the slaughter of whales in a whale sanctuary. They have even gone so far as to label Animal Planet terrorists because of the show Whale Wars. And the Japanese government recently announced it is pressing charges against Peter Bethune, the captain of a Sea Shepherd ship that the Japanese whalers rammed and destroyed.

In light of this, I think it would be a good opportunity to the put the actions of Sea Shepherd in perspective. In every social movement, there are a range of possible tactics, both legal and illegal, violent and nonviolent.

A reader has alerted me to a dangerous escalation of tactics on the high seas, presumably in response to the draconian actions of the Japanese government. Sea Shepherd’s actions are mild compared to the potential threat of a much more dangerous terrorist group:


Check out this photo of Sea Shepherd crew members with these grenade launchers donated by the rock band. Well, they are not grenade launchers. They are t-shirt launchers that the band used at concerts. Both are deadly weapons, however: the carnage that is a Nickelback t-shirt would send even the most hardened whaler running for his dinghy.

Sea Shepherd was reportedly using the launchers to toss bottles of stinky, rotten-buttery liquid onto the whaling decks, to interfere with the slaughter and processing of whale meat. [Here is the original photo from the Institute for Cetacean Research, aka the whalers.]

To be honest, I was a bit disappointed that this is the extent of Nickelback’s involvement in Sea Shepherd’s so-called “eco-terrorism.” I was hoping that the world’s most hated band would blare some of their terrible songs at the whalers, Branch Davidian style.

The next time whalers complain about “eco-terrorism,” I hope they remember the noble restraint shown by these environmental activists. To paraphrase Dr. King, in the shadow of every non-violent activist is someone in a black mask with a Nickelback album.

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