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Shell chair Ollila employs security muscle, cordons for book launch

Chairman of Shell in Finland, Jorma Ollila took no chances of protest action at a book launch event in Helsinki Saturday. The Shell executive resorted to security guards and a rope cordon to limit the possibility of protesters crashing the event. A small group of anti-oil demonstrators stormed a similar occasion two days ago.

Jorma Ollila Akateemisen kirjakaupan lavalla Helsingissä.
A security detail surveys the audience during Ollila's book promotion event Saturday. Image: Ilola Turtola / Yle

Ollila appeared at the Akateeminen book store in downtown Helsinki Saturday to promote his new book of memoirs.

This time there were no disruptions as the Shell executive had clearly prepared for a repeat of Thursday’s protests.

Ollila spoke to his audience from behind the safety of a rope cordon and backed up by the muscle of a four-man security detail, who separated him from the audience.

Thursday’s irate protesters said they opposed oil drilling activities by Shell near Pechora in Russia. They were also demonstrating support for Finnish Greenpeace activist Sini Saarela, who was recently charged with piracy for her role in an anti-arctic drilling protest in the area.

Helsinki police say the activists were expelled from the book launch. One activist who called herself Marja said the group wanted to draw attention to Ollila’s connection to arctic oil drilling.

“Jorma Ollila is the board chairman at Shell. So he is surely has a lot to do with arctic oil drilling matters,” she added.

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