Some in the Faroe Islands are unhappy with anti-whaling forces on their shores
The slaughter of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands each year during the annual ritual known as grindadráp or ‘the grind’ is a serious topic for animal rights activists worldwide. This year, the organisation Sea Shepherd announced that it will conduct its largest action ever against the pilot whale hunt, joining other organisations around the world in calling the practice “barbaric”.
Faroese police and Danish intelligence services have been monitoring the situation in attempts to stop clashes between whalers and the protesters at sea, but most of the clashes have occurred on dry land and been between activists and the Faroese people themselves.
"We have had several complaints from the Sea Shepherd, but it has mostly been for vandalism on land,” Peter Thaysen from the Faroese police told Jyallnds-Posten. “It is simply an effort by some, especially young people, to show the activists that they are not welcome.”
The Sea Shepherd has announced that up to 600 activists with cars, five speed boats and drones would be part of their fight against whaling, but the organisation is meeting resistance from the locals.
"There have been no cases of violence so far, but there have been slashed tires, stolen licence plates and smashed windows,” Thaysen said.
Even the protests of well-known celebrities, like American model and actress Pamela Anderson and French actress Brigitte Bardot, have failed to make an impression on the Faroese.
“There are many that would just like to see them leave,” said Thaysen.
A group of German activists that had planned an anti-whaling demonstration on the Faroese National Day on July 29 ended up cancelling the event, saying that even though police had guaranteed their safety, they felt too threatened to hold the protest.