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MarShell Law at Bellanaboy.

category mayo | environment | feature author Friday October 06, 2006 00:14author by Eve, Bob and Niall. - Rossport Solidarity Camp.author email rossportsolidaritycamp at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

“I’m happy with the way the Gardaí have conducted themselves”. Garda Press Officer, Supt. Ray McHugh at Bellanaboy.

featured image

In the wake of Tuesday’s dramatic events outside the gates of Shell’s proposed refinery site at Bellanaboy, campaigners were out in force Wednesday and Thursday undeterred by the heavy police presence and inclement weather. For the last two days over 200 local residents and Shell to Sea activists gathered in the semi darkness of the early mornings to voice their opposition to the Corrib gas project and to underline the fact that although work has temporarily recommenced on site, Shell to Sea resistance to this project will continue. In the face of deliberate attempts by Gardaí to opportunistically provoke and inflame the tempers of the protestors at this sensitive time, the nature of the last few days’ protests has been consciously peaceful, as usual, in an effort to diffuse the tension imported by An Garda Síochána.

The effective occupation of the Bellanaboy area by police since Tuesday morning continues. Hundreds of Gardaí who have been drafted into the small community to facilitate Shell’s work remain in the area and have maintained a strong presence outside the proposed refinery site since then. In the same way that Nigeria’s “oil police” violently suppress dissent to Shell’s corporate rape, the Gardaí are effectively Shell’s state provided private army protecting the global giant from the community which it is attempting to destroy. Public roads have been blocked and Garda checkpoints erected. Wednesday morning’s protest witnessed a heavy police presence with luminous coated Gardaí lining the roadside. This morning police presence was more low-key with Gardaí waiting on standby in buses.

Despite deliberate provocation by the Gardaí, protesters have remained peaceful and refused to react to provocation. Gardaí have consistently targeted protesters who appear emotional or upset, pushing and shoving and putting their hands and cameras in people’s faces. Several people have reported excessive use of force apparently calculated to provoke a violent response. When removing Willie Corduffs’ son Liam from the sit down protest on Tuesday he held onto the gate, at which point a guard was overheard to say “break his fingers, he’ll soon let go”. Luckily his fingers were not broken. Philip McGrath was not so lucky as his thumb was dislocated by Gardaí. Mary Moran-Horan was roughly hauled by police, one on each limb, even after agreeing to come along with them. Her crime had been to be alone in the trailer washing tea-cups while the protest continued outside.

Wednesday morning’s protest began at six am. In anticipation of roadblocks and in an effort to prevent being split up by Gardaí protesters massed one mile from the site gates. Approximately 200 campaigners gathered at the crossroads of the ‘Shell highway’ haulage route and the Belmullet road accompanied by almost as many Gardaí, who set up a cordon to allow traffic past. Around 7am the assembled crowd began to walk towards the refinery site in the drizzle. Some began to pray. It became apparent that Gardaí behind the crowd were preventing some latecomers from joining the procession. We doubled back to the crossroads to meet the stragglers. By this stage several journalists were present. Willie Corduff delivered a rousing speech underlining the health and safety risks posed by Shell proposed misdevelopment, emphasising the determination of the community to defeat Shell and the state.

As 8am approached, police strengthened their ranks linking arms and forming a cordon around the crowd boxing us in. Shortly afterwards a convoy of cars, minibuses and jeeps of workers drove past the protest greeted by disapproving shouts. With Shell’s workers safely inside the gates of the site police relaxed the cordons. Campaigners began to march toward the refinery site flanked by two lines of Gardaí. En route to the site gates campaigners were again cordoned in by lines of police as three diggers passed on flatbed trucks.

Upon arrival at the refinery site campaigners assembled for photographs and interviews from journalists. Some of those gathered began to engage in debates with Gardaí, appealing to them to protect the community and not Shell.

