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Protests, Greenpeace, Milk

Turning the tables on activists

by Judi McLeod

February 24, 2005

Greenpeace has discovered that invading the workplace can be as hazardous as finding toxins there.

Growing ever more corporate as the world's largest environmental lobby group, Greenpeace was spoon-fed workplace invasion 101 from the oil industry, and for safety's sake may be forced to rethink its strategy.

With the practice of popping up wherever called, Greenpeacers are at the ready to move out with their props of banners and placards in tow.

Thirty-five Greenpeace protesters decided to storm the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) in London, last Wednesday. according to the Times of London, they slipped into a closing door and then roared onto the trading floor, blowing whistles and sounding foghorns in what has become typical, "in-yer'-face" Greenpeace style.

More infamous for melees at sea where they prevent ships from coming into port, Greenpeace's mission at the IPE was to paralyze oil trading. Their mission failed and Greenpeace was paralyzed from protesting.

The initially taken-by-surprise traders--most of them under 25 years old--rushed the protesters. They pushed filing cabinets over on top of the Greenpeacers, kicking and punching them with "we-should-be-allowed-to-work gusto before forcing them to retreat.

Two Greenpeacers were actually hospitalized, one with a broken jaw, the other with concussion.

One protester concluded: "I have never seen anyone less amenable to our point of view."

Whoever said that halting someone at work was a sensible way to get one's point of view across?

The vision of young co-eds taking down aging Greenpeace activists with graying ponytails is something the environmental lobby's spin doctors will have to work at.

after years of being bullied in the workplace and the schoolyard, the victims of leftwing activists are starting to take a stand.

Long before young traders decided to take on Greenpeace, animal rights activists were sent on the run by angry grammar school children.

Like Greenpeace, People for the Ethical Treatment of animals (PETa) are facing more resistance when they take their protests out to the public sector.
In October 2002 police had to break up an animal rights protest when school children in aberdeen, Scotland pelted activists with cartons of milk.

Sean Gifford of PETa and an unidentified man dressed as a cow had planned a peaceful protest at the gates of a grammar school to let pupils know of the claimed hazards in drinking milk.

But the two men had to be rescued by two female officers when the teenaged pupils launched a violent protest of their own.

about 100 children, shouting "Milk for the masses!" and carrying banners surrounded Gifford and his partner "the cow". They drenched the hapless pair in milk for 10 minutes until the police eventually intervened to escort the activists back to their car.

Gifford thought the anger displayed had something to do with where the children were raised.

"I have traveled all over the UK with this protest and I have not seen anything like this before. It must be something to do with children in aberdeen. I think they got a bit over-excited. I'm sure they will go home and think about our message," Gifford told The Scotsman.

The children in fact went home to drink milk, watch television and do homework.

as student alan Smith rated the protest: "This is a stupid idea. We should be encouraged to drink milk and I certainly won't stop drinking milk just because a man has dressed up as a cow outside my school."

Taking a picket out to the community at large is becoming a hazardous habit.

People used to run from well-equipped, well-financed, mainline media- loved modern-day activists. Now the activists are running from people.

Perhaps Greenpeace will drop its corporate ways and return to saving the whales.

Canada Free Press founding editor Most recent by Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. Her work has appeared on, Drudge Report,, Glenn Beck. Judi can be reached at: [email protected]

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