Guest essay by Eric Worrall
A US judge in Anchorage has slapped a massive accumulating fine on Greenpeace of $2500 per hour, rising to $10,000 / hour, for every hour Greenpeace activists block Shell Oil ship MSV Fennica from leaving Portland, to sail for Alaska.
According to Sky News;
A US judge has slapped a $US2,500 ($A3,426.77) fine on Greenpeace for every hour its activists continue to block a Shell Oil ship headed for Alaska on a drilling expedition.
The activists have been hanging from ropes since Wednesday from a bridge in Portland, Oregon’s main city, to prevent the departure of the MSV Fennica, a Shell icebreaker that was in town for repairs.
But federal judge Sharon Gleason in Anchorage, Alaska’s biggest city, ruled in the oil giant’s favour on Thursday, imposing the hourly fine until the protesters withdraw, a court official told AFP.
The fine will increase the longer the protest continues, according to the local KGW News.
Starting at 10am on Friday (0300 AEST on Saturday), Greenpeace will be fined $US5,000 an hour, increasing to $US7,500 an hour on Saturday and $US10,000 an hour from Sunday.
Greenpeace is a massive multi million dollar international organisation, with assets in the 10s of millions, so in principle they could laugh off even a $10,000 / hour fine for at least several weeks before feeling the financial strain. My guess is there may be some interesting discussions occurring now in Greenpeace HQ, about how much money they should burn to make their point.
The MSV Fennica made it past the protestors at 6pm Thursday, according to Oregon Live.
Just before 6 p.m. Thursday, the controversial icebreaker MSV Fennica threaded through a hole cut by law enforcement in the wall of protesters suspended from the St. Johns Bridge.
A police Special Emergency Response Team officer rappelled over the bridge and cut the lines connecting the protesters dangling from the bridge. Then Portland Fire Bureau technical rescue teams moved in, with some firefighters going over the bridge’s edge and asking the protesters to voluntarily ease themselves down to waiting boats.
The first two protesters came down on their own but the third wouldn’t communicate. Firefighters connected two rope lines to his lines, removed his anchor and lowered him on their attached lines to a boat.
Their work opened a gap just wide enough for the Fennica’s safe passage.