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Inspiration of the Ogoni struggle lives on in Erris

category mayo | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Thursday November 15, 2012 23:19author by RSC - RSC Report this post to the editors

Community renew memorial to the Ogoni 9 outside Shell refinery site, and block Shell haulage for over two hours.

On Saturday the 10th of November the community opposing Shell's Corrib gas project in Mayo held a gathering to mark two important anniversaries occurring on that day:

1. The 17th anniversary of the hanging of Ken Saro Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists who opposed Shell in Nigeria

2. The 6th anniversary of the baton charge and violence by Gardaí against protesters opposed to the Corrib Gas Project

Outside Gate 1 with the new crosses
Outside Gate 1 with the new crosses

From 12 noon on people started congregating at Gate 1. We were a bit late coming down but it was great to see all the cars and vans already parked up at the gates when we arrived.

There were people near the gates chatting away, kids milling around nearby, and across the road a slash hook and strimmer were being used to cut back the rushes which had grown around the old crosses.

Local carpenter and Shell to Sea spokesperson Terrence Conway was had brought down new crosses. The memorial to the Ogoni 9 had been tended to every year since the crosses were first planted there in 2005, but an an overhaul was wanted for a while now.

The camp brought down soup and "Kelly kettles" to boil water for tea. Everyone got rained back into vans on a few occasions but after a while all tea was drank, soup ate and crosses planted in the newly trimmed memorial ground.

Then a Lennon's concrete lorry working for Shell came along and was duly blocked by the gathering. Eventually two Gardaí arrived at the scene and gave some warnings to leave but they were ignored. About an hour later a Carey's lorry came from the Bangor direction bearing a teleporter, which also was blocked.

A third Garda came but really they couldn't do much about the situation. Anyway the road is pretty wide at that point and there were people at either side directing traffic around the obstruction. When the light began to fade we left the road and the lorries went on their way. It was great to block lorries with the locals again outside Gate 1, and get the memorial ground back into good shape. We took the old crosses away to see if we can renovate them.

There's good numbers coming through the camp house for the last while - its open through the winter as a solidarity base with the commuinity and for taking action against Shell.

Related Link:

Setting up the new crosses
Setting up the new crosses

Blocking the 1st lorry
Blocking the 1st lorry

United we stand
United we stand

Renewed memorial
Renewed memorial

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