Rebecca Aldworth and her crew from HSUS were forced to retreat from Eastern Canada after a mob surrounded the Four Seasons Inn in Blanc Sablon, Quebec, and threatened their lives.
Members of the mob of pro-sealers had already rammed a van carrying activists and journalists, and had damaged a car rented by the activists.
Local police were not very helpful. Quebec Provincial Police finally escorted the 15 activists and journalists to the airport where they found that their helicopters had been forced to leave.
When it comes to protecting access to the ice to kill seals, Canada spares no expense and the police can be counted to be on the scene to protect the "rights" of the sealers to slaughter seals. However, when it comes to the rights of citizens to observe and document the atrocities committed by these sealers, the police and the government display a very biased position.
It is practically a crime to be compassionate and kind in Canada today.
Sealers are presently engaged with exterminating the lives of some 234,000 seal pups. Considering the Gulf slaughter quota was exceeded by over 16,000 seals, it is likely that the Front massacre will also be exceeded. There is no quota enforcement by the Canadian government against the sealers. The government according to DFO spokesperson Roger Simon on the Magdalen Islands looks on the quota more as a guideline and not a regulation.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was not at the Gulf or the Front this year, although our ship was very active in both areas in 2005. Because our flagship, the Farley Mowat, had just returned to South Africa from our whale campaign in Antarctica, the distance and the cost were too far and too expensive to reach the sealing area in time to intervene.
"We intend to be back intervening against the sealers in 2007," said Captain Paul Watson. "What is needed is a large crew willing to defy the Government of Canada, willing to risk their lives and risk arrest to intervene to protect these innocent lives from the brutality and excesses of this barbaric and archaic massacre. The protests need to be escalated. We need to be more determined and more aggressive than ever before because we are dealing with a stubborn government that has already demonstrated they are willing to wash the Canadian flag in blood to defend their pride in this slaughter."
The opposition to the slaughter of seals is growing stronger each year. The 2005 campaign opened the gates of awareness and the 2006 campaign has allowed the world to enter the arena.
"This obscenity, this horrific mass slaughter of innocent seals is now recognized by people all over the world," said Captain Watson. "Thanks to Paul and Heather McCartney, Brigitte Bardot, Persia White, Martin Sheen, Dan Haggerty, Rutger Hauer, and Richard Dean Anderson who have harnessed their celebrity for this cause. Thanks to HSUS, PETA, IFAW, Harpseals.org, Canadian Alliance for Animals, and so many other groups, this cause is growing. We are on a roll and we will defeat this evil, this blemish on humanity and we will win because we are defending life and our opponents are defending death."