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Friday Morning in Mayo

category mayo | environment | news report author Friday November 10, 2006 12:25author by Wedneday Report this post to the editors

Details of action taken against Shell on the anniversary of Saro-Wiwa in Mayo

This morning a group of protestors successfully blocked two entrances to Lennons quarry from 6.30 onwards. There were a number of scuffles at the entrances with quarry workers. On member of staff punched a protestor in the head. At 8.30 the group moved to the third entrance of the quarry to join another group already gathered there. A group of about thirty held this entrance, which was manned by roughly fifteen cops. The cops soon outnumbered the protestors. The protestors sat on the bridge and linked arms to block the entrace. The cops advanced on the sitting protestors and proceeded to drag people away, push them around, throw people into ditches and barb wire fence. People were punched in the head. One protestor described what went on as 'indiscriminate violence', both men and women recieved blows. Five to eight people were in need of an ambulance. One man was given a bloody nose, a black eye and is suffereing from concussion. People have come away with barb wire cuts on their legs and bruises from the blows from the treatment they recieved. The entrance was held from between one to two hours. The cops penned the protestors into a field and told them that they were trespassing. The protestors did not allow temselves to be hemmed in and left of their own accord.

Also this morning two hundred people or so blockaded the Bellanaboy site.Two members of this blockade had to be hospitalised.The cops batoncharged the protestors. One protestors thumb was broken. TV3 have allegedly recorded a member of the gardai saying 'Lets have a baton party' in relation to the action in Mayo. Feel free to confirm this report.

More details will follow.

author by JMpublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 21:30author address Rossportauthor phone Report this post to the editors

The account of today's activities is just the tip of the iceberg. This kind of thing is happening every day, with senior cops on picket duty largely the worst offenders, especially if they get you alone on the road. I was roughly manhandled twice today for simply walking on the verge of the road, by cops who thought I should walk where they decided rather than where I wanted to go, even though no vehicles were being blocked.

Retaliation is never the answer, but if incidents like these continue to happen it is only a matter of time before someone goes over the edge.

You have all been warned.

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com/
author by Updatepublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 09:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just heard on the radio that the cops have started baton charging people off the road. Convoy has been forced through.

author by kahootzpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are two protests on-going in different locations.

There has been a successful blockade of two entrances to a quarry in nearby Bangor since 7am. Some violence displayed by the so-called ‘guardians of the police’ earlier, with two people thrown to the ground by Gardai.

This smaller blockade continues with a running verbal debate between workers and protestors.

Also confirmation of baton charge at Bellanaboy. No other information at present.

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com
author by Paul O'Donnellpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

RTE Western Correspondent Jim Fahy said on the 9.00am radio news that gardai "were forced to baton the protesters" after they staged a sit in and refused to move.

This is not the impartial statement of a journalist reporting the simple facts "forced to baton" suggests that Mr. Fahy agrees with the garda action. Lieutenant Colonel Pienaar of the Sharpeville Police in South Africa said much the same when he ordered his men to open fire on unarmed protesters who were offering themselves up for arrest outside his police station in protest at the Pass Laws in 1964. I know this is not a comparable situation in its scale or effect but nevertheless it is simply to make the point that nobody forced Superintendent Joe Gannon to have his underlings baton charge a crowd who were involved in non-violent civil disobedience.

Shell's Cops and Shell's Media in action once again.

author by Fintan Lanepublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The RTE commentator also referred to it as a "violent protest" when it seemed clear that the only violence used was that deployed by the Gardai.

author by Monty Pythonpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

He also suggested that those cuddly guards only hit people on the legs and didn't aim for peoples heads. Terribly considerate of them! Monty Python would have a field day!

author by kahootzpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Despite state violence, spirits are high and the mood is ‘good’ among protestors on the ground at Bellanaboy.

There have been on-going police road blocks during the morning. Many people stopped from getting to Bellanaboy in the first place. However, ‘flying groups’ of protestors moving around have managed to get around main police lines.

Main protest was forcibly split into two groups. The ‘violence and aggression’ of Gardai that culminated in a baton charge has been recorded by independent media.

Sighting of riot police on a bus but they have not been deployed.

Managerial-level individual from a local quarry physically attacked a protestor at smaller on-going blockade. Gardai had to restrain him.

Three people injured; one man taken to hospital.

author by kahootzpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The man taken to hospital has neck and back injuries. Other protestors reporting head injuries. This contradicts RTE's clearly biased and compromised Joe Fahey, who said that Gardai were aiming for legs with batons - see comment above. 'Public service' broadcasting that is not.

Other mainstream media, with the honourable exception of breakingnews.ie, not reporting context and significance today, the 11th anniversary of the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa.

author by Surferpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"We've gone through all forms of due process and we’ve gone through all forms of conciliation. A tiny minority of people continue to confront the law and they are being supported in this by the Sinn Féin party. Provo tactics won’t work."

