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Bellanaboy; blockades continue in the face of heavy police presence.
mayo | environment | news report Monday October 09, 2006 17:16 by Bob and Eve - Rossport Solidarity Camp/ Shell to Sea rossportsolidaritycamp at gmail dot com
Another Monday morning but no business as usual for Shell, although the state repression of dissent in Mayo shows no sign of stopping.
Much to chagrin of the Gardaí, a crowd of around two hundred people turned out to stop the movement of workers and materials to the Bellanaboy site this morning. A series of sit down protests were staged along the “Shell highway” (the haulage route for the site), which saw police reaction get progressively rougher as the day went on.
Protesters gathered from half six at the junction of the “Shell highway” and the Bellanaboy road with the intention of stopping work. As eight am approached the word went out that the convoy of workers was making its way up the Shell highway. Campaigners marched up the Shell highway, where a bus of Gardaí was waiting. As the convoy approached Gardaí formed a line in front of and behind the crowd. Campaigners sat on the road and began to loudly chant “shell to sea” before reciting a decade of the rosary. There was a mood of defiance amongst the crowd as attempts by Sgt. Gannon to berate them were drowned out by louder shouts of “Shell to Sea”. After it became apparent that campaigners were determined to hold their ground Gardaí began to forcibly drag people out of the way of the vehicles. Gardai lifted some people from the left hand side of the road and deposited them on top of those still sitting, causing a dangerous pile up. After clearing one side of the road Gardaí formed a cordon pushing the remaining seated protesters back and allowing the convoy of half full minibuses ferrying Shell’s hired labour past.