22 May 2015 (The Western Front) – Western Washington University student and activist Chiara D’Angelo boarded the Shell Oil Company vessel Arctic Challenger in Bellingham Bay and fastened herself to the vessel’s anchor chain at approximately 7 p.m. on Friday, May 22, to protest the company’s planned arctic drilling.
Around 30 protestors gathered at Cornwall Avenue and Magnolia Street for a vigil, speeches and a march to rally against Shell’s presence in the arctic. The group arrived at the bay a few hours later and sailed to the Challenger in an attempt to prevent the vessel from leaving.
During this time, D’Angelo made her way aboard and secured herself to the barge. Coast Guard and Shell vessels responded to the act, attempting to talk D’Angelo down from her position.
“I think we need to do what we have to do, the fact that involved a trespass on the boat is just a minor element of the situation,” activist Herb Goodwin said.
Other protestors remained onshore to gather food and supplies to take to D’Angelo, Goodwin said. Plans were announced for her to remain chained to the vessel until at least 4 a.m. on Saturday, May 23.
Western student and activist Juliana Fischer said she and other protestors have volunteered to take D’Angelo’s place to continue the protest as long as possible.
The Western Front will update this story as more information becomes available.