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Monday, May 25, 2020

Western student approaches 24 hours harnessed to Arctic Challenger vessel

Western student Chiara D’Angelo protests Shell Oil Company's plans to drill in the arctic by chaining herself to the Arctic Challenger as members of the Coast Guard respond to D’Angelo’s actions, Friday, May 22, in Bellingham Bay. // Photo courtesy of Reese Semanko
Western student Chiara D’Angelo protests Shell Oil Company’s plans to drill in the arctic by chaining herself to the Arctic Challenger as members of the Coast Guard respond to D’Angelo’s actions, Friday, May 22, in Bellingham Bay. // Photo courtesy of Reese Semanko

This is a continuation of The Western Front’s coverage of Western student Chiara D’Angelo’s protest of the Shell Oil Company’s vessel Arctic Challenger. The original story can be viewed here.

Western Washington University student Chiara D’Angelo is approaching the 24-hour mark of being harnessed to the anchor chain of the Arctic Challenger in Bellingham Bay.

Fellow activist Matt Fuller has also been fastened to the chain since approximately 8 a.m., Saturday, May 23.

D’Angelo said that while the experience has been physically and emotionally taxing, she has kept her thoughts on the environmental impacts of oil drilling.

“Climate change stuff is frightening,” Fuller said. “It’s important that we find each other in the community.”

The pair said they are prepared to maintain their positions through Sunday’s Ski-to-Sea race.

Since the protest began, the Coast Guard has been maintaining a 100-yard perimeter around D’Angelo and Fuller’s position.

“It’s important to keep other boats and other kayaks around us in solidarity,” Fuller said.

D’Angelo said the Coast Guard interacted with her when she began her action at about 7 p.m., Friday, May 22, advising her how best to maneuver her position on the chain and maintain safety.

However, D’Angelo said she had not spoken to the Coast Guard since Saturday morning.

A number of Western students were involved with the movement and assisted D’Angelo in reaching her position on the vessel, she said.

“If it weren’t for students, this wouldn’t have happened,” D’Angelo said.

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