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Hundreds on the water to protest Shell oil rig

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SEATTLE — Hundreds of kayakers paddled towards a common enemy moored on Elliott Bay: the towering oil rig, Polar Pioneer.

“A big show of people power against the presence of shell’s rigs here,” said Emily Johnston, one of the organizers.

The rig arrived Thursday, and will eventually sail to Alaska to drill in the deep waters of the arctic ocean, something activists say is a threat to the environment.

The protesters are made up of several different groups, including Green Peace, and a contingent of Native Americans from Alaska.

“There’s no assurances of protections for the people, and their livelihood,” said Faith Gemmill, one of the Alaskans taking to the waters of the Puget Sound. “That’s why they should not even go there. They should not pass Seattle.”

The flotilla of protesters got close to the oil rig on Saturday, but police boats and the coast guard kept them back.

Foss Maritime, the local contractor for Shell, is beginning the process of loading the rig for travel. The company says the Polar Pioneer’s presence means hundreds of local jobs, and millions pumped into our economy.

The activists say it’s not worth it.  Johnston said their protests will continue Sunday and into Monday when they try to shut down the terminal.

"We’re going to make people understand that this is a catastrophic project, and that they can not come here and just do business, and have us treat it like normal business."

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  • "peety"

    where there more than 417 protesters? The same amount of jobs Shell claims this will crease. If so, Shell said they would leave.

  • Think about it i dare you

    typical tree huggers talking loud saying nothing at all and getting nothing done lol what a joke it wouldnt make a differance if they hadnt gotten out in their boats that were made using the very thing they are protesting, any yea they can come here and do what they want its shell get real they gave them a $500 fine im sure shell wiped their ass with it and threw it in the water

  • Randy C.

    I watched the news again this morning (6th of June) with another story about the protesters fighting against the oil rig. They are a bunch of hypocrites! They are ranting about the oil rig being here and headed to Alaska. Yet how many of them drive cars that are powered by the petroleum the rig is designed to retrieve from the earth? Thus creating the need for the massive machine in first place. The best way to fight the rig is to drive an electric car!