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The Viral-Ready Occupation of Shell's Arctic Oil Rig


Monday night, in a dangerous, dizzying maneuver, a team of ?six Greenpeace activists boarded a Shell oil rig bound for the Arctic. The impressive feat was recorded in a gut-churning video that makes clear the stakes of grappling onto a 100-foot free-floating monstrosity on the open seas. 

The team proceeded to scale the rig, called the Polar Pioneer, and affix themselves to its underside, where they spent the night. Greenpeace is protesting the oil giant's plans to drill in the Arctic later this year, which were ?just approved by the Obama administration.

The stunt—and especially the slick, well-shot video that easily flagged the attention of bloggers and newsrooms around the country—marks another step in the evolution of the activist group's outreach (?Livefeeds, GIFs!). It also ?won prominence in a crowded news cycle, which is precisely what these campaigns are designed to do.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I was able to chat with one of the climbers via satellite phone, while she was staring out at the frosty sunrise from her petrol-encrusted perch in the middle of the Pacific.

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