Methods in 1st segment
Methods in 2nd segment
Methods in 3rd segment
Methods in 4th segment
Methods in 5th segment
Methods in 6th segment
Involvement of social elites
Nonviolent responses of opponent
Groups in 1st Segment
Additional notes on joining/exiting order
Success in achieving specific demands/goals
Notes on outcomes
Gazprom, Russia’s largest oil company, intended to become the first company
to drill Arctic oil in the summer of 2012. Gazprom planned to use their aging Prirazlomnaya
oil platform to extract oil deposits made newly available with the retreat of
Arctic ice on the Pechora Sea. As a part
of their “Save the Arctic Initiative” Greenpeace targeted Gazprom in an intense
campaign to stop the beginning of Arctic oil drilling.
On 14 August 2012 Greenpeace Russia announced that the Russian Ministry
of Emergency confirmed that the oil spill response plan issued to the
Prirazlomnaya oil platform had expired, making any oil drilling at the cite
illegal under Russian law. At an unknown
time following this announcement, a number of previously trained Greenpeace
activists discreetly boarded the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise and departed for
the Prirazlomnaya oil platform.
At 4am 24 August 2012 six Greenpeace activists, including Executive
Director Kumi Naidoo, departed the Arctic Sunrise on three inflatable dories and
scaled the oil platform. For five days
the activists occupied the platform, facing Gazprom’s violent attempts to disperse
them. Activists were blasted with water cannons,
and multiple attempts were made to force activists into the sea. According to Greenpeace reporting, the
activists only backed down on the fifth day because the last remaining dory was
pulled vertically by a Gazprom cable, intentionally dumping all activists into the
Coverage of the activist’s occupation of the oil rig spread quickly through
international news sources, as well as online through social media. Greenpeace organized online letter writing
campaigns as well as petitions. Greenpeace’s
“Save the Arctic” initiative used the campaign against Gazprom as a launching
point to gain signatures directed to various heads of state asking for a commitment
to forbid Arctic drilling. Over 1.7 million
signatures were collected, including celebrity endorsements from the likes of
Paul McCartney and Penelope Cruz.
Meanwhile, the campaign against Gazprom specifically continued to
escalate. Greenpeace was able to charge
Gazprom in court for attempting to drill with an expired oil spill
permit. In early September Greenpeace activists
in Moscow dressed as Polar Bears and protested outside Gazprom’s headquarters. Some activists chained themselves to fences, and police arrested some of these campaigners. Simultaneously,
activists in Germany constructed a leaky oil derrick outside Gazprom offices in
Berlin. Greenpeace distributed photos
from these actions widely, keeping the issue in international news media.
Gazprom attempted to quickly resume drilling, but Greenpeace pressure in
the courts and media forced the company to make a statement on 21 September
2012 that it would be unable to resume drilling until the company could “ensure
At the time of writing this entry, Gazprom has been forced to partner
with Dutch Shell in order to continue to pursue its desire for Arctic oil. The Prirazlomnaya oil platform is not
drilling Arctic oil.
The use of interventionist, small sea vessel obstruction tactics is clearly influenced by Greenpeace's original 1975 anti-whaling campaigns (1). This campaign will likely influence future anti-Arctic drilling campaigns, though none are yet known (2).
Ayliffe, Ben. "Polar Bears Take Action against Gazprom's Arctic Plans." Greenpeace International. Greenpeace, 5 Sept. 2012. Web. Apr. 2013. <http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/polar-bears-take-action-against-gazproms-arct/blog/42001/>.
Gerken, James. "Gazprom's Arctic Drilling Delayed Again." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 21 Sept. 2012. Web. Apr. 2013. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/21/gazprom-arctic-drilling-delayed_n_1902538.html>.
"Greenpeace Activists Board Gazprom Arctic Oil Platform." YouTube. Greenpeace Update, 24 Aug. 2012. Web. Apr. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCFFtUiCvAc>.
"Greenpeace Protest Gazprom Arctic Offshore Drilling." Euronews. Euronews, 6 Sept. 2012. Web. Apr. 2013. <http://www.euronews.com/nocomment/2012/09/06/greenpeace-protest-gazprom-arctic-offshore-drilling-/>.
"Polar Protest: Greenpeace Arctic Drilling Demo Ends in Arrests - RT News." Polar Protest: Greenpeace Arctic Drilling Demo Ends in Arrests - RT News. TV-Novosti, 5 Sept. 2012. Web. Apr. 2013. <http://rt.com/news/greenpeace-gazprom-polar-protest-arrests-447/>.
Wilson, Jessica. "Greenpeace Uncovers Gazprom's Expired Oil Spill Response Plan." Greenpeace International. Greenpeace, 14 Aug. 2012. Web. Apr. 2013. <http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/gazprom-expired-arctic-oil-spill-response-plan/blog/41747/>.