'Paddle in Seattle' Protesters Welcome Shell Drilling Rig with Two Words: Go Away

Paddling activists rolled out the un-welcome mat as Shell Oil’s hulking ‘Polar Pioneer’ drilling rig—whose presence is opposed by many local citizens, environmentalists, and city officials—pulled into the Port of Seattle on Thursday afternoon.

About 20 kayakers met the 307-foot-tall, 400-foot-long rig in the waters of Elliott Bay, singing, chanting, linking arms, and bearing a banner that read, “Arctic Drilling = Climate Change.” Among the group were members of the Duwamish Tribe, who paddled through the waves in a long wooden canoe and led the group in chanted songs, according to the Seattle Times.

The Times adds:

Thursday’s protest came in advance of a larger sHell No! demonstration planned for the weekend, including a family-friendly #PaddleinSeattle flotilla on Saturday and a mass direct action on Monday. Zarna Joshi, an organizer with the sHell No! Action Coalition, told Democracy Now! that Monday will involve “land-based actions in order to show Shell that we can shut them down on the water and on the land. They cannot hide.”

In a statement about the weekend of resistance, sHell No! organizers declared: “Shell’s drilling rigs are a prime example of the root causes and injustice of the climate crisis. They will generate untold wealth for the few, while wrecking the climate for everyone, trampling on Indigenous rights, and causing millions of deaths in the global south.”

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