Contact: Charles Conatzer
Activists Use Tripod To Block Shell’s Seattle Operations
May 12, Seattle, WA. Days after the Foss Maritime announced that they
intended to defy Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, and illegally host Shell’s Arctic
drilling fleet, Seattle activists have blockaded Shell’s Seattle fuel transfer station by erecting a tripod.
Seattle resident Annie Lukins, who is suspended from the top of the tripod,
says she made the decision to block the facility because like everyone who
lives near the shore, she has a stake in stopping Shell. “Shell already
knows the impacts of drilling in the arctic. They are placing themselves in
defiance of climate science, in defiance of the treaty subsistence rights
of the Inupiat, and in defiance of our elected official here in Seattle.
I’m here because I’m not the only young person who wants to raise her
children near the shore. Whether they are my kids or the kids of the
Inupiat people of the arctic, I want the next generation to be able to to
eat fish from the ocean whose flesh doesn’t carry the killing toxins of
crude oil. Shell has already proven they cannot safely operate in the
arctic, and the niger delta has shown us that they don’t clean up after
themselves. We need to ban arctic drilling now.”
“By coming to seattle in defiance of the mayor’s announcement, Shell is
proving again what we already know.” Said Marianna Coles Curtis, who helped support the protest “They are getting away with illegally docking their
drilling fleet here by paying $500 a day. It’s like a parking ticket. This
is a company that made nearly $15 billion in profits last year, so $500 a
day isn’t anything to them. It just shows how companies like Shell, BP, and
Exxon can trample all over a community, and then get away with a small fine
that hardly takes a chip out of their profit.”
Shell’s criminal activities are worldwide. The oil giant has come under
public scrutiny for numerous environmental and human rights violations.
Shell is responsible for the spilling of 1.5 million tons of oil in the
Niger Delta over the last 50 years. According to human rights watch groups,
Shell has made inadequate efforts to remediate impacts, and the oil has led
to massive fish kills which have devastated the local fishing economy.
Shell’s Arctic drilling mission has also sparked controversy. In 2012,
Shell ran one of their Arctic rigs aground, violated permits regulating air
pollution, and failed to certify crucial safety equipment. These
violations have prompted Inupiat leaders to come forward in opposition to
Shell’s Arctic drilling project, saying that it poses too great a danger to
the tribe’s treaty subsistence rights.
Next week, thousands of protestors from Seattle and beyond plan to converge
at terminal 5 and Harbor Island to non-violently resist the progress of
Shell’s Arctic drilling rigs and support vessels. On May 16 a
family-friendly Paddle in Seattle will rally people on water and land to
protest their presence. Then May 18, activists plan direct action on
land. Read more about “Festival of Resistance” at Shellno.org.
“We are going to stand up.” Lukins said. “Until Barak Obama has to make a
choice – arrest an entire movement for standing in defense of our own
environment and in defense of the treaty rights of indigenous people, or
end arctic drilling!”
DIRECTIONS: The Tripod is on 16th Ave Southwest on Harbor Island, just
north of the corner of 16th Ave SW and Lander St. Turn north onto 16th Ave
SW off of Spokane St and drive north until lander street, the protest will
be on your right.
### PHOTOS AND INTERVIEWS WITH ANNIE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST ###