What a lovely city Edinburgh is, and if I had been there on Monday – which I can neither confirm nor deny – then I would have been able to witness Greenpeace activists shutting down Shell garages by borrowing the petrol shut-off handles and an internal fuse. All good fun and rumour has it exactly the same thing was happening in London at the same time.
Roll on through the week with an abundance of stories of Shell outposts around the world being targeted by Greenpeace groups, from Argentina to France and right across Europe in Finland, Sweden, Hungary and the Czech Republic to name just some. Meanwhile I am sawing and stapling, putting my very limited DIY capabilities to the test of making some banners for the Norwich Shell Day of Action at the weekend.
Saturday afternoon comes and we make our way to the Shell garage on the Plumstead Road. The blitz of publicity from Greenpeace HQ has done an excellent job and in addition to the five existing group members we have six other people turn up who haven’t been active in Norwich previously. It’s great to see so many new people, all keen to get involved and with some wandering along to talk to shoppers at the Co-op and elsewhere while others of us maintain a presence outside the garage with our placards it feels much more substantial than anything else we have done.
Most people seem interested and concerned to find out about the Arctic drilling; not many were aware of it before so this is really valuable. Even the drivers coming out of the Shell station are generally receptive, though the day wouldn’t have been complete without the driver of a huge SUV shouting at us to get a job!
Overall a real success and the same seems to have been true in more than fifty other locations around the country. Just as we are getting ready to go someone who had been spoken to at the shops is brought over to me by one of our other new volunteers. She really wants to get involved in doing this type of thing. It’s been a good day for talking to the public, and an even better one for recruiting people to the group.