Sea Shepherd Conservation Society whaling protestors are "pirates"?

The Portland Oregonian reports today on a law suit by Japanese whalers against the whale protestor group, the Sea Shepherd Society in part:

"A federal appeals court panel has branded a Northwest anti-whaling group "pirates," ordering a halt to attacks on Japanese whalers in Antarctic waters. . . .

The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals opinion issued late Monday is also unusual for ordering the transfer of a lower-court judge from the case, finding that U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones made "numerous, serious and obvious errors" in the ruling that generated the appeal.

The majority opinion of the three-judge panel continues an earlier injunction ordering Sea Shepherd Conservation Society activists to stay at least 500 yards away from Japanese whaling ships.

"You don't need a peg leg or an eye patch," wrote Chief Judge Alex Kozinski in the majority opinion. "When you ram ships; hurl glass containers of acid; drag metal-reinforced ropes in the water to damage propellers and rudders; launch smoke bombs and flares with hooks; and point high-powered lasers at other ships, you are, without a doubt, a pirate, no matter how high-minded you believe your purpose to be." . . .

The Society is attempting to avoid the order by separating its American branch from Society's incorporated or chartered in Australia and other countries that are continuing protesting activities.

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