Related Link: http://www.breakingnews.ie/world/?jp=CWIDEYOJSNCW
author by Observerpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Looks like the state are going on the attack. They knew there would be a big crowd. They knew it was the 10th anniversary of Ken. And today they have acted in the most heavy handed way to date. There is a real need to get independent video footage out to counteract the state's media onslaught. Both Bertie and McDowell have commented and you can expect a weekend of attack. Need to get counteracting with a different side.

author by Not surprisedpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

....everytime there is an action that goes a bit OTT you can rely on the first press release from the Garda PRO saying that a female garda was injured in the event. Don't believe me - go look back through a few stories. Aren't they being trained properly? You could nearly write the script.

author by Northern Lightpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jim Fahy, and RTE News emphasise that this is a violent protest. How is it possible for people sitting on the road to be violent? It is actually impossible. This IS a peaceful protest. The violence is only coming from the Garda. I again ask how is it possible for the protestors to be violent?

Have the protestors thrown any objects? No.
Have the protestors thrown any punches? No.
Have the protestors pushed any Guards? No.

Have the Guards thrown any objects? Don't know.
Have the Guards thrown any punches? Yes.
Have the Guards pushed any protestors? Yes.

I would go as far as to suggest that there was no female Garda injured at all and that the PR machine which controls the flow of information from this event had a "backup" injured garda story ready to counteract any genuine injuries from Garda violence.

Think about it again readers. How is a violent protest possible from the protestors when they are not throwing, punching or pushing?

Tell me I am wrong.

author by Cait Joycepublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am completly shocked at what I have just witnessed on the news this morning.
I think it is a disgrace , nonone can sit by and pretend this isn't going on any more.
This is not a problem that is just going to disappear .All politicans need to stand up and be acountable for what is happening in Erris .ANY politician that turns a blind eye to this situation should be held acountable and not relected into the dail or council they belong to.It is time for the people of Ireland to stand up and say NO MORE we will not have our own true people treated this way.Dont hide on this issue any more.
I will today be contacting ALL my local politicans something which I have never done in my life but I think it is time for ALL people to get involved.
As a mother I feel ashamed at the way this country has gone this is not the Ireland I want my children brought up in.I try every day to teach my tiny precious children to
value their country , language and heritage .I teach them that that their lives should not be driven by greed .I teach them that the big house and trimmings dont matter in life at all .I try to teach what IS important is treating themselves and others with pure respect .
This respect is something that has been lost in the rat race of greed and money hungry people. There is no respect being shown for people when they are being ignored by the politicans and then when they protest beaten with batons .
The political leaders of Ireland should be ashamed of themselves because I am ashamed of them and what they have done to the people of Erris .

author by JY - -publication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 13:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Any mention of what went on this morning has disappeared from the 12.00 lunch time RTE news.
Instead we were treated to some choice quotes from Tony Blair on how to combat "the poisonous Islamic propaganda that turns our young people against the British way of life"!!!

As a father I sympathise with you Cait....my best wishes to the people of Erris and their fight.

author by supporter of rossportpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 13:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Not just punches they hit peaceful people with sticks or they call batons to make is sound better.This is a strange country we live in , third world state funded policing.

author by Jonahpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 13:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"everytime there is an action that goes a bit OTT you can rely on the first press release from the Garda PRO saying that a female garda was injured in the event. "

Absolutely. Either it's a PR stunt, or the big boys hide behind female Gardaí.

author by sanepublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 13:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The apologists for this morning's disgraceful occurrances all fail to mention the fact that:

1. The workers on the facility have a lawful right to go about their business without threats or harassment.

2. That the right to protest does not extend to violence, threats, or blocking the highway.

3. That the protestors started the violence by pushing a car towards the Gardai intending to use it as a battering-ram.

4. That unless you maintain the ridiculous proposition that when faced with a violent threatening mob the Gardai should just walk away , the perpetrators and initiators of the violence can hardly complain when they get injured when the Gardai try to defend themselves against the braying mob.

5. The video footage of this morning's incidents will no doubt pinpoint the people whose purpose in being there was violence against the Gardai and intimidation of the workers whom the Gardai were protecting.

author by Tpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 13:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I would guess they say it is a female garda -and I am presuming the whole story that one was injured is a lie, -is because it sounds better for them and is a way to demonize the people protesting even more. Effectively what the PR statement is saying: These people are the lowest. They will even go so far as to hit a woman.

This is interesting because presumably they know that the reputation of the Garda has fallen badly in recent years and to say a male garda was injured would have less effective and evoke less sympathy.

The most important thing though is that these lies work and they work very well for the Garda, State and Shell because I have talked to numerous people who never read Indymedia and they think firstly that RTE is balanced and secondly they tend to repeat all the one liners from the PR machine of the state when arguing their case about Shell. That is they tend to dismiss the arguments because they think this pipeline is just like any other one and they have some how taken onboard the idea that this is a Sinn Fein run campaign.

The advantage for the State is that they can transmit their lies to most of the population several times a day and week in and week out. And why do they lie? -because it works. And continues to work.

To help rebuff this, it is essential that we get video evidence of the kicks, shoves and punches and general violence being carried out by the Shell cops and hopefully this can then get wider coverage.

author by nerrawpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 13:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There has been no Press Release from the Gardai about the incident.

author by the diggerpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 13:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So what?

"Guards do their job in clearing a road unlawfully blocked by protesters who were given three warnings before the Guards had to forcibly remove them" isn't very newsworthy.

author by Eye witnesspublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 13:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This was a VERY violent protest this morning with full on one on one punch ups between protesters and gardai. Protesters were pushing and shoving the gardai. Protesters drove a car at the gardai. Protesters damages workers vechiles. Protesters climbed up on workers cars causing damage.

