Police put a stop to a
demonstration by Greenpeace activists at sea off Porvoo Sunday evening
by forcing boats used by the environmental organisation back to shore.
Helping the police were vessels of the Guard. A total of 33 activists
from different countries were detained in the operation.
Greenpeace, five of its boats went to sea to confront a vessel of
Neste Oil, which was bringing a load of 10,000 tonnes of palm oil for
use as raw material for biological diesel fuel to be produced at the
Neste refinery in Porvoo.
The situation in
Porvoo came to a head in the evening, when police and the border guard
confronted the Greenpeace demonstrators. In addition to the operation
at sea, guards in front of the bio-diesel installation at the
Kilpilahti refinery prevented outsiders from entering the
Police blocked the
Greenpeace action because the organisation had announced that it
"planned to resist legal business activities of Neste", said
Jussi Kiiski of the Porvoo police.
leader of the Greenpeace operation, said in Porvoo on Sunday evening
that those who were detained had reported that police had used pepper
spray against them at sea and in the dark. Myllyvirta himself was
directing the activities from shore.
On Monday Greenpeace
said that it would file an official complaint about the use of pepper
spray against the demonstrators in the open sea. Matti Liimatainen of
Finnish Greenpeace called the use of the spray dangerous and
unnecessary: he said that the boats were already returning to shore at
Police stopped the
last of the Greenpeace boats before 8:00 PM Sunday. People were taken
by to holding facilities of the Porvoo police. They were interviewed
in the evening.
The actual preliminary
investigation and interrogations begin on Monday. More than 30
Finnish, German, Swedish, and Danish activists were held by the
launched a worldwide campaign against the use of palm oil as a raw
material for bio-diesel, which is marketed as an environmentally
friendly alternative to fossil fuel.
Greenpeace says that
widespread use of palm oil advances the destruction of rain forests in
Southeast Asia; increasing amounts of forest are cleared away to make
room for oil palm plantations. Decisions to use palm oil as a source
of bio-diesel have already been cancelled in Sweden. Production of
palm oil is expected to double by 2030.
Neste Oil says that
palm oil from Malaysia is currently the most easily available raw
material for bio-diesel fuel. Neste also says that it is looking into
the possibilities to use other raw materials than palm oil, such as
by-products from tree felling, and oil plants that cannot be used for
Neste admits that
"Unregulated and uncertified" growth in the cultivation of
oil palms can cause destruction of rain forests. For this reason the
company insists that principles of sustainable development must be
observed in the acquisition of palm oil.
Neste Oil says that
using palm oil can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Neste also says that
it gets its palm oil from plantations whose operations are monitored,
and the origin of the oil is followed closely.
According to Lauri
Myllyvirta, Greenpeace has acquired Neste documents which indicate
that the certification system used by Neste does not
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