Protest of the Day: ShellNo Activists Hang from a Portland Bridge to Block Arctic Oil Drilling

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Protesters block the route of a Portland tanker by hanging from a bridge in hammocks.
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Every activist probably wishes they could accomplish as much sitting in a hammock.

The Washington Post reports that 13 protestors took to the sky (sorta) July 29 as they lowered themselves down from a bridge to try and stop Shell moving on to drill for oil in the arctic.

The protesters took to the St. Johns Bridge over the Willamette River early Wednesday to block the icebreaker, named the Fennica, from heading north to protect Shell's fleet from ice and respond to an oil spill, should one occur.

"They are creating a human barricade so that the Shell icebreaker cannot get through," Annie Leonard, the executive director of Greenpeace USA, told KATU in Portland. "They are prepared to stay up there for days because that's what it is going to take to save the Arctic."





The Portland Mercury said the tactic apparently worked because the tanker, named the Fennica, had to retreat.

The activism springs from both growing concerns over an oil spill and a local feeling of duty.

As the Mercury says:

The U.S. Department of Interior says there is a 75 percent chance of an oil spill in the Arctic once drilling commences, a spill which experts say would be virtually impossible to clean up, posing unacceptable risks to indigenous peoples and the marine environment. Shell is proposing to commence drilling in this untouched region—thanks to rapidly melting ice in the Arctic due to climate change— at a time when NASA's former top climate scientist says we may see at least 10 feet of sea level rise by 2050.

"In Portland and across the Northwest, we have the unique opportunity and responsibility to act as a chokepoint in the transport of dirty coal, oil, and gas. For years, Portland has demonstrated powerful resistance to the shipping of coal and oil by rail, as well as tar sands mining equipment by road," says Meredith Cocks of Portland Rising Tide. "We view the arrival of Shell's icebreaker in Portland as another chance to disrupt new oil development and demonstrate that any and all new fossil fuel exploration and extraction is an unacceptable risk to our climate and future."



Decorations of the Day: Wild Dildos Appear All Over Portland Power Lines

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Reports are flooding in from social media and The Oregonian about sex toys that have suddenly appeared all over the power lines of Portland.

Depending on the commenter, the number of suspended sex toys ranges from dozens to hundreds, but no official tally exists. People have documented examples in North, Northeast and Southeast Portland.

Marc Farrar, a Comcast spokesman, said he's not aware of crews removing any of the toys from Portland power lines. Ryan Noll, a CenturyLink spokesman, declined comment.



Officials raised some concerns about line safety, but most everyone else is using it as an excuse to take pictures or finding an awkward parenting situation in the anonymous 'art' project.











Most of the residents seem to have a pretty good attitude about it, which really shouldn't be too surprising from Portlandians.

Destruction of the Day: Wind Tears Scaffolding Off Building in Oregon

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Thanks to some high winds and a shoddy construction job, a giant chunk of scaffolding came crashing down from a building this week in Portland, Oregon.

Onlookers watched and filmed in fascination as the debris teetered back and forth before eventually falling to the street.

No one was injured in the accident, but one car apparently took a lot of damage.

Portland, Oregon: The Place to Find Unicyclists Performing Monty Python and the Holy Grail With Flaming Bagpipes

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Viral Video of the Day: Crazy Lady & The Vacuum Cleaner Man

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Portland's news station KGW-TV inadvertently hit a comedy gold mine during an interview with this local resident who suddenly derails from her witness account to reveal that "the vacuum cleaner man," who is presumably involved in the story at large, has seen her t*ts. "I know that's not going on TV, but it's true. I'm not here to lie to you," she said.

Lame Defense of the Day

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This guy was on the receiving end of a taser and an all-around police beatdown and obviously lost. When the case went to trial, the Portland city attorney, representing the arresting officer, tried using the reasoning that the suspect owned a kung-fu movie collection, so the brutality was justified. The jury wasn't convinced and now the city is paying out $250,000, which should buy some decent self-defense lessons in addition to new kung-fu DVDs.

[boingboing]