Dissent limited at Offshore oil/gas Drilling “open house”

On the 26th of April, members of a number of environmental organizations held a rally outside the Marriot on 12th st near Metro Center denouncing the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. Afterwards they sought to enter the “Open House” being held inside for a draft version of the environmental impact statment. The person in a polar bear costume was denied entry to the building, security guards collected people’s signs on the way in-and they moved to interfere with anyone shooting photos or videos in the lobby.

Another photographer was able to get into the event and bring out the photo of their “welcome” sign and a few others. The entire “open house” was supposed to be about accepting public comments, yet hotel security interfered significantly with opponents of offshore oil and gas drilling making these comments. After all, not everyone is going to trust leaving their signs or other property with security guards.

Before the ugliness at the hotel gates, a series of speakers outside denounced plans to open up the continental shelf for more oil and gas drilling. One speaker was an Indigenous Alaska Native explaining how poisons from offshore drilling could end the way of life her people have known since beyond living memory.

Video showing an Alaska Native speaker followed by what happened when the polar bear and then an Indymedia photographer tried to participate in this “public event”


The scene at the rally outside the Marriot

The polar bear is blocked from entering the “open house” that is supposed to be open to the public

This was supposed to be a public open house

But this is as far as one photographer was able to enter the building while shooting video, given that this was a peaceable entry and not a storming of the building.

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