Activists blockade Port of Seattle Terminal 5 in protest of Shell’s Arctic drilling rig, the Polar Pioneer

More demonstrations were held at the Port of Seattle today as hundreds of activists from across the Pacific Northwest came together in the early morning hours to protest Shell’s future plans for drilling in the Arctic. Shell’s Arctic drilling rig, the Polar Pioneer, sits in the Duwamish River, at the mouth of Elliott Bay, awaiting it’s trip to the Arctic Sea. Protestors gathered around 6:30 am at the Duwamish fishing pier and began marching towards Terminal 5 over the Spokane St. Bridge, flanked on both sides by rows of Seattle Police on bicycles. Activists blockaded two entrances while listening to speakers, musicians, and danced to a DJ in the middle of the street. Coffee was provided by Black Coffee Co-op and pizza was ordered by supporters in New York and Florida while Food Not Bombs provided vegetarian options. Children and activists chalked the streets while groups mingled and discussed a vast array of climate related issues. At approximately 2:30 pm, the demonstrators marched back to their starting location for a final rally. No arrests or injuries were reported.

From the Facebook event page…

WHEN: May 18; Meet @ 7 AM
WHERE: Duwamish River Fishing Dock (On Harbor Island parallel to Spokane Street)
WHAT: A day of mass nonviolent direct action + rally.
WHO: You!
WHY: To stop Arctic drilling and take a stand against companies like Shell who profit from climate chaos.

Meet at the Duwamish Fishing Dock at 7:00 – it’s a small boardwalk along Spokane Street on the east side of Harbor Island. We will have a very brief program and then march to Shell’s rigs and nonviolently shut down operations for the day.

PARKING: There is parking under the West Seattle Bridge, and off of Marginal Way in West Seattle. Alternatively you could park on Harbor Ave SW in West Seattle or in SODO and walk to the meet-up site.

We encourage as many people as possible to prepare and train for nonviolent action. Trainings the week of the action will be posted here:

Take the pledge of resistance at and learn more about who we are and how you can get involved! Don’t live in Seattle, but want to come? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there too! You’ll find all the information you need on our website.

On January 8, we learned that Shell will be hosting their Arctic drilling rigs in Terminal 5 of the Port of Seattle. That same day the journal Nature published an article saying that Arctic oil MUST be left in the ground in order to avoid catastrophic climate change. Drilling for Arctic oil is an open attack on people in the global south, who are already losing communities to rising seas and extreme weather. It could also spell disaster for one of the most unique wilderness areas on the planet and all of its inhabitants.

Shell’s rigs will arrive as we mark the five-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. We need a massive peaceful resistance to confront Shell, and the systems of colonialism, racism, and capitalism that drive climate chaos.

From May 16 to May 18, join us in Seattle for three days of creative, people-powered resistance to Shell and the climate crisis. We will converge on the Seattle waterfront by land and sea, transforming Terminal 5 and Harbor Island into a festival of resistance that will nonviolently block Shell’s preparations for Arctic drilling.

While we confront Shell, we stand in solidarity with indigenous peoples and people of color who endure the brunt of extraction and climate chaos.

We will unite in creative action, including a mass water-based blockade, and an event focused on working to honor our connections with this beautiful and complex planet. These events will build to a day of Mass Direct Action on Monday, May 18, when we will use nonviolent action to SHUT DOWN SHELL and all operations related to their Arctic expedition.

Shell’s drilling rigs are a prime example of the root causes and injustice of the climate crisis. They will generate untold wealth for the few, while wrecking the climate for everyone, trampling on indigenous rights, and causing millions of deaths in the global south.

Fifteen years after the WTO protests, we will remind the world that corporations like Shell that abuse human, environmental, and labor rights are not welcome in Seattle. We are fighting for a world where we can all provide for our families without risking our health, planet, or future generations.

The fossil fuel economy of exploitation is over. A new world is within our reach. Rise up. Resist. Join us in Seattle!” – #YouShellNotPass Day of Mass Nonviolent Direct Action!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s