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Protesters Forcibly Removed by Police As Arctic Drilling Ship Escapes Blockade


Protesters Forcibly Removed by Police As Arctic Drilling Ship Escapes Blockade

Common Dreams staff

Ending a nearly two-day standoff, Greenpeace activists who had successfully blocked passage of a Shell Oil drilling vessel were dramatically removed from their positions on the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon on Thurdsay evening as a special team of law enforcement officers cut them away to allow passage of the ship.

As the local KOIN TV reports:


Shell has demonstrated its competency at operating in those waters. One of its rigs simply got away and grounded (you might consider what that might have produced had it been a tanker), and their navigation material is so poor that they struck something large enough with enough force to tear a three foot hole in a ICE BREAKER, a vessel specifically ARMORED below the waterline for the purpose of smashing through ICE.

“Her ice class, POLAR-10, means that her hull is strengthened for unassisted operation in the Arctic, sub-Arctic and Antarctic regions, where the vessel can encounter winter ice with a nominal thickness of 1 metre (3.3 ft), pressure ridges, multi-year ice floes and glacial ice inclusions. The additional class notation “Icebreaker” states that she has no limitations for repeated ramming.”

Ships for navigation in ice, Pt.5 Ch.1 Sec.4 A303. Det Norske Veritas, January 2005.

With that record I think it’s utterly foolish to turn them loose in one of the most pristine environments on the planet to poke holes in the bottom trying to find crude oil to suck up.


Gratitude to the activists for taking the risks and doing what they could to slow down Shell’s work toward mass homicide on planet Earth.

Thank you President Obama for another bad decision on protecting life.


These displays of police force are always instructive in that they clearly demonstrate that their primary purpose is to protect private property and profits by serving the capitalist class. The irony is that the police are working class and would be sacrificed if necessary for profits.


That is why the police should no longer belong or be supported by a public union. The police are corporate owned and should be supported by those corporations instead of the general public. The police always side on the side of property, or on the side of Wall Street.


I figured something like that would happen. Does anyone here believe the outcome of things like this would be any different under a President Hillary Clinton? If you do, please tell what substances you are ingesting, because it must be some really good shit!


County and municipal police will soon be replaced by private security forces for the 1%.


It would be more of the same under Clinton, and probably under Bush because they have reputations to maintain the charade they are only following the law. Under Wacky Walker and the rest of the repub yahoos these types of protesters would probably be dealt with using lethal force.


Jack, you’re using logic when the people responsible for this are incapable of following it due to the blinding glare of greed. But I do that too sometimes because it’s so hard to believe that they won’t agree with you, once you make the logic crystal clear and show them the facts and the errors of their ways. And yet, dammit they don’t.


Oh, yes, corporate-owned thugs, just like in the old days when Pinkerton controlled the coal mines. What could go wrong? After all, that corporate mercenary thing, replacing the draft, has turned out so well.


Unfortunately, the US Fourth Reich shows leadership in environmental destruction, as long as that improves the profits of the 0.001%.

  • Everyone now is beginning to see that Øbama is just a shill for war and environmental destruction in the name of Corporate Profits, so they are relying on the next elected shill not to do more damage, not to have more wars.
  • As for the Arctic, the damage has been done, the drilling commenced, the precedent now registered. If an arctic gale drives a drilling rig away from their shafts, or there is another blow out like the Gulf, the government spokesmen will be telling everybody that accidents happen, and nobody could have predicted that would happen, and probably issue new drilling permits. The government will probably reimburse Royal Dutch Shell for its losses and use our taxes to cover it. That’s life in a Fascist State!


The Judge in Alaska and his enforcers, the Coast Guard and the police are there to protect big oil and the economic elite because of GREED! GREED! GREED! They exist primarily to serve and protect the $$$$$$$ of the economic elite and big oil and secondarily to protect the average American.


“Mass homicide” true that, but omnicide is the more precise term.


The arctic methane plumes will increase, ending the water’s buoyancy, and ships and rigs will instantly sink to the bottom. Methane and crude will gush out unstoppable.


This was a peaceful and safe protest until law enforcement arrived to enforce a federal court order from an Alaskan judge who found, of course, in favor of Shell$$$. This was simply a case of some of the people of Portland exercising their right of assembly and peaceful protest.

Is it legally required that local resources and funds, in this case at least several hundred thousand dollars be used to enforce a federal court order to favor a foreign multinational corporation? Will the federal government or Royal Dutch Shell reimburse Portland for this unnecessary expense? I say unnecessary because if the Obama administration hadn’t foolishly issued a drilling permit to Shell to drill in the arctic this would not have happened.

Getting back to the event. On local TV coverage law enforcement continued to reiterate that their main concern was for safety while they continued to create hazardous and unsafe situations for citizens both in the water and on the bridge. People were being dumped out of their kayaks from the huge wakes from enforcement boats and lowered into their boats from the bridge. The bridge hangars had been peacefully hanging on their platforms allowing all boat traffic except the Finneca to pass. It seems that the only safety that the police were concerned with was that of Shell’$$ assets. Who do they really “Protect and Serve”???


The fact that this happened comes as no surprise, what. so. ever. I, too doubt that the outcome would be any different under a Hillary Clinton Presidency.

As for cops, they’re needed, whether people like them or not. It’s agreed, however, that cops who abuse their power need to be brought to justice, either by strict discipline and/or permanent dismissal from their respective police departments if and when necessary.


The public should own the police depts and the public should absolutely have authority over the behavior of these police depts. That these police depts are out of control is indicative of citizens not having any representational power through local, state, and federal authorities because of the rise of a ruling class that only answers to big money politics. The reality that these police depts have become militarized and have adopted a culture of violent response especially in the case of policing blacks, should not be an argument FOR further corporate control such as full on corporate ownership of police depts.


Plus, “safety” is transparently preposterous, as they enforce the accelerating dis-integration of the ecology…


The continuous news feed on local news (Channel 6) showed a police boat knocking a kayaker into the water and then trying to get him out for ten minutes using multiple boats and a couple of jet skis. They also stressed that the temperature in Portland hit 102.

I was sad to see the climate killers’ vessel get through the blockade of kayaks and hanging climate heroes - but what a magnificent protest. I will never forget the sight of those flags flowing in the wind under the bridge.

Well done Greenpeace.


Geez, I wonder how long it took to take the skipper to task. No light matter…maybe he is sending a message upline to those pressuring for this drilling permit?