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Showdown with Shell

category mayo | environment | feature author Tuesday September 26, 2006 17:12author by Ruth - Rossport Solidarity Campauthor email rossportsolidaritycamp at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

featured image
You have ten minutes to move

People power and peaceful resistance effectively completely defeated Shell’s first concerted effort to break the picket at the refinery site at Bellanaboy this morning. Early signs that a confrontation was imminent were apparent by the dawn arrival of seven carloads of extra security guards who sped into the compound. People on alert began to determinedly gather in front of the gates and banners and placards were distributed in readiness for the long prepared for initial showdown.

At 7.40 a.m., 8 local Gardai and 2 special branch arrived, videoing and viewing the crowd of up to 150 protestors from across the road. Superintendent Joe Gannon approached and addressed the now shoulder-to-shoulder protestors comprising of women, children, men, old and young, who were effectively blocking the gate entrance. He announced the Gardai responsibilities to protecting the protestors from harm and enabling the legal right of people to access their place of work. He informed us that the workers would arrive at 8 a.m. at which time the Gardai intended to facilitate their entrance onto the site. He then gave us 10 minutes to discuss our course of action, in light of the information he had just imparted, and retreated to the line of waiting Gardai. He did not return to collect a verdict on this statement. Nobody moved as people stood resolute. His speech served only to reinforce the word amongst the picket that we were maintaining our right to peaceful protest. It strengthened our resolve and emphasised that peaceful resistance was our objective.

More: Past Indymedia Coverage | Rossport Solidarity Camp website | Shell to sea campaign

At 8 a.m. the convoy of workers, headed by 2 jeeps containing men in dark glasses, obviously essential for a grey, wet, morning, and 5 minibuses drove at the crowd, barely stopping short of ploughing through the front line of women and children. At this second, an historic, awesome and brave act of non-violent direct action began as the front line women began to say the rosary, accompanied by everybody on the picket line. The initial reaction by the Gardai and the convoy of workers was one of stunned silence, nobody knew what to do, and shocked disbelief was obvious as the prayers that were loudly said witnessed the opposition paralysed. The Gardai huddled in discussions seemed confused as to how to deal with this line of resistance and unclear as how to proceed. The protestors stood in unity, resolute and unmovable in sincere prayer – the seriousness of this mass demonstration of solidarity and sincerity undertaken by all the people cannot be overstated. A brief attempt by the Gardai to infiltrate the crowd appeared half-hearted, and they quickly retreated from this course of action as the praying continued.

Finally, the Superintendent approached the convoy of workers and after a brief discussion the, vehicles were reversed and they all retreated. The stand off had lasted for 20 minutes. At this point, there was no cheering, no levity, in respect for the prayers, which continued for another 10 minutes after their departure.

A long awaited event in the Shell to Sea campaign had finally occurred. This morning was a clear victory for people power employing peaceful resistance, using the respectful application of prayer. It was a major achievement, in winning a further battle in the war being waged against the destructive hell of Shell.

