Dozens of protesters in kayaks gathered in the Port of Seattle on Saturday to protest against Shell’s Arctic drilling plans.
The event followed a similar protest held Thursday where the ‘kayaktivists’ welcomed the semi-submersible rig into the port with signs such as “Shell No Seattle Loves The Arctic.”
Shell has docked the Transocean-owned Polar Pioneer rig at the Terminal 5 of the port, where the rig is expected to be prepared for its Chukchi Sea drilling campaign, offshore Alaska, this summer. Shell plans to spend around one billion dollars for the campaign, during which it plans to use two drilling rigs, the Polar Pioneer semi, and the Noble Discoverer drillship.
The protest on Saturday, dubbed ‘Paddle in Seattle’, was staged by the sHell No group, which describes itself as „a coalition of activists, artists and noisemakers battling Shell in Seattle.“
On Saturday, kayaktivists unfurled a water banner in front of Shell’s Polar Pioneer Arctic rig with „DEFEND THE ARCTIC. CLIMATE ACTION NOW“ written on it.
The activists claim that Shell’s drilling offshore “means destruction for spectacular wilderness, doom for our climate, and disaster for peoples in the global south.”
According to the Port of Seattle, the kayak protest on Saturday concluded without incident.
“Thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard for protecting the people on the water. Thanks also to POS (Port of Seattle) Police, Seattle police, and POS security for their ongoing effort to protect people and maintain security,“ said the Port of Seattle in a statement
More protests Monday
Another protest is planned for 7 am local time, Monday, May 18, starting near the Spokane St. Fishing Bridge.
“Their (protesters’) intent, based on the event description, is to block access to our terminals. Both our police and SPD expect a large contingent of protesters. Impacts are expected to be significant,” the Port of Seattle has informed.
Furthermore, the port officials said: “We are urging protesters to exercise their First Amendment rights peacefully, safely and legally in areas adjacent to our terminals.”
Protests are expected on land and water near Terminal 5 through early June.
Offshore Energy Today Staff