Saarela is an experienced climber, and in 2007 she scaled the crane of nuclear construction site Olkiluoto 3, in Finland, to demonstrate against nuclear power.
Last year, she climbed the oil platform Prirazlomnaya with Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo. During that protest, Sini said:
“You can try to stop us with icy water, but it will not deter us, because we know how important it is for the fragile environment here, to prevent oil drilling. The Arctic nature around me will not survive oil spills.”
When questioned during the preliminary hearing in Murmansk, Russia, Saarela said:
"This is laughable: they told me I am a guest, but did not give food or the possibility to use toilet."
On being held on board the Coast Guard vessel:
"This was a proposal you could not refuse, because they were armed with assault rifles. Did they have permission to shoot climbers with live bullets?"