Tuesday 15 October 
Dear James and all,
It’s -3 degrees C in Murmansk today and it’s snowing. I went all the way to the Arctic and didn’t see any snow/ice but I can see snow from my prison window. Ha!
There was a blizzard the other night. The winds were so strong that it blew my window open various times throughout the night. It was so cold that I had to sleep wearing a jumper and hat. I asked the guard how cold it got in December and he said -30 degrees C. I’m very nervous about that. 
December is also when the polar night kicks in. I told my lawyer that I have no desire to see polar night and would like to be home for Christmas, particularly because my friend is coming to Australia from the UK and we’re meant to be camping along the Great Ocean Road. He gave me a worried look and said my friend should come to Russia. I didn’t like that response.
The days are all blending into one and I’m bored senseless – I think my brain has turned to mush too. But it’s getting easier and I’m getting used to prison life. Even though I really don’t want to get used to it.
The guards are nice to us. At first they laughed at me which I found rather rude but now they ask me if I’m OK a lot. I get the feeling they enjoy having a few celebrities around the place J
Even the fellow prisoners seem to like us and shout out things like ‘I love you Greenpeace’ and ‘Greenpeace, Respect’! The guys share their cells with others and they seem to be nice even though they’ve done questionable things to land themselves in jail. 
Hernan [Miguel Hernan Perez Orzi from Argentina] even participated in a wedding! I’m tempted to get married, just so I can leave my cell for the day! 
The girls and I don’t share our cells. We all agree we prefer it that way, the Russian ladies sound crazy.
The food is still revolting. It’s always interesting working out what animal I have in my bowl each day. But Greenpeace sends me more than enough chocolate, so I’m eating a lot of sugar. I’ve got some fruit too.
It’s very lonely in my cell. I definitely faced my fear of my own company. I have a TV which is great! Even if it is in Russian. The music channel is good.  Justin Bieber and Katy Perry are helping me get through the days. And my favourite song ‘I will survive’ is played every night.
Prison is not like the movies! There is no basketball court to run around each day and there’s no library to sit in. Maybe that’s just American prisons? Well I wish we had gone to the American Arctic instead.
I am a stronger person now. I still cry but I cry less and that’s definitely a good thing. I was starting to make my consulate feel very awkward! When I’m sad I tap the wall and Camila [Speziale, 21 years old, Argentinian] taps back. So it’s OK.
A guard asked me if I liked Russia the other day. I laughed and said my experience hadn’t been great so far!
I’ve just started receiving a few of my letters. Thank you! You wouldn’t believe the difference they make. And also thank you for working so hard to get me out of here. I’ve got the sickening feeling that I’ll be seeing the New Year in Murmansk. The Olympic torch is coming to Murmansk today on an ice breaker! I hope the Arctic Sunrise is in the background.
I miss you all.

Alex xxxx
Alexandra Harris, 15 October to James Lorenz (Greenpeace Australia Pacific)  Tuesday 15 October 
Dear James and all,
It’s -3 degrees C in Murmansk today and it’s snowing. I went all the way to the Arctic and didn’t see any snow/ice but I can see snow from my prison window. Ha!
There was a blizzard the other night. The winds were so strong that it blew my window open various times throughout the night. It was so cold that I had to sleep wearing a jumper and hat. I asked the guard how cold it got in December and he said -30 degrees C. I’m very nervous about that. 
December is also when the polar night kicks in. I told my lawyer that I have no desire to see polar night and would like to be home for Christmas, particularly because my friend is coming to Australia from the UK and we’re meant to be camping along the Great Ocean Road. He gave me a worried look and said my friend should come to Russia. I didn’t like that response.
The days are all blending into one and I’m bored senseless – I think my brain has turned to mush too. But it’s getting easier and I’m getting used to prison life. Even though I really don’t want to get used to it.
The guards are nice to us. At first they laughed at me which I found rather rude but now they ask me if I’m OK a lot. I get the feeling they enjoy having a few celebrities around the place J
Even the fellow prisoners seem to like us and shout out things like ‘I love you Greenpeace’ and ‘Greenpeace, Respect’! The guys share their cells with others and they seem to be nice even though they’ve done questionable things to land themselves in jail. 
Hernan [Miguel Hernan Perez Orzi from Argentina] even participated in a wedding! I’m tempted to get married, just so I can leave my cell for the day! 
The girls and I don’t share our cells. We all agree we prefer it that way, the Russian ladies sound crazy.
The food is still revolting. It’s always interesting working out what animal I have in my bowl each day. But Greenpeace sends me more than enough chocolate, so I’m eating a lot of sugar. I’ve got some fruit too.
It’s very lonely in my cell. I definitely faced my fear of my own company. I have a TV which is great! Even if it is in Russian. The music channel is good.  Justin Bieber and Katy Perry are helping me get through the days. And my favourite song ‘I will survive’ is played every night.
Prison is not like the movies! There is no basketball court to run around each day and there’s no library to sit in. Maybe that’s just American prisons? Well I wish we had gone to the American Arctic instead.
I am a stronger person now. I still cry but I cry less and that’s definitely a good thing. I was starting to make my consulate feel very awkward! When I’m sad I tap the wall and Camila [Speziale, 21 years old, Argentinian] taps back. So it’s OK.
A guard asked me if I liked Russia the other day. I laughed and said my experience hadn’t been great so far!
I’ve just started receiving a few of my letters. Thank you! You wouldn’t believe the difference they make. And also thank you for working so hard to get me out of here. I’ve got the sickening feeling that I’ll be seeing the New Year in Murmansk. The Olympic torch is coming to Murmansk today on an ice breaker! I hope the Arctic Sunrise is in the background.
I miss you all.

