As I'm sure you've noticed if you've glanced at these pages in recent days, in honour of the launch of our new campaign to #savethearctic Greenpeace networks all over the country have been visiting their local Shell garages in protest over their plans to drill for oil at the top of the world, thus contributing to climate change and risking a catastrophic spill that would be near impossible to clean up. Brighton network were keen to get the message across to Shell that drilling in the Arctic is just not cool and so, bright and early on Saturday morning, five of us arrived at the Shell garage on Preston Park Road.
The poor attendant behind the counter was completely thrown by our arrival and after we politely explained why we were there told us (in rather flustered tones) that the manager would never allow our presence. When asked if he would mind calling his manager to explain what was happening we were informed by the (now highly disgruntled) attendant that his manager was "at a wedding" and as a result he was unable to contact him! We gently pointed out that we were excercising our legal right to protest and headed outside...
After placing ourselves at various points just off the forecourt we set about the task of chatting with passers-by and Shell customers about Shell's plans to drill in the Arctic and the potentially disastrous risks attached to the venture. After an hour or so the forecourt mysteriously shut down. We can't be sure whether this was standard practice during a busy Saturday lunchtime, or whether it was as a result of our presence there! After a quick 'huddle' we decided that even though the forecourt was closed, we would continue to talk to passers-by until the time we had agreed we would leave, but not until after a quick sit down in front of the closed entrance! After 30-45 minutes the unhappy looking attendant returned to re-open, and we continued talking to the public.
The majority of people we spoke to were shocked and outraged that Shell are prepared to risk our precious Arctic, further exacerbating climate change, in order to squeeze a few more drops of oil from the planet. Although one gentleman in particular told me that if given the choice between saving the planet and driving their BMW, the car would win every time! Oh well, you can't win them all!
All in all it was a really successful day and we're all looking forward to the next one! Add your voice and #savethearctic! If you're name's not down, Shell might get to drill the in Arctic.