16 Jan 2020
Extinction Rebellion Scotland blockade Shell HQ in Aberdeen
At 6.30am this morning, Extinction Rebellion Scotland blocked all entrances to the headquarters of the oil giant on Altens Farm Rd in the European Oil Capital Aberdeen. Activists have secured the entrances with lock on equipment and the main entrance with XR Scotland’s big purple boat, named Amal Gous . They intend to stay there all day, with the aim of shutting the building down to disrupt business as usual.
As Australia burns and Indonesia is flooded, with tens of thousands made homeless, the purple boat bears the words, “The Future You Fear Is Already Here”, a reminder that catastrophic climate change is already underway across the planet, driven by Shell and the rest of the fossil fuel industry. Last week, as bushfires caused by climate change choked Australia, Shell celebrated the discovery of a huge new gas field off the coast of Western Australia.
The iconic Red Rebel Brigade will also be in attendance. A protest performance piece, a group of weeping rebels dressed all in red will walk through Aberdeen City Centre, starting at the train station at 1pm then onto Union St then the Harbour.
“Governments and corporations like Shell all agree that my children are facing a catastrophic climate and ecological collapse yet are doing next to nothing to prevent this. I'm here today because as a parent I am ultimately responsible for the safety of my children whether today, tomorrow or in 30 years time.” Michael, 57, Management Consultant, Renfrewshire
This action is part of Rig Rebellion 2.0, a two week long campaign by XR Scotland targeting the fossil fuel industry and the institutions which prop it up, demanding a just transition lead by a legally binding citizens’ assembly.
Extinction Rebellion Scotland are disrupting business as usual for Shell to hold Shell to account because Shell is one of the top ten carbon emitters in the world, and is projected to increase their output of oil and gas by 35% over the next 10 years. Because Shell knew, back in the ’90s, that climate breakdown was inevitable if they continued their practices.
”If the whole world reaches zero carbon emissions by 2030, we only have a 75% chance of staying below 2°C. These are terrible odds; and by committing to continued production decades into the future, Shell is literally destroying our future. The more successful fossil fuel companies like Shell are, the worse our future is going to be. We have to stop them carrying on as if their product does no harm. ” Paul, Aberdeenshire, age 43.
Today’s action taken in solidarity with the Ogoniland community, who continue to suffer from the irreparably harm done to their community, land and people by Shell. In the ’90s in the Niger Delta, Shell was accused of being instrumental in the killing of nine indigenous activists, who protested their badly managed and ecologically damaging pipelines; the Ogoni Nine.
We want Shell and the rest of the fossil fuel industry to tell the truth about their role in the climate crisis, to halt their billion dollar misinformation and lobbying campaign to undermine belief in climate change; to stop any action which could harm their profits; to erode any policies not in their favour.
Annie, one of the activists locked on commented; "Since the 1990's shell have been aware of the sheer scale of the climate emergency and their contribution to it. They put a lot of money into misinformation campaigns and lobbying to ensure the public were not aware. Now they are misinforming the public through greenwashing advertisements. When still 95% of their profits come from greenhouse gases. Shell are perpetrators of the climate crisis and I am here today to highlight this."
The fossil fuel industry want us to believe they are an asset to our economy, that we need them. This is just not true. The fossil fuel industry worldwide receives five trillion dollars in subsidies each year. That’s 10 million a minute.
Shell avoided paying corporate income tax in the UK in 2018 despite generating pretax profits of 731 million dollars. They pay their CEO 143 times what their average worker receives.
Extinction Rebellion Scotland have three demands for the Scottish Government.
1. Tell the truth about the fossil fuel industry’s role in driving the climate crisis.
2. Act now to stop supporting the industry, wrap it up and begin a just transition away from it.
3. Trust ourselves in a legally binding citizens assembly; we want workers, communities and the people of Scotland to make the decisions on how this is done.
Rig Rebellion 2.0 began last Monday when three women scaled a gas rig leased to Shell in Dundee Harbour.
 Amal Gous was an activist and tea seller from Sudan who was killed during the 3rd June uprising at which paramilitary forces killed over 200 peaceful protesters. We take action in honour of their bravery and solidarity with their struggle.