Alex xxxx
Alexandra Harris, 15 October to James Lorenz (Greenpeace Australia Pacific) 

Tuesday 15 October

Dear James and all,

It’s -3 degrees C in Murmansk today and it’s snowing. I went all the way to the Arctic and didn’t see any snow/ice but I can see snow from my prison window. Ha!

There was a blizzard the other night. The winds were so strong that it blew my window open various times throughout the night. It was so cold that I had to sleep wearing a jumper and hat. I asked the guard how cold it got in December and he said -30 degrees C. I’m very nervous about that.

December is also when the polar night kicks in. I told my lawyer that I have no desire to see polar night and would like to be home for Christmas, particularly because my friend is coming to Australia from the UK and we’re meant to be camping along the Great Ocean Road. He gave me a worried look and said my friend should come to Russia. I didn’t like that response.

The days are all blending into one and I’m bored senseless – I think my brain has turned to mush too. But it’s getting easier and I’m getting used to prison life. Even though I really don’t want to get used to it.

The guards are nice to us. At first they laughed at me which I found rather rude but now they ask me if I’m OK a lot. I get the feeling they enjoy having a few celebrities around the place J

Even the fellow prisoners seem to like us and shout out things like ‘I love you Greenpeace’ and ‘Greenpeace, Respect’! The guys share their cells with others and they seem to be nice even though they’ve done questionable things to land themselves in jail.

Hernan [Miguel Hernan Perez Orzi from Argentina] even participated in a wedding! I’m tempted to get married, just so I can leave my cell for the day!

The girls and I don’t share our cells. We all agree we prefer it that way, the Russian ladies sound crazy.

The food is still revolting. It’s always interesting working out what animal I have in my bowl each day. But Greenpeace sends me more than enough chocolate, so I’m eating a lot of sugar. I’ve got some fruit too.

It’s very lonely in my cell. I definitely faced my fear of my own company. I have a TV which is great! Even if it is in Russian. The music channel is good.  Justin Bieber and Katy Perry are helping me get through the days. And my favourite song ‘I will survive’ is played every night.

Prison is not like the movies! There is no basketball court to run around each day and there’s no library to sit in. Maybe that’s just American prisons? Well I wish we had gone to the American Arctic instead.

I am a stronger person now. I still cry but I cry less and that’s definitely a good thing. I was starting to make my consulate feel very awkward! When I’m sad I tap the wall and Camila [Speziale, 21 years old, Argentinian] taps back. So it’s OK.

A guard asked me if I liked Russia the other day. I laughed and said my experience hadn’t been great so far!

I’ve just started receiving a few of my letters. Thank you! You wouldn’t believe the difference they make. And also thank you for working so hard to get me out of here. I’ve got the sickening feeling that I’ll be seeing the New Year in Murmansk. The Olympic torch is coming to Murmansk today on an ice breaker! I hope the Arctic Sunrise is in the background.

I miss you all.

