Police ram Greenpeace blockade so Shell's icebreaker can escape Portland, OR

On July 29th, Greenpeace dangled climbers from a bridge and staged a maritime blockade of the harbor in Portland, OR to detain Shell's icebreaker Fennica in port, where it had stopped for repairs. The blockade was selective, the climbers raised themselves to allow all other ship traffic to pass. On the 30th of July a Multnoman Co Sheriff's boat rammed through the kayakers in the water and the Fennica ran the blockade and escaped. At least one kayak was run under the police boat's bow. The Fennica is carrying the capping stack without which Shell is not permitted to drill into oil bearing rock strata in their offshore Arctic drilling program this summer. If it is stopped, so is Shell's drilling.

The fight against extreme energy extraction is heating up, increasingly police who own their alliegence to capitalists are willing to use ruthless force against nonviolent protesters. To some extent, any unarmed blockade relies on the reluctance of the other side to resort to deadly or injurious force to remove it or pass it. Shell got lucky this time around, nobody was killed in this act of police aggression.

A judge had ordered fines against Greenpeace for "civil contempt" of $5,000 an hour for every hour the protest continued into Friday, $7,500 an hour on Saturday, and $10,000 an hour on Sunday. Of course, Greenpeace could have refused to pay this fine and moved all financial assets out of reach of US courts if so needed. The only question is how far activists are willing to escalate in the face of this sort of multifaceted repression and outright aggression by courts, police, and their corporate overlords.

Video of sheriff's boat ramming and running over a blockader's kayak

Spectacular drone footage of climbers dangling from the bridge (Vimeo)

Police boat rams kayaker to break the Shell No blockade-three stills from Portland's News 2 helicopter video

Shell's icebreaker Fennica rams through the bridge danglers-enhanced from photo by Rabble

Photo by EnviroNews

Cops ram Shell blockader's kayak in Portland, OR
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