Protesters in Portland were attempting block a Shell Oil icebreaker on the Willamette River today. The move is an attempt to keep the ship from reaching the Arctic. According to the Gizmodo on July 30, 2015, a number of kayakers are braving 100-degree heat in support of the event organized by Greenpeace.
Shell’s MSV Fennica is the icebreaker in question. A social media campaign was also organized by Greenpeace leveraging the hashtag, #ShellNo. The protest started on July 29, with a group rappelling off the St. John’s bridge in an attempt to block the ship. The protest worked to delay the departure of the icebreaker.
Grist reported on on June 31, 2015 that a judge ordered the kayakers away under threat of large fines against Greenpeace. The US Coast Guard towed away any remaining boats. The Fennica eventually made its way through en route to the Arctic. Fines threatened by the judge ranged from $2,500 to $10,000 per hour if the ship was delayed any longer.
This is the second protest this summer in the Northwest following a large number of kayaks similarly attempting to block a Shell Oil rig from leaving Puget Sound. After several days of protesting, the rig was able to leave on it’s journey to Alaska’s North Slope when The Coast Guard created a 500-yard safety zone around the rig. Any protesters who strayed inside the perimeter were removed.
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