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‘Seattle Raging Grannies’ Among Those Protesting Arctic Drilling

Shell’s arctic drilling rig left for Alaska despite an attempted blockade by protesters in kayaks.

The U.S. Coast Guard temporarily detained two dozen protesters who formed a blockade with kayaks and other vessels Monday to try to stop Royal Dutch Shell’s drill rig, Pioner, as it left Seattle on its way to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean.

Among those protesting were the Seattle Raging Grannies, as they’re known, who chained themselves to rocking chairs, who vowed to stop the Shell oil rig from heading to the Arctic.

USA today report: The protesters, whose actions were coordinated by Greenpeace, said their mission is to pressure officials to end the nation’s dependency on oil and stop Arctic drilling, according to group spokeswoman Cassady Sharp, who counted 40 to 50 supporters in kayaks and canoes lined up behind the blockade.

“Shell wants to haul its 40,000 ton Arctic destroyer to Alaska as soon as possible, but these courageous individuals are saying, ‘Shell No,’ ” Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace US, said in a statement. “Every minute that brave protesters can delay Shell’s Arctic drilling plans is another chance for President Obama to reconsider his disastrous approval of oil drilling in Alaska.”

At 6 a.m. PT, the Polar Pioneer rig undocked from Terminal 5 with two tug boats in front of it. By 7:30 a.m., after moving slowly to avoid collisions with the kayakers, the rig and its two tug boats were cruising through the Puget Sound.