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OTRC: Lucy Lawless arrested with Greenpeace activists during oil ship protest

Lucy Lawless appears in a video provided by Greenpeace New Zealand, taken on board an oil drilling tower she boarded with several other protesters to demonstrated against Shell in February 2012. (youtube.com/user/greenpeacemedia)

Lucy Lawless, star of "Xena: Warrior Princess" and the raunchy Starz series "Spartacus," was recently arrested in her native New Zealand, along with several Greenpeace activists, after they boarded an oil-drilling ship that was chartered by Shell.

Police removed the protesters from a 174-foot drilling tower on the Noble Discoverer in Port Taranaki. They had climbed onto it on Friday to try to stop the ship's departure. The vessel was set to travel to the Arctic to drill five exploratory wells. Police charged the actress and six other demonstrators with burglary before releasing them with an order to appear in court on Thursday.

"I've got three kids," Lawless, 43, told the Associated Press. My sole biological reason for being on this planet is to ensure that they can flourish, and they can't do that in a filthy, degraded environment," she said. "We need to stand up while we still can."

The actress let out her infamous "Xena" battle cry while on board.

"I'm taking direct action with GreenpeaceNZ in peaceful protest against Shell's Arctic oil drilling #savethearctic," she Tweeted on February 23.

The actress, who dubs herself an "eco-warrior" on her Twitter page, had also prepared for police to take action against the group.

"Anticipating imminent arrest so doing final cleanup of camp #savethearctic," she Tweeted. "Will be dissapointed (sic) if we have to leave but will go peacefully. We stand in solidarity with all who love the earth - let's #SavetheArctic from @shell !"

Lawless and the six other protesters have been ordered to appear at a New Zealand court on Thursday.

The actress played a gas station attendant in a Shell commercial in the early 1990s (see video).

Lawless Tweeted that it was "day2 on the drill rig when I remembered that I had been in a Shell ad 20yrs ago."

The website Stuff.co.nz quoted Lawless as saying: "I was pumping gas and somebody, and I don't think it was me, said, 'It's the fuel of the future'. I don't think it was my character but I always remember that line. And ah, sadly it isn't the fuel to take us into the future, we've got to get something clean."

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