Reporting from the scene:
Currently, at the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon, environment guardians are suspended from the bridge by cables, and kayakers are trying to block the water. Their goal is to prevent a Shell oil rig from leaving town to go to the Arctic to start the process of extracting oil. Business press commentators have expressed excitement that warming climates are causing ice to melt, thus helping to clear the way to more “black gold”.
The climbers and kayakers are letting all ships through except one, the massive Shell rig, which turned around this morning when it encountered the obstacle, and is currently waiting for the government to remove the guardians so it can head to the Arctic.
At the moment, US government forces (Oregon State Police and US Coast Goard) have begun to forcefully extract the climbers and herd the kayakers out of the way, chasing them and hooking them with hooked poles, so that they can be arrested and charged with federal crimes, and the oil rig can proceed to the Arctic.
What the government position comes down to is that it is a crime to protect the environment, and “legal” to irreparably harm it. However, this is one of those issues where what the government declares to be “legal” is irrelevant. Yes, for hundreds of years it was “legal” to kill native people and “illegal” – in fact, terrorism – to interfere with their being murdered. So what? Means nothing.
On a related note, several of the climbers are of Native descent, and have commented that they and their ancestors have, over generations, watched and resisted the swift destruction of the environment by the European invaders. This marks another time when they are working to preserve the environment and the US government is using force against them to further its destruction.
Simultaneously, annexation of Native land in Arizona is being carried out (under John McCain) for additional resource extraction.
The Shell rig is currently on its way back to the bridge. For updates from the organization, text @ShellNoPDX to 23559, or follow this author @_DirtyTruths
Author focuses on force dynamics, national and global.