By boat, by raft, or by swimming through frigid northern waters, the people will not back down against drilling in the Arctic.
That was the message Wednesday morning as about 30 environmental campaigners on Greenpeace vessels—including Musqueam First Nation activist Audrey Siegl, featured in a video on Tuesday preparing for the action—chased down oil giant Shell’s Arctic drilling rig, the Polar Pioneer, as it moved past Vancouver Island toward its final destination in Alaskan waters.
Under the banner of People vs. Oil, several protesters jumped from a raft into the choppy ocean waves to block the path of the Polar Pioneer. Shell plans to drill for oil in the Arctic’s Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, which are home to numerous Indigenous communities and marine species.
According to Vancouver’s CKNW news outlet, the protesters on the raft had a message for Shell:
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The swimmers included a Fijian activist named Victor Pickering. “For me, standing up to Shell is a personal struggle to protect my country’s way of life that will be further devastated by rising sea levels and a melting north pole,” he said in a statement.
As of Wednesday morning, the Polar Pioneer had barreled down on the swimmers, forcing them to move out of the way, but two smaller boats of activists are still facing off with the vessel.
Follow the action on Twitter with the hashtags #PeopleVsOil and #ShellNo.
Tweets about #PeopleVsOil #ShellNo