Greenpeace blocks Brazil port

2012-05-27 17:17

Sao Paulo - Greenpeace has temporarily blocked a freighter from being loaded at a northern Brazilian port in protest over a partial presidential veto of a land-use bill seen as harming the Amazon.

The environmental group said on its website that activists ferried by its Rainbow Warrior vessel occupied a giant pile of pig iron on the dock while another team scaled two cranes to stop them from loading the raw material of iron and steel onto the US-bound Clipper Hope.

The activists then unfurled banners proclaiming "Amazon Crime" and "Dilma's dirty secret," in protest at President Dilma Rousseff's partial veto on Friday of 12 controversial articles of the new code regulating the use of land on rural properties.

"The Amazon turns to Charcoal, Brazil Stop the Chainsaw," said a huge banner tied to a crane by the activists.

Pig iron requires large amounts of charcoal to be produced and this often comes from rainforest trees logged from indigenous lands.

But they suspended the protest eight hours later after the deputy governor of Maranhao state, Washington Luiz de Oliveira, intervened and promised to facilitate talks with the pig iron industry.

A meeting was set for Monday between Greenpeace and industry representatives, Maranhao state officials, the national Bar Association and cargo shipment owner Viena.

The modified forestry policy bill, which is pending ratification from Congress, maintains a requirement to protect 80% of the forest in rural areas of the Amazon and 35% of the sertao, or arid hinterland of northeastern Brazil.

  • Robin - 2012-05-27 18:30

    Greenpeace lost all credibility a very long time ago. It's about time they put their efforts and resources into something constructive.

      Jake - 2012-05-27 19:00

      It is a money-making scam. There is no so-called NGO or 'rights' organisation that do it for the environment. It is business only. I am begging anyone to give me only one example of a habitat with all its species that have been saved by any of those environmental terrorists, ONLY ONE PLEASE!

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