Gardai were forced to invoke the public order act when the Gerry Crowley TD, Michael D Higgins TD, and other TDs supported protest illegally blocked the road for all users. Gardai had no alternative but to batten charge the criminally liable protesters in order to clear the public road.

Protesters brought their children to witness this very violent protest. Protesters blocked the local school bus, containing children.

Shame on all in and associated with Shell to Sea.

Hang your heads in shame.

Eye Witness

author by Jpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 13:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The overtime you got for "eyewitnessing" it must have been handy.

author by SOLIDARITY PICKETpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 13:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Please get to the solidarity picket at the Shell garage, Kylemore Road, Ballyfermot, today (Friday 10th November) from 5:30pm - 6:30pm

Many thankd

Celia S

author by Marcas MacCaoimhínpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 13:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sane your apologetics for the Garda thugs are astounding. Do you work for the Garda press office? What we must be clear about here is that the law, the Gardaí, the state in general exists for the purpose of safegaurding the "rights" of big business. If your opponant is playing with a stacked deck, its pointless trying to play by the rules. The Garda thugs will be protected by the state. The millionaire owned propaganda machine that is the mainstream media will spread bogus stories of "Violent protests" and fictional injured female Gardaí.
A good analogy (though this is on a smaller state) was the viscious assault on the Miners strike of 1984 by the UK state. There was a sustained campaign of media vilification against the strikers. The cops beat up strikers and intimidated their families. The BBC edited film footage to make it look like the miners had attacked first when it has since been verified that it was the cops who moved first. People protesting against state repression and multinationals who use "our" state security force as their own private boot boys have no moral obligation to abide by the polite norms of fair protest as there are simply no such niceties observed by the state.

author by supppublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 14:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I hope this person knew didn't damage the wheel of the car??


author by Celia Spublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 14:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well well. McDowell is again out spinning that the Rossport resistance is being organised by the Provos. From what I'm hearing, there are about three SF'ers on the ground there today. So much for orchestration. Sure aren't they otherwise engaged these days, what with joining lock, stock and barrells (pardon the pun!) the very same system that sends cops to do the bidding of the 'powerful', by cracking the heads, and attempting to break the will to resist of seople such as we find in Rossport

Beirigi bua a dhaoine croga Ros Dhubha,

Celia S

author by C Murraypublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 14:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Erris is under siege by a globalised corporation. The offices of the state which are
corrupt and the Gardai have been provocative- isolating and criminalising the protests.

Shell and Dempsey have always been about kow-towing to greed.

It is right to bring children to see what an unmandated corporate lackey like
Dempsey does to a community.

The workers at Bellanboy have not refused to down tools. The unions have let down
the people and the media have played the progress game openly and in connivance
with the state. The FF ideology of progress is to disinherit communities and to make
the environment and heritage to which the next generation is entitled unsafe and
unliveable in.

Noel Dempsey has again and again proven himself to be on the side of the corporations
and against the people . as minister for education he presided over the obstruction of the
Laffoy commission, as Minister for the environment he appointed his cousin to the
board of the NRA- he has colluded in the Wood's indemnity deal and tried to
divide a community in the one aim : to enrich the elite corporations and to use the
triple arm of good governance: The State, The Judiciary and the Gardai to accomplish
his corruption like the rest of the present Government.

The kids in these communities have a right to witness the machinations of a State
against a people, it might teach them more than a civics or business class would.

The Thatcherite Policies of the FF/PD government have failed.

author by antishellnottsprotesterpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 14:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here's more information about the Nottingham shell garage blockade this morning, with some photos.



author by Government Samsarapublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 14:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The RTE TV Coverage at 1pm shows the actions of Gardaí at Bellanaboy to be the most grotesque example of public police brutality since robo-cop famously went nuts at mayday a number of years ago.

There was footage of a carnival atmosphere among protestors in front of police lines and chants of "Who's cops? Shell's cops!" before cutting to a soundbite from Maura H. in her car saying that she was planning to exercise her right as a taxpayer to drive on the public highway. Then there was a cut to footage of gardai smashing her windscreen and passenger side window with their battons and dragging her out of the car.

Sgt Connor O'Reilly featured heavily in the footage, which is fitting as he is the primary instigator of violence at Bellanaboy. Note the sickenly cheerful way in which he draws his telescopic batton on the national news. McDowell did the people of Ireland no service when he drafted legislation to tool up the Gardaí against the peaceful people of Rossport with such vicious weapons.

There was plenty of footage of the cops battoning protestors in the stomach and legs. It was admitted by the newsreader that a middle aged local had been hospitalised with back injuries. There was a number of good soundbites from protestors stating the peaceful nature of their demonstration and demanding that the police stop beating and harrassing the peaceful community of Erris. Willie Corduff was shown saying that the Gardaí had brought a war upon the local community on behalf of shell. There was footage of two Gardaí dragging a protestor to the side of the road and then throwing them head first over the barrier and down the ditch near the bridge.

author by on the one roadpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 15:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

people aren't stupid, it's no coincidance that this happened today when there was a crowd and news camera's going down. the state is trying to intimidate people away from supporting this campaign i hope it doesn't work but people might want to start thinking in terms of self defence.

author by Wednesdaypublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 15:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Unsurprisingly a number of comments posted here criticise the protestors for sitting on the road and say the cops had every right to move them on. Protestors are well aware of this. That is why they block the road. Standing at the sie of it has very little impact. This morning's action was a blockade. It is a form of direct action. Believe it or believe it not there is method to protest. It may not always look this way but there is. What protestors and supporters of S2S are disgusted at is the level of aggression and violece used to remove people from the road. As for one persons comment asking do we expect the cops to leave when faced by a mob of angry violent protestors (not sure of the exact words used) but it was not a mob of angry violent protestors. There were men, women and children of all ages and backgrounds there either sitting, I will repeat Sitting on the ground or standing at the sides. Protest is protest and everyone who takes part in one knows the risks but this does not give the cops license to be as aggressive and violent as they were.

author by Ogoni Day - Shell to Seapublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 15:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A documentary will be broadcast tonight on Channel 4 at 7.35 which might be of interest to indymedia readers, particularly in light of today being the 11th anniversary of the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 other Ogoni activists in Nigeria, allegedly, and accepted in general by the global community, for their opposition to the exploitation of their region by Shell, and also when this morning saw particular savagery and contempt towards the people of Erris in Bellanaboy and Glencastle by the Gardaí (not) Síochána and the State apparatus. Here's the blurb:

"Nigeria: Fire in the Delta
Friday 10 November 7.35pm
Unreported World reports from one of Nigeria's most unstable regions. It's home to one of the richest oil fields in the world, but its people are living in extreme poverty and a polluted environment, caught in the crossfire between armed gangs sabotaging the oil production and harsh reprisals from security forces."


Related Link: http://www.corribsos.com
author by otorpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 15:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

well s2s will just have to bus more and more people in next time.

author by @publication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 15:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

from RTE news, you'll need real player. The last seconds show Gardai fucking a protestor into a ditch. http://dynamic.rte.ie/av/2190738.smil

author by Oil's_Well_'Erepublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 15:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

RTE video of the batton charge is available below.


Two issues arise here.

First point, why did the Gardai smash Maura Harrington's car's bonnet and windows in as she moved along a public road, and then drag her from it ?

A protester on the radio broadcast at 1pm pointed out that they could not disperse because the Garda refused to disperse
i.e. the charge was made inevitable no matter what. Why is this later explanation by, I think, Willie Corduff, cut from the video above? While prior to this Jim Fahy mentions the Gardai ordered them to move.

Is this a command from the minister to implement a batton charge to the benefit of Shell's cheapo extraction methods not used anywhere else?
Putting aside the most beneficial to oil companies tax regime enacted by Burke and Haughey. Law me arse.

"Two types of people laugh at the law: those that break it and those that make it" - Sam Vimes

Made in Mayo
by Justine McCarthy
Thursday, November 2, 2006

Maura Harrington, one of the Shell to Sea campaign's leading personalities, has rallied against Margaret Thatcher, the EU and, now, against the Corrib gas pipeline. Justine McCarthy profiles the mother of four from Erris who won't give in to the oil industry

Related Link: http://www.villagemagazine.ie/article.asp?aid=3323&iid=150&sud=39
author by the diggerpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 15:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

>Maura H. in her car saying that she was planning to exercise her right as a taxpayer to drive on the public highway.<

Eh, drving her car at a line of gardai, fella. She's no innocent.

Simple question: three times the protesters blocking the road were asked to leave. Three times they refused. What else were the Guards supposed to do? Allow mob rule to supplant the rule of law?

Those injured have only themselves to blame.

author by Listenerpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 15:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If it was such a violent protest. How many arrests? This need to be asked again and again.
BTW. Just listened to Fahy and Duffy. RTE is well on board Shell express.

author by Etain - Nonepublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 16:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Like Cait I was horrified by what I saw today. I am so glad that it has been captured on camera, so now the public know the reality of the situation

Well done! Michael Mac Dowell and Bertie Ahern ! you have finaly shown your true colours, hang your heads in shame.

Now its down to the ordinary citizens of this country to make sure FF or any other party who quite openly support violence of any sort are thrown out in the next Election.

The Garda Siochana are supposed to uphold the law not to break it. Where are your morals?
Are you going to attack me, if I go to protest peacefully?

author by lone dissenterpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 16:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

its always sickening when you see the state deploy force against citizens but this protest has gone on long enough. the fact is that Shell have a right to continue construction of the site and the protesters can make their point both by their presence and through the legal/democratic process what they can't do is physically interfere (driving your car against a line of guards is not peaceful protest). they also should also obey the instructions of the guards

once they physically interfere and disobey garda instruction then the gardai have the right to use slowly escalating force against them. they have been restrained for weeks now and its sad that they had to resort to the batons but the evidence suggests that they restricted themselves to shoulders and legs. that makes a big difference compared to robocop hammering away on someones skull

it's times like these that test ones commitment to democracy - a democracy is not about having everything your own way. the fact that the deal was signed and approved by many democratically elected representatives means that it has to go ahead.

i do think that the the guards did go too far in chucking the guy into the ditch at the end. that seems wrong and should be fairly investigated

author by the diggerpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 16:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

>Are you going to attack me, if I go to protest peacefully?<

Obstructing a public road over which people have a right to get to work and then refusing to leave when requested 3 times by the Guards to do so leaves them with no option but to forcibly remove you.

