|Erwin Vermeulen found innocent Feb. 22, 2012|
Good media coverage on Erwin rocks Japan, even if they do still use the whaling word and avoid any mention of dolphins. Thank you Japanese media.
Amazing coverage engages the entire population of the Netherlands. Her Majesty Beatrix is reported to have been made aware of the human rights issues in Erwin's case. And Erwin hasn't even started on the Amsterdam press circuit yet. That all starts in the next 24 hours. All dolphin lovers offer a sincere thanks to the Dutch media and the Dutch government.
Stories have spun wildly and happily out of control. There will never be a way to repair the image of the police oppressing an emaciated, honest, and non-violent Dutch citizen protecting the even weaker members of the seas, the beautiful dolphins.
An interview with a Dutch tourist in Spain today came out with the understanding that Erwin had received no hot meals and was forced to be in solitary confinement. Neither is true, but the way it was all handled by the accuser, his boss and the police give rise to endless exaggeration on a personal level. The story will continually mutate around the coffee tables of Amsterdam for years to come.
Thank you Dolphin Resort Hotel! Thank you Mr. Kitagawa! Thank you Taiji and Shingu and Wakayama police. You could have ended the circus earlier but chose not to.
Remember that meeting? You all voted to continue the charade as yes-men for the Governor of Wakayama and his deputy, the Mayor of Munchkin City, I mean Taiji.
Gauging the impact of the new media coverage and the acquittal is what I'm thinking about. How deeply will Sea Shepherd's win in court affect the outcome of the dolphin hunt?
This discussion will be in flux as meetings and more press conferences get held over the next week. The next press conference is in Amsterdam. Both sides are certain to spin it for themselves. But one thing is clear: times have changed.
People around the world are certainly more engaged, but no country is now more engaged than Holland. I get the feeling that the Sea Shepherd flags will safely be Dutch permanently. Thank you Madame Prosecutor.
Dutchman Erwin Vermeulen, paid any balance due to cover the stress of the Dutch government for Sea Shepherd support with his 64 Days of inhumane treatment in a Japanese jail for doing nothing more than loving dolphins. The witness was judged to have lied. No pushing occurred. Dutch people protect their own and now this includes Taiji dolphins. Thank you Judge.
As I noted a few days ago in the TAG Blog:
"The Dolphin Slave Resort owner, their young cry-wolf dolphin trainer Kitagawa, the Japanese police at three levels (Taiji, Shingu, Wakayama), and Ms. I-want-Erwin-in-jail-one-more-day Prosecutor, clearly, obviously, and very publicly screwed the pooch."
My feeling is that that cute little Japanese puppy was Japan. And that she didn't like it very much. The politicians and business people who deal in dolphin death look pretty incompetent to the Japanese establishment. And then there is the money.
Budget negotiation in Japan for next year's national subsidy on Cetacean meat and the massive Taiji police and Coast Guard presence, and the whole Institute for Cetacean Research folly will occur every day all the month of March for a decision by the beginning of April.
My dolphin drumbeat until the end of March is: No more money for the Taiji hunt. Try it: 9 beats--pat your knees or the table in front of you.