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Right to protest under legal threat from Shell

Amsterdam, Netherlands – WEBWIRE

In response to Shell going to a Scottish Court to ban Greenpeace protest near or on their platforms in the Brent oil field, Joris Thijssen, executive director Greenpeace Netherlands said:

“It is absurd that Shell is trying to restrict our fundamental human right to peaceful protest. In a time where millions of people across the world fill the streets to demand that fossil fuels stay in the ground, this attempt by a polluting corporation to throttle the right to protest, only shows that the movement to protect the planet is winning. Shell can try to shut us up, but we will only get louder.” 

The injunction against Greenpeace came after a safe and peaceful protest by Greenpeace International and Greenpeace Netherlands on 14 and 15 October, 2019. Climbers scaled the rigs Brent Alpha and Bravo and hung banners saying, ‘Shell, clean up your mess!’ and ‘Stop Ocean Pollution’. The protest was against Shell’s plans to leave parts of four old oil rigs in the North Sea. Three of those rigs contain over 11.000 tonnes of oil[1], which will eventually end up in the sea.

Michelle Jonker-Argueta, Legal Counsel for Greenpeace International, said: “Greenpeace has repeatedly, along with many NGOs and governments, objected to Shell’s plans to leave 11.000 tonnes of oil behind in the North Sea. If participating in discussions is not enough, then it is everyone’s right to publicly hold this harmful industry accountable.” 

On Thursday 28 November, Greenpeace International and Greenpeace Netherlands will be in the Scottish Court to defend the right to protest.

A ban on dumping installations and platforms in the North East Atlantic ocean was agreed in 1998 by all members of the OSPAR Commission. Shell has requested an exemption from the UK government.


[1] Data from two Shell reports: Brent Field Decommissioning Environmental Statement, Feb. 2017; and Brent Decommissioning Derogation Assessment, Nov. 2018, OSPAR consultation.

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