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article imagePaul Watson, Canadian anti-whaling activist, testifies in U.S.

By Nancy Houser     Nov 7, 2013 in Environment
Seattle - Canadian anti-whaling fugitive activist Paul Watson addressed the U.S. appeals court on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, in Seattle, WA. The court will decide whether Watson should be held in contempt for confronting and attacking Japanese whaling vessels.
As a fugitive sailing the oceans for over a year, Watson insisted, "we're not pirates." as he addressed the U.S. appeals court regarding he and his organization's attacks on the Japanese whaling vessels off Antarctica.
Paul Watson is the Canadian founder of the radical environmental group, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, accused of violating a court order demanding they leave the whalers alone, according to Yahoo! CA News.
"We don't care what people call us," Watson said, responding to an earlier ruling from the court that called the activists "pirates." "We're not pirates. ... Protesting against illegal activity is not piracy." Source
Huffington Post posted that Paul Watson testified in a contempt of court hearing in Seattle, hoping to persuade a commissioner that he nor his organization had violated an order that required them to leave the whalers alone.
The order involved was from last December prior to the beginning of the whaling season. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ordered Watson, his organization, and anyone associated to keep 500 yards away from the whaling vessels.
However, Watson argued that even though he was given an order to keep 500 yards away from the whalers, "it didn't say anything about whether the Japanese whaling vessels could come within 500 yards of us."
Jeff Hansen, who is the director of Sea Shepherd of Australia, had testified at the appeals that his organization did not coordinate with the American Sea Shepherd group. He stated that he does "not believe the U.S. courts have jurisdiction over international waters."
In Huffington Post, Hansen promises that no matter what the court decides, his organization will continue with their plans to challenge the Japanese whaling fleet early next year. "We're answering to our clients, which is the whales," he said.
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