Whale activists in danger - please help

We urgently need your help to protect our activists in Korea and stop a whale meat factory from being built.

Click here to take action now!

As many of you know, we recently uncovered plans by the city of Ulsan in South Korea to build a factory for butchering whales. We immediately set up a camp near the site to expose the plan and oppose it with our presence: we called it our Whale Embassy.

The city council is highly embarrassed by our presence, and has tried every way they can to shut us down and shut us up. Yesterday they gave us an official eviction notice with a DEADLINE OF THIS MONDAY, MAY 16TH to take down our geodesic dome tent, remove our educational exhibits about whales, and get out of the way.

We've said we'll be happy to leave -- just as soon as the city cancels the plans for the whale factory.

Click here to take action now!

Whale campaigner Jim Wickens says: "It is quite clear that they want to stifle any criticism of their plans to build the factory... We have told them that any attempts to evict us forcibly will reflect very badly on their international image."

There have already been several attempts at intimidation, official and unofficial. According to Wickens: "Last night at four in the morning four local fishermen turned up looking for trouble, luckily there were others awake to come and help. We have been tipped off that in Korea in sensitive political protests, the authorities sometimes hire thugs to do the dirty work. There is a distinct possibility that they may do this in the form of fake fishermen coming to beat us up, or even inflaming local fishermen to actually do it for them."

The factory Jim and his fellow activists are opposing will be used to process whales which have been "accidentally" killed by entanglement in fishing nets. In reality, there's nothing accidental about these killings. Fishing fleets around the world report annually how many whales they kill by accidentally nettings, and this usually amounts to one or two whales for an entire nation's fleet. In Korea, which allows the sale of meat from accidental kills and where a whale carcass can be worth $100,000, the annual kill rate can be up to a 100 times that.

The picture at left is of an "accidentally" caught juvenile minke whale, which we witnessed butchered and sold for $30,000.

The man with the power to protect our activists AND stop the whale factory is the town's mayor, Mr. Park Maeng-woo. Unfortunately, the mayor is being pressured by fisherman and local businessmen, like the deputy vice president of Hyundai corporation, who strongly support building the factory. If Mr. Park Maeng-woo is to make a balanced decision, he needs all the facts. He needs to know that the world is watching, and that people who don't want to see whales killed for commerce are paying attention to what he does about our activists and the factory.

Please, time is very short: send a message right now to Mr. Park Maeng-woo and let him know we want our activists protected and we want the whale factory stopped.

Click here to take action now!


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Mai 2005

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