The piracy charges Russia brought against 30 Greenpeace activists for protesting Arctic oil drilling were dropped on October 23, 2013 and replaced with lesser charges of hooliganism. The charges remain because the activists were trying to scale a drilling platform, so realistically they did do something that was both dangerous and illegal regardless of their motivation, but piracy was an overreach because they were not attempting to steal anything, they were just protesters and journalists.
Greenpeace is popular, because they publicize themselves well and they support causes nearly everyone sympathizes with. Other than a few people in Japan and the Faroe Islands, almost everyone wishes the whales long and happy lives. Yet piracy is piracy. The world has stringent laws against it because ships and crews are so vulnerable in the huge and deadly ocean. That is
why captains have near gold-like powers, and it is also why actions that jeopardize the lives of crew members and the safety of cargoes cannot be tolerated. The cause may be just, but the methods of Greenpeace cannot be condoned.