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News Summary: Shell sues Greenpeace over protests

The Associated Press

DOTH PROTEST TOO MUCH: Royal Dutch Shell PLC has filed suit against Greenpeace International in an attempt to ban the environmental group from holding any protest within 500 meters of any Shell property, or face a $1.3 million fine. The suit being argued in Amsterdam, has Shell aggressively on the offensive to protect its $4.5 billion investment in drilling for oil in the icy Arctic waters off the coast of Alaska.

THIS BE MADNESS: The oil company says international laws on freedom of speech and assembly "do not grant Greenpeace unlimited powers to carry out protests that violate the rights of other parties." Shell has already fought its way through numerous environmental and safety challenges in the U.S. licensing process before being granted two permits for exploratory drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.

BLOW THOU WINTER WIND: Greenpeace called the move a "legal sledgehammer to stifle public discourse." Greenpeace and Shell have a long history of conflict, most notably when activists occupied the Brent Spar oil platform in the North Sea in 1995, as part of a campaign that eventually forced Shell to abandon plans to dispose of the platform at sea.