News Release

“Kayaktivists” Attempt to Stop Shell’s Damaged Ice Breaker from Departing for Arctic

The Portland Tribune reports: “Portland protesters will seek to block the passage of Shell Oil’s icebreaker bound for the Arctic, starting Tuesday afternoon, in what could turn out to be the start of a multiday civil disobedience action. Member groups in the Climate Action Coalition are urging supporters to show up for a ‘kayak and water vigil’ at noon Tuesday, July 28, at the Cathedral Park boat ramp in North Portland.”

The Department of the Interior has stated that there is a 75 percent chance of an oil spill in the Arctic once Shell’s drilling commences.

DAPHNE WYSHAM, daphne.wysham at gmail.com, @daphnewysham
Daphne Wysham is director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Center for Sustainable Economy. Her writings, commentary and analysis have appeared in national news publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and The Nation.

Said Wysham today: “Scientists tell us we can’t drill in the Arctic if we want to avoid dangerous climate change and sea level rise that threatens three-quarters of the Earth’s major cities in the next few decades. Nevertheless, Shell is putting its corporate profits ahead of the future of the planet and preparing to drill in a region where an oil spill cannot be cleaned up. Portland kayaktivists are the last phalanx of resistance to this insanity.”

MEREDITH COCKS, meredithlcocks at gmail.com, @pdxrisingtide
Cocks is an organizer with the group Portland Rising Tide, an organization working locally to “promote community-based solutions to the climate crisis and take direct action to confront the root causes of climate change.”

Cocks stated: “In Portland and across the northwest, we have the unique opportunity and responsibility to act as a chokepoint in the transport of dirty coal, oil, and gas. For years, Portland has demonstrated powerful resistance to the shipping of coal and oil by rail, as well as tar sands mining equipment by road. We view the arrival of Shell’s icebreaker in Portland as another chance to disrupt new oil development and demonstrate that any and all new fossil fuel exploration and extraction is an unacceptable risk to our climate and future.”

MAYA JARRAD, majauniv at gmail.com
Jarrad is the communications coordinator and newsletter editor for 350PDX, a group seeking to build “a diverse grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis.”

Jarrad said: “Scientists are sounding the alarm, telling us we need to keep most of our known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. This makes Shell’s extreme extraction adventure in the Arctic the definition of insanity. We’re talking about putting humanity, our entire planet’s livability at extreme risk. Portland is going to be taking a stand to say, ‘Shell No!’ We’re here fighting for humanity against the most wealthy and powerful industry in human history, but we’re not afraid, because everything we love and value in life is on the line.”

To follow the Portland Kayaktivists on Twitter see #PDXvsShell#ShellNo.