As I write, Greenpeace activists are attempting to climb the Shard, Europe’s tallest building. The glass skyscraper in London is 310 meters tall. The climb is a protest to draw attention to planned oil and gas drilling in the Arctic.
As the Iceclimb webpage states, “1 skyscraper. 6 women, No permission. What will you do to save the Arctic”. The protesters are asking people to sign up to the protest, and to share the event with others via social media.
The building is the focus because it is modelled on a shard of ice, and located in the middle of Shell’s three London headquarters. The Greenpeace protesters say Shell does not want them talking about its plan to drill in the Arctic, so they are there “to shout about it from the rooftops”, literally.
At present there are over 11,000 people watching the live video feed, and over 27,000 people have signed up to the protest, so the action is certainly drawing a lot of attention. As you can see from the tweet below, the activists are currently about halfway up the Shard.
The protesters plan to unfurl a banner once they get to the top, as is the norm with Greenpeace protests of this nature. As you would expect, Metropolitan police are monitoring the situation, along with British transport police. For safety reasons, it’s very unlikely that police would try to intervene while the women are climbing the building. It’s a certainty they’ll be arrested afterwards.
It’s now just past 2:00 pm London time and the protesters are well over halfway up the Shard, reaching the 180 mark of the 310 meter climb. They set out on the climb at about 4:20 am this morning, so it’s already been a long haul. They have reported that it’s very hard work climbing the skyscraper, but they’re in good spirits. They are being spurred on by the amount of encouragement they are receiving from supporters via social media.
The number of new sign-ups on the Save The Arctic Iceclimb webpage has rocketed up in the past couple of hours to over 35,000 – which is already well beyond Greenpeace’s expectations for the protest.
It has also been reported on Twitter that the Iceclimb protest became the most popular story on the BBC website.
The protesters have also been receiving a good deal of celebrity support via social media, including from musicians Thom Yorke and Annie Lennox.