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Activist Environmentalists Pushing the Boundary of Decency

Fresh off a recent “protest” which involved shutting down almost 75 gasoline stations in Europe, some in the media are finally starting to take notice that Greenpeace isn’t the lovable environmental group that many seem to think they are:

Greenpeace activists shut down 74 Shell petrol stations in Edinburgh and London in a protest against the company’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic that saw 24 campaigners arrested on Monday.

The campaigners are attempting to shut off petrol to London’s 105 Shell stations and Edinburgh’s 14. Seventy-one have been closed in London and three in Edinburgh.

There have been 24 confirmed arrests, 18 in London and six in Edinburgh. The police in Edinburgh have reportedly parked cars outside all Shell stations across the capital.

Protesters have scaled the roof of the Shell station on Queenstown Road near Battersea Park in London and on Dalry Road in Edinburgh, with police and fire crews attending the scene in Edinburgh.

Activists arrived at the Battersea Park branch at 6.45am and used the station’s barriers to close down the forecourt. They have since covered the Shell sign with a Save the Arctic banner and positioned a life-sized polar bear model on the station’s roof.

The activists are shutting down the stations by using an emergency shut-off switch to stop petrol going to the pumps and then removing a fuse to delay it being switched on again.

Many people understand and are generally sympathetic to protestors, because the protestors are demonstrating that they genuinely care about an issue and are trying to change it. But most protestors don’t go around inconveniencing the rest of the world by shutting down gas stations that people rely on to go about their business. It’s pretty easy to imagine being in a hurry, or low on gas, and having to drive to multiple stations because some 20 year old ideologue has decided that their form of protest will be not letting you buy gasoline that day.

Aside from that, they have also reportedly created fake stunts and sold them to the media as real, also known as lying:

The video was reported widely in the media, gaining half a million views within a day of its release. Then it was revealed as a hoax, a publicity stunt organised by Greenpeace in collaboration with The Yes Men and Occupy Seattle.

Then matters escalated further, with a series of intimidating legal threats sent to bloggers. Warning that “lawyers operating on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell plc. (Shell) are considering formal action,” over the counterfeit campaign launch, an email from Shell’s PR department told bloggers and journalists that: “Shell is monitoring the spread of potentially defamatory material on the internet and reporters are advised to avoid publishing such material.” A jolly good Streisanding seemed imminent, until the threats turned out to be just another layer of the hoax.

Soon after, links began appearing to arcticready.com, supposedly the “social media hub” for the “Let’s Go! Arctic” campaign. “We at Shell are committed to not only recognize the challenges that climate change brings,” the introduction declares, “but to take advantage of its tremendous opportunities. And what’s the biggest opportunity we’ve got today? The melting Arctic.” The site allows members of the public to suggest their own captions for Shell advertisement, displaying the unfortunate results in a gallery of user submissions. Another hilarity-inducing epic Shell PR fail? Nope, another cynical Greenpeace hoax.

The author concludes:

The real villain here is Greenpeace. This is an NGO that thinks it is acceptable to lie to the public, to lie to bloggers and journalists, and to then intimidate writers with threatening emails warning of legal action. This absolutely is not okay. I don’t care if you’re saving the Arctic, rescuing kittens from YouTube’s vicious pet-celebrity training camps, or training pandas to pull famine-ridden children out of earthquake debris; to behave in this deceitful way demonstrates an astonishing amount of contempt for the public – not least for environmentalist supporters who spread their message in good faith only to find themselves forced into embarrassing retractions.

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