Greenpeace Activists Fined for Bridge Protest

     PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) – The Coast Guard fined seven Greenpeace activists for delaying a Shell icebreaker from making its way from Portland to Alaska during a July 30 protest.
     Petty Officer 1st Class George Deneger announced fines against seven Greenpeace protesters, for “interfering with the safe operation of a vessel” by spending 40 hours suspended 100 feet below the deck of the St. Johns Bridge in Portland.
     The Fennica, one of Shell’s two arctic icebreakers, was in Portland for repairs to its damaged hull after it ran aground near the Aleutian Islands.
     The protesters appeared early on the morning of Wednesday, July 29, and delayed the icebreaker by a day and a half.
     Kayakers also swarmed the river in an attempt to block the ship.
     On the afternoon of July 29, the Fennica made its way down the Willamette River to the bridge, approached the dangling protesters, then turned around and headed back to dry dock. A cheer erupted from dozens of people gathered on the banks of the river.
     Eventually, police rappelled from the bridge and removed three of the 13 protesters – just enough to allow the Fennica to pass under the bridge on the evening of July 30.
     A federal judge in Alaska held Greenpeace in civil contempt and fined the group $2,500 per hour for about the last seven hours of the protest. Greenpeace spokeswoman Cassady Sharp said the group has not yet gotten any official notice from U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason to confirm the number of hours they will be paying for.
     Today, the Coast Guard announced fines of up to $25,000 each against seven Greenpeace protesters, according to a statement.
     Sharp said Greenpeace also could not confirm the latest fines, as the Coast Guard had not yet issued a notification to the group.
     “Greenpeace was prepared to face the legal consequences of the protest in Portland to stop Arctic drilling which the Coast Guard itself has said is a resource burden,” Sharp said in a phone interview. “We stand by our actions to stop Shell from drilling for oil in the Arctic, which experts say is one of the extraction projects that could push our climate past a livable level.”
     Deneger did not return a request for comment.

%d bloggers like this: