Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet is currently on its way to one of the most remote areas on the planet, and the public spotlight on the oil giant is only getting brighter.
Hot on the heels of the inspiring protests against Shell in Seattle and Canada last June, thousands of people around the world are standing up for the Arctic. In just the last two weeks, Arctic activists in more than a dozen countries have protested Shell’s Arctic drilling plans. And more demonstrations keep springing up!
These ten images offer a glimpse of the people power behind this incredible expanding movement:
1. In the historic Czech town of Cesky Krumlov, protesters from all across Europe show solidarity with the kayaktivists of the Pacific Northwest.
On July 7, 2015, activists held a symbolic kayak blockade in Cesky Krumlov – a historical town under UNESCO protection.
2.Protesters in Rosario, Argentina remind us what an Arctic oil spill could mean for wildlife.
On July 4, 2015, Rosario, Argentina took part in a demonstration on the banks of the Paraná river in Argentina to say #ShellNO to drilling in the Arctic.
3. Volunteers in cities across Germany collect rags to help Shell prepare for an oil spill “clean up.”
In 55 cities throughout Germany on July 4th, 2015, Greenpeace volunteers protested against Shell’s plans to drill in the Arctic for oil. The volunteers collected personalized cleaning rags from people on the street to symbolize how absurd it is to think that an oil spill in the Arctic can be easily “cleaned up.”
4. People take to kayaks to protest at a local Shell refinery in Denmark.
On June 30th, 2015 as part of a global wave of action, 65 kayaktivists in Denmark protested against Shell’s plan to drill for oil in the Arctic. The demonstration took place outside the Danish city of Fredericia, where oil from a Shell refinery has been leaking for decades.
5. Activists shut down every single petrol station in Zurich to protest Arctic drilling.
On June 30th, 2015, Greenpeace activists from all over Europe blocked all of the Shell petrol stations in Zurich, Switzerland. The activists chained themselves to petrol pumps to protest against Shell’s oil drilling program in the Arctic.
6. The Arctic Sunrise joins in from Barcelona, Spain.
On July 4th, 2015, activists in a kayak hold a banner in front of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise in Barcelona as part of the “People Vs Shell” global protest.
7. A polar bear-icade takes a stand at a Danish Shell refinery.
Greenpeace activists dressed as polar bears protest at the Shell oil refinery in Fredericia, Denmark to expose the company’s plans to drill for oil in the fragile Arctic region.
8. Over a thousand march through the heart of Helsinki.
More than 1000 people marched through the city centre of Helsinki on July 3rd, 2015 to protest Shell’s Arctic oil drilling. Elsewhere in Helsinki’s harbour, another group with canoes, kayaks and a sailing boat protested near icebreakers owned by the Finnish company Arctia Shipping. The icebreakers are contracted to join Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet this year.
9. Protesters in Istanbul join the fight.
On July 11, 2015, protesters in Istanbul took part in a demonstration to say #ShellNO to drilling in the Arctic.
10. Over seven million people worldwide have already taken action to help save the Arctic. And these protests are just the tip of the iceberg.
From Seattle, to Buenos Aires, to Helsinki – the movement of the People Vs Shell is spreading.
Don’t be a bystander in this fight. Join the movement here.
Many of the recent demonstrations around the world were inspired by the courage of kayaktivists in Seattle and First Nations activist Audrey Siegl who put herself in front of one of Shell’s rig in Canada. You can see images of their powerful protests here.
Maïa Booker is a multimedia editor for Greenpeace.