Alex xxxx

Alexandra Harris, 15 October to James Lorenz (Greenpeace Australia Pacific) 

To: Greenpeace Italy
From: Cristian D’Alessandro
Murmansk, 31.10.2013
Prison nullifies a man, it destroys his dignity. It’s a place not suitable for the guilty, even less for the innocent. I face it knowing that a bit of that indifference which rules in so called “civil society” has been put aside; that people have become aware that the interests of the oil industry are so huge as to have caused such a violent and disproportionate reaction, to ignore the most basic principles of democracy and of human rights.
Then, after some weeks [of sailing in the Arctic], at dawn you couldn’t even feel the cold frost anymore, meanwhile in front of us that steel giant [Gazprom’s platform] in all its monstrosity looked like a lighted city in the middle of the sea. Suddenly, it  was a war scene: the automatic weapons, the shots, men in mimetic suits and covered faces stabbed the activists’ inflatables, eyes of ice stared at us through their balaclavas, echoed the cannon shooting from a coast guard ship, and then, army people came down from the sky. Finally, we were prisoners in our own ship.
All this in answer to our attempt to send a message in an absolutely peaceful and non-violent way. Then the ridiculous accusation of “piracy” was brought, then turned into what in Italian has been translated as “teppismo” (hooliganism). We’ve been accused of hooliganism just because we have given a voice to the Earth, which sadly can’t talk, but if it could it would say to everybody to ‘bugger off’. 
Now you are our voice, and the messages of solidarity and the demonstrations all over the world give us the strength to hold on behind the bars.
While I’m waiting for our liberation I’m learning a bit of Russian, but I don’t think I will ever come back here; now in my mind there are only the mountains, the sun, the sea of my hometown….
Cristian D’Alessandro, 31 October to Greenpeace Italy To: Greenpeace Italy
From: Cristian D’Alessandro
Murmansk, 31.10.2013
Prison nullifies a man, it destroys his dignity. It’s a place not suitable for the guilty, even less for the innocent. I face it knowing that a bit of that indifference which rules in so called “civil society” has been put aside; that people have become aware that the interests of the oil industry are so huge as to have caused such a violent and disproportionate reaction, to ignore the most basic principles of democracy and of human rights.
Then, after some weeks [of sailing in the Arctic], at dawn you couldn’t even feel the cold frost anymore, meanwhile in front of us that steel giant [Gazprom’s platform] in all its monstrosity looked like a lighted city in the middle of the sea. Suddenly, it  was a war scene: the automatic weapons, the shots, men in mimetic suits and covered faces stabbed the activists’ inflatables, eyes of ice stared at us through their balaclavas, echoed the cannon shooting from a coast guard ship, and then, army people came down from the sky. Finally, we were prisoners in our own ship.
All this in answer to our attempt to send a message in an absolutely peaceful and non-violent way. Then the ridiculous accusation of “piracy” was brought, then turned into what in Italian has been translated as “teppismo” (hooliganism). We’ve been accused of hooliganism just because we have given a voice to the Earth, which sadly can’t talk, but if it could it would say to everybody to ‘bugger off’. 
Now you are our voice, and the messages of solidarity and the demonstrations all over the world give us the strength to hold on behind the bars.
While I’m waiting for our liberation I’m learning a bit of Russian, but I don’t think I will ever come back here; now in my mind there are only the mountains, the sun, the sea of my hometown….
Cristian D’Alessandro, 31 October to Greenpeace Italy

To: Greenpeace Italy

From: Cristian D’Alessandro

Murmansk, 31.10.2013

Prison nullifies a man, it destroys his dignity. It’s a place not suitable for the guilty, even less for the innocent. I face it knowing that a bit of that indifference which rules in so called “civil society” has been put aside; that people have become aware that the interests of the oil industry are so huge as to have caused such a violent and disproportionate reaction, to ignore the most basic principles of democracy and of human rights.

Then, after some weeks [of sailing in the Arctic], at dawn you couldn’t even feel the cold frost anymore, meanwhile in front of us that steel giant [Gazprom’s platform] in all its monstrosity looked like a lighted city in the middle of the sea. Suddenly, it  was a war scene: the automatic weapons, the shots, men in mimetic suits and covered faces stabbed the activists’ inflatables, eyes of ice stared at us through their balaclavas, echoed the cannon shooting from a coast guard ship, and then, army people came down from the sky. Finally, we were prisoners in our own ship.

