by Common Dreams  - Common Dreams staff
Environmental activists shut down dozens of Shell gas stations across the UK, Denmark and Germany on Monday. The action was part of environmental group Greenpeace's Save the Arctic Campaign -- a bid to prevent oil drilling in the Arctic slated to begin within the next three weeks. Greenpeace has ramped up its efforts against oil company Shell as its drilling vessels drift closer to its targets in the Arctic.
Earlier this week Shell's first drill rig to near the Arctic, Noble Discoverer, lost control during high winds and ran aground near Dutch Harbor, Alaska.
"Shell can't keep it's drill rig under control in a protected harbor, so what will happen when it faces 20 foot swells and sea ice while drilling in the Arctic? Shell's whole drilling program seems to be running aground...Shell cannot be trusted, and President Obama should not let its Arctic drilling program move forward," stated  Greenpeace Lead Arctic Campaigner Jackie Dragon.
On Monday the activists scaled the roof of a Shell gas station, many in sickly polar bear costumes, used barriers to block off access to pumps, and covered a Shell sign with a Save the Arctic banner. In one instance they placed a life-sized polar bear model on a station's roof. Other campaigners chained themselves to pumps, a Greenpeace spokesman told  the Independent.
Activists shut down pumps by switching emergency shut-off levers, which stop gas flow.
24 were arrested  over the course of the planned actions.
All together the organization protested at over 100 gas stations and shut down up to 77, most of them in London and Edinburgh.
"Obviously, we need to ratchet up the pressure, we need to let Shell know that this isn't just a publicity campaign, we're going to put pressure on them until they agree to stop what they're doing," Greenpeace activist Graham Thompson told the Guardian.
Greenpeace's video of the day's actions: