Seal Defenders Under Assault in Quebec

1400 Hours EST

Seal defenders and reporters are under siege in the Four Seasons Inn Blanc Sablon, Quebec.

Crews from the Humane Society of the United States and the Franz Webber Foundation of Switzerland are being held captive in their hotel rooms as police remain uncooperative.

A truck driven by a seal hunt supporter deliberately rammed a van carrying seal defenders and reporters. Tensions are rising and seal hunt supporters are threatening the lives of those in the hotel.

The seal defenders cannot reach the airport and cannot leave because of threats of violence and assaults against anyone who attempts to leave.

The situation is extremely dangerous. It is a mob mentality outside the hotel very similar to 1995 in the Magdalen Islands when Sea Shepherd crewmembers were assaulted by an angry mob of 300 drunken sealers. On that occasion, Captain Paul Watson was viciously beaten, Actor Martin Sheen was threatened with lynching, and reporters were assaulted and their cameras were broken and stolen. It was only with the arrival of a SWAT team from the Quebec Provincial Police that the seal defenders were allowed to depart.

The police in Blanc Sablon are being irresponsible in not controlling the mob of hunt supporters and appear to be complicit with their behavior.