All this in answer to our attempt to send a message in an absolutely peaceful and non-violent way. Then the ridiculous accusation of “piracy” was brought, then turned into what in Italian has been translated as “teppismo” (hooliganism). We’ve been accused of hooliganism just because we have given a voice to the Earth, which sadly can’t talk, but if it could it would say to everybody to ‘bugger off’.

Now you are our voice, and the messages of solidarity and the demonstrations all over the world give us the strength to hold on behind the bars.

While I’m waiting for our liberation I’m learning a bit of Russian, but I don’t think I will ever come back here; now in my mind there are only the mountains, the sun, the sea of my hometown….

Cristian D’Alessandro, 31 October to Greenpeace Italy

Phil Ball, window end of cell 313, SIZO 1 Murmansk, 06 November

Phil Ball, view of Murmansk jail courtyard, 02 November

Phil Ball, ‘rub’ of wall outside cell, 06 November 

Drawing by Denis Sinyakov of the view from his old cell in Murmansk

To Greenpeace Argentina office:

I LOVE YOU WITH MY HEART. The sincere, mad and passionate heart that brought me this far; the one that is stubborn and fights for its ideals.

I MISS YOU. I think of you constantly every day. I think about our reunion, the upcoming hugs and how we will continue projecting our ideals to have a less threatened world.  

WAIT FOR ME! It won’t take much longer. Go and put the beer in the fridge, cut the cheese, salami and bread. I’ll arrive later, BUT I WILL ARRIVE!  

