As they do every winter, fleets of Japanese ships sailed into rough Antarctic seas to hunt whales last January. And as they do every winter, Greenpeace activists greeted the hunters with dramatic nonviolent protests, such as positioning their boats in front of the whalers’ harpoons and painting “Whale Meat From Sanctuary!” on one whaler’s hull.

Displays like these never satisfied Paul Watson, a founder of Greenpeace who parted ways with the organization in 1978 to create the more militant Sea...


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