The Civil Liberties Defense Center represented four ShellNo protesters who were charged with civil penalty violations before U.S. Coast Guard Hearing Officers in military tribunals instead of civilian courts. We are happy to report good news about two of those cases so far.
Last week, in Shell Offshore v. Greenpeace, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order vacating a civil contempt order that was issued against Greenpeace last summer during the Shell No! banner hang off the St. John’s Bridge. In July, a number of activists had suspended themselves from the bridge over the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon to temporarily block Shell’s contracted vessel, the Fennica, from leaving the Portland harbor. The Fennica carried a crucial piece of oil drilling equipment and Shell planned to send the Fennica north to Alaska’s Chukchi Sea to conduct oil drilling in the Arctic.
Last May, I watched the news reports about the girl who attached herself to the anchor chain of Shell’s Arctic Challenger as it sat in the Bellingham Bay—preparing to head to the Arctic to be part of Shell’s plan to drill for oil there, and to surely cause horrific destruction to the fragile ecosystem of the Arctic and magnify the impacts of climate change, including endangering indigenous people in the area.