Your insistence that this was a peaceful protests is self serving nonsense. Why can you not accept responsibility for your own actions?

author by Jonahpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 16:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'From what I'm hearing, there are about three SF'ers on the ground there today. So much for orchestration.'

The aim of the Gardaí and the media is to over-inflate the number of Sinn Féin people on the ground to feed their agenda of the campaign being 'controlled' by Sinn Féin because they eblieve 'middle Ireland' will be turned off the protest as a result.

The aim of dissident republicans and so-called left-wing activists is to understate the number of Sinn Féin people on the ground in order to feed into their agenda of Sinn Féin having 'sold out' or not being radical.

Neither group feels the need to be honest.

The truth is somewhere in between. Along with Sinn Féin Mayo councillor Gerry Murray there were a number of Sinn Féin activists present today. A lot more than three. A lot less than 300.

I'd be curious to know if Celia's ever graced Rossport with her presence?

author by CGpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 16:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

She wasn't driving, "digger", but then you knew that.

You can see the guards driving their batons into people's stomachs on the RTE report.
It's clear where Jim Fahy stands on this - he usually manages to insert the lie about "violent" protests into his reports. It's clear the media have abandoned even the pretence of neutrality, and Bertie has abandoned his "good cop" stance whereby Dempsey and McDowell came out with the slurs.

author by Terencepublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 16:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And its even more sickening when the whole business of handing over the gas field was done in the most underhand and undemocractic way. Nobody in Ireland was consulted about this. What the Garda are defending is corrupt practices.

What you are basically saying once the deal is done no matter how, then we must go along with it.

author by the diggerpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 16:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Maura Harrington guide to peaceful protests:

1. Drive car to face line of gardai.
2. Make sure mob behind car.
3. Switch off engine.
4. Allow mob to propel car forward.
5. Profess astonishment at Gardai reactions.

Next week: Rightous indignation by Willie Corduff.

author by Protestorpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 16:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some people have raised the question as to what the Gardaí should have done with people sitting peacefully on the road, refusing to move.

The answer is they could have done what they are trained to do and used minimum force. Police are supposed to resolve a situation with minimum force. This is a basic concept and it is part, whether it's emphasised ot well-taught or not, of training at Templemore. The solution to a sit down protest is not to baton charge it. The potential for serious injury, either from the use of batons or from people in a seated position being trampled, are very high.

The correct tactic is for a number of Gardaí to isolate one of the people sitting down, if necessary physically (Using minimum force) separate them from the person sitting next to them if they are linked or holding hands, physically lift them up, bring them through Garda lines and then arrest or release. Return and repeat until the road is clear. It may strike people as a bit slow and cumbersome, but it is the proper use of minimum force to clear a road.

The alternative. A violent baton charge on unarmed non-resiting seated protestors is amateur hour in a banana republic. Forget your position on whether the gas terminal should be off-shore or on-shore, it's simply awful policing. And the image of two Gardaí tossing, head first, a protestor over the side of the road into what is btw a five to six foot ditch at that point, shows who the violent people are.

As for arrests, if you decide to take part in non-violent direction action you accept that you are breaking the law of the state and that consequences may flow from that.

author by Joe Blackpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 16:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the protesters can make their point both by their presence and through the legal/democratic process

Except when they tried this route the government used the law to give Shell access to their land and then jailed 5 local men who protested this.

Quite clearly the only sort of protest that is allowed is ineffective protest - anything else gets jail time or the baton or both.

author by BACpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 16:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Celia, it would be helpful if you could bury your obvious disdain for SF when commenting on the ShelltoSea campaign. What has served this campaign very well has been the non-sectarian nature of it. Activists from a range of organisations have managed to work very well together making this one of the most powerful (and probably unique in terms of the left) campaigns in recent years. SF activists have been active and were present in Rossport today as were members of a range of different groups. It was not SF who claimed to have 100s there. Remember why McDowell is making this statement it is as much about having a pop at SF as it is about trying to remove from the publics mind that this is a community based campaign. Having been involved with the ShelltoSea campaign since last summer, i can assure you it would not be where it is at if activists did not bury there political or personal differences with one another. By all means criticise SF just do it on another thread.

author by not as lone as i thought dissenterpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 16:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the deal was done through the democratically elected agents of the state which I remain proud to be a citizen of
IF it was done illegally then there are quite adequate means to investigate this.

being a citizen means bestowing on the state the sole right to use force. you then rely on the state to be judicuous about how it uses that right and there are methods of redress available should the state go too far.

individuals are free to make up their own minds about the state's actions. what they can't do is take direct physical action against the state themselves. that is vigilanteism (sp) and the beginnings of mob rule.

when you sit on a road you are issuing a challenge to the state. (anyone who brings a child into such a situation is not fit to be a parent) the protestors were asked to leave and refused. the guards warned them and even on using batons they were quite restrained - no heads etc

these natural resources do not belong to the people of mayo. they belong to the republic of ireland which has the right to use them

author by CGpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 17:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"dissenter", by this deal they don't belong to the people of Ireland. Bertie's pal the criminal Ray Burke made a secret deal with Shell that they would get it all for free, don't you remember?

