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Report on the inaugural Shell to Sea meeting in Ray’s field, Rossport, Co. Mayo, 05/06/05
Wednesday June 15, 2005 00:42 by Terry - Shell to Sea info at shelltosea dot com
Report on part of the Solidarity Gathering in Rossport, Co. Mayo, over the June Bank Holiday weekend, the report is mostly concerned with what was planned for the future.
Hundreds of people gathered in Rossport, a small hamlet in north west Co. Mayo, over the June Bank Holiday weekend, in solidarity with local residents opposing a Shell-Statoil pipeline.
A Photo Report can be found here:
Very fortunately we had the weather for it, the previous days had been depressingly wet.
In the days before hand quite a lot of effort went into constructing a stage from two turf trailers, into gathering and preparing tepee poles, and into collecting firewood. The gently sloping field which became the campsite overlooked the isthmus where Shell and Statoil plan to land their pipeline, its rugged beauty starkly underlining abominable nature of this development.
There were a number of quite diverse components to the weekend. Visitors were taken on tours of the pipeline route by local campaigners, there were workshops on Shell in Nigeria and on the history of Erris and on Sunday there was a rally.
Also on Sunday the most crucial element of the entire event took place – an open circle meeting on what to do next. A lot of positive proposals came out of this meeting and the main body of this article details them.
People attended from all over the country: Counties represented included (sorry if I missed ya): Kildare, Mayo, Clare, Galway, Cork, Dublin, Antrim, Tyrone, Wicklow, Limerick, Longford, Scotland, Tipperary, Fermanagh, Limerick, London……
Anyone who agreed to take on a task or wants to help please contact your local listed contact/coordinator person (see below).
The first section here is minutes of decisions or tasks people volunteered to do, after this is a report on some of the general discussion.
Action and Structure:
Regional co-ordinators were established for many parts of the country, their function is to organise local meetings to develop publicity and fundraising efforts in their local areas. These meetings are also to develop emergency response plans BEFORE Shell move on to the Rossport residents’ land, which are to be put into effect if that happens, this means a prearranged meeting point for a protest action at a site of significance, with a e-mail list and phone tree to inform people quickly.
Regional co-ordinators around the country are to liase with the contact people in Erris.
A bank account is being established by the Erris people. Obviously particular fundraising plans have to be developed in each local area, but what was undertaken at the meeting included benefit T-shirts, a C.D. and sponsored walks.
Codes for controlling the shell to sea website have been handed over to local activists, people are also encouraged to use Indymedia and various volunteers undertook to contact people they know in the media.
Other suggestions to be enacted by local groups included a banner vigil in Dublin, street information stalls, and mass leafleting of Erris. As well as this T-shirts, badges and car stickers are being produced. There was some discussion around a media training workshop and producing a film explaining the issues. A team is working on graphics and logo.
A number of people are lobbying politicians, particularly ones they have personal access to.
The next meeting takes place in Ballina in mid-July.
Structure and organisation and communication: General Discussion.
How does the Erris group liaise with outside groups?
Formal vs informal structure, some visitors wanted a formal structure to facilitate communication with the locals.
It was pointed out that in the early stages of the campaign all the formal groups had been picked off in various ways by Shell or the government leaving an informal network which was seen as a strength.
Counter to this was the need for the Erris group to make sure that information was effectively circulated. Outside groups working in solidarity need a clear brief as to how they can help.
People can meet regularly, share info, work together effectively and make collective decisions without having to adopt a “conventional” structure, i.e. with a chairman etc..
It was felt there was a clear need to develop effective communication structures both for rapid response to events eg telephone tree, text messaging; and for longer term planning, email lists, postal lists.
It was felt non-email people must be kept in the loop, this takes work so please start with this report
Maura Harrington at 087 9591474
Vincent McGrath at 087 7557244 or 097 88026
Mícheál O'Suighin at 097 88961
Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Cork: E-mail email@example.com or phone Eugene at 021 4840862
Cork and Limerick: Contact Anitya at 087 6757674 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Dublin: Contact Eoin at 086 3840040 or e-mail email@example.com
Kildare: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Ballina: Contact Bob at 086 3201612 or e-mail email@example.com
Clare: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Galway: E-mail email@example.com
London: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
People also requested information about the construction companies involved in the development, they are Sicim, an Italian firm which is also building pipelines in Central Asia, and Roadbridge, which is from Limerick. Either there is a Sicim-Roadbridge consortium specifically for this development or Sicim has bought out Roadbridge I’m not sure which.
Dublin Regional Office
M1 Tougher Business Park
Galway Regional Office:
At Hanleys Yard,
Via Consolatico Superiore, 96/98
43011 Busseto - PARMA – ITALY
Sicim Ireland:Registered Office:Nathan House, Christchurch Square, Dublin 8.
Site Office:Lagore Little, Dunshaughlin
Statoil (Ireland) Ltd
6 George's Dock
There is a complete list of the Statoil filling stations in Ireland at www.statoil.ie
Shell E&P Ireland Limited
52, Lower Leeson Street
- this is the H.Q. for the Corrib Gas project.