PATHWAY TO WHALE FREEDOM by Dean Jefferys 4-4-2014
While watching the International Court of Justice, ICJ, give its verdict that meant the Japanese whalers would no longer be shooting exploding harpoons into my whale friends in the Antarctic I screamed so loud I though someone might call the police. For over 10 years myself and millions of people around the world have been wondering how is it possible that these magnificent creatures of the ocean are still being killed under the blatant lie of “scientific research” This lie, that resulted in over 10000 whales being killed is finally exposed in the Highest Court on this Planet Ocean. This is a major victory for the whales and a huge step forward in humanities evolution. Japan may choose to keep killing whales in the northern hemisphere yet a precedent has been set and if they do, other northern hemisphere countries can challenge Japan in the ICJ again and most likely win.
So how did this ICJ case and this huge power shift come about? Around ten years ago local Byron Filmmaker and Whale activist Mick McIntyre who was then working for IFAW, International Fund for Animal Welfare as the Director for the Asia Pacific region commissioned a report with some lawyers on the feasibility of taking Japan to the ICJ. Although a positive outcome looked promising no government wanted to upset the Japanese Government even though it was obvious that this is what the Australian public really wanted. Mick presented the ICJ case report to Kevin Rudd in 2007 who could see that public opinion wanted more action on whales and could see his election chances improving if he took on Peter Garret and the ICJ case. The rest is history. So everyone who sent an email to the PM, voted for Labor or the Greens in 2007, signed and forwarded an anti whaling petition, threw money in a Sea Shepherd tin, bought and wore a tee shirt, traveled to the Antarctic on a Sea Shepherd ship, protested at the Japanese Consulate in Brisbane, boycotted Japanese products, spoke to their friends and family about whaling and did so many other things around the world, all contributed to the outcome of this ICJ case. People power at its best.
People have asked me do you think Japan will really stop or just try to find another loophole to squeeze through. My response and true feeling is whaling is over for Japan. This is the ruling many if not most Japanese have been waiting for. I’m sure the Japanese consulate in Brisbane is one of many Japanese diplomats and citizens that will be happy not to be associated with this blatant lie the government has been running and also to disassociate themselves with the cruel practice of killing Whales. It is also a face saving way to exit whaling as for the last 5 years Sea Shepherds activities that have stopped Japan killing thousands of whales has meant every year Japan looses millions of dollars and the Government continues to subsidize whaling. Now Japan can say they are good global citizens by obeying the ICJ ruling and that they are not stopping whaling because Sea Shepherd made whaling financially unviable. Credit due here to Paul Watson and all the Sea Shepherd crew and volunteers for being relentless and keeping the pressure up.
Later that night after celebrating the ruling on Face book as I lay in bed with waves of euphoria drifting over me I could feel the whales of Planet Ocean take a deep breath of relief. Yet I felt their deep breath wasn’t for their own species it was for us. They are grateful that humanity has reached this stage in our evolution where humans no longer wish to kill Whales and Dolphins and have taken the necessary action to reflect this desire. We are now fast approaching the time where humanity must respect all the creatures of the ocean and the land for the intelligent beings they are and not kill them for food or enslave them in cages or aquariums for our entertainment.
At 5 am the morning of the ICJ verdict I was with over 1000 people gathered at Bentley CSG protect to stop Metagasgo establishing an exploration well. The police where too out numbered to turn up. Images of the rich elite and the rebelling underclass workers in the movie “Hunger Games” came flooding into my mind. This is the time we say no to greedy Governments and Corporations that are set on exploiting, destroying and poisoning our land and water and killing the Planets animals and oceans. Enough is enough. The events of last Monday the 31st of March 2014 gave me great faith in humanity that we are at the tipping point where anything is possible. We just need to see and believe this change will happen and do what is necessary. Don’t say the rig will get through eventually, don’t say animals will always be in captivity, see what is possible, see all the dolphins and whales and sharks swimming free, the factory farms closing, the ancient forests standing strong, the rivers running free and clean, renewable energy replacing fossil fuels, people loving their brothers and sisters around the world free from greed and tyranny. It’s that or “Hunger Games” and I know what reality I want for my children.
Following are some pics from over the last 10 years with the whales