"digger", you said Máire Harrington drove at the Gardaí. It's there in black and white.

God, the Gardaí are busy today.

author by jonnypublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 17:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Taxi drives block the main streets of Dublin at least once a year
in peaceful protest. Do they get batten charged?

author by Young Anarchistpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 17:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Please everyone make an effort to get to solidarity blockades in Dublin today.

6pm. Donnybrook Shell Station.

46A and 10 from town or UCD.

author by the diggerpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 17:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

>The Maura Harrington guide to peaceful protests:

1. Drive car to face line of gardai.
2. Make sure mob behind car.
3. Switch off engine.
4. Allow mob to propel car forward.
5. Profess astonishment at Gardai reactions.<

Read that CJ? Good. Off you go.

Amusing to see that every dissenting voice here is either a shell employee or a Guard. Ever think rational, ordinary people may not share your views without having any particular axe to grind on behalf of shell or the gardai?

I bet the on line sales of tinfoil helmets around here have gone through the roof.

author by dissenterpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 17:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

so everyone that disagrees wit CG is a cop?
that's pathetic. why not look at what i'm saying?
i came to the indymedia site to get a wider view of this incident and to see what would be made of my opinions. i didn't expect that kind of crap

for the record i'm not employed by any state body - guards or otherwise

Also the deal was done by RAy Burke who was later found to be corrupt -yes.
BUT that's OUR problem not shell's. they signed a legal contract with the irish state to use their deep sea drilling expertise to extract gas to our market. and when russia turns off the gas in 5 years time we will be very greatful for it

the irish people - to our shame - elected ray burke and his ilk and put up with his corruption. this deal is part of that legacy whether it was corrupt or not.
if it is discovered that shell did anything wrong then it can be stopped that way. But I hope not - we need that gas.

also i can't believe labour (or is it just labout youth) are calling for renationalisation - that makes me sick. we've only just manged to free the airline from the states decaying hand

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 17:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The State has many lawful remedies with regard to breaking the law. Assault is not one of them.

What law provides for the Gardaí to baton charge a group of citizens?

Today our government and our gardaí, have shown the citizens in Rossport, in what way they are thought of. One is tempted to suggest that they are seen as cattle or as horses. The only problem being, that there's a law against cruelty to animals - even the crop is no longer used in horseracing. Not to worry, they're only citizens. We're only citizens.

I hope some of those who were hurt, traumatised, or enraged today, take their courage in their hands, and follow Niall Harnett's fine example, exhibited in the courts earlier this week. http://indymedia.ie/article/79574

If someone is breaking the law, they should be arrested. How many of the injured were arrested? If these good people were breaking the law, why were they also, not arrested? The Gardaí are at the very least, dishing out summary justice, at the most, they are usurping the Constitution and committing treason.

Bring this to the Courts and throw the results into the faces of McDowell, Ahern, Dempsey and the rest of the minority that sully the history and destiny of this island.

author by Shoveller of ....publication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 17:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You're so busy posting your "opinion" as fast as you can that you can't even keep track of your own lies. If you look at the post at the link below you'll see that you clearly say:

Eh, drving her car at a line of gardai, fella. She's no innocent.

This site is a news site. Not a debating site. And if it were a debating site or bulletin board or chatroom your contributions are dismal. You're obviously just out to stir it up. You and "dissenter" are obviously under the misapprehension that this is a good place to "see what other people think of your views" (actually some of the people posting in support of S2S seem to think that too). It's not. This is a place where you report news. If you don't have news to report, or extra information (whether pro or con or whatever) to add in a comment then you shouldn't post. Read the guidelines (left hand column). Goodbye.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/79587&comment_limit=0&condense_comments=false#comment175349
author by S2S Supporterpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 17:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dissenter says that "We need that gas" . I'm wondering why he/she thinks we need that particular gas?? There are 3 interconnectors between Ireland and the UK, as the oil and gas companies were informed by the Dept of the Comms, Marine and Nat. Resources in the Burlington last Wednesday, so if any companies find gas/oil in Irish waters, they will be able to get them to markets easily via the interconnector. Therefore, it does not seem that getting gas to Irish homes is the priority of those officially appointed to regulate the industry. They do not seem to envisage a shortage.

It doesn't matter where the gas comes from if you're connected to the national grid, as you will have to pay the same price for it be it from Corrib or from Nigeria- based firstly on whatever that cost is on the open international market, and secondly on the cost ComReg allows Bord Gáis to charge, and if you're on the national grid, as far as I know, you don't get to select from whom you buy the gas. There are no competitors.

So "we need that gas" doesn't make much sense in this context.

author by Terencepublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 17:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You say:
Also the deal was done by RAy Burke who was later found to be corrupt -yes.
BUT that's OUR problem not shell's.

