People vs sHell: An account from the blockade


Maintaining the blockade day and night.

It was a beautiful moment to see sHell’s Fennica icebreaker turned back by our human blockade taking its stand at the St. Johns bridge: 13 people suspended from the bridge, a wall of kayaks in the water and all backed up by dedicated support staff on shore. Compared to the size of the ship, they looked like tiny insects, yet for the moment, victory was ours.

It was 28 hours earlier, as the camp in Cathedral Park was just stirring for the planned 4 a.m. kayak blockade, that people started to notice the activists one by one dropping down from the side of the 200 foot tall span. They seemed like little spiders as they slowly lowered down, connecting lines between themselves, creating the web that would block the ship for 40 hours. Read more

The “sHELL NO” Campaign Continues at The Big Float

Big Float-5The Fennica has arrived. On Saturday, July 25th, Shell’s notorious icebreaking ship docked near Swan Island, where it was confronted with several waves of “kayaktivists”. As they paddled through dim, unduly warm Willamette waters, the kayakers chanted, waved banners, and sailed flags in protest. Organized in part by 350pdx, the event made national news headlines, succeeding in bringing awareness to the ominous shadow the Fennica casts over the river.

sHell No activism continued into the next day at The Big Float, an event intended, according to its website, “to encourage people to ‘get into the river’ and support its preservation and healthy development as a recreational resource”.

Big Float-1Participants entered the Willamette River at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, where they floated on inner tubes, air mattresses, rafts, and kayaks. Despite the overcast skies, hundreds of people showed up to play in the water. Passersby were supportive as 350pdx volunteers joined in, parading several blocks carrying a “sHell No” banner along with a conglomeration of tubes and a small boat. Once they reached the water, 350pdx tied their floats together to create a united front and once again display their signs in protest of arctic drilling.

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sHell No Protest at sHell Station – Thursday July 23rd Report

sHell-No-Station-2As part of the sHell No Portland campaign, 30 people spontaneously organized a protest at the Shell Station at the southeast corner of Laurelhurst Park.

People held two banners: “Keep The Arctic Oil Free” and “Idle No More”. There were multiple chants, folks talking to motorists and speaking to passersby and a couple people spoke to the Shell attendants.


Photos from the protest

With the Ice-breaker ‘Fennica’ coming into Portland for repairs, activists have mobilized to protest Shell and the beginning of drilling in the arctic. It is especially telling about our society that as we have just passed the 1°C mark and the arctic land region is facing an unprecendented fire season that the plan to drill in the arctic is still a go. It is a form of insanity. We have to collectively break through that to chart an intelligent course.

Upcoming sHell No Events:
Friday July 24th – Portland Vs. Shell Speak Out at City Hall 1 pm

Saturday July 25th – Portland vs Shell! Kayak Flotilla
WHEN: Meet at 3:00pm. Will launch the flotilla by 4:00pm and expect to be on the water roughly an hour and a half.
WHERE: Launching from the Swan Island Boat ramp, at the end of N Basin Ave.

Sunday July 26th – Big Float outreach and awareness event.

Other actions you can take:

Sign the petition asking Mayor Hales and the City Council to take a public stand against drilling in the arctic.

Download and print a PDF of the petition and go out and collect names from friends, family or at events. Then you can mail or return them to the 350pdx office!

sHELL NO! rally launches climate activism plans to stop Shell

sHell No-21

Senator Merkley speaks up against drilling in the Arctic.

Last minute rally against Shell builds power! Activists plan to stop Shell before the corporation can drill in the Arctic by fighting back on our home turf–here in Portland. The kickoff rally happened last Saturday morning as people gathered to make t shirts and hear Senator Jeff Merkley speak (among others) and this is just the beginning.

Fennica is predicted to arrive in Portland on Sunday. If you’re asking what you can do right now to stop Shell, look no further! We need resources to make it happen. Donate now to stop Shell.

For a full article on the rally and upcoming plans against Shell, see this OPB link. And check out our photo gallery for more photos of the rally!

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Environmental Catastrophe and Revolution with Chris Hedges

Portland activist Alon Raab summarizes the recent talk delivered by former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges, at Powell’s Books in June 2015.

