|Erwin Vermeulen and Scott West|
February 23, 2012
All are just beginning to calculate the implications. But, one thing is clear: The dolphins won yesterday. A watershed moment exploded for all of us in the Free Dolphins Movement.
What happened yesterday, with an innocent ruling for Erwin Vermeulen in Japanese court, was much more than just our friend Erwin going free. The shock passing through all sides will be felt like the Earth's crust heaving a meter or two as we try to help each other.
New stories will come out in the near future. There are new players, or significant players in the dolphin issue whom I did not know about. Several came forward yesterday, poking their heads out for just long enough to see that the field is wider and deeper than I expected. There are at least six new stories I will cover in the following weeks. These stories exist because Sea Shepherd has committed to be in Taiji until the dolphin hunt stops. I cannot thank them enough.
The story of the Second Dutchman in the courtroom yesterday will come out. He helped me understand more in 10 minutes about the social and political issues in the dolphin issues than I have learned in the last four years.
The story of the Japanese Police supporting Erwin will come out. This telephone conversation was completely unexpected.
The media involvement has also never been this focused. I feel this was an immense change for them too. In a turnaround, I got to interview the reporters, as a captive audience, as we waited outside the court building for an hour, in line for an entry ticket. The reporters have been prevented from reporting on the dolphin issues by nationalist-agenda editors. This may change now.
The story of Scott West will be told in time. If he had not been such a hardheaded professional, this would certainly have had a very different outcome. Scott deserves the title and respect of Captain. He has effectively steered a ship called Infinite Patience, in a Japanese sea of chaos.
I also spoke to a friend of the accuser yesterday, a friend of Mr. Kitagawa. This is a first I believe--no one has heard the story in detail from the dolphin trainer's point of view. There is more here than we realize. Much more.
Finally, I spoke with Erwin at length. We will not see Erwin fade off of the stage anytime soon. Tomorrow will be a momentous occasion for Erwin. After 73 days of being kept from his job, he will legally be able to go back to work. Two hours from now, Erwin will be back in Taiji, defending the dolphins' right to live. Thank you Erwin, for your love of life and your endurance throughout this ordeal.