Camila Speziale, 19 October to Greenpeace Argentina 

Phil Ball ‘rub’ of wall outside cell, 06 November

Dear Friends,
Firstly, I would like to thank all the people who are supporting the Greenpeace campaign in the Arctic with their letters, warm words and other deeds. Thanks to this, we feel we are not just a group of activists but a million people unhappy with progressive environmental degradation.
Nowadays, environmental protection demands more courageous actions. ‘Liking’ on Facebook sometimes proves to be insufficient. In order to protect what is valuable for us, we have to undertake further actions. Our planet is the only one we have for the time being and we cannot buy a second one for any money. Money is important for all of us but let us not forget that it is merely a virtual product of civilization and it will not give us back extinct species of plants and animals, clean air and cut-down forests.
We live in times in which values important to citizens are more and more often trodden on and disrespected and a country which is supposed to protect them, protects the interests of corporations and different interest groups instead. These are times when you can go to prison for protection of the environment and appear in the ranking of the world’s wealthiest people and on magazine covers for bank fraud.
As you know, I am one of the Arctic 30. I’m an employee of a cultural institution, a husband to my wonderful wife, a volunteer in a few organizations. I consider myself an active person, who is interested in what is going on and who likes to have an influence on his own environment.
In the housing cooperative I try to support other residents, in Gdańskie Towarzystwo Promocji Kultury Akademickiej, together with the students, we organise different cultural projects around the University of Gdańsk as well as the city of Gdańsk. I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to represent local non-governmental organisations in the cultural policies of Gdańsk. Greenpeace on the other hand, as an international organisation, allows me to act on a global scale. Thanks to this, I feel fulfilled both in the micro- and macro-scale of my civic duties towards my neighbourhood, city and planet.
I do not conceal that I consider the activity of ecological organisations, e.g. Greenpeace, to be the most important and demanding of the most attention. These actions concern all of us: our parents, children and future generations. There is a proverb by Native American Crees which became a motto of Greenpeace: “When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.” Even though today we are called “freaks” and “eco-terrorists”, if nothing changes in terms of our approach to nature, the world will unfortunately understand the meaning of that Cree proverb someday. 
The Russian prosecutors have gone beyond all reason and charged a group of ecologists trying to hang a banner with one of the most serious criminal offences in Russia, subject to 15-year prison sentence. 
I remember the moment when the border guards, after taking over the Arctic Sunrise, hooked up a line to haul us away to Murmansk. Suddenly, after a rain shower, a double rainbow appeared on the sky. This may sound pompous but in this difficult and stressful situation it was everything we needed. Mother Nature was with us, giving us a clear sign.
I hope that this story will end happily and our fate will not discourage the next generation of activists to take action to protect the environment. I am proud of my fellows from all non-governmental organisations. I think they are people with the great sense of responsibility who are able to devote their time, very often their career, to higher, noble goals.
I believe that thanks to the activity of Greenpeace many people will look at the world from another perspective. The world is interesting and exotic, full of beautiful nature and it is not worth wasting one’s life sitting at home in front of a computer. We have one life, longer or shorter, and at its end I would like to leave something greater and much more useful than a pile of waste on the urban rubbish dump.
With greetings from snowy and winter Russia,
Tomasz Dziemianczuk
Murmansk, 24.10.2013  Dear Friends,
Firstly, I would like to thank all the people who are supporting the Greenpeace campaign in the Arctic with their letters, warm words and other deeds. Thanks to this, we feel we are not just a group of activists but a million people unhappy with progressive environmental degradation.
Nowadays, environmental protection demands more courageous actions. ‘Liking’ on Facebook sometimes proves to be insufficient. In order to protect what is valuable for us, we have to undertake further actions. Our planet is the only one we have for the time being and we cannot buy a second one for any money. Money is important for all of us but let us not forget that it is merely a virtual product of civilization and it will not give us back extinct species of plants and animals, clean air and cut-down forests.
We live in times in which values important to citizens are more and more often trodden on and disrespected and a country which is supposed to protect them, protects the interests of corporations and different interest groups instead. These are times when you can go to prison for protection of the environment and appear in the ranking of the world’s wealthiest people and on magazine covers for bank fraud.
As you know, I am one of the Arctic 30. I’m an employee of a cultural institution, a husband to my wonderful wife, a volunteer in a few organizations. I consider myself an active person, who is interested in what is going on and who likes to have an influence on his own environment.
In the housing cooperative I try to support other residents, in Gdańskie Towarzystwo Promocji Kultury Akademickiej, together with the students, we organise different cultural projects around the University of Gdańsk as well as the city of Gdańsk. I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to represent local non-governmental organisations in the cultural policies of Gdańsk. Greenpeace on the other hand, as an international organisation, allows me to act on a global scale. Thanks to this, I feel fulfilled both in the micro- and macro-scale of my civic duties towards my neighbourhood, city and planet.
I do not conceal that I consider the activity of ecological organisations, e.g. Greenpeace, to be the most important and demanding of the most attention. These actions concern all of us: our parents, children and future generations. There is a proverb by Native American Crees which became a motto of Greenpeace: “When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.” Even though today we are called “freaks” and “eco-terrorists”, if nothing changes in terms of our approach to nature, the world will unfortunately understand the meaning of that Cree proverb someday. 
The Russian prosecutors have gone beyond all reason and charged a group of ecologists trying to hang a banner with one of the most serious criminal offences in Russia, subject to 15-year prison sentence. 
I remember the moment when the border guards, after taking over the Arctic Sunrise, hooked up a line to haul us away to Murmansk. Suddenly, after a rain shower, a double rainbow appeared on the sky. This may sound pompous but in this difficult and stressful situation it was everything we needed. Mother Nature was with us, giving us a clear sign.
I hope that this story will end happily and our fate will not discourage the next generation of activists to take action to protect the environment. I am proud of my fellows from all non-governmental organisations. I think they are people with the great sense of responsibility who are able to devote their time, very often their career, to higher, noble goals.
I believe that thanks to the activity of Greenpeace many people will look at the world from another perspective. The world is interesting and exotic, full of beautiful nature and it is not worth wasting one’s life sitting at home in front of a computer. We have one life, longer or shorter, and at its end I would like to leave something greater and much more useful than a pile of waste on the urban rubbish dump.
With greetings from snowy and winter Russia,
