Every summer we see images of Sea Shepherd vessels ramming Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean.
None of us like watching pictures on our televisions of bloodied whales being dragged aboard what the Japanese government claims are "scientific research" ships.
There is no doubt the actions of Sea Shepherd are dangerous and illegal under maritime law yet there is little or no condemnation of their action.
There is certainly no legal sanction of Sea Shepherd and probably secret admiration by many people for their commitment to their cause.
Protesting with violent action against whalers is accepted.
I can't see a place for violent protest but when it comes to dissenting to the termination of pre-born babies, even peaceful protest is severely restricted in one Australian state.Graham Preston, a serial peaceful protester outside Queensland abortion clinics, recently flew to Tasmania to test that state's new anti-protest laws.
Not content with legalising abortion to birth even where there is a healthy mother and a healthy baby, the authors of Tasmania's laws sought to restrict peaceful protest, making it an offence to protest within 150 metres of a clinic.
Preston deliberately put himself in a position where he would fall foul of these laws and he did.
He was arrested and at the time of writing was free on bail awaiting a future court appearance.
Peaceful protests are permitted outside any building in Australia except for an abortion clinic in Tasmania. Violent protest is condoned on the high seas.
Our logic is not consistent.
Perhaps there should be a 150 metre protest exclusion zone around Japanese whaling ships.