Later, the policemen’s pleas to the Cove Guardians to stay away from the cove because of the nationalists began to reveal the real concern. The police are afraid of the nationalists. How can this be?
The Guardians returned to the cove parking lot and the police became very animated. We are not breaking the law; the nationalists are breaking the law. Then the Guardians learned that the nationalists had gone to the hotel looking for the Guardians. I spoke to the police leaders by phone and asked why they were afraid of the nationalists and encouraged them to do their jobs. The police leaders had nothing to say.
The nationalists returned to the cove and the police forced the Cove Guardians into their cars and out of Taiji. Then things became truly bizarre. The nationalists started chasing the police cars that were leading and pushing the Cove Guardian vehicles. At times there were as many as 10 vehicles in a high-speed convoy traveling south out of Taiji. Sirens were blaring and lights were flashing. It was clear that the nationalists were controlling the situation.
The convoy pulled into the large police compound in Kushimoto. The police locked the Cove Guardian vehicles behind gates. We do not know where the nationalists went. The Cove Guardians are in the police station and at this moment (3:45 pm in Japan on March 12, 2012) we have no communication with them.
We will provide updates as this day continues to unfold in Japan.
Cove Guardian Campaign Coordinator
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society