Tomasz Dziemianczuk
Murmansk, 24.10.2013  Dear Friends,
Firstly, I would like to thank all the people who are supporting the Greenpeace campaign in the Arctic with their letters, warm words and other deeds. Thanks to this, we feel we are not just a group of activists but a million people unhappy with progressive environmental degradation.
Nowadays, environmental protection demands more courageous actions. ‘Liking’ on Facebook sometimes proves to be insufficient. In order to protect what is valuable for us, we have to undertake further actions. Our planet is the only one we have for the time being and we cannot buy a second one for any money. Money is important for all of us but let us not forget that it is merely a virtual product of civilization and it will not give us back extinct species of plants and animals, clean air and cut-down forests.
We live in times in which values important to citizens are more and more often trodden on and disrespected and a country which is supposed to protect them, protects the interests of corporations and different interest groups instead. These are times when you can go to prison for protection of the environment and appear in the ranking of the world’s wealthiest people and on magazine covers for bank fraud.
As you know, I am one of the Arctic 30. I’m an employee of a cultural institution, a husband to my wonderful wife, a volunteer in a few organizations. I consider myself an active person, who is interested in what is going on and who likes to have an influence on his own environment.
In the housing cooperative I try to support other residents, in Gdańskie Towarzystwo Promocji Kultury Akademickiej, together with the students, we organise different cultural projects around the University of Gdańsk as well as the city of Gdańsk. I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to represent local non-governmental organisations in the cultural policies of Gdańsk. Greenpeace on the other hand, as an international organisation, allows me to act on a global scale. Thanks to this, I feel fulfilled both in the micro- and macro-scale of my civic duties towards my neighbourhood, city and planet.
I do not conceal that I consider the activity of ecological organisations, e.g. Greenpeace, to be the most important and demanding of the most attention. These actions concern all of us: our parents, children and future generations. There is a proverb by Native American Crees which became a motto of Greenpeace: “When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.” Even though today we are called “freaks” and “eco-terrorists”, if nothing changes in terms of our approach to nature, the world will unfortunately understand the meaning of that Cree proverb someday. 
The Russian prosecutors have gone beyond all reason and charged a group of ecologists trying to hang a banner with one of the most serious criminal offences in Russia, subject to 15-year prison sentence. 
I remember the moment when the border guards, after taking over the Arctic Sunrise, hooked up a line to haul us away to Murmansk. Suddenly, after a rain shower, a double rainbow appeared on the sky. This may sound pompous but in this difficult and stressful situation it was everything we needed. Mother Nature was with us, giving us a clear sign.
I hope that this story will end happily and our fate will not discourage the next generation of activists to take action to protect the environment. I am proud of my fellows from all non-governmental organisations. I think they are people with the great sense of responsibility who are able to devote their time, very often their career, to higher, noble goals.
I believe that thanks to the activity of Greenpeace many people will look at the world from another perspective. The world is interesting and exotic, full of beautiful nature and it is not worth wasting one’s life sitting at home in front of a computer. We have one life, longer or shorter, and at its end I would like to leave something greater and much more useful than a pile of waste on the urban rubbish dump.
With greetings from snowy and winter Russia,
Tomasz Dziemianczuk
Murmansk, 24.10.2013  Dear Friends,
Firstly, I would like to thank all the people who are supporting the Greenpeace campaign in the Arctic with their letters, warm words and other deeds. Thanks to this, we feel we are not just a group of activists but a million people unhappy with progressive environmental degradation.
Nowadays, environmental protection demands more courageous actions. ‘Liking’ on Facebook sometimes proves to be insufficient. In order to protect what is valuable for us, we have to undertake further actions. Our planet is the only one we have for the time being and we cannot buy a second one for any money. Money is important for all of us but let us not forget that it is merely a virtual product of civilization and it will not give us back extinct species of plants and animals, clean air and cut-down forests.
We live in times in which values important to citizens are more and more often trodden on and disrespected and a country which is supposed to protect them, protects the interests of corporations and different interest groups instead. These are times when you can go to prison for protection of the environment and appear in the ranking of the world’s wealthiest people and on magazine covers for bank fraud.
As you know, I am one of the Arctic 30. I’m an employee of a cultural institution, a husband to my wonderful wife, a volunteer in a few organizations. I consider myself an active person, who is interested in what is going on and who likes to have an influence on his own environment.
In the housing cooperative I try to support other residents, in Gdańskie Towarzystwo Promocji Kultury Akademickiej, together with the students, we organise different cultural projects around the University of Gdańsk as well as the city of Gdańsk. I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to represent local non-governmental organisations in the cultural policies of Gdańsk. Greenpeace on the other hand, as an international organisation, allows me to act on a global scale. Thanks to this, I feel fulfilled both in the micro- and macro-scale of my civic duties towards my neighbourhood, city and planet.
I do not conceal that I consider the activity of ecological organisations, e.g. Greenpeace, to be the most important and demanding of the most attention. These actions concern all of us: our parents, children and future generations. There is a proverb by Native American Crees which became a motto of Greenpeace: “When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.” Even though today we are called “freaks” and “eco-terrorists”, if nothing changes in terms of our approach to nature, the world will unfortunately understand the meaning of that Cree proverb someday. 
The Russian prosecutors have gone beyond all reason and charged a group of ecologists trying to hang a banner with one of the most serious criminal offences in Russia, subject to 15-year prison sentence. 
I remember the moment when the border guards, after taking over the Arctic Sunrise, hooked up a line to haul us away to Murmansk. Suddenly, after a rain shower, a double rainbow appeared on the sky. This may sound pompous but in this difficult and stressful situation it was everything we needed. Mother Nature was with us, giving us a clear sign.
I hope that this story will end happily and our fate will not discourage the next generation of activists to take action to protect the environment. I am proud of my fellows from all non-governmental organisations. I think they are people with the great sense of responsibility who are able to devote their time, very often their career, to higher, noble goals.
I believe that thanks to the activity of Greenpeace many people will look at the world from another perspective. The world is interesting and exotic, full of beautiful nature and it is not worth wasting one’s life sitting at home in front of a computer. We have one life, longer or shorter, and at its end I would like to leave something greater and much more useful than a pile of waste on the urban rubbish dump.
With greetings from snowy and winter Russia,
Tomasz Dziemianczuk
Murmansk, 24.10.2013 