On Thursday morning protesters gathered again at the ‘Shell highway’ crossroads from 6:30am. Police presence was more low-key with fewer guards on the roadside. Additional Gardaí waited in mini-buses and vans nearby. Around 7:30 campaigners began to walk slowly toward the gates of the refinery site. Shortly before eight am a convoy of cars, jeeps and minibuses carrying Shell workers drove up behind the march. Gardaí ordered protesters to move aside and allow the vehicles past. The walk proceeded very slowly, with people on both sides of the road and the Shell convoy halted behind them. Gardaí again ordered campaigners to move aside which they refused to do. Marchers came to a standstill blocking the Shell convoy.

The order was given to push the crowd out of the way of the vehicles. Police formed a line and began to force protesters across the road, forming a crush. In response to the danger posed to some of the younger members of the march, a call went out to give ground to the Garda scrum. When the mass of people had been barged over to one side of the road, the police quickly ushered the Shell convoy past. Once the vehicles had gone into the site the march stopped outside of the gates at the police cordon where Willie Corduff and Jerry Cowley addressed the crowd. They assured the Gardaí that the resistance to this project would continue for as long as it takes and Willie called on people to come and keep coming to the gates of Bellanaboy for the next days, weeks, months and years, if necessary, to ensure that Shell abandon their plans for this onshore refinery and agree to build it at sea.

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com

a2_2.jpg

Today.
Today.

Willie Corduff addresses the crowd and the police.
Willie Corduff addresses the crowd and the police.

Sgt. Dermot Butler MY28, Belmullet, pictured with two of the four Frontline observers.
Sgt. Dermot Butler MY28, Belmullet, pictured with two of the four Frontline observers.

author by Niall & Eve. - Rossport Solidarity Camp.publication date Thu Oct 05, 2006 21:33Report this post to the editors

.

Crowd gathers before dawn on Wednesday.
Crowd gathers before dawn on Wednesday.

Powerful & Poignant Speech by Willie.
Powerful & Poignant Speech by Willie.

Cops Out!
Cops Out!

6.jpg

Mile long march to Bellanaboy.
Mile long march to Bellanaboy.

author by Niall & Eve.publication date Thu Oct 05, 2006 21:38Report this post to the editors

.

9.jpg

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12.jpg

c3_2.jpg

author by Niall & Eve.publication date Thu Oct 05, 2006 21:42Report this post to the editors

.

c4_2.jpg

Plant hirer to Shell TJ Carey declines the invitation to join the picket.
Plant hirer to Shell TJ Carey declines the invitation to join the picket.

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d2_2.jpg

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author by Niall & Eve.publication date Thu Oct 05, 2006 21:47Report this post to the editors

.

f.jpg

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i.jpg

Speaking from the heart.
Speaking from the heart.

author by Niall & Eve.publication date Thu Oct 05, 2006 21:56Report this post to the editors

.

Vincent reminding the community not to rise to police bait.
Vincent reminding the community not to rise to police bait.

Gardaí facilitate Shell.
Gardaí facilitate Shell.

2006_1005niall_200_cops_wed5t0098.jpg

Jerry Cowley TD addresses the crowd ...
Jerry Cowley TD addresses the crowd ...

... with Willie Corduff.
... with Willie Corduff.

author by Niall & Eve.publication date Thu Oct 05, 2006 22:06Report this post to the editors

Shameful behaviour here again by Gardaí in deliberately provoking protesters while at the trailer having tea and sandwiches after today's action.

2006_1005niall_200_cops_wed5t0120.jpg

2006_1005niall_200_cops_wed5t0122.jpg

2006_1005niall_200_cops_wed5t0123.jpg

Not impressed.
Not impressed.

author by LDpublication date Thu Oct 05, 2006 22:06Report this post to the editors

keep it up. all is not lost, resistance MUST continue.

author by Niall & Eve.publication date Thu Oct 05, 2006 22:16Report this post to the editors

.

Despite the rain ...
Despite the rain ...

the daily early morning starts ...
the daily early morning starts ...

and ...
and ...

the injuries ...
the injuries ...

