Protests Intensify at Port of Seattle
About 200 protesters gathered on Monday at the Port of Seattle marching their way to the Terminal 5 where Shell’s giant oil drilling rig is parked.
The protesters voiced their disapproval of Shell’s plan to use the Terminal 5 for its rigs as they ready to resume exploration in the Arctic for oil and gas reserves. The protesters believe that the exploration plans pose great risk of an oil spill in the Arctic. What is more, burning of fossil fuels in the area is feared to have a considerable impact on the climate change in the area.
The protesters’ intent was to block workers from access the rig. However, according to the port, there was not much activity at the terminal so the protest did not cause too many disruptions.
The drilling rig Polar Pioneer moored at the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5 on Thursday, after being towed from the Port of Los Angeles, amid protests organised by local environmental activists.
The arrival was followed by another round of protests at sea by the so-called kayaktivists on Saturday and land-based protests on Monday.
“The demonstration at Terminal 5 ended today without incident. Protestors were on site for about eight hours. No arrests or injuries were reported. Thanks to Seattle Police, Port of Seattle Police, and Port of Seattle Security for protecting people and keeping our facilities secure,” the Port of Seattle said in an update.
The Port of Seattle has been pressured by the public to deny Shell access to its services. In the latest turn of events, the Seattle Department of Planning and Development formally ruled that Terminal 5 is not permitted for oil equipment maintenance.
As a result, the Port of Seattle may face fines should it fail to obtain the necessary permit.
World Maritime News Staff; Image: Greenpeace