Dear Friends,

Firstly, I would like to thank all the people who are supporting the Greenpeace campaign in the Arctic with their letters, warm words and other deeds. Thanks to this, we feel we are not just a group of activists but a million people unhappy with progressive environmental degradation.

Nowadays, environmental protection demands more courageous actions. ‘Liking’ on Facebook sometimes proves to be insufficient. In order to protect what is valuable for us, we have to undertake further actions. Our planet is the only one we have for the time being and we cannot buy a second one for any money. Money is important for all of us but let us not forget that it is merely a virtual product of civilization and it will not give us back extinct species of plants and animals, clean air and cut-down forests.

We live in times in which values important to citizens are more and more often trodden on and disrespected and a country which is supposed to protect them, protects the interests of corporations and different interest groups instead. These are times when you can go to prison for protection of the environment and appear in the ranking of the world’s wealthiest people and on magazine covers for bank fraud.

As you know, I am one of the Arctic 30. I’m an employee of a cultural institution, a husband to my wonderful wife, a volunteer in a few organizations. I consider myself an active person, who is interested in what is going on and who likes to have an influence on his own environment.

In the housing cooperative I try to support other residents, in Gdańskie Towarzystwo Promocji Kultury Akademickiej, together with the students, we organise different cultural projects around the University of Gdańsk as well as the city of Gdańsk. I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to represent local non-governmental organisations in the cultural policies of Gdańsk. Greenpeace on the other hand, as an international organisation, allows me to act on a global scale. Thanks to this, I feel fulfilled both in the micro- and macro-scale of my civic duties towards my neighbourhood, city and planet.

I do not conceal that I consider the activity of ecological organisations, e.g. Greenpeace, to be the most important and demanding of the most attention. These actions concern all of us: our parents, children and future generations. There is a proverb by Native American Crees which became a motto of Greenpeace: “When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.” Even though today we are called “freaks” and “eco-terrorists”, if nothing changes in terms of our approach to nature, the world will unfortunately understand the meaning of that Cree proverb someday. 

The Russian prosecutors have gone beyond all reason and charged a group of ecologists trying to hang a banner with one of the most serious criminal offences in Russia, subject to 15-year prison sentence. 

I remember the moment when the border guards, after taking over the Arctic Sunrise, hooked up a line to haul us away to Murmansk. Suddenly, after a rain shower, a double rainbow appeared on the sky. This may sound pompous but in this difficult and stressful situation it was everything we needed. Mother Nature was with us, giving us a clear sign.

I hope that this story will end happily and our fate will not discourage the next generation of activists to take action to protect the environment. I am proud of my fellows from all non-governmental organisations. I think they are people with the great sense of responsibility who are able to devote their time, very often their career, to higher, noble goals.

I believe that thanks to the activity of Greenpeace many people will look at the world from another perspective. The world is interesting and exotic, full of beautiful nature and it is not worth wasting one’s life sitting at home in front of a computer. We have one life, longer or shorter, and at its end I would like to leave something greater and much more useful than a pile of waste on the urban rubbish dump.

With greetings from snowy and winter Russia,

Tomasz Dziemianczuk

Murmansk, 24.10.2013 

By Phil Ball