Two protests against Shell’s plans for drilling in the Arctic this summer took place Thursday in Alaska.
The first was in Juneau during the early afternoon and later in the day a second protest was organized on a street corner in Anchorage.
Standing across the street from a Shell gas station on Northern Lights Boulevard, Gwit’chin Athasbascan Faith Gemmill of Arctic Village said she was there to support Inupiaq people and their subsistence rights.
“Their whaling way of life is what’s at stake,” Gemmill said. “If Shell drills in the Chukchi sea, it could be potential disaster for the people there.”
Xavier Mason represents the youth council for the Anchorage chapter of the NAACP. He said the permission given to Shell to drill in the arctic is a pivotal moment in Alaska’s history and shouldn’t be allowed.
“It’s not just Shell, but anyone, because look at the Gulf spill, that was crazy and if you do that here in Alaska where it’s more remote and a greater diversity of fish and whales and stuff like that and polar bears,” he said.
Mason said the risk of spills is too high.