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Shell's Compound Constantly Targeted by Protesters
Wednesday September 14, 2011 18:50 by j debender - Rossport Solidarity Camp
Fence climbing, trespassing, tractor climbing and more disruption of work in Aughoose, Co. Mayo
Tuesday 13th September six people from the Rossport Solidarity Camp went down to Shell's tunnelling compound in Aughoose, Co. Mayo to disrupt work. Work was slowed from three separate actions spread over 2 hours as people interfered with fencing work and then two people got up on a tractor making a delivery to the compound.
shell presume their fence is unclimbable
Over the past couple days Shell's compound in Aughoose has seen some major damage to the perimeter fencing. The heavy duty palisade fencing (the green spiky one) is still in place, but a lot of the flimsy silver harris fencing is down, concrete bollards holding other fencing was smashed, and the green fencing panels (which is in piles along the road in the photos) came down. As a result of this destruction, Shell has all but stopped making deliveries to the compound.
On Tuesday afternoon as Shell workers were trying to repair some of the damage done, six people went down to disrupt them. Green fencing panels were in piles along the roadside of the compound, and people sat on the piles to prevent the workers from putting them back up. A digger on the inside of the compound was waiting to re-erect the panels, but the protesters made this difficult and the digger driver gave up.
Shell's security (IRMS) eventually came over and dragged people off of the panels. This was not on Shell's property but the road verge, so the private security had no right to use force on the public road. Gardai were present but didn't seem to mind private security assaulting people on the public road and at one point even did some labour for Shell, moving fencing panels back into place.
After awhile people went around the side of the compound and trespassed onto Shell's land where workers were trying to finish the last bit of the heavy duty palisade fencing. As soon as people showed up the workers gave up and packed away their tools, the drivers got out of the diggers and walked away. This lasted for about an hour until Shell security dragged and carried people off the land.
One protester was sexually assaulted as they were being carried by IRMS. Their pants were falling down and they asked security to put them down so they could pull their clothes back on, but IRMS refused. The security member (pictured below) who was carrying the person's legs shoved both of his hands up into the person's crotch. He refused to show his identification badge following the assault.
After this a tractor carrying some sort of bog-drainage equipment was coming down the road towards the compound. People ran towards it and despite attempts by Gardai to keep them off the tractor two people climbed up on top of it. One person was dragged down from a considerable height, and the other came down after being given a warning under the Public Order Act. Neither person was arrested.
Actions against Shell are pretty much constant at the moment, with sometimes 3 or 4 separate actions in a day. Morale is high, and anytime is a good time to visit if you'd like to see the area and find out more about what is happening. There is a weekly protest outside Shell's Bellanaboy refinery, with lots of locals and people from the Rossport Solidarity Camp. And there's plenty to do aside from protesting, including cooking, tending to the three gardens, meeting locals and loads of building/site maintenance!
The Rossport Solidarity Camp is located in a field in Aughoose, between Ballinaboy and Pullathomas. To contact the camp, rossportsolidaritycamp[at]gmail[dot]com or 085 114 1170
fences stacked ready to move
people being forcably removed from fence panels
garda doing shells work
irms manhandling people on the public road