This morning I received an email informing me that The Board of Directors of Sea Shepherd Global dismissed me from the Global Board.
This was the message:
“I am sorry to inform you that based on the conversations that we’ve had, and the legal issues between you and SSCS, we asked you to step down from the board. Since you have not complied with that request, the majority of the Global Board has decided that it is a conflict of interest for you to remain as a Director on the Board of Sea Shepherd Global; and has therefore reached the decision that you are no longer a Director of Sea Shepherd Global.”
– Alex Cornelissen
The announcement by Sea Shepherd Global yesterday of an agreement between Global and SSCS may have caught many of you by surprise. It certainly caught me by surprise. There has been a disturbing lack of transparency about the relationship between Sea Shepherd USA and Sea Shepherd Global.
It all stems from SSSC and the decision by SSCS President Pritam Singh to change the focus and the direction of Sea Shepherd in the USA. No more direct action, no more controversial campaigns and no more confrontations with poachers. In June 2022 when I said that I could not support this radical change in priorities nor could I participate in it, I was told that I was an employee and I had to do what I was told.
In response I resigned. SSCS responded by removing my picture, bio and history from the SSCS website and legally threatened me to not use the logo I designed or the name Sea Shepherd that I created. This included not being able to post pictures of myself in a Sea Shepherd shirt or with the Sea Shepherd flag. I was also told that I could not communicate with supporters nor speak with the media under threat of a lawsuit.
My official Facebook page was blocked for trademark violations because I had a picture of myself with a Sea Shepherd Shirt in front of a Sea Shepherd flag. After a month that page is still blocked to postings by myself.
I really don’t respond to threats, but I was patient, hoping that Sea Shepherd Global would have my back. This morning I discovered that they do not have my back.
I thought that Sea Shepherd Global would support me and I urged people to continue to support Global but under threat of lawsuits by SSCS, Alex Cornelissen, despite his serious concerns about SSCS (US) decided to make an agreement between Sea Shepherd Global and SSCS (US). Apparently, part of this agreement was to demand that Global dismiss me from the Global Board and Alex informed me of this fact this morning.
As a Global Board member, I did not receive an invitation to a Board meeting to discuss this. Alex did not call for a vote by the directors, he simply stated that the Global Board made the decision to dismiss me from the Global Board. Aside from myself, Lamya Essemlali who is also in the Global Board was against my dismissal but none of us have been notified of a meeting or notice of a proper vote on my dismissal and I didn’t even get the chance to defend myself.
They claim that I am too controversial and too confrontational to continue to be associated with Sea Shepherd. However, I am what I have always been and will always be and that is a proponent of direct action, aggressive non-violent tactics, vegan vessels, and a movement without fear of controversy or confrontation.
They can’t expect to dismiss a director and the founder of this movement and expect everyone to ignore the fact or to not question it.
They do need to supply an explanation as to why this decision was made and just what is their relationship with SSCS will be going forward, the truth without the public relations sugar coating of an illusion that both Global and SSCS are working together. Working with SSCS under its present leadership means being associated with an entity that is not what Sea Shepherd is meant to be.
This is my answer to the Global Board after receiving the notice this morning that they had made the decision to dismiss me from the Global Board of Directors:
To the Board of Sea Shepherd Global :
In the height of betrayal, the Global Board decided to dismiss me without a board meeting, and without a formal meeting or vote.
Is this what Sea Shepherd has become?
What next? Pritam Singh joins the Global Board ? My name, picture, and legacy removed from the Global website? Or do you intend to continue to trade on my legacy despite having removed me ?
I will not be going quietly into the night. I intend to continue doing what I have been doing for the last 45 years. I truly never thought I would ever see this kind of treachery and betrayal in the movement that I created.
I will leave you with this quote:
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
I am a fighter, always have been and always will be. I did not face off against the Japanese whaling fleet in the hostile remote waters of the Southern Ocean only to surrender to this nonsense. I will rebuild, regroup and I will return to the high seas to once again defend life, diversity and interdependence in the Ocean.