We forget our troubles, and dance.
We forget our troubles, and dance.

author by emmapublication date Fri Oct 06, 2006 04:47Report this post to the editors

many thoughts and feelings of solidarity from america. wish i could be on the line with ye. i wear my shell to sea badge proudly everyday and try and tell as many folks as i can whats going on in mayo.

author by localpublication date Fri Oct 06, 2006 11:29Report this post to the editors

Secret society mentality prevailing here unfortunately. People who fully support shell to sea but cannot attend rallies every day are treated with suspicion when they do attend a rally or a meeting. Please recognise that not everybody can attend at times stated by campaigners and welcome those that attend when they can. Impossible to find out what is going on. Are there rallies at the weekends now? many supporters from far away are being encouraged to visit bellanaboy from the websites and when they visit bellanaboy and rossport at the weekend - being the only time they are able to - they find nothing there!!! nothing to see except two security men behind the gate. Ridiculous situation.

author by NIFC - National Irish Freedom Committeepublication date Fri Oct 06, 2006 19:35author email nifcmem at optonline dot netReport this post to the editors

The NIFC has been helping publicise the struggle in Rossport for quite some time now and we are the only Irish organisation here in America that has been vocal in our support of the community in Mayo, and have used our resources to help keep people informed about what is going on there.

We view it as an more obvious than usual attack on community that the fatcats in leinster house couldnt care less about as well as an anti-ecological monster being put in in an ecologically pristine landscape. The reasons we support and promote the EIRE NUA and SAOL NUA programmes is because they bring power down to the lowest level, only through the way put forward in these documents can communities have a say in how they are run, genuine power to the people, not just a slogan.

This August. some members of the NIFC were back home. One of the many things we accomplished was visiting the people of Mayo who are active in oposition to Shell. A video was made showing just how pristine this area is and how a refinery here will destroy it all. interviews with the Corduff family and others directly involved.

You can view this short video by visiting our website www.irishfreedom.net

Just scroll down the site to latest Rossport news, there uis a link to the video at the bottom.

Support the communities of Rossport and Bellanaboy
Support Eire Nua

Related Link: http://www.irishfreedom.net
author by JMpublication date Sat Oct 07, 2006 01:42author address RossportReport this post to the editors

Please visit www.shelltosea.com for information and contacts in the area and around the country. If advance warning is given all visitors will be welcomed and updated on the situation here in Mayo.

Try the link below for contact list

Related Link: http://www.corribsos.com/index.php?id=4&type=page
author by Henscastle - The Tara Foundationpublication date Sat Oct 07, 2006 02:02author email henscastle at yahoo dot co dot ukReport this post to the editors

Just bringing to your attention our new short video on the situation in Mayo and its background. It's here at Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLpDmh4BU8w

Please watch, comment and rate. If you like it, feel free to pass the link around, or link to it or embed on your Livejournal, etc. Just credit us if you do.

It's important to break through the wall of propaganda in the media and get the word out both nationally and internationally. People need to know what the state and the gardaí are up to in Mayo.

Ná géill slí!

Related Link: http://www.tara-foundation.org
author by Andypublication date Sat Oct 07, 2006 10:55Report this post to the editors

This is the Shell/Government PR line, reproduced without even the slightest variation. If in the unlikely event you are not an employee/hack or either of the above, your post shows no capacity even to vary the unsubtantiated nonsense you keep vomiting up. But that's the key to propaganda: repeat a lie often enough and it becomes true. Good job Martin. But you're not fooling anyone except yourself.

author by Róisínpublication date Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:42Report this post to the editors

The comments by the troll "Martin" above are sheer state propaganda. Careful use of phraseology like "tree huggers" is a dead giveaway, as recently used about the M3 protesters. The implicit threat is also present about what the gardaí might do to the protesters is they don't "behave". This is carefully planted to demoralise and confuse, but are rather clumsy. Sorry Martin, we're not buying.

author by Roisin DUBHpublication date Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:49Report this post to the editors

Actually he is so brain-washed by the FF/PD branch of neo-liberal globalised
capitalism that he probably believes what he is saying- which is both sad and
worrying. Worrying, cos he's going to crack, when the weight of lies
propounded by the State machine take their toll, sad because he thinks its
OK for Gardai to man-handle women, especially when they are protesting
against state abuse of community rights and the crony interests of such
white trash as Noel Dempsey.

author by number 27 - legalise freedom campaignpublication date Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:54Report this post to the editors

Dear Martin. You should consider a transfer to eh, where's left, eh , well Germany's Berlin wall is gone , eh, maybe some remote parts of Russia where Stazi tactics are still practised on the People.

