GREENPEACE activists were today aiming to shut down around 14 Shell petrol stations in the Capital today by sabotaging pumps in a series of raids.
Around ten environmentalists over-ran the Shell Garage in Dalry aiming to chain themselves to pumps while occupying the roof of the building, next to Lidl, amid plans for day-long disruption at the site.
The city-wide protests are in reaction to new attempts to drill for Artic oil – which Greenpeace says would spoil one of the last remaining “pristine areas on Earth” – and part of a national day of action in which 100 Shell garages will be targeted in London and Edinburgh.
It is not yet known how much disruption there will be to motorists in the city.
Speaking at 7.30 this morning, Richard George, climate campaigner at Greenpeace, said: “Currently we have ten people chained to pumps and occupying the roof of the Shell Garage next to Lidl in Dalry with roving teams targeting 13 other Shell garages in Edinburgh.
“Today marks the start of the Arctic drilling window where for most of the year it’s covered in thick sea ice but now there’s a short window where there’s sufficient melt that they can drill for oil.
“Ships from Shell are on their way there at the moment and so we are taking action in Edinburgh and London to send a message to them that this is not acceptable and the only way they feel any pain is through their profits.
Mr George said activists were cutting fuel supply to the pumps by hitting an emergency button before removing pump handles and posting them to Shell HQ. The major raid at the Shell Garage in Dalry is expected to see a day-long occupation of the site.
Mr George said: “We regret any inconvenience this might cause the people of Edinburgh but we are here to send a message to Shell. We have also worked out where the nearest petrol stations might be and have erected signs informing motorists where they are.”
And he added: “The danger of an oil spill in the Arctic is one that needs to be brought to Shell’s awareness.
“Even if you get all the oil out of the Arctic region it only constitutes three years’ demand. So in three years’ time we would be looking for an alternative to that anyway.”
Greenpeace is televising today’s activities in a 12-hour live online special, starting at 8am. The show will be anchored from purpose-built studios in Greenpeace’s London base, and will be going live throughout the day to campaigners as they shut down Shell’s capital city operations. To watch, go to www.greenpeace.org.uk.