I am actually lost for words. That is the most ridiculous logic that I ever heard. So what this means that any politician can do any deal they like and it remains valid simply because they were elected. You completely ignore that the whole election process is a fraud itself and it is the size of the marketing budgets paid for largely by businesses that determine the outcome. In an election the issues are never discussed directly, you can make any promise you like and there is no accountability. Not only that there is no linkage between selecting a candidate and any particular future decision. In short there is not a proper functioning democray instead a facade of one. In any functioning democracy, you would have an informed populace who have a real say in decision making. Instead we have manipulated opinion courtsey of the corporate and state media, the latter who serve the government who in turn serve the top layers of big business. The people are certainly not informed by the self-serving corporate press and even less so have any role in decisions.

The fact is that the protestors were assaulted today on behalf of Shell. The government and the people of Ireland will gain nothing out of this project. Instead they are being attacked and the environment is being polluted.

author by the diggerpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 17:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Summary of your post:

Comments* welcome only if they support the prevailing verison of events.

Otherwise you are clearly a lackey of the ruling capitalist clique etc etc ad nauseaum.

*You do understand what the word "comment" means, yes? As distinct from the news item which is then commented upon?

To be fair to you is is clearly a tough concept to grasp.

author by Shoveller of ....publication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 17:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Calling it "comment" obviously means that the thick-witted think that they're unsupported, un thought out, random spewings are encouraged.

Change it from "comment" to "add information".

But "digger", you are obviously a foaming-at-the-mouth liar. You clearly said that Harrington drove at the gardai. You then clearly denied you said it. You don't know whether you're coming or going because you're not putting any thought into this, your just out for an oul' barney.

I'd welcome any information you could publish as long as it was either something you saw yourself, or a link to somewhere where an identifiable person claims to have seen something.

Nothing else has any value as news.

I don't care if you're pro or con.

I do care if all you do is just post your worthless opinion.

I can hear opinions any time I like. It's hard to get news.

author by No Real Playerpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 18:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

RealPlayer sucks. It would be much appreciated if someone could recode the RTE footage to e.g. Xvid ( http://www.xvid.org/ ) or OggTheora ( http://www.theora.org/ ) and then shove the file onto http://radio.indymedia.org Apart from anything else it would be good to get it up there for international coverage.

author by silenced dissenterpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 18:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

that is one amazing post from shoveller
i can only comment if i agree with him... pathetic

the fact is the link says "comment" and so i will

it's also sad that you keep going on about digger saying "she drove the car"
ok so she put it in neutral and the crowd pushed it - it's still not peaceful protest which is the whole point
S2S supporter
first i thank you for picking me up on something I said rather than attempting to imply i'm a cop or that i shoudn't be posting here at all

having a gas interconnector to the UK is feck all good if they themselves have no gas. the north sea is running out and in 10 years time most gas will be coming in from russia -look at a map - we will be at the end of a VERY long pipeline that the rest of europe gets to have a go at first.

the fact that Bord gais have announced they are connecting 11 extra towns in glway and mayo to the gas grid shows that this is for irish markets. if the field (and hopefully others) are very productive then some gas may be sold to the UK - fair enough - the state gets 25% of the profits


yes terence it is sad that the electorate don't inform themselves better and hold the elected representatives to account better on their promises. but essentially what you are saying is that you and your buddies know what is really going on and 4 million irish people don't? the fact is that ireland is a very accessable democracy. every week you can wander in and meet ministers and T.D's in their offices. social partnership sees unions and business ( who are citizens too...) working together quite well

the system isn't perfect but you can't always get you own way. there are plenty of things I don't like about ireland but i'm not going to blocade roads to get people to do what i think is the right way

this arguement that the populace is blinded by slick media is patronising. people know well what goes on and for the most part they are quite happy with it.

it's unpleasant to watch the state use force like that. But i believe in the system and the principles it is based on. the guards have a tough job and god knows they are not perfect. but they represent a country i am proud to be a citizen of. One that gave me a good education and economic growth to find a job.

author by Arachnepublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 18:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was at the Bellnaboy protest this morning and witnessed excessive force being used by the shell cops. I heard the cop in charge clearly shout "I want my baton party " and several guards from one group rushed to another group of protestors who had been corralled away from the main group.
I also saw an man, not a young man, pushed by the crowd being pushed back by the guards in the ditch and moaning that he had hurt his back. He had difficulty moving and quite quickly became pale, he was soaking wet and lying on the damp ground. The guards near were asked several times to call an ambulance and all refused saying they had no radios. Two people called 999 and 10 mins later an ambulance arrived , everyone stood back but the guards pushed the protestors into the back of the ambulance and unbelievably the ambulance drove away without picking the man up. The man was practically unconconcious buy this time and was breathing eractically, another ambulance came about 20mins later and he was taken to hospital. I would like to know how he is.

lads at  the solidarity camp made this powerful symbol
lads at the solidarity camp made this powerful symbol

author by CGpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 18:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"so everyone that disagrees wit CG is a cop?"

No, everyone who is a cop, is a cop. Simple.

See the TV3 news this evening? It effectually puts the lie to your claims that the protesters were not demonstrating peacefully.

author by Bad Examplepublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 18:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

With the exception of Daryll Hannah (who got arrested sitting-in to defend the South Central Farm http://la.indymedia.org/news/2006/05/159770.php a few months ago) those people are not the best spokespeople, because Malibu and Oxnard are where the rich folks live and most surfers tend to be better off than the millions of people that reside in the LA basin and inhale the fumes that blow in from the coast and towards the valleys.

