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NYTimes: Raising Paddles in Seattle to Ward Off an Oil Giant

Other98.org is fiscally sponsoring the Mosquito Fleet, the fleet of kayakers set on disrupting Shell Oil’s docking in the Port of Seattle. The Mosquito Fleet’s kayaktivists were featured in this NYTimes profile.

Raising Paddles in Seattle to Ward Off an Oil Giant
New York Times
MAY 11, 2015
By KIRK JOHNSON

SEATTLE — A dozen or so men and women, cinched into life jackets, paddles at the ready, were about to launch their kayaks into Elliott Bay early Thursday evening with Seattle’s glittering skyline as the backdrop. For some of the paddlers, it was a first-time experience, and with the water at 50 degrees and choppy, there were some obvious signs of trepidation.

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The standoff between Royal Dutch Shell, which proposes to lease a terminal in the Port of Seattle for its Arctic drilling fleet, and the opponents who want to block the company’s plans for environmental and other reasons, is going aquatic. The various groups organizing a “ShellNo Flotilla” for Saturday hope to attract 1,000 kayaks or other small boats, and are arranging temporary housing for people coming from elsewhere to train and participate.

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At Thursday night’s kayak training session, instructors showed the group how to get back in a tipped kayak (keep your center of gravity low, sliding on, belly first), how to signal for help (paddle vertical) and how to paddle backward. In the spirit of inclusion, trainees were asked what gender pronoun — he, she or something else — they preferred. Training sessions just for women and just for minorities are planned for this week to encourage greater participation.

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Read Kirk Johnson’s full article @ The NYTimes

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Activists participate in the sHell No Flotilla part of the Paddle In Seattle protest. Nearly a thousand people from country gathered May 16, 2015 in Seattle's Elliot Bay for a family-friendly festival and on-land rally to protest against Shell’s Arctic drilling plans.

Our 10 Favorite Moments of the #ShellNo Flotilla

Kayaktivists on the water with shell's drilling rig in the background

AP: Anti-Arctic Drilling Kayaktivists Hold ‘Shell No’ Protest