The day was the 25th of July. The weather was not stable and hands were shaking. This was it, the first action lead by Czech direct dialoguers. The aim was to show Shell that even its employees have enough sense to acknowledge that the Arctic needs protection. We wanted to prove that the common sense of regular people is against the will of big shareholders. And we made that point.
Here is what Marek and Hanka, one of the teams, had to say:
"The first petrol station seemed like a failure. No one wanted to sign and they were not in the mood to even talk to us. So we reinvented the strategy. Our polar bear started to behave "homely." He washed his teeth, cuddled with some stuffed animal toys and casually complained about the weather in Czech Republic. This kind of temperature is not yet common in his home – the Arctic. After this little street theater act, the staff's attitude changed and they brightened up, and signed the scroll. The only one to resist was the station manager."
So, after couple of hours, there was a Directive from Czech Shell's Head Office telling staff not to talk with polar bears if they approach a petrol station. Until that moment we gathered 22 signatures for the scroll. The rest of the day we spent with plan B – join the volunteer action rebranding Shell's petrol stations action. We put stickers on the rest of Shell petrol stations we had planned to visit.
For me, it was amazing. I was proud on my Team Leaders and Frontliners (Direct Dialoguers). They showed courage and motivation which totally settled me on my back. This way I want to thank them again. They deserve it.
Jiří is the Direct Dialogue Manager in Czech Republic. You can join the Czech Front Liners team on Facebook.
Direct Dialoguers and Front Liners are the face of Greenpeace - they're the people you meet in the streets raising funds for our campaigns and collecting signatures for petitions.