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Close to the edge

As PN went to press, Shell’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic were on hold as an ice breaker was forced to return to Oregon for repairs, and environmentalists pressed US authorities to withhold the final licences needed by the oil giant.

On 15 June, ‘kayaktivists’ including Seattle city council member Mike O’Brien confronted the Polar Pioneer drilling rig as it left the port of Seattle. The coast guard detained 25 people for violating the safety zone around the rig; they were fined $500 each.

On 17 June, indigenous activists and Greenpeace volunteers tried to intercept the Polar Pioneer in inflatables.

On 3 July, there were actions across Europe. On 18 July, there was a national day of action in the US, with events in 13 states and in Washington DC opposing Shell’s Arctic plans.