As It Happened: Activists Stop Shell Vessel as It Attempts to Leave Portland Harbor
by Ryan Schleeter
FINAL UPDATE 6:48 PM PDT: The 13 #ShellNo climbers have come off the bridge. Now all eyes are on President Obama to save the Arctic.
© Tim Aubry / Greenpeace
On July 29, 2015, Greenpeace activists suspended themselves from St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon to block a Shell Oil vessel from leaving port for Alaskan waters. The climbers were prepared with enough supplies to last several days and intended to stay in Shell’s way as long as possible. They remained in place for 40 hours.
In case you missed it, relive the events as they unfolded below, and don’t forget to say #ShellNo by telling President Obama to reject Arctic drilling.
In the News
Follow this courageous act of people on social media using #ShellNo, #PeopleVsShell, and #SaveTheArctic:
What’s At Stake
Why exactly have these activists chosen to put themselves in between Shell and the Arctic? Good question!
Shell is almost ready to drill in the Arctic, but a vessel containing a vital piece of drilling equipment—without which it is not permitted to drill—has a gaping hole in it. So it had to come down here to Portland to get patched up. The courageous climbers blocking its way are now what stands in between Shell and an Arctic oil catastrophe.
Shell isn’t just threatening polar bears and walruses with its drilling plans. By tapping into a new source of oil—only accessible because of melting ice—it’s threatening the entire world with worsening climate change. And here’s the real irony: Shell wouldn’t even be in Portland if it weren’t for its own incompetence. Its icebreaker vessel, the Fennica, was damaged within weeks of leaving for the company’s drilling site in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea.
With billions of dollars and the U.S. government in its pocket, Shell thinks it can get away with anything—even in the Arctic. But people around the world—including right here in Portland—are proving otherwise. Thanks to people power, the movement to save the Arctic is growing stronger every day, and we can win.
Shell would love for this fight to stay quiet, unseen and unheard by the millions of people worldwide who have spoken out against Arctic drilling. We can’t let that happen.