While the shell icebreaker got through the blockade, the question is was the protest a success? It depends on how one defines "success".
From the protesters view this is a victory because of the local, state, national and international media coverage a protest in Portland Oregon received.
From the view of Shell and Vigor Industry breaking the blockade was the story and now the Fennica is on its way to the Artic to help explore for oil.
But from a longer view the protests raise again the local and global issue of climate change and whether exploring for oil in the Artic makes economic or environmental sense in an age when we can generate energy from alternative energy sources - solar, wind and passive energy systems.
Protest politics can be a barn raising event which can open our eyes to engage in a larger conversation.
And on a day when the temperature in the metro area was 103 degrees it makes one wonder given a warm spring and long hot summer whether climate change is here now. As in the heyday of the Civil Rights movement civil disobedience and protest were regarded as hopelessly quixotic. History records a different verdict.
Everthing in interconnected - environmental quality, social justice and burden sharing.
As we see the downside to the "technological" imperative of mining Mother Earth be it deforestation, nuclear proliferation, oil or coal trains, dirty diesel and the use of toxic chemicals all which put human health at risk in Oregon and the world the protesters don't seem quixotic at all but modern day Paul Reveres.
It comes down to a question of how we view the human condition - as an endless quest to exploit the earth's resources for profit or as a question of putting the technological genie into a human perspective and balance? What are the indirect or hidden costs of the technological imperative?
No sane person would defend rape, yet isn't that what the Fennica represents in a metaphorical sense, the rape of Mother Earth?