By Lauren Regan, CLDC Executive Directory & Attorney
This past weekend I had the pleasure of traveling up to Seattle to work with fellow climate justice activists on the ShellNo campaign to stop the Arctic-bound Royal Dutch Shell “Polar Pioneer” oil drilling rig currently in the Port of Seattle. Beginning on Friday, CLDC provided daily Know Your Rights trainings specifically geared for climate justice activists on land and sea, and assisted in coordinating legal support in the event arrests occurred throughout the weekend.
On Saturday, hundreds of climate justice activists took to the water for the “Paddle in Seattle” which drew an impressive flotilla of kayaks, canoes, and boats including indigenous organizers from Idle No More on a giant rusty barge (which blasted tunes and hosted visitors) into the Duwamish River, which feeds into the Elliott Bay. On Monday, hundreds participated in a march that successfully blockaded the gates into Terminal 5 where the monstrous oil-rig is being repaired. Another Shell rig is due into the Port of Seattle in a few days. My feet were killing me after 10 hours of legal observing the massive show of police presence! After the protests, Seattle’s Mayor (who joined us Saturday for the paddle) announced that regulators had found permit violations and stated the Polar Pioneer was not legally permitted in the port. Apparently the City regulations allow them to fine billionaire Shell corporation $500 per day, which is certain to deter Shell from continuing to thumb it’s nose to the law, ethics or human sustainability…
One of the incredible activists I met this weekend was Allison Warden, a native Inupiaq tribal member who lives on the Arctic Circle where traditional ways are currently threatened by arctic oil drilling. She was a wonderful speaker and performer.
CLDC will continue to lend legal support to the coalition of groups taking action against Arctic oil drilling. The Polar Pioneer is destined to return to the Arctic by July to continue to plunder the earth and CLDC hopes to be there when activists stop the rig for good.
Here are some photo albums from the event:
From Alex Garland: http://thedignityvirus.com/hundreds-of-kayaktivists-join/
Damien Conway covering for Idle No More Washington: http://tinyurl.com/l7lmn3d
And here is some press coverage of the event
Big AP story that has been picked up around the country: