US judge rules Greenpeace in contempt for Oregon protest

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Crew members work on board environmental NGO Greenpeace's ship Rainbow Warrior docked in Valencia port on June 8, 2014. Greenpeace activist arrived in Valencia today as part of an eight day action protesting oil prospection off the coast of Spain, specifically the Balearic and Canary Islands. AFP PHOTO/ JOSE JORDAN (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A federal judge in Alaska has ordered Greenpeace USA to pay a fine of $2,500 for every hour that protesters continue to block a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker from leaving Portland, Oregon, for the Arctic.

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason ruled Thursday in Anchorage that Greenpeace is in civil contempt because of protesters dangling off a bridge in Portland, whom she said impeded the Shell vessel.

Gleason in May granted Shell’s request that activists protesting Shell’s Arctic drilling plans be ordered to stay away from Shell vessels and beyond buffer zones.