For Immediate Release
Stina Janssen - 360-301-3340
Afrin Sopariwala - 408-598-7656
ShellNo Activists Blockade Terminal 5, Extracted by Police
SEATTLE - Police teams are on the scene and have begun steps towards dismantling the blockades activists set up at 5:45 this morning to halt access to Shell’s Arctic drilling rig, the Polar Pioneer. Activists are currently locked together with mock oil barrels, grandmothers are locked to rocking chairs, and at least one activist has attached herself to a disabled vehicle. Dozens of vehicles have been blocked from entering the terminal, slowing work on the Polar Pioneer.
At this time, the Raging Grannies, a group of Seattle grandmothers, are being cut out of the chains they used to lock themselves to their rocking chairs, and several activists have unlocked their chains, but there have not been any arrests. As the police presence increases, the peaceful protesters evaluate strategic courses of action to accomplish their goal of stalling work on the Polar Pioneer.
“Shell only has until the end of June to make it up to the Arctic in time to drill this summer. We want to stop them from leaving,” said Blaine Doherty, who was sitting in the road chained to a father and protester before being cut out of his chains. “The Port of Seattle has let us down and President Obama has let us down. We can’t afford to let Shell drill in the Arctic if we want this planet to remain habitable.”
After May’s Festival of Resistance, organized by the Shell No! Action Council, another autonomous group called Stop Shell Seattle has called for a month of actions using the tag “June Against Doom”. There have been pickets at the Port for the past 5 days. The goal is to disrupt work on the rig in order to delay its move out of Seattle.
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“My generation is responsible for how things are today. This rig will destroy any hope of a liveable future for our children and grandchildren,” said Annette Klapstein of Seattle Raging Grannies. “It’s our duty to be out here.”
The groups locked down also highlighted how climate change is already affecting vulnerable communities around the world, such as the recent heatwave in India that has so far resulted in over 2,000 deaths. “The people most impacted by Arctic drilling, and the 2 degrees Celsius warming it will bring, are indigenous people around the world, poor people, and people of the global South,” said Zarna Joshi, one of the Seattle residents who locked down. “When it’s 122 degrees and you’re poor there’s nowhere to hide. The fossil fuel industry’s drive for profit is literally killing people. We’re here to take a stand against these climate-destroying corporations and the governments who support them.”
We are a coalition of activists, artists, and noisemakers battling Shell in Seattle.