It’s been almost a week since shit went down in Portland. In case you missed the news, a Shell ice-breaker bound for the arctic was blocked by hordes of kayaktivists, and a dozen or so dangling Greenpeace blockaders. For over forty hours, the icebreaker Fennica was detained under de facto citizen’s arrest, costing Shell several million dollars and cutting deep into a narrow window to drill under the North Pole before the season ends.
The global enviro giant has recently upped its game against the fossil fuel industry, once again embracing tactics of corporate property destruction and direct action that Greenpeace had long shunned.
Groups like the Animal Liberation Front, Sea Shepherd, and Earth First thankfully kept these methods honed, and now, on a sunny day in the Willamette Valley, we’ve all see just how daring kids are these days.
Having been turned back repeatedly, Shell demanded an emergency injunction against Greenpeace. Ironically, no such injunction has been filed against Shell for exacerbating a global climate emergency. Even worse, President Obama just approved arctic drilling in the face of all logic and sanity.
In the end though, fossil fuel lover and Portland mayor Charlie Hales, as well as Oregon governor Kate Brown, both Democrats, brought down the extraction gauntlet. They ordered the Coast Guard, county and city police, and even the Portland Fire Department to target the activists, ensuring Shell didn’t lose another dollar.
Dramatic footage above shows law enforcement power boats recklessly ramming kayakers who paddled deliberately into the path of the oncoming 7,900 ton Fennica.
One KATU News announcer sounded dumbfounded, “It looks like Mad Max down there.”
Yes. Yes it did.
Drone footage of Shell’s icebreaker Fennica successfully leaving Portland, despite protestors dangling from on St. Johns Bridge and paddling in the Willamette River to create a blockade. Video Courtesy of Adam Simmons Video editing: Jason Bernert
Only instead of barbarians clammering onto a rig full of sand, er…oil driven by a hero protagonist, the rolls were somewhat switched, with the massive prize helmed by the Lord Humungus, or somebody perhaps far more sinister, and the dauntless heroes spread out around it, fighting not to seize the boat, but to block it from seizing the future of our growing climate catastrophe.
All of this action has the making of a Hollywood blockbuster, absolutely. What’s so fucking scary is that when it comes to fighting capitalism, the bad guy always wins. At least in the first act.
Expect to see far more direct acts of resistance happening in coastal port cities en route to the arctic ocean. Here we find industrial shipyards in close proximity to radical warriors willing to risk their own lives to save the life of the Earth.
What some called a ‘symbolic victory’ was in fact an actual defeat: the Fennica, with the help of Charlie Hales and the governor, passed under the St. Johns bridge unimpeded after all. But by catching international media attention, the soul of the rebel is ignited and emboldened to shut shit down in grander, more dramatic fashion.
It won’t be long until another Shell, or Exxon, or Marathon vessel sails into town. Greenpeace and her allies will certainly be waiting.
Maybe next time, they’ll bring a bigger kayak.
— GetOffMyLawn (@bishopwsu) July 31, 2015