Shell-shocked: Greenpeace protest over Arctic 30

Turn-out at the Newnham Road demonstration Image credit: Ashley Chhibber

Campaigners from across Cambridge demonstrated outside two Shell garages on Saturday 16 November, in protest against the imprisonment in Russia of 28 Greenpeace activists and 2 journalists.

The group since dubbed the ‘Arctic 30’ had attempted to document, expose and protest against the first oil rig in the otherwise pristine Arctic Circle. However, their ship, the ‘Arctic Sunrise’, was boarded by armed police and they have been detained.

Atus Mariqueo-Russell, Vice-President of the ARU Greenpeace Society, told The Cambridge Student: “We’re protesting outside Shell garages to pressure Shell into discontinuing its relations with Gazprom until Gazprom calls for the Arctic 30 to be released... This is part of a global movement to target Shell gas stations.”

The demonstrations were coordinated by the ARU and Cambridge City branches of Greenpeace. Despite the emotive subject matter, there were “no problems, no friction with the Shell garage... It’s an entirely peaceful and calm affair,” said Mariqueo-Russell.

Tatjana Street, a member of the city branch, told TCS: “Cambridge would be an ideal place [for people to get involved]; it’s fairly liberal, full of people who care for the planet”. Mariqueo-Russell added: “We’re trying to recruit more people from Cambridge University... find us on Facebook at ‘ARU Greenpeace Society’ – we’re always open to new members.”

James White of the CUSU Ethical Affairs team told TCS: “CUSU Ethical Affairs fully supports the Arctic 30 Shell protests... I hope to work with the newly revived Cambridge Greenpeace and Anglia Ruskin University Greenpeace societies in future endeavors.”

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