Greenpeace activists dangled on ropes connected to the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Ore., in a bid to stop the MSV Fennica from from heading north to the Chukchi Sea. The activists blocked the ship’s path with 13 human bodies waving colorful flags and “save the arctic signs” which were suspended from ropes. The effort also included a number of kayaks in the water which refused to make way for the large ship. Greenpeace hopes to keep the MSV Fennica at port as long as possible as the icebreaker ship contains vital equipment needed for Shell Oil to begin drilling in the sea in Northwest Alaska. It appears for at least today, the activists have won and the MSV Fennica has returned to port.
The Seattle Times reports that 13 Greenpeace activists suspended themselves with ropes off of the St. John’s Bridge over the Willamette River in Portland. The activists dangled over the body of water, blocking the path of the large MSV Fennica which needed to pass under the bridge to make its way to the Chukchi Sea. Activists are adamant about ensuring the ship stays at port as long as possible as it is carrying equipment needed by Shell Oil to begin drilling off the coast of Alaska.
Reports indicate that the Obama administration gave permission to Shell Oil to drill off the coast of Alaska last week. However, the MSV Fennica icebreaker was damaged early this month on its way to Shell’s Arctic drilling sites after leaving Dutch Harbor, Alaska and headed back to Portland for repairs. This gave the Greenpeace activists time to plan an intervention, which appears to at least temporarily hinder the ship’s path.
According Oregon Live, the ship turned around and headed back for the port after a two-hour standoff with the protesters. It was noted by a spokesperson for the Portland Rising Tide that the activists dangling from the bridge made it far too dangerous for the ship to pass without incident.
“With these people hanging here it was too dangerous for the authorities to move through. The kayakers are also impeding the ship’s progress.”
Following the ship’s about-face, Greenpeace protesters claimed victory and note that the Arctic is safe for at least one more day.
What do you think about the Greenpeace activists efforts to keep Shell from drilling in the Arctic?
[Image Credit: Twitter]