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Shell wants to use the North Sea as a trash bin, while also trying to silence the same people peacefully trying to stop them.

Protests on Shell Brent Oil Platforms in the North Sea. © Marten  van Dijl / Greenpeace
Greenpeace activists from the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark boarded two oil platforms in Shell’s Brent field today in a peaceful protest against plans by the company to leave parts of old oil structures with 11,000 tons of oil in the North Sea. © Marten van Dijl / Greenpeace © Marten van Dijl / Greenpeace

They are planning to abandon parts of four old oil rigs in the Brent Oil Field in the North Sea. Three of those rigs contain over 11.000 tonnes of oil. This oil will eventually end up in the sea. Allowing this will set a toxic precedent for the future (because many platforms will be at the end of their life in the coming decades).

That’s why, on October 14th and 15th, Greenpeace activists protested against these plans for 24 hours on two of the platforms. Greenpeace demanded that Shell not use the sea as their personal trash bin. Activists hung banners which said: “Shell, clean up your mess!”  & “Stop ocean pollution!” 

Now, Shell is coming after us. 

Protests on Shell Brent Oil Platforms in the North Sea. © Marten  van Dijl / Greenpeace
Protests on Shell Brent Oil Platforms in the North Sea. © Marten van Dijl / Greenpeace © Marten van Dijl / Greenpeace

Shells want to stop Greenpeace from protesting in the Brent Oil Field in the future. The fossil fuel giant is seeking an order from Edinburgh court to ban protests near their oil-drilling platforms indefinitely. Why? The protest of peaceful activists, increasing public pressure and serious concerns expressed by different governments and the European Union, made the British government reconsider their support for the company. Shell is getting scared. That is why they want to silence us.

It is absurd that Shell is trying to restrict our fundamental human right to peaceful protest. In a time where millions of people across the world fill the streets, to demand that fossil fuels stay in the ground, this attempt to throttle the right to protest is a sign that the movement to protect the planet is winning. 

Greenpeace wants to protect the right to protect our planet. On Thursday the 28th of November, Greenpeace International and Greenpeace Netherlands are in the Scottish court to defend the right to peaceful protest. 

Attempts by corporate bullies to suppress the democratic right to protest will only spark more conviction, an even larger movement and more peaceful action by climate defenders who demand a safe future for all of us.

We could use your support, your voice. Please share this message widely and let everyone know: Shell can try to shut us up, but we will only get louder.

Meike Rijksen is a campaigner in Greenpeace Netherlands.