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November 7, 2010

Report from Taiji: November 7 (new video)

FestivalFestivalThe authorities were waiting for us this morning.

I have been thinking about the dolphins who were released (driven) back to sea yesterday.  They were forced to leave behind more than half their number. They witnessed family members being taken away and others being brutally killed. What could these non-human persons be thinking about the human non-persons that had inflicted such horror upon them?

Even though Taiji held its annual whaling festival today, we still checked on the cove and the status of the molester’s boats early this morning. We would not put it past these men and women to go out and do more harm on the seas before their big day. As it turned out, they stayed in the harbor today. In fact, they wrapped their evil boats up in pretty flags and moored them all together along the sea wall next to the festival site.

Hello!We returned to the cove in the late morning where we took some photographs. The police were there already and a coast guard helicopter was circling overhead. Could it be that they thought we would do something on this day or could it be that they were concerned about threats to us? They knew that we were coming to the festival. We, all 15 of us, packed up and began the walk into town.

It looked like a parade and the police even led the parade for a bit. We arrived in front of the FU’s store and several in our party decided to go on in. Elora bought an apple. The manager was concerned about there being so many in the store and reminded everyone that photography was not allowed. Oops.

We moved on and arrived at the central harbor lot where the festival was located. The media cameras turned away from the festivities and trained their cameras on us. We ignored the attention and came before the stage to observe the music and dance. It depicted a whale hunt. The police kept filming us.

news_101107_1_3_Report_from_Taiji_4113Line for whale meat Press at festivalPress at festival

A friend of ours has observed that Taiji does not celebrate the greatness of the whale, but the supposed greatness of the men who kill such large and peaceful creatures. The presentation would have been a beautiful thing to watch had it been depicting something from the past. It was ugly though because the slaughter of whales and dolphins continues in this place. The dance was cultural and deserves protection and preservation. The modern use of powerboats and explosive harpoons is not cultural. It is an abomination.  The very modern phenomenon of capturing dolphins is not the least bit cultural. It is ruthless business and has no place in civilized society. Why do the people of Japan tolerate such injustice and allow these few shameful men and women to decide Japan’s reputation?

DeathDeathMost likely “fresh” dolphin meat was served at this festival just across the harbor from the pens holding relatives of the victims. But for the buzz that our presence caused in the crowd, our visit was without incident, and we left them to celebrate a dead and dying cause knowing that we are everywhere and are here to stay.

A follow up word on the Circle K whale meat sales. Being that Circle K is a Canadian company, I would not be surprised to find baby seal meat on the shelves as well.

“Couche-Tard acquired the Circle K chain from ConocoPhillips in 2003, promptly rebranding its existing U.S. locations to the better-known Circle K moniker. The Circle K brand is also franchised in Asia and elsewhere.”
(From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Couche-Tard)

 

Founded 1980
Headquarters Laval, Quebec, Canada
Key people
Richard Fortin, Chairman
Alain Bouchard, CEO
Raymond Paré, CFO
Brian Hannasch, COO
Products Couche-Tard
Mac's
Circle K

news_101107_1_8_Report_from_Taiji_Couch_Tard_logo

On the Run Revenue ?$15.8 billion (2009) Net income ?$253.9 million (2009) Employees 53,000 (2009)
Employees 53,000 (2009)

You can help.  Spread the word, send donations to the Sea Shepherd to help fund the Cove Guardian campaign, avoid all travel to Japan except to become a Cove Guardian with us here in Taiji, make good consumer choices regarding whether or not to purchase Japanese products, and ensure that you do everything you can to keep the pressure on the Japanese authorities and your own governments.  It is unfortunate that the reputation of an entire nation is being tarnished by the evil and shameful deeds of a handful of men and women in Taiji.  To join us (voluntarily, and completely at your own cost and risk) in Taiji, write to me at inform-us@seashepherd.org.  I will get back to you, but please be patient.  I cannot keep an eye on the Cove and answer email at the same time.

For the Oceans,

Scott West
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

 

Dolphins released from the cove on November 7th

Dolphins are separated from their slaughtered family members

 

Cove Guardians - Dinielle, Big Gunns, Rex, Elora, Scott, Rupert, Tarah, Ryan, Rosie, Libby, Glenda, Luana, David, Mauricio, MarceloCove Guardians - Dinielle, Big Gunns, Rex, Elora, Scott, Rupert, Tarah, Ryan, Rosie, Libby, Glenda, Luana, David, Mauricio, Marcelo New Cove Guardians - Glenda Cook, Luana Nelson-Davis, David Blanchard, Mauricio (2), Marcelo (1)New Cove Guardians - Glenda Cook, Luana Nelson-Davis, David Blanchard, Mauricio (2), Marcelo (1)

The Blog Log:
My daughter, Elora Malama West, has been with me here since day one and keeps a blog of her experiences.
Current Cove Guardians Rex Ray, Tarah, and Rosie and Dinielle are also keeping blogs.
Future Cove Guardians CarolynStevenBob and Carrie and William have started blogs about their endeavors.
The Taiji Dolphin Action Group blog.


 
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