The US Coast Guard is fining five Greenpeace protesters $5,000 each for their roles in last month’s Portland bridge-dangling protest against Shell’s Arctic drilling campaign, the Associated Press reports.
The two-day action at the end of July created spectacular images for world media when 13 environmentalists suspended themselves from the St John’s Bridge over the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, in an attempt to prevent the Finnish-owned icebreaker Fennica heading back north to Alaska to rejoin Shell’s drilling fleet.
The Fennica had undergone repairs to its hull in a Portland dockyard. It is key to Shell’s operation in the Chukchi Sea because it carries a capping stack, an essential piece of equipment that can be used to contain a blown out well at sea.
Authorities intervened to remove the protesters and the vessel passed through on July 30. It reached its Arctic drilling destination on Tuesday.
Oregon Public Broadcasting said the five being fined include three of the danglers and two of their support team on the bridge.
Charges have not been specified but are likely to include violating a court-ordered restraint order and disrupting river and highway traffic. The protesters have a right to appeal.