#occupyoil pimlico shell garage morning closure
February 8 2012
activists closed down the very busy belgravia shell petrol station in pimlico this morning as the first sortie in a day of actions under the umbrella of #occupyoil, and mainly targetting the oil giant 'shell'.
there will be a publicly announced noise demo for an hour at noon today outside the nigerian house on northumberland avenue (off trafalgar square), with other shell actions planned throughout the day.
the pimlico garage was targetted after being identified as a particularly busy one during morning rush-hour, in a very salubrious area, and so, just ten minutes after the garage opened for business, at around 7am, activists took to the roof of the garage and hung a large anti-shell banner over the edge while legal observers kept an eye on events.
the garage workers had to immediately close down the garage because of health and safety protocol, and they called the police, the first of whom arrived within twenty minutes.
over the next hour, more banners and activists arrived, until about a dozen people were involved. police have so far not acted, waiting for a specialist team to clear the roof safely.
the garage, on the corner of ebury street and ebury square, has been closed for nearly three hours now, and a substantial number of porsches, landrovers, and other sloaney vehicles leafletted and turned away, so the action has been a great success for shell activists, and an excellent start to the #occupyoil day of events.
there are solidarity actions taking place in liverpool and petersborough, and more london actions planned today.
after three hours, the garage remains closed, with a police helicopter and two vanloads of TSG among the police visitors.
there will be a peaceful but loud noise demo for an hour at midday outside nigeria house in northumberland avenue, off trafalgar square, and twitter will provide info on the #occupyoil hashtag.
during negotiations, police pleaded with the activists above to come down so as to avoid having to call in a specialist team. police however wouldn't make any promise not to arrest in return (and such promises have anyway been broken in the past, most notably in the case of the fortnum and mason ukuncut occupation last year), and so the activists declined, locking on for additional security.
the specialist police climbing team eventually arrived at around midday, and they spent nearly an hour cutting through the d-locks that activists had utilised.
in all, the garage was closed for more than six hours, and there were three arrests for aggravated trespass. the arrested were taken to belgravia police station nearby.