Thoughts on Granny Activism and #ShellNo

This posting was written by one of our members, but its contents reflect the shared perspective of the Portland Raging Grannies.

On Saturday, July 25th, Grannies from Seattle and Portland joined together with many other groups and a flotilla of kayaks to focus attention on the Fennica, a ship that Royal Dutch Shell may use in the Arctic in offshore drilling.  The ship is an icebreaker that also carries the equipment for spill response.  The icebreaker struck something (how can it be unidentified?) in the Aleutian Islands which tore a hole in the hull.    Not an inspiring beginning to Shell’s Arctic venture.

Public responses to articles about the action contained both praise and condemnation.   Well, of course . . . there is no public consensus about fossil fuel consumption and production, much less about the climate crisis.    I don’t want to attach a reading list here – just go on-line and look for climate crisis/change.   I do believe that the crisis exists and that through private and public actions everyone can make positive change.  And I do think that change is possible.

There seems to be verbiage about only the impeccable being allowed to speak about change.  As I look through the history of change – public or private – I see a history of fallible individuals striving for a positive possible.  Often those individuals are labeled hypocrites or trouble makers or even terrorists.   Utah Phillips quoted labor organizers “ Armed only with our sense of degradation as human beings we came together and organized and changed the condition of our lives.    It’s good trouble.”   And it is good trouble for us to Rage as Grannies.

And don’t feel guilty for not being able to do it all, just do what you can.   So often when Grannies are asked why they are on the streets and in the actions I hear them say, “I need to be able to answer when my children and grandchildren ask what I did about the problems – I was active, I was visible, I did what I could for you and your children.”

And here are a few pictures of Grannies in action on the water at the St. Johns Bridge where Greenpeace activists are dangling off the bridge and kayaktivists are working to prevent the Fennica icebreaker from leaving port.

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