Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell has taken environmental group Greenpeace to court in the Netherlands in an effort to keep protesters at least 500 meters away from its property — or face fines of up to €1m.
The court case follows Greenpeace protests against Shell’s Arctic drilling earlier this month in which fuel pumps at scores of petrol stations in the Netherlands were put out of action for a short time.
‘One of the most powerful companies in the world is asking for an unbelievably high penalty for a peaceful protest,’ said Greenpeace Nederland director Sylvia Borren.
Shell said in a statement that its legal actions so far were limited to its retail sites and other premises in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, Greenpeace’s recent actions have ‘have gone well beyond the limits of acceptable protest,’ news agency AP quoted the statement as saying.
‘Shell continues to respect the legitimate right of people to peacefully protest against the activities we undertake to ensure the world’s energy needs are met.’
According to AP, Shell’s legal filing asks ‘that Greenpeace inform its satellite organisations that it no longer supports protests that are solely directed at causing Shell economic damage or that bring human lives and the environment in danger.’
The Dutch court will give its verdict on October 5. Shell is based in The Hague and Greenpeace International in Amsterdam.
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