Extinction Rebellion activists blockade Shell HQ with huge purple boat

16 January 2020, 10:32

Protestors have blockaded the headquarters
Protestors have blockaded the headquarters. Picture: Extinction Rebellion Twitter

By Maddie Goodfellow

Extinction Rebellion activists have blockaded the entrance to oil giant Shell's headquarters in Aberdeen

The group of protestors, from the Scotland faction of XR, arrived at the company's premises at around 6:30am on Thursday and said they would be staying there all day.

They said their intent was to shut the building down, disrupt business and hold Shell to account for its contributions to the environmental crisis.

Members used lock on equipment to block the entrances and are sat in a huge purple boat at the gates.

The purple boat bears the words "The Future You Fear Is Already Here", a reminder that "catastrophic" climate change is already under way across the planet.

The group's boat, Amal Gous, is named after an activist and tea seller from Sudan who was one of 200 peaceful protesters killed during the June 3 uprising.

This demonstration is part of Rig Rebellion 2.0, a two-week campaign by Extinction Rebellion Scotland targeting the fossil fuel industry and the institutions which support it.

Activists are stopping staff from entering
Activists are stopping staff from entering. Picture: Extinction Rebellion Twitter
The protestors are using a huge purple boat
The protestors are using a huge purple boat. Picture: Extinction Rebellion Twitter
Police are in attendance
Police are in attendance. Picture: Extinction Rebellion Twitter

One of the protesters, who gave his name as Paul, 43, from Aberdeenshire, said: "If the whole world reaches zero carbon emissions by 2030, we only have a 75% chance of staying below (an increase of) 2C.

"These are terrible odds; and by committing to continued production decades into the future, Shell is literally destroying our future.

"The more successful fossil fuel companies like Shell are, the worse our future is going to be. We have to stop them carrying on as if their product does no harm. "

A Shell spokesman said: "The heightened awareness of climate change that we have seen over recent months is a good thing. As a company, we agree that urgent action is needed.

"What will really accelerate change is effective policy, investment in technology innovation and deployment, and changing customer behaviour.

"As we move to a lower-carbon future, we are committed to playing our part, by addressing our own emissions and helping customers to reduce theirs - because we all have a role to play."

Police said officers were at the scene of a "peaceful protest" outside the Shell premises Police at around 6.45am on Thursday.

Chief Inspector Davie Howieson, Local Area Commander for Aberdeen South, said: "The road was blocked from around 6.45am on Thursday, January 16, and road users are advised to avoid the area for the time being.

"We are liaising with both Shell and the protest organisers, Extinction Rebellion."