As Royal Dutch Shell prepares for its summer Arctic drilling plans, environmentalists, indigenous communities, and concerned citizens alike are ramping up their efforts to stop it. Last month, “kayaktivists”—that is, activists in kayaks—surrounded one of Shell’s oil drilling rigs while it temporarily docked in the Port of Seattle, and earlier this past week, a group of environmentalists and native Alaskans challenged the sufficiency of the operation’s environmental analysis in the federal court of appeals.
But over Memorial Day weekend, two environmental activists took things to a new extreme, literally putting their bodies between Shell’s operation and its destination in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. On the evening of Friday, May 22nd, Chiara Rose D’Angelo, 20, climbed onto the anchor of the Arctic Challenger, a support ship for Shell’s exploratory drilling operation, docked 90 miles north of Seattle in Bellingham Bay, in an attempt to prevent it from leaving for the Arctic. The next morning, Matthew Fuller, 37, joined her.