They're right about the dangers of a LNG terminal, but they are being NIMBYs. And why not? They're smart enough to know that most industrial developments like that decrease the health and economic vitality of the locals and they don't want it in their back yard.

They have a good chance of winning that one because they're rich and powerful.

If it's good enough for the rich...

author by cablepublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 21:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Keep on struggling cos this can be won.
I have no angle on any political party, but have seen no sign of 'provo tactics' or 'Sinn Fein infiltration' (or any other legal political party!) in Rossport struggle - media invention I expect.

author by supppublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 21:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The journalists who wrote these articles at no time contacted me or Sinn Fein to give us the right of reply. Indeed some of them never even bothered to leave their Dublin offices and travel to Mayo to investigate these baseless and malicious allegations, they relied exclusively on dubious sources. All of these sources subsequently withdrew their allegations when they were asked to substantiate them. Those who have put these untruths into the Public domain have done so with the objective of sowing division and suspicion among the communities of north Mayo.

author by ken - supporterpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 00:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

My dear people of Rosport, it seems that OUR so called government has washed their hands of this deal that has been done with SH HELL. BB Bertie has stated that its time to get on with the work, its a pity he doesn't mean the work to run OUR country properly. Yes, JUDAS has let us ALL down by not acknowledging that the PEACEFULL PROTESTERS in Bellanaboy have been beaten by their own protectors of the law. In asking Michael Brennan earlier today what his stance on the issue was, he stated 'that people should not be breaking the law'.No further comment. Thanks Michael. What about when Sgt Connor o Reilly and Supt.Joe Gannon damaged Niall Hartnett's van. Niall took them to court and they were found by a court of law to have broken the law themselves. How about that. When I tried to contact Dan Neville, he was busy at a conference in the Gresham. He said I could call him again. I sure will do that Dan. With regards to Bertie Ahern and Michael mc Dowell, they should be ashamed of them selves if they cannot see that there is obviously a problem with this pipe-line. Why can they not call an emergency meeting with the residence of Bellanaboy and the thieves from SH HELL to try and come to some sort of compromise. If this is not done, it just shows you all what kind of leaders we have running OUR country. I have not seen any where in the Constitution that gives the gaurds the right to baton charge seated peaceful protestors. If this is the case then maybe these ILLEGAL ACTS by an garda siochana should be investigated. But who can we trust now that OUR OWN GOVERNMENT has let us all down.


author by CptSternnpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 13:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Video from RTE now available here...



author by Complete Outsiderpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 14:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Complete outsider who stumbled across this thread whilst looking into the Shell debate down there in Ireland.

Isn't anyone videoing or making their own footage of these things when they take place?

Video footage from the perspective of the protesters always goes a long way to seeing through media distortions...

author by Bloodpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:02author email Kevinblood76 at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is of no surprise to me that the Irish police force attacked peaceful protestors in Co. Mayo at the site of the contoversial Shell pipeline. Clearly these people present a soft target. The state brands them as Provos or rabid socialists foaming at the mouth and eager for violent confrontation. George Bush jnr's last visit to this island saw the bigggest police operation on the streets of Dublin in the history of the state. Peaceful protestors were once again subjected to police intimidation through shear weight of numbers. However, when the Love Ulster contigency stepped from their bus onto the captials streets, the police where ramshackle in their response. When truly violent protestors caused chaos the police response was equivalent to that of the Keystone Cops, we saw a running riot and a running joke simultaneously played out. Should we be surprised? The simple answer is no. It is easier to inflict state sanctioned agression on those people who wish to protect their homes, people like you and I. It is easier to hide behind reports of violence toward fermale police members so as to endear the Boys in Blue to those who would sell out their fellow citizens for the sake of corporate interests. Mayo is the historical home of the boycott, and the people of this Island have long memories, put simply it is time to vote with our feet. The message should be clear, if the state meets us with malice and contempt, we the people must respond with common sense and clarity of vision. People of Mayo you have the moral highground and the support of all peace loving people in this land. "With this faith we will be able to work togehter, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail togehter, knowing that we will one day we will be free". Martin Luther KIng Jr.

author by reality checkpublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 02:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The recent RTE poll found that the majority of people in Mayo supported Shell to Sea.

There hasn't been a proper poll of the country as a whole.

A huge misinformation campaign has gone on, with people who should know better saying things like the pipeline is the same as a normal Bord Gáis pipeline, and phrases like "we need the gas" and "the national interest" being bandied about.

The general public are being deliberately misled about the nature of the Shell scheme.

author by Photographer injured by Garda - s/HELLtoseapublication date Mon Jul 16, 2007 15:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hello, Thank you Arachne, for asking and thinking about my well being?
I was hospitalized for 4 days after being assaulted and thrown down a deep drain on the 10 th of Nov. 06 It's now NINE months latter and I'm still in pain from the assault, I have been back in forth to Drs. One even said that I was a protester who had a complaint against the Garda and this hospital can do nothing for you, now get out and go back to Belmullet, I was in shock and couldn't beleive what the Dr. just yell at me,. I'm still on crutches and the Garda have charge me with obstruction of a peace officer to wit sec 3&4 . First they try to seriously injure or kill me and now there bring chargers against me, I hope you read this and I would to ask you a few questons so how do I make contact, thank you

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