Anti-Shell Rallies to Take Place in Anchorage, Juneau

Thursday, June 18 2015

Rallies to protest Shell’s plans for exploratory drilling in the Arctic this summer will take place in Anchorage and Juneau today. The protests are organized by a self-described 'ad hoc grassroots group' that includes members of REDOIL, Alaska Rising Tide, Chukchi Sea Watch and the Alaska Climate Action Network. Danielle Redmond is an organizer for the Network. She expects between 10 and 50 people to gather in front of Juneau’s federal building. In Anchorage, she says between 50 and 100 people are likely to gather in front of a Shell Gas station on Northern Lights Boulevard. “I don’t expect that they will be very big because these are spontaneous grassroots groups," said Redmond. "[They are] citizens groups that have formed from people being concerned about these issues," she said. No such protest is planned in Dutch Harbor. Shell plans to use the eastern Aleutian port as a hub for it’s support vessels and it’s massive drill rig, the Transocean Polar Pioneer, this summer. Redmond says the rallies were scheduled in coordination with protests that have been ongoing in Seattle for more than a month. “Originally this rally was planned in coordination with the action happening in Seattle," Redmond explained. "Seattle had a floating date for their protest and it was based on when Shell was trying to leave the port of Seattle. Their protest happened a couple days ago and so in Alaska, our resources are not quite as developed. So, just at the beginning of this week, we decided the 18th would be the day that would work for the most people,” she said. Shell’s drill rig departed from Seattle Monday. The rig is currently en route to Dutch Harbor. It’s expected to arrive by the end of next week.

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