Former Clash bassist Paul Simonon arrested on oil rig protest

Former member of The Clash, Paul Simonon, taken into custody during a Greenpeace protest off the coast of Greenland.

16.11.11

Words by: Charlie Jones

Paul Simonon, 55-year old former bassist with The Clash and current member of The Good, The Bad & The Queen, was recently held by police after storming an oil rig as part of a protest by environmentalist group Greenpeace.

Simonon had apparently spent several weeks about the Greenpeace ship, the MV Esperanza, working anonymously as a cook. He was part of a group of 18 activists stormed the Leiv Eriksson oil rig in protests at the rig’s parent company’s failure to reveal its contingency plans in the event of an oil spill disaster.

Speaking to the NME, Simonon said: “We went to look for Leiv Eriksson. About 18 of us, very early in the morning when the shift was changing on the oil rig, we stormed the oil rig and went to the office to ask what their oil spill response plan was.

“They basically said if you don’t get off the oil rig, then we will phone the authorities in Greenland and say you’ve hijacked the oil rig, and the police will come and arrest you. And that’s pretty much what happened.”