Photo by

Chris Hedges, Photo by

Lambasting the rapid march towards ecological catastrophe, endless wars for oil and empire, and wealth concentration, author and activist Christopher Hedges offered inspiring examples of contemporary and historic individuals and movements working for a world rooted in peace and justice to a large Portland audience. Linking the many environmental and social crises with colonialism, imperialism and capitalism, he urged his listeners to get to the root of the malaise and expressed certainty that popular uprisings are inevitable, in the United States and globally. Read more

Meet Mia, our new development and campaign coordinator!

Mia is 22 years old and graduated from Reed College a year ago. She grew up in LA, raised in a culture where you can’t see an injustice and not speak up. Her beliefs pulled her into the world of environmental organizing as early as middle school, when she organized a public screening of An Inconvenient Truth. Mia has always traveled a lot, both with her family and solo, and over time her travels gave the environmental movement a national and global context for her. At Reed, she focused on Environmental Studies and Economics and it was a huge eye opening experience to learn about environmental justice as a broader movement. She started organizing with student-led social justice groups and worked on the private prison divestment campaign. During her freshman year Mia connected with outside environmental groups like the Community Alliance Against Coal, an outlier of Rising Tide, to join the campaign against Morrow Pacific coal exports. Rising Tide led to 350, and Mia helped organize Summer Heat NW. She loved the experiences that were coming out of organizing--improving her skill sets, forming deep relationships with a lot of organizers, and having fun as she went. In 2014 Mia wrote her senior thesis on equity and carbon pricing. Mia feels pulled to 350PDX because she loves 350’s analysis of climate change. It’s science-backed, rooted not in what’s easy but what must be done. And it’s important to her that 350PDX is not just a climate group but a climate justice group, because climate change as a problem is disproportionately affecting those already disenfranchised by our current system and any true solution must be equitable. Mia believes in self-determinism and her vision is that individuals must work together to create a movement that is more powerful and more fun. She is constantly inspired by the people she works with and being part of the 350 network gives her a lot of hope. Outside of her organizing, Mia is excited to spend the summer sitting on the porch, working in her garden and swimming in the river. She also spends time going to art shows, make crafts (“really kitschy stuff”) for her own benefit, and engaging in other art therapy like painting. She dreams of working really hard to solve the climate crisis and then just chilling for whatever years are left.

“In a lot of ways we’re fighting for our lives, and it can be hard to pinpoint where my passion comes from–climate change is an enormous beast out there and to me, working on climate is not just stopping the largest crisis the world has ever seen but it’s about building a better future.”

At 22 years old, Mia is pretty impressive. She graduated from Reed College last year and comes to us with five years of experience organizing in Portland.

Mia grew up in LA in a culture where you can’t see an injustice and not speak up. Her beliefs pulled her into the world of environmental organizing as early as middle school, when she got her start organizing a public screening of An Inconvenient Truth. Mia has always traveled a lot, both with her family and solo, and over time her travels placed the local the environmental movement in the context of global justice. At Reed, she majored in Environmental Studies and Economics and wrote her senior thesis on equity and carbon pricing. She started organizing her freshman year with student-led climate and social justice groups.

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Bonnie McKinlay: Fighting for the Planet


Our veryIMG_7761 own Bonnie McKinlay was recently interviewed by Alice Hardesty of Street Roots on her experience as a climate change activist. We’re so unbelievably proud of Bonnie and so happy to see such a quality write-up of her story of climate action. The original story written by Hardesty can be found here on Street Roots’ website, however you can read the write-up in its entirety below!

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Be a Climate Hero This Summer!


bike copy350PDX is gearing up to engage 5,000 people this summer in climate action, telling our leaders to stop investing in oil and coal companies, stop new fossil fuel export projects, and put a price on fossil pollution, and we need you to help us spread the word and gather signatures for the Oregon Climate Declaration!

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North Portlanders Change Views on Propane, Help Defeat Terminal

Doug Larsen with his wife Jane Terzis in Cathedral Park

Doug Larsen with his wife Jane Terzis in Cathedral Park

Doug graduated in a recession and wound up on top of a wrecking ball on the Alaskan coast. A crane lowered him into a hole 70 feet beneath the beach. Doug built infrastructure for big oil pipelines. “I graduated as an economist, but carpentry work was better because it wasn’t as depressing.” Doug now leads the Cathedral Park Neighborhood Association, which has its own blog (some of the posts are so lovely they might have been written by Shel Silverstein). Read more