Kiel, German territory: About 50 activists of Smash Cruiseshit blocked a cruis liner in the harbour today. Update: German police evicted the activists after they successfully blocked the ship for seven hours.
Cruise liner “Zuiderdam” blocked in Kiel – for holidays without exploitation and environmental destruction
At the moment about 50 activists* of the group “Smash Cruiseshit” are blocking the departure of the cruise liner “Zuiderdam” from Kiel harbour in boats and with climbing equipment and are thus intervening directly in the booming business. With various paddle boats and climbing equipment on the ropes of the ship as well as on the construction crane for a new terminal building (which is supposed to enable even more cruises), they spread the message that cruises will no longer be tolerated.
The ships contribute significantly to the climate crisis by emitting carbon dioxide, whether the ships run on extremely polluting heavy fuel oil or on liquefied petroleum gas generated by fracking. The expansion of the cruise industry is swallowing every technical improvement – although CO2 emissions per person are falling, overall emissions are rising as more and more cruises are offered. But because the environmental damage is suffered by others, such as the Pacific states that are sinking into the sea, it is worth it for the tourism corporations to offer cruises. Refugees drown in the Mediterranean, but there are ships and money for tourists who take a sun bath at the pool. This situation is unacceptable, which is why we are now taking action ourselves.
Here the press release of the group “Smash Cruiseshit” with further information.
Press release: Cruise liner blocked – for holidays without exploitation and environmental destruction
Kiel, 9.6.2019 – Currently about 50 activists of the group “Smash Cruiseshit” are blocking the departure of the cruise liner “Zuiderdam” from the port of Kiel in boats and with climbing equipment in order to interrupt its pollutant emissions and draw attention to the exploitative working conditions on board. The declared aim is to draw the attention of tourists to the catastrophic local and global consequences of cruises.
“We are no longer allowing Pacific states to sink into the sea because tourists are lying in the pool and in the meantime want to travel from city to city,” Johanna explains.
Cruise liners contribute significantly to the climate crisis by emitting greenhouse gases.
During trips to the Arctic, sooty particles are left on the ice, which makes the ice melt even faster. But this is not the only way cruise ships contribute to the destruction of their destinations, also by destroying coral reefs and exhaust fumes in the port cities. This is particularly visible in the fjords of Norway, where exhaust fumes cannot escape.
“cruises kill climate” is written on one of the banners and signals the urgent need for action. The IPCC report clearly shows that people in industrialized countries urgently need to stop leading their wasteful lifestyles at the expense of future generations and those already affected today.
“Over the last few years we have been distributing flyers again and again, including here at the terminal. However, the Kiel seaport has always tried to restrict our freedom of assembly in every conceivable way and to prevent us from approaching passengers,” explains activist Johanna. “In this way we can’t be overlooked and make clear that we won’t tolerate the continuation of cruises and even more so the further expansion of them.”
Neither the destinations nor the workers on the ship earn much from it. “Hourly wages of 2 euros and weekly working hours of 72 hours are simply inhuman. People from the global North spend their holidays here on the backs of those who are financially forced to work here. This exploitation must be stopped,” says Samira, who distributes flyers to passers-by on land.
Whether on land, with or without shore power or at sea, the natural resources consumed by the cruise industry are enormous and incompatible with climate protection goals. Even liquefied natural gas (LNG) as an energy supplier for cruise ships, which some shipping companies want to use in the future, cannot be a solution, as this fossil resource has unacceptable effects on the environment and the climate in terms of fracking and transport (methane slip). If society is serious about the 1.5 degree target, we will need a drastic dismantling of cruise operations in the next few years and an immediate halt to construction work on the new cruise terminal in Kiel.
“Let us rather support the sea rescue operations in the Mediterranean with the still existing cruise ships”, the activists suggest. They also draw attention to a lecture at which Wolfgang Meyer-Hentrich will read from his book “Wahnsinn Kreuzfahrt” (Madness Cruise) on July 2 at 7:00 p.m. in the Klingelhörsaal in Johanna-Mestorf-Straße 2.
Background information on cruises from the initiative against cruises: kreuzfahrt.nirgendwo.info
Update cruise liner blockade: Departure cancelled for the time being
The cruise liner blockade continues. According to information in the media, the “Zuiderdam” has cancelled the departure for today. First the police tried to clear the area, a person who had fixed himself to one of the ropes with climbing equipment was locked up for some time. The other person on the rope was able to escape after jumping into the water onto a rubber dinghy blocking the cruise ship.
Several kayaks prevented a lifeboat from removing the banner from the ship’s hull, which was attached with magnets.
Now the police tried to tow individual boats with the help of sea rescue ships. They succeeded in doing this with three kayaks, but only with one person – the others now continue to block swimming or standing on the bow of the ship.
In the meantime, several activists climbed on the construction crane for a new terminal. With the slogan “save climate, stop cruise ships” they call for dismantling instead of expanding mooring facilities for cruise ships: “If we want to save the climate, we have to reduce shipping, not expand it”.
After a few hours there was a tip in the Kieler news that the departure of the “Zuiderdam” had been cancelled for the time being.
Around 06:30pm the police started to tow more boats.
According to a tweet by @smashcruiseshit the blockade was cleared at 10:17pm. About 40 people were detained during the police operation. The group also tweeted that todays action was just the beginning of the resistance against cruise liners in the port of Kiel.
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