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View Diary: How Shell is trying to send a chill through activist groups across the country (175 comments)

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  •  So now you're against any illegal protest (4+ / 0-)

    and civil disobedience is bad too.

    Good to know.

    If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

    by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:01:15 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not against civil disobedience (8+ / 0-)

      But those who engage in it know they are flouting the law and they accept the consequences for it.

      Resisting Shell is great, but why would anyone be surprised that blocking their vessels will lead to arrests?

      •  This isn't about leading to arrests (10+ / 0-)

        The protest is already illegal and they are already risking arrest. I don't see how making it more illegal is a good thing. This ruling could totally be used to restrain civil disobedience prior to it being used. Something similar was used against people blockading Keystone XL, although in that case the organization involved was sued for damages and then backed off out of necessity after making a deal. I don't know that this diary really explains the problem very well.

        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

        by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:21:51 AM PDT

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        •  I get the Minority Report Pre-Crime Overtones (7+ / 0-)

          Getting a pre-emptive restraining order against illegal acts is somewhat frightening.  And I see that there is concern that it could spill over soon into restraining orders against arguably legal acts.

          I guess I'm more alarmed by abuses like the caged "free speech zones" at the political conventions of the past, the non-disclosure agreements virtually all companies force employees to sign, the corporatization of the media, the resounding media silence when the 2000 election was stolen and the farcical Iraq WMD claims were so shamefully staged. . .

          It's a long list.  But you are so right that we are not a culture that engages in robust free speech that (a) describes reality and (b) submits reality to the scrutiny of basic critical reason.

          We're awash in oligarchic fluff jobs and silly info-tainment.  It ain't pretty.

    •  The purpose of civil disobedience is (5+ / 0-)

      DISOBEDIENCE.  You're not disobeying anything if there are no consequences or punishments.  

      It seems absurd to me to say that you want to engage in civil disobedience but don't want to suffer the consequences of disobeying.  The power of disobedience is its illegality.  

    •  AoT - the difference between trespasing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster, nextstep, ban nock

      on land and boarding ships and oil rigs out in the open seas is that actions in the open sea put the employees of Shell in danger. I am not against civil disobedience, or even illegal protests, but those participating should be prepared to go to jail. If the protest causes property damage those responsible should also be liable for the cost of repairs.

      There are lots of ways to protest without breaking the law.  

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:47:48 AM PDT

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      •  This isn't only about the safety issue (6+ / 0-)

        and the case wasn't decided on the safety issue. This is applicable to other situations, and an injunction has been filed against some Keystone XL protesters as well on similar ground.

        I am not against civil disobedience, or even illegal protests, but those participating should be prepared to go to jail. If the protest causes property damage those responsible should also be liable for the cost of repairs.
        And they are liable for arrest and for damages already. This doesn't change any of that.

        This ruling could have been used as a prior restraint to the segregated lunch counter sit ins.

        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

        by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:12:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This IS about the safety issue. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, samddobermann, CalGal47, murrayewv

          The only way you can get an injunction is to show the potential for irreparable harm - that if you wait and sue, dollars won't be an adequate remedy.  In order to issue the injunction, the Court had to specifically find that there was, in this case, the potential for irreparable harm.

          The Court's finding on irreparable harm is about the safety issue:

          2. Likelihood of Irreparable Harm

          The district court concluded that Shell demonstrated a
          likelihood of irreparable harm absent injunctive relief because “illegal or tortious efforts to board or interfere with [its] vessels would be likely to present unacceptable risks to human life, property and the environment.” Shell Offshore, 864 F. Supp. 2d at 851 (internal quotation marks omitted). In  support of these findings, the court considered evidence that actions of the sort undertaken by Greenpeace activists against Shell vessels in New Zealand, Finland, and Greenland pose risks to the safetyof activists and vessel occupants alike. The court also found – and Greenpeace USA does not dispute – that “if Greenpeace USA successfully disrupted Shell’s operation, calculating the amount of economic harm would be very difficult.” Id.
          Greenpeace USA offers nothing beyond conclusory
          statements and case summaries in support of its one-sentence argument that the “likelihood of future injury is speculative and cannot be based on matters that occurred in 1997, or that 8 involved entities that are not Greenpeace USA.” The record provides ample support for the conclusion that Greenpeace USA has either undertaken directly, or embraced as its own, tactics that include forcible e boarding of vessels at sea and the use of human beings as impediments to drilling operations. We find  it too plain for debate that such tactics at minimum pose a serious risk of harm to human life, particularly if attempted in the extreme conditions of the Arctic Ocean, and that such harm could find no adequate remedy at law.

