On the anniversary of Ken Saro Wiwa's execution (10 November) for speaking out about Shell's destruction of the Ogoni lands in Nigeria, an Earth First! action took place at a Shell petrol station in Levenshulme. Banners were hung from the roof of the forecourt and both entrances blocked for an hour. Leaflets were handed out and pumps temporarily shut down with many people persuaded to buy fuel at alternative outlets. The police arrived and even advised the activists on how to blockade more effectively. The number of police arriving increased in a steady stream, one of their vans unwittingly parked in the station forecourt helping to discourage trade, culminating with an inspector without a sense of humour. After the blockade was removed, one person who was leafleting arriving cars was told they were under arrest. They replied no, they weren't and made a swift exit. The police continued to make things difficult, arresting another leafletter. A group decision was made to say that unless they let this person go they would have to arrest everybody. It worked and all left together, leaving the police engaged in the puzzle of how they were going to get the banner down.
Information taken from "Loombreaker" and "Action Update"
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(c) Networking Newsletter (February 2000)