(Portland, OR) The Fennica, Shell Oil’s damaged ice-breaker, began to move at 5:45 a.m. from the dock where it was being repaired for a damaged hull and was met with a blockade from Greenpeace activists suspended from the St. John’s Bridge and Climate Action Coalition kayaktivists on the water.
“Shell’s retreat this morning is a welcome victory,” said Bill Moyer with the Backbone Campaign. “Now it is time for our society to retreat from our fossil fuel madness.”
“There is no greater moral issue before us today than global warming. Our generation has a sacred calling to prevent the worst: flooding of our cities, refugees fleeing rising water, failed states, armed conflict over resources. The activists creating the blockade with their very bodies are spiritual warriors of the highest degree. We call upon Mayor Hales and the Portland police to protect them and allow their protest to continue,” said Rev. Marilyn Sewell, Minister Emerita, First Unitarian Church
“I am so proud to be a part of the people-powered movement standing up to the fossil fuel industry. Through action, we’re sending a strong message: ‘if you build it we will block it, if you ship it we will stop it,” said Maya Jarrad with 350PDX.
“We are ready to blockade the Fenneca for as long as it takes. The eyes of the world are on Portland and our community has risen up in defense of the Earth,” said Nick Caleb, an attorney with Our Children’s Trust.
The 24-hour vigil at Cathedral Park in Portland, OR, began on July 27 on the banks of the Willamette River in anticipation of the MSV Fennica’s departure. Once the Fennica departs, Shell plans to commence drilling in the Arctic. The Department of Interior has stated that there is a 75 percent chance of an oil spill in the Arctic once drilling commences, a spill which experts say would be virtually impossible to clean up, posing unacceptable risks to indigenous peoples and the marine environment. Shell is proposing to commence drilling in this untouched region—thanks to rapidly melting ice in the Arctic due to climate change– at a time when NASA’s former top climate scientist says we may see at least 10 feet of sea level rise by 2050.
Professional photos of the various actions will be available to the press upon request. Check https://cel.ly/c/sHellNOPDX/landing, www.350pdx.org, www.portlandrisingtide.org , www.sustainable-economy.org for updates. Follow our Twitter feeds at #PDXvsShell, #Floodthesystem and #ShellNo. Text @sHellNoPDX to 23559 to receive text updates on the vigil and other planned actions.