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For Immediate Release

Press Release

Dutch Police Board Greenpeace Ship and Arrest 21 Activists After Peaceful Protest at Shell's Refinery in Rotterdam


Twenty one Greenpeace activists have been arrested by the Rotterdam Police in the Netherlands, while peacefully protesting at the entrance to Shell’s refinery in Rotterdam port. The protestors were calling for a new law to ban fossil fuel advertising and sponsorship in the EU. 

The Greenpeace ship Beluga II was boarded and seized by the police and the captain and first mate were detained. Meanwhile activists in kayaks and inflatables that were part of the blockade were removed. Before being detained, the activists unfurled banners reading “Fossil Free Revolution” and “Ban fossil fuel ads”. 

“Throughout fifty years of peaceful activism, our activists have challenged Shell on their oil rigs, at their headquarters, ports and recently in court, with a historic ruling in the Netherlands that stated Shell is liable for damaging the climate. Unlike them, we are not here just to deliver a publicity campaign. We will continue to put pressure on the oil industry, to expose their responsibility for the climate catastrophe and to challenge the disinformation that they use to stay afloat and delay climate action,” said Faiza Oulahsen Greenpeace Netherlands’ Head of Climate & Energy campaign.

This morning at 9 am local time, the entrance to Shell’s refinery was peacefully occupied by more than 80 volunteers from 12 EU countries in a protest against the fossil fuel industry’s misleading strategies and propaganda. The port authorities were immediately informed via marine VHF radio on the peaceful and non-violent nature of the protest. 

The peaceful protest took place as over 20 organisations launched a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) petition today, calling for a new law that bans fossil fuel advertising and sponsorship in the European Union. A recent analysis commissioned by Greenpeace Netherlands found that almost two thirds of the advertisements from six companies – Shell, Total Energies, Preem, Eni, Repsol and Fortum – were either misleading consumers by failing to accurately reflect the companies’ business, or promoting polluting products as solutions to the climate crisis.


Greenpeace is a global, independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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