“I sink a few more ships, it’s true, than a well-bred monarch ought to do!”

— Gilbert & Sullivan, The Pirates of Penzance

When animal-rights terrorist Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd Conservation Society arrived in New Zealand last week on a self-proclaimed “policing” mission against Japanese whaling ships, that nation’s news media welcomed him with open arms. But after further reflection, some Kiwis are no longer sure they want him and his skull-and-crossbones flag around.

“Excuse me,” writes New Zealand Herald columnist Barbara Burstyn, “but am I missing something here? Here’s a known saboteur, a man the Norwegians call a terrorist and whose organisation is said to have solid links to the frightening Animal Liberation Front, and whose activities come under the FBI’s animal enterprise terrorism watch, floating happily in Auckland Harbour.”

Watson, whose criminal actions on behalf of cetacean creatures have landed him in the jails of at least three countries, was a fixture at >this year’s Animal Rights 2002 conference near our nation’s capital (the conference was operated by the >Farm Animal Reform Movement). Here we present a sampling of what Watson said:

“We live in an extremely violent culture, and we all justify violence if it’s for what we believe in.”

“Animal Liberation Front tactics are going to continue. There’s not a damned thing you can do about it; you’re not going to stop it. So you might as well incorporate it into the movement.”

“If you do not intend to kill anybody, if you make every effort to not kill and injure anybody, that’s all you really can do. You can’t stop somebody from walking into a situation, and we really can’t be too overly preoccupied with this.”

“There’s nothing wrong with being a terrorist, as long as you win.”