A group gathered to protest drilling in the Arctic Circle and a Shell oil rig's presence in Seattle.
A group gathered Friday morning to protest drilling in the Arctic Circle and a Shell oil rig’s presence in Seattle.
About 35 demonstrators started at the Delridge Community Center in West Seattle and then marched to Terminal 5, carrying signs and chanting “no more rigs in our community,” and “off the rigs.”
“Work needs to be delayed for a few weeks,” said Sarra Tekola, a University of Washington student. Climate change could “lead to extinction,” she said. An environmental science major, Tekola said her studies have pushed her into activism.
“We have enough research,” she said. “What we need now is political action.”
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Around 25 police officers blocked the roadway at the intersection of Chelan Avenue and Spokane Street. The protesters sought to block the entrance to the terminal, but were unable to prevent workers from getting in.
“Even if we’re not blocking them completely, we woke up at 5:30 (a.m.) and said (expletive) no,” shouted one organizer, who refused to give her name, over a megaphone. “When we come to shut it down tomorrow, we’re going to have a little more insight.”
One protester says he was briefly detained by police after using a nearby portable toilet. He said a group of police officers “stormed” him, but that he was not arrested.
Other than his detention, the protests were mellow.
“These guys want their voices heard. As long as they don’t harm anyone,” Seattle Police Captain Pierre Davis said. “These guys are fine.”
Davis said he was confused at the protesters’ hostility toward the police. Protesters called the cops, “pigs.” One told police “all your kids are going to (expletive) die, too” as a result of climate change.
“A lot of this angst seems to be aimed at officers,” Davis said. “We’re not part of anything Shell has going. We’re simply here to let them (the protesters) state their case.”
At about 8:30 a.m., the protesters proceeded back up Delridge Way Southwest, escorted by police. They briefly stopped traffic.
After arriving back at the Delridge Community Center, the group finished their event with cookies, coffee cake and fruit salad, some of which was found by dumpster divers.