Luckily for us in dear old Ireland we have a Constituted Soverign Republic to protect People from lackey new world order robocops like yourself.

author by Rose of Traleepublication date Sat Oct 07, 2006 12:22Report this post to the editors

For Martin

What will happen if, under the terms of the New World Order (or some other such fascist delusion for example), Herr McDowell TD is instructed that Republic of Ireland law has be brought into line with the Military Commissions Act of 2006 - which I gather was passed by the US Congress on September 27th last?

Among other things, I understand this brand-new-from-the box piece of legislation will enable the executive branch (i.e. the US Government) to designate US citizens, foreign nationals and other world citizens as unlawful enemy combatants effectively stripping them of their citizenship. This allows legal torture, and detention of all designates for an unlimited period of time. This negates all provisions contained within the Geneva Convention, the Bill of Rights and the 4th amendment. Convictions are based upon secret evidence are delivered before a military court while the defendant is declined a jury of his peers. This bill can also apply to political SUBVERSIVES, DISSIDENTS and ANYONE who disagrees with the president, as detailed in Bill, HR 6616.

At odds with the Constitution (Bunreacht na hEireann)? Who cares - certainly not Herr McDowell surely?

With Minister for Justice McDowell, producing new law of this kind would be a "labour of love" I suspect - not to mention the absolute certainty of earning bags of "brownie points" for himself with his Bilderberg chums?

Related Link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=Military+Commi...Searc
author by Picketerpublication date Sat Oct 07, 2006 14:07Report this post to the editors

On Friday morning, I pointed out to Sergeant MY28 that one of the Gardai (a very large one) had no identification numbers displayed. Having already harassed us earlier, sergeant MY28 now told me that the gardai don't have to wear their numbers. I told him that they did. He said that "No they don't, what if he forgot them this morning?". This is a very dangerous situation, and one which needs to be watched carefully. I would like to make a formal complaint, but fear the consequences of putting my name on the letter. The sergeant at the Usher Quay protest yesterday aslo wasn't wearing any numbers. Watch out for this and keep a record.

Solidarity

author by cool jpublication date Sun Oct 08, 2006 03:45Report this post to the editors

I'm local too and due to work can't attend all the pickets and rallies. Despite this I've alway received a warm welcome from ShellToSea people at Bellanboy. Think about it! - Why would they turn away support when at the end of the day people power will win!!. As john said too, plenty of info at shelltosea.com.

author by Henscastle - The Tara Foundationpublication date Sun Oct 08, 2006 13:53author email henscastle at yahoo dot co dot ukReport this post to the editors

Just wanted to share something regarding the filming of protestors by Gardaí. Under Section 4 of the Data Protection Acts of 1988 and 2003, you have the right to apply for a copy of any footage taken of you while protesting. Not sure about the practicalities regarding Bellinaboy, esp regarding the flagrant breaches of rights which we have witnessed so far. However, this might discourage acts of intimidation such as filming if done in sufficient numbers.

Related Link: http://www.tara-foundation.org
author by Devils advocate - n/apublication date Sun Oct 08, 2006 16:06Report this post to the editors

Do Gardai have the same rights to seek copies of videotape footage of them under the same law from protesters filming them?

author by Andypublication date Sun Oct 08, 2006 17:28Report this post to the editors

The Gardaí are a State organization and as such are bound by the Data Protection Act. The same law does not apply to the entitlement of Gardaí to seize footage.

author by Garrypublication date Mon Oct 09, 2006 13:10Report this post to the editors

