16/07/2012

Greenpeace Protests Shut Down 53 Shell Stations

53 Shell petrol stations have been shut down by Greenpease activists in protest at the company's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic.

The campaigners are attempting to shut off petrol to London's 105 Shell stations and Edinburgh's 14; 50 have been closed in London and three in Edinburgh.

There have been nine confirmed arrests, four in London and five in Edinburgh. The police in Edinburgh have reportedly parked cars outside all the Shell stations across the capital.

The activists are shutting down the stations by using an emergency shut-off switch to stop petrol going to the pumps and then removing a fuse to delay it being switched on again. The organisation has since posted a picture of an activist posting one of the fuses to Shell's head of Arctic drilling, with the message: "We're being careful not to destroy property. Even the carefully removed components will go back to Shell."

Protesters have scaled the roof of the Shell stations on Queenstown Road near Battersea Park in London and on Dalry Road in Edinburgh, with police and fire crews attending the scene in Edinburgh.

Activists arrived at the Battersea Park branch at 6.45 am this morning and used the station's barriers to close down the forecourt. They have since covered the Shell sign with a Save the Arctic banner and positioned a lifesized polar bear model on the station's roof.

Sara Ayech, a campaigner at the Battersea Park station, said: "Shell is preparing, for the first time, to unleash a drilling fleet of huge vessels upon the fragile and beautiful Arctic, home of the polar bears.

"It's time to draw a line in the ice and tell Shell to stop. That's why today we're going to shut down all of Shell's petrol stations in the capital cities of London and Edinburgh. We've got dozens of people who will hit over 100 Shell garages throughout the day."

A spokesman for Shell said: "Shell recognises that certain organisations are opposed to our exploration programme Offshore Alaska, and we respect the right of individuals and organisations to engage in a free and frank exchange of views about our operations.

"Shell has met with numerous organisations and individuals who oppose drilling offshore Alaska. We respect their views and value the dialogue. We have extended this same offer for productive dialogue to Greenpeace."

(H)

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