          •  It is not only about the (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Words In Action, FishOutofWater

            safety issue. Otherwise they wouldn't be using the tactic elsewhere.

            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

            by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 01:57:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Obviously, you are ignoring the law. (5+ / 0-)

              You can't get an injunction without a showing of the potential for irreparable harm.  That's black letter law.  Period.  End of story.  

              A lot of the oil and gas industry is inherently dangerous.  Oil and gas can easily blow up and burn.  That's the nature of the beast.  That means that if people who don't know what they are doing start messing with it, the chances of it blowing up increase.  That's true even on land.  It's doubly true in the middle of the ocean.  

              •  In other words (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Words In Action

                they are using this across the industry, like I said. So it's rather convenient that it's "about the safety" of a business that's in the business of killing us all.

                If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 02:10:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, not "across the industry." (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  VClib, 1BQ, CalGal47

                  If you want to protest outside a refinery, that's not an "irreparable harm" situation.  If you want to protest outside of Shell's offices, that's not an irreparable harm situation.  That's protest.  That's what I thought this diary was about.  Instead, when I read the opinion, it was about people forcing their way onto vessels and rigs putting the lives and safety of the workers on those vessels and rigs in danger.  

                  It's when people who don't know what they are doing try to forcibly take physical take control of things -- like vessels, rigs, or pipelines -- that are inherently dangerous that you get into the irreparable harm area.

                  •  Yeah, and neither of those will do anything (3+ / 0-)

                    You want us to keep taking actions that have proven useless again and again. I'm sick of the constant refrain of "it's illegal" when anyone hits on an effective tactic. This issue is kind of fucking important. How old are you? I'm going to have to deal with this personally, as will my nieces and nephews even more so. But no one should take any effective action, god forbid. Just march in circles again and again so everyone can tell us how useless protest is.

                    Don't worry, they'll figure out away to abuse this ruling too. The rule of law is for little people, didn't you hear.

                    If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                    by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 02:21:27 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So the only "effective action" is to put people's (6+ / 0-)

                      lives and safety in danger?  It's worth risking the lives and safety of the people who work on those rigs and vessels for you to make a point -- and you can't make that point any other way?

                      I am NOT telling anybody not to protest.  I fully support the right of everyone to protest.  I AM saying that protesting is completely different from deliberately putting the lives and safety of ordinary, working people (the workers on those vessels and rigs) in danger so that you can make a point.

                      •  None of this is to "make a point" (4+ / 0-)

                        It's to stop the actions that are killing the planet. And of course you aren't telling anyone not to protest, you're just saying that any direct action against building pipelines or other carbon extraction infrastructure will risk lives and so we should march around in circles or go get arrested in some useless show in front of the white house.

                        And you aren't really saying any of that. So I'm sorry for aiming all of this at you because I don't mean to make it personal. But that's how the system works now. No one actually does anything they can be blamed for and it just keeps getting worse and more of us are going to be killed because of it. We've built a giant edifice devoted to removing the personal responsibility of those who are destroying our world and then telling people who are trying to stop it that they are going to hurt people when they take effective action.

                        And we do the same thing with the economy.

                        Sigh.

                        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                        by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 02:43:38 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

    •  All the yawners work for the plutocracy for (3+ / 0-)

      which they stand, whether they get paid for it or not.

      Add the median effective tax rate, healthcare costs (20%?), education costs, and other things guaranteed in Denmark & Sweden, we pay MORE for LESS. Somebody's gotta pay the billionaires. They don't grow on trees. ☮ ♥ ☺

      by Words In Action on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:38:10 AM PDT

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    •  Yeah, that is the line these folks are taking (0+ / 0-)

      Apparently they are not happy with civil disobedience. I guess they love the status quo so much they want to defend it to the end.

      American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

      by glitterscale on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 05:47:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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