The past weekend in Seattle was marked by mass opposition to the presence of Shell's Arctic oil drilling rig, the Polar Pioneer, that is docked in Terminal 5 of the Port of Seattle for maintenance by the corporation Foss Maritime. Even though the Port of Seattle does not have the proper permits to host the oil rig, Shell and Foss Maritime are continuing to dock the ship there while work is being done on it so that the rig can return to the Arctic to drill for oil. The drilling plans are a threat to the fragile arctic ecosystem--and life across the globe--that is already experiencing the detrimental impacts of climate change. With inspiration from the organizing of Rising Tide Seattle and the indigenous resistance to Arctic drilling, we must all join a growing wave of opposition to the destructive plans of Shell and Foss Maritime. Appeals to the Port of Seattle and statements by the Seattle mayor aren't stopping the work on the oil rig, and so people must stop asking that the oil rig not be prepped for return to the arctic; they must show what it means to say "sHell NO!" and force an end to the plans for Arctic drilling.
The No New Animal Lab campaign is grounded in grassroots resistance to the systems that destroy the earth and its inhabitants, and so this campaign has a heart that is in solidarity with the fight against arctic drilling. Participants in the campaign have relationships that are built across movements--in the spaces in which all of our hearts are dedicated to defending the wild and fighting the State, and where we find what it means to be in this together--and so we were invited to help plan actions as a part of the weekend's Festival of Resistance.
On the eve of Monday's plans for mass civil disobedience against Shell's rig illegally docking in the Port of Seattle, activists from the No New Animal lab campaign descended upon the multi-million dollar home of Paul E. Stevens, President & CEO of Foss Maritime, because decisions to destroy the earth are made by the rich corporate CEOs that profit off them rather than workers on the rig--and so the CEOs and their conspirators must directly feel the pressure of opposition. As activists were walking up to Paul's home at 5804 East Mercer Way, on Mercer Island in Washington, an Escalade pulled into the driveway. As Paul got out of his car, activists started shouting, forcing him to face the facts of his corporation's complicity in Shell's arctic drilling--looming oil spills in the Arctic Ocean, destruction of habitat for polar bears and other arctic animals, and the looming threat of climate chaos. How can Paul and the executives of Shell look their children in the eye and say that they're leaving a better world behind for them?
The following day, after the mass mobilization to block Terminal 5 of the Port of Seattle, a coalition of climate justice activists and No New Animal Lab organizers attempted to invade the corporate headquarters of Foss Maritime at 1151 Fairview Avenue North in Seattle to confront Paul and his corporation with their facilitation of Shell's Arctic drilling. Upon discovering the office doors were locked for the day, activists continued with the planned disruption right outside the office doors, continuing to call out Foss Maritime and Paul for their role in allowing Shell to destroy habitat in the Arctic and contribute to the global problem of climate change.
The Polar Pioneer is still docked in Seattle. Join the movement to stop it from returning to the Arctic. From stopping labs from being built to stopping Arctic drilling, we must act up and fight back.