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A Successful Protest

I am active in the Center for Earth Leadership, which includes members from several organizations involved in climate work. I am intensely proud of a recent protest in Portland, Oregon, USA.

An oil exploration vessel, the MSV Fennica, under contract with Royal Dutch Shell to assist in Arctic Ocean drilling, was in dry dock in Portland for repair. First the kayaktivists (protestors in kayaks) surrounded the repair yards. Then Greenpeace activists suspended themselves from the St. John’s Bridge, forcing the ship to return to port. RCers were present at the protest and involved in the planning.

The news will tell you that this effort failed, as the Fennica was able to pass the protestors the following day. It was not a failure—for two days the ship was delayed, and it was made to turn back one of those days.

For me, participating in active protest is a way to build confidence, develop leadership, and strengthen the network of groups that can work together on future projects. It also helps me discharge.

Randy Smith
Portland, Oregon USA
Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for
leaders in the care of the environment


Last modified: 2020-07-02 14:27:35+00