Great news – after being held for nearly 10 months, the Arctic Sunrise has finally left Murmansk! From the helm, Captain Daniel Rizzotti said: “We sail home with with the voices of 5 million Arctic Defenders in our ears. This is a new beginning.”
Alex Harris and Colin Russell, the Australians on board the ship when it was seized last year will be sailing in on the Sunrise when she comes to dock in Amsterdam. We thought this would be the perfect time to help you get to know Alex a little better, so we asked her a few questions about herself, her journey with the Arctic 30 and the Arctic Sunrise.
Alex after being released on bail in St. Petersburg.
1) What could you never live without?
Hope and a positive attitude. It’s what got me through prison. It’s what can get you through anything.
2) What is your biggest love?
Travel. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being immersed in nature, feeling a million worlds away from the day to day struggles of the modern world. It’s good for the soul but also good for the mind. It helps you understand different cultures and teaches your respect – respect for the people and this beautiful planet that need protecting. It’s what brought me to Greenpeace.
3) If you ruled the world, what would you change?
All women, worldwide, would have equal rights, particularly the right to access free education.
4) What trait do you most deplore in others?
4) What are you most scared of?
Propaganda. It’s what fuels hatred, prejudice and ignorance.
5) If you could go back in time where would you go?
I’d like to be hanging out in a small bar in Liverpool, watching the Beatles perform just before they became super famous. That would be cool.
7) What keeps you awake at night? What do you consider your biggest achievement?
It used to be Australian spiders in my bedroom. But now I consider people to be more dangerous than the little Aussie critters.
Biggest Achievement. Being one of the Arctic 30. Not only is it pretty cool and provides many good stories, but I feel totally and utterly proud to have been a part of an inspiring group of individuals who took risks to stand up for their beliefs and consequently became one of Greenpeace’s biggest campaigns.
Alex outside court in St. Petersburg
8) What’s your guilty pleasure?
Cider and crisps. Well I am Devon born and bred 😉
9) What’s the favourite present you’ve ever received?
I’m pretty sure I cried in delight when I had a bouncy castle at my 7th birthday party.
10) Where would you most like to be right now?
On the Arctic Sunrise, with the Arctic 30. This time outside of Russia.
Alex with friend and Arctic 30 member Camila, after being released from prison.
11) Your life in five words?
Adventure. Dreams. Nature. Friends and Family.
12) What’s the worst job you’ve done?
I stuffed envelopes in a factory during a summer at University. That was pretty boring and unchallenging. Now I’m lucky enough to earn a living whilst saving the planet too.
13) Have you ever been on the Arctic Sunrise – if yes, what was the most memorable moment / feeling of being on the ship?
Yes. My favourite moment was when we left Kirkenes Norway, after weeks of preparation and headed to the Prirazlomnaya Platform to protest against Arctic oil. There’s nothing like pre-action excitement and nerves. What was to unfold would become one of the biggest Greenpeace stories but we were so unaware, innocent you could say, and quite excited and proud.
Close to this was sitting on the deck witnessing the natural phenomenon that is the Aurora Borealis. It was a reaffirmation that this magical place is worth fighting for.
The view of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) seen from the Arctic Sunrise.
14) In your words, why is the Arctic Sunrise is important to you / us all?
It’s not just a ship.
It’s a ship that carries hope. Hope for a better future and a safer planet.
It’s a ship that carries love. Love from all the Greenpeace supporters who put so much faith in the job we do.
It’s a ship that contains so many memories. Memories from all the activists who have experienced her magic and have been there with her in action.