Federal judge fines Greenpeace $2,500 per hour over bridge prote - KPTV - FOX 12

Federal judge fines Greenpeace $2,500 per hour over bridge protest

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ANCHORAGE, AK (KPTV/AP) -

A United States district court judge in Alaska has ruled that Greenpeace will be fined $2,500 per hour if protesters from the organization continue to block a Shell Oil Co. ship.

Judge Sharon L. Gleason granted a motion in May that prohibited activists from protesting too close to Shell vessels.

She ruled Thursday that the activists hanging from the St. Johns Bridge in Portland were in civil contempt of the order, as they were impeding the vessel from leaving the port, where it had been undergoing repairs.

Documents submitted by Greenpeace claimed that the vessel never got close enough to violate the earlier order.

In their filings, attorneys for Shell claimed that Greenpeace was using media coverage of the protest to fuel fund raising efforts.

The judge has instituted a growing level for the fines, which started at 10:00 a.m. AKT, or 11:00 a.m PDT. For the first 24 hours, the fine would be the $2,500 amount. Over the next 24 hours, the fine would grow to $5,000 per hour, then to $7,500 per hour starting August 1.

If the protest is still going on after 11:00 a.m. locally Sunday, Greenpeace would face a $10,000 fine every hour.

Additionally, the court ruled that the fines levied against Greenpeace would be paid to the plaintiffs, Shell Offshore, Inc. and Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc.

Curtis Smith with Shell made the following statement to Fox 12:

We have consistently stated that we respect the right of individuals to protest our Arctic operations so long as they do so safely and within the boundaries of the law. The staging of protesters in Portland was not safe nor was it lawful.

Furthermore, Greenpeace demonstrated a complete lack of regard for the authority of a U.S. Federal Court. We are pleased with today’s court ruling that holds Greenpeace in contempt and prescribes fines for further non-compliance.

Copyright 2015 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. Some material from the Associated Press

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