Related Link: http://www.struggle.ws/rsc

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   Photo Report, part one.     Niall    Tue Sep 26, 2006 16:11 
   Photo Report, part two     Niall    Tue Sep 26, 2006 16:25 
   Photo Report, part three     Terry    Tue Sep 26, 2006 16:40 
   wish i was there...     emma    Tue Sep 26, 2006 17:07 
   Right     frankdan    Tue Sep 26, 2006 17:20 
   Garda "specialist"     Watching    Tue Sep 26, 2006 17:29 
   Numbers     Joe    Tue Sep 26, 2006 18:18 
   Id     Terry    Tue Sep 26, 2006 18:28 
   Mr     Pinny    Tue Sep 26, 2006 18:56 
 10   A great protest     Miriam Cotton    Tue Sep 26, 2006 19:07 
 11   More pics from today     JM    Tue Sep 26, 2006 20:53 
 12   Pictures paint a thousand words     cool j    Tue Sep 26, 2006 20:59 
 13   John Egan in the Niger Delta 1995     m.m.mc carron    Tue Sep 26, 2006 21:18 
 14   well done everyone.     iosaf    Tue Sep 26, 2006 21:25 
 15   Well done     ken    Tue Sep 26, 2006 21:36 
 16   oopsie! Shell didn't do Alaska that was BP, Shell did Russia (& took a russian "5th") & lost.     iosaf    Tue Sep 26, 2006 21:48 
 17   congratulations again!     mary    Tue Sep 26, 2006 22:20 
 18   Keep up the fight, folks!     Michael Martin    Tue Sep 26, 2006 23:10 
 19   They [shell] have hired fools,     MR. ED    Wed Sep 27, 2006 00:21 
 20   Great!     AcidG    Wed Sep 27, 2006 03:31 
 21   Bilderberg & Bohemian Groups be damned     W. Finnerty.    Wed Sep 27, 2006 09:54 
 22   rossport abu     dunk    Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:59 
 23   This is brilliant     Congratulations    Wed Sep 27, 2006 14:51 
 24   Solidarity pickets in Dublin last night     S2S    Wed Sep 27, 2006 16:53 
 25   Machinery     Diesel Head.    Wed Sep 27, 2006 17:49 
 26   Update, Wed 27th Sept – No Show From Shell Today.     Niall    Wed Sep 27, 2006 18:31 
 27   Radio interviews     supp    Wed Sep 27, 2006 21:57 
 28   A donation from Bertie     Ethel and Tom Corduff    Thu Sep 28, 2006 00:37 
 29   Indo pumps for Shell as usual!!     cool j    Thu Sep 28, 2006 04:57 
 30   Stop the press.     Diesel Head    Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:35 
 31   Protest Ends     jm    Thu Sep 28, 2006 11:38 
 32   Right there Jim..     Starstruck    Thu Sep 28, 2006 14:02 
 33   huzzah!     chrissie    Thu Sep 28, 2006 16:06 
 34   Ballanaboy, Thursday September 28     Text: Ruth, Photos: Niall    Thu Sep 28, 2006 17:51 
 35   Pictures of Broadhaven Bay     Terry    Thu Sep 28, 2006 18:32 
 36   A word in your shell-like     Watching    Thu Sep 28, 2006 20:31 
 37   Bellanaboy     JM    Thu Sep 28, 2006 21:32 
 38   Re: "Nimby"     chrissie    Thu Sep 28, 2006 21:57 
 39   Shell recent troubles     Mark    Thu Sep 28, 2006 23:41 
 40   jm-s28     cool j    Fri Sep 29, 2006 02:53 
 41   Tommorow looks like D-Day at Bellanaboy     cool j    Fri Sep 29, 2006 03:16 
 42   No show by Shell     cool j    Fri Sep 29, 2006 09:44 
 43   BRING YOUR STRONG SUPORT TO BALLIABOY GATE     MR. ED    Sun Oct 01, 2006 04:48 
 44   Wonderful job, lovely strategy.     mart    Mon Oct 02, 2006 15:39 
 45   environmental agent     Forest Taft    Mon Oct 02, 2006 18:55 
 46   Sunday Times 01/10/2006     Swampy 2006    Mon Oct 02, 2006 19:45 
 47   Swampy     Terry    Mon Oct 02, 2006 22:05 
 48   Shelltosea supporters block and harange contractors     req    Tue Oct 03, 2006 15:59 
 49   Reminds me of the red guards during Maoism     Disgusted    Tue Oct 03, 2006 16:08 
 50   Rosary said everyday at Bellanaboy     cool j    Tue Oct 03, 2006 23:11 
 51   well done     karen fallon    Tue Oct 03, 2006 23:15 
 52   Sorry Cool J     Disgusted    Tue Oct 03, 2006 23:26 
 53   support from limerick students     lisa cafferkey    Wed Oct 11, 2006 13:10 
 54   My View     Me    Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:31 
 55   re: me-none     Joe    Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:46 
 56   Words of Support     Aether_ale    Mon Nov 13, 2006 16:32 
 57   Move on     (Actual) erris resident    Mon Nov 13, 2006 19:53 
 58   Right to reply     Grisly Adams    Mon Nov 13, 2006 20:02 
 59   Other reading matter     Otherside    Mon Nov 13, 2006 20:08 
 60   To "actual erris resident"     Jesus Christ (well, I'm no more dishonest than you are...)    Mon Nov 13, 2006 20:44 


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