Photos from Thursday

Protesting at Dawn
Protesting at Dawn

Angry protestors
Angry protestors

Extra Gardai arrive in buses
Extra Gardai arrive in buses

About 200 turn up to the protest
About 200 turn up to the protest

Protestors of all ages
Protestors of all ages

author by Garrypublication date Mon Oct 09, 2006 13:17Report this post to the editors

More photos from Thursday's protest

Burn slowly in Hell Shell
Burn slowly in Hell Shell

Gardai
Gardai

Remember Ken Sara-wiwa
Remember Ken Sara-wiwa

Long term benefits for Erris
Long term benefits for Erris

Snakes!
Snakes!

author by Madam Kpublication date Mon Oct 09, 2006 14:15Report this post to the editors

In keeping with the very professional non aggressive conduct of the Garda their bus driver rams gate of bellanaboy .

Gadra bus reverses into gate to loud applause
Gadra bus reverses into gate to loud applause

tut tut
tut tut

It`s only a matter of time
It`s only a matter of time

meanwhile back at the camp a new addition to the wonderfull facilitys,a punch bag with TD wriiten on it ...
meanwhile back at the camp a new addition to the wonderfull facilitys,a punch bag with TD wriiten on it ...

Rainbow above camp ,pots of gold at the end of it but for whom ?
Rainbow above camp ,pots of gold at the end of it but for whom ?

author by Ken - supporterpublication date Mon Oct 09, 2006 15:01Report this post to the editors

Hey there all you honest citizens up there in Ballinaboy. keep up the peacefull protest to protect your lands and your families for as long as it takes for our government to wake up and do their job. I understood that id numbers that OUR gaurds wear are part of their uniform, if it is then why are these officers allowed on duty without full uniform. Also, do the gaurds with the video cameras want to join the campaign, it seems they might. I am sure they would be very welcome if they stood up for JUSTICE. How long are the local polititions and government members in that area going to hide behind their positions and say there is nothing they can do. IRISH GOVERNMENT STAND UP FOR YOUR PEOPLE AS THEY HAVE STOOD UP FOR YOU.

author by mot - nonepublication date Tue Oct 10, 2006 18:24Report this post to the editors


Its great to see the pictures of resistance on indie media,
could this be posted on the international sites?
everyone i speack to is supportive ,
and though many says things like money talks they all support the campagin.
it will be a long one .Global,capitalism is 'mans' worst enemy,
but people are taking the power.
good one

author by ken - supporterpublication date Tue Oct 10, 2006 22:26Report this post to the editors

It's a crime against humanity for the people of Ballinaboy to be subjected to such force by our own gaurds, our own government in order to protect their families. Yes some people say that these protesters are stopping other Irish citizens from going to their place of work, but they do this to protect their future health and the health of their families. When are people going to wake up to this fact. When is OUR government going to wake up to this fact. I would like to put this question out to our President 'where do your loyalties lie?' Is it with the Multi nationals that are going to strip our resources to shreds to line their own pockets and the pockets of foriegn governments, or is with Your people that put you in office because they believed you would preserve and protect them and their families. Maybe now that the Bertie saga is coming to an end, the polititions will take notice of the real problems that ordinary people are faced with and STOP this abuse of honest, hard working people. I believe I heard on the radio today that Mr mc Doole wants to put the Bertie saga behind him and get on with running the country. I just hope he does not mean into the ground.If anyone can answer the following question I would be most grateful, 'who an earth gave the go ahead to send 180 or so gaurds, in uniform, on buses, in the dead of night to close off the roads in Ballinaboy and who do we send the e-mails to and the letters to and make the phone calls to,. to complain this disgraceful behavour. When I say on the television the other night the way ordinary people were being treated by our own police force I was disgusted to say the least. Then on Questions and Answers I think it was John Garavan and John egan spoke face to face and john egan from SH HELL said it was the first time that he understood what SHELL TO SEA was all about, then John Garavan said thats was strange because SHELL TO SEA had being campaigning for so long but SH. HELL were not listening. Well done John Garavan. KEEP UP THE CAMPAIGN

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