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'Free the Arctic 30' Protest at Embassy in OsloFree The Arctic 30: Blur and Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn, Clash bassist Paul Simonon, fashion designer Dame Vivian Westwood and actor Jude Law were just four of the thousands of demonstrators across the UK who have demonstrated in outrage at the piracy charges against 30 Greenpeace protesters – part of world wide protests at Russia’s actions in jailing  30 environmental activists from Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise crew on charges of piracy.  Activists and governments around the World are shocked by Moscow’s decision to level piracy charges, and Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop met Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov on the sidelines of the APEC summit of Asia-Pacific leaders in Bali yesterday over concerns for Australian Colin Russell, who is among those arrested.

In the autumn chill, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Russian Embassy in London, with other demonstrations in Edinburgh, Swansea, Bristol, Liverpool and Southampton. The thirty include Kieron Bryan, a freelance videographer, and five activists from the UK, Philip Ball, Anthony Perrett, Frank Hewetson, Alexandra Harris and Iain Rogers.

A court in Russia’s northwestern region of Murmansk has charged all the crew members — who come from 18 countries including Britain and the United States — with offences that carry jail terms of up to 15 years. The incident has set off a burgeoning diplomatic effort to secure the activists’ release despite Russia’s tough stance. The Netherlands broke more than two weeks of silence about the case Friday by starting legal action under the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea aimed at quickly freeing the crew.

The US State Department also said it was “monitoring the case very closely”. At a protest in Sao Paolo, the mother of a Brazilian biologist who was among those jailed, urged President Dilma Rousseff to help secure her daughter’s release. More than 100 people turned up in central Sao Paolo, holding banners including “Free our activists”.

In London Albarn said “nine times out of ten people who protest peacefully, whether through music or by trying to scale oil rigs, believe they are saying something that will ultimately benefit society”