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Greenpeace protestors at Spa

NEWS STORY
25/08/2013

Mat Coch & Chris Balfe write:

Greenpeace protestors have raised eyebrows in the build-up to the Belgian Grand Prix by climbing on to the roof of grandstands and flying microlight airplanes over the circuit.

The protest focussed on Shell's Arctic oil drilling rather than the sport itself. A large banner hung from the front straight while a large Shell logo at the top of Eau Rouge was covered with a Greenpeace banner… though both were removed ahead of the race start.

Protestors had parachuted onto the roof of the main straight, unfurling a banner which read 'Arctic Oil? Shell No!"

With a number of helicopters in the area there were concerns over the safety of the protesters indeed, there were initially fears the aircraft could interfere with the running of the Grand Prix by preventing the medical helicopter from taking off.

If the medical helicopter is unable to take off the race cannot go ahead indeed, a qualifying session at a recent DTM event in Russia was cancelled as the air space above the circuit was closed while Vladimir Putin flew overhead.

Though the protest was diffused ahead of the race Formula One television directors artfully avoided broadcasting images.

In light of the sport's reticence in travelling to Bahrain, it remains to be seen what the implications of today's protest could have not only on Spa-Francorchamps but on other events. Whilst not wanting to give publicity to the protestors - which is exactly why they did it - the ease with which they carried out their mission, even sending out press releases as events unfolded, not to mention their claim that the banners were secretly installed several weeks ago, will give organisers cause for concern.

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1. Posted by LifelessDead, 25/08/2013 16:18

"I think it has to do with Mike Lawrence last couple of features... ;-) "

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