Seattle Activists Rally Against Plan Fueling “Pathological Addiction to Fossil Fuels”

Photo credit: Chas Redmond. Licensed CC-BY.

Scenes from Sunday, April 26, at Myrtle Edwards Park with the sHell No demonstration and speeches.
Photo credit: Chas Redmond. Licensed CC-BY.

Hundreds of climate activists rallied in Seattle on Sunday to say “Shell No!” to the oil giant’s Arctic plans and to protest the city being home to Shell’s Arctic drilling rig.

Among the groups hosting the action were Greenpeace USA, the Washington State chapter of the Sierra Club, Gabriela Seattle, and Rising Tide Seattle.

A Facebook page for the event sums up the groups’ concerns, including their opposition to the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5 housing the rig, the Polar Pioneer:

Shell sees climate change as a gateway to new profits. This is exactly the type of long-term, dirty fossil fuels project—like oil trains and coal exports—that can’t go forward if we hope to stop the worst effects of climate change and leave a real legacy for future generations.

In January, it became public that the Port of Seattle agreed to house Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet this spring. But we’re showing Shell it sure made a mistake by choosing Seattle as the home base for its Arctic destroyers! The drilling equipment is on its way to Seattle right now, and it will sit in the Seattle Harbor as we’ll gather in community to say, “Shell No!”

Among those speaking at the rally in Myrtle Edwards Park was Greenpeace Executive Director Annie Leonard, who commended her hometown’s people power, saying that “in Seattle, we know how to come together and stand up to corporate power run amok,” later adding that “we want to raise our voices not our sea levels.”

Throughout the region, she said, “We are rising up against oil trains and coal exports and Arctic drilling… We are drawing a line here. We are saying not in our beloved Pacific Northwest, not in our incredible city, Seattle.

“We will not be part of facilitating this pathological addiction to fossil fuels when we know that there is a better way.”

The Arctic, she said, “is worth fighting for. The world needs a healthy Arctic.”

She said that the battle over Shell at the terminal “is emblematic of a much bigger battle that our country is in the midst of, and it is a battle to determine which trajectory we are going to take… It is about what kind of future we want, and, very importantly, who gets to decide…We want the better future,” she said.

“The last thing we need is more extraction, production, drilling and burning of fossil fuels,” she said. “It is enough. We are drawing the line today.”

The Seattle PI reports that the protesters also sent a kayak filled with letters opposing the terminal plan to the city commissioners.

See more from the event from these photos uploaded by Twitter users: