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Gardai baton - fest : Fear, loathing and injury in Rossport today !

category mayo | rights, freedoms and repression | feature author Saturday November 11, 2006 01:23author by TJ - Shell to Sea Report this post to the editors

Now is the time of the droogs and their uber meister, McDowell !

featured image
Democracy How Are Ya?

Friday, November 10th was the 11th anniversary of the state murder of Ken Saro Wiwa and 8 other Ogoni activists in Nigeria, at the behest of Shell. The day was chosen by the Shell to Sea campaign as a suitable day of action against Shell's unprecedented attempt to build a high-pressure pipeline across bog-land to a terminal that is sited in a completely unsuitable spot.

The protestors witnessed a quantam leap in Gardai violence against legitimate protest in Rossport. The gardai were caught on camera baton-charging the protestors and throwing one protestor over a fence into a deep ditch. Several injuries were reported and several people were hospitalised. One man was followed into a field by three gardai, pulled to the ground and savagely beaten in front of a dozen witnesses. The state and Shell have embarked on a course of thuggery and intimidation and are clearly set on smashing the protests.

More: More reports from Bellinaboy | Indymedia's coverage of Shell To Sea Campaign | One arrested at solidarity protest in Newcastle | Rossport 5 High Court Case Re-opens | Latest (Excellent) Report from Shell to Sea

From the Newswire

What does it matter if some of the Gardai there were sweet, one of them venturing in a push and counter push heave situation : "international rules are tougher" the day was a baton fest of bastard, Gardai self-evidently enjoying their work.

Two of our group from Galway were gratuitously batoned above the knees, they at least were forensic and accurate in their blows, but the anger , the anger of the day, the feeling of being violated, the spontaneous roars of anger and cries of contempt for MCDowell when we heard this fuck was blaming the "violence" on Sinn Fein when, let it be said, they were practically absent from Bellanaboy this morning.

Maura Harringtons car after the attentions of the Gardai's batons
Maura Harringtons car after the attentions of the Gardai's batons

Before the attack !
Before the attack !

p1010066.jpg

The spirit of the day
The spirit of the day

author by a Constituentpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 19:04Report this post to the editors

Mc Dowell said that it was the 'work of a small group of trouble-makers preventing people
from going to their work' on National radio. The unions need to address this too. There
is solidarity but the PPP campaigns and media isolate the community actions. where is
the opposition-we know that the government is corrupt but Rabbitte 's party traditionally stood with
the unions-we can see clearly that there is no effective opposition. Enda Kenny's brother
disallowed debate on this issue, Rabitte is shite (Higgins has been ok).

Quite simply Put, Dempsey ought resign and the Minister for Justice ought answer questions
he will not resign but people can campaign to alleivate him of his seat in Poolbeg and Ringsend.

Solidarity from Dublin, its a hard time for the community up there.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/79601
author by TJ - Shell to Seapublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 19:05Report this post to the editors

more !.

Maura
Maura

On standby to visit further ultra violence on the protesters
On standby to visit further ultra violence on the protesters

"Back off" : "Ok, permission to leave now, sur" : "Ok, fuck off, 'n don't scrape the paintwork on your way down"
"Back off" : "Ok, permission to leave now, sur" : "Ok, fuck off, 'n don't scrape the paintwork on your way down"

p1010032.jpg

p1010033.jpg

author by TJ - Shell to Seapublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 19:13Report this post to the editors

ve more !.

p1010043.jpg

p1010031.jpg

p1010059.jpg

Aron
Aron

p1010074.jpg

author by TJ - Shell to Seapublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 19:34Report this post to the editors

five.

Bruise from a baton blow on Niall
Bruise from a baton blow on Niall

Anyone recognise this droog?.
Anyone recognise this droog?.

Nemesis !
Nemesis !

Scabs
Scabs

p1010047.jpg

Related Link: http://www.corribsos.com/
author by Barry - 32 csmpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 19:36Report this post to the editors

The unions should declare a nationwide strike . Its their national wealth and childrens futures being robbed here . They have the power to secure these resources for the benefit of all Irish workers and a duty to safeguard their interests in my opinion . Time to bring the country to a standstill , this heist is an obscenity

author by studentpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 19:41Report this post to the editors

the Gardai were right and had the right to baton charge any protesters who blocked a public road. No one has the right to prevent the free movement of traffic. I feel that the baton charge would have been warranted if the protesters ignored reasonable Garda demands which in all common sense those commands would have been issued. Unfortunately some people don't seem to realise that they cannot do as the please whenever they want.

regards

student

author by Paddy - Irish National Union for the Unemployed (INOU)publication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 19:49author email bummnumm at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor phone 086 2412202Report this post to the editors

Police in this country are nothing but a pack of thugs. I have supported the protest from the sofa so far and from today I will travel to Ballinaboy as often as I can (despite the distance) to add one more to the number of protesters. The attitude of these uniformed terrorists and thugs has my blood boiling. I would like to say a lot more about them, but I suspect it would not be printed.
I sincerely hope todays behavior by our so called peace officers has the same effect on more of the public as it had on me, that is: up off the sofa and make your way to Ballinaboy in support of our fellow countrymen in the face of this TERRORISM.

IF ANYBODY FROM THE CORK AREA READS READS THIS AND WANT A LIFT TO BALLINABOY, CALL ME AT 086 2412202. MY name is Paddy Bullman, I live in Youghal and am not afraid of these bullies.

author by Ciaron - Dublin Catholic Workerpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 20:09Report this post to the editors

Student,

Keep studying! Try law, try basic political theory, try your conscience....

In Nigeria, Shell found a partner that was willing to lynch opposition. In the Ahern Government they have found a partner willing to bash nonviolent protesters and threaten a community. In a liberal democracy, people commiting nonviolent civil disobedience - would be arrested and charged and afforded due process. The only charges served up by the FF Reich today were baton charges. Why doesn't the Irish state have any confidence in due legal process? Ahern babbles on the teev tonight about the law being implemented, where is the legal process in the behavior of the Garda today in Mayo?

Following the advice of the Nazi propagandist Goebells, McDowell does not accuse his opposition of anything, he accuses them of exactly what he is going to do - use violence. RTE footage on Friday's 6 pm news displayed no protester violence, only cowardly attacks by those in uniform. Garda are presently servicing as transnational corporation - with a history of wholesale theft and violence - against Irish citizens and a community. Deployed at Shannon they service the largest klling machine in human history involved in an illegal war. Garda should take another look at the oaths they swore, what they are being ordered to do, the violence they are using and decide if there role is to service the community or wealth and power.

If they don't have the confidence to make an arrest, what/who gave them a mandate to carry out the series of assaults broadcast tonight?

author by NewsGirl - S2Spublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 20:09Report this post to the editors

Short audio report from one of the many Donegal people who travelled in the wee hours to visit Mayo today to express solidarity
http://www.corribsos.com/uploads/donegal.wav

Short Galway solidarity report outlining police brutality
http://www.corribsos.com/uploads/galway.wav

=============================================

author by iosafpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 20:18Report this post to the editors

Shame on the Guards & their masters in Dublin! From Catalonia I send you the protesters of both a national issue and one with obvious global implications - sympathy & solidarity & encouragement. Keep going. In most parts of the world no-one gets to protest the Oil corps. Because the police lay into them or when they're attacked by the gangsters employed by the Oil corps to "protect their business" they turn a blind eye. In the beginning of all this I remember reading so many times comments of people in Ireland & beyond noting that at least the Rossport story was unfoldling in a democratic state one of the few places where rights of speech & assembly are supposedly established.......
o as bleedin' if!

I'd second any calls for national industrial or labour action & hope reports of this violence are acted on - cases made - disgust articulated - guards reprimanded & taken off the case.

author by Barry - 32 csmpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 20:19Report this post to the editors

Its pretty obvious this is the states response to the protest which embarassed Dempsey at the Burlington .
Theyre the scum of the earth just like their RIC forebears . Renegade Irishmen completely unaccountable to the Irish people and in the service of foreign capitalists, the lowest of the low .

author by dogs of war.publication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 20:35Report this post to the editors

They'd only love ye to lose the plot and turn violent, then they'd paint ye as thugs and get really heavy including complete media muckracking.
As it is, you've done an amazing job of staying peaceful.
RTE are a disgrace. They fail to point out the obvious - Batons flying no arrests were made.
Keep it up.

author by naturalistapublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 20:51Report this post to the editors

Best wishes to all injured/who had their property damaged by Gardai - but by showing such excessive force, they've shown the nation what's really happening: how little 'ordinary' people's welfare means to the State & Big Oil Business.
As for tales of Sinn Fein involvement, when I visited Ballinaboy, no SF presence was apparent at all.
Keep on fighting, people.

author by Barry - 32 csmpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 21:00Report this post to the editors

Im certainly no fan of Provisional Sinn Fein but I completely fail to see whatever justification McDowell is on about for battering protestors because he alleges some of them were Sinn Fein members ( they werent anyway I know) . The implication is its perfectly permissable for gardai to attack members of that party on a peaceful demonstration . That mentality is completely unacceptable and shouldnt be pandered to for a second . The mindset which permits this is no different to the one which permits the theft of our resources . Gardai have no right to attack Sinn Fein members or any other nationally minded person . Talk about adding insult to injury . The menatality of Irelands bourgeois elite never fails to sicken

author by boo - nonepublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 21:00Report this post to the editors

hey folk
just seen the news on rte
disgusted to see whats going on
heart goes out to the people of rossport
and all involved in the camp there
chins up and keep it gandi style
because if ye get violent now your playing right into their hands
and making yourselves outto be exactly as they portray
the pics on the news are good !!!
these will attract attention and high light the issues themselves
rte as usual missed the point but the pictures said it all
indiscriminate garda violence and the whole country seen it at
six in the evening right there in there living rooms
keep the focus on your aims
keep your aims high lighted

jah bless boo

author by david grey - kerry green partypublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 21:07author email kerrygreenparty at iol dot ieReport this post to the editors

I find it utterly amazing that the general public is not in uproar about the giveaway of our exploration assets, Dunquinn in Kerry was also given away (to none other than Tony O'Reilly), we could well have used the proceeds from our seemingly abundant gas and oil bounty to pay for our hefty pension bill in 20 years time?, but no its given away to business buddy's and multinationals.
The scenes today in Mayo of protesters being beaten with batons was an utter disgrace, the only way forward now is to take a mass rally to Mayo on a saturday (like the anti war one in Dublin), we need to let Bertie know that we will not put up with their antics, and that people do matter!
I will guarantee a good crowd from Kerry if this does happen!

my heart goes out to those with families in the area who have this terrible curse of a pipeline hanging over their futures, if that pipeline was passing 70 metres from my house i would do exactly as they are, to protect my family!

lets coordinate and organise to get a monster sized rally to Mayo!

Related Link: http://www.greenparty.ie
author by AGABpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 21:17Report this post to the editors

In Solidarity with those in Rossport, County Mayo, there was a protest at the largest Shell station in Newcastle during rush hour today.

We are thinking of your struggle for victory against Shell, don't rise to the bait when the Guardia puppets try to provoke you into violence. Your peaceful courage gives inspiration to us all x

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2006/11/355661.html
author by Barry - 32 csmpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 21:28Report this post to the editors

Only a few days prior to the arrest and virtual internment of the Rossport 5 Lord Oxburgh was able to confidently predict to his shareholders the unruly Mayo farmers would soon be dealt with . During this period one of their locally hired thugs , employed by one of McDowells PD buddies . apparently took it upon himself to stalk and intimidate Maura Harrington in the dead of night . Odd behaviour for a mere security guard .
The state does not intend to see it and its multi billionaire chums get defeated by a few protestors . Shell itself regards the free state governemnt as little more than a compliant tribal cheif , and the state regards it as its duty to serve the interests of the British establishment and the yankee Landlords in a servile manner, just as Ray Burke and Des O'Malley could sell the future of Ireland to foreigners for a few baubles and blankets and perhaps a top hat . What we are witnessing in Mayo is colonialism in action and it will get a lot nastier as time goes on . If protestors cannot be bought off they will be physically beaten off and worse . This is a national issue that affects the future of every last Irish person . There should be a move to stop OReilly and Exxon Mobils theft too . A few protestors in Mayo cannot be expected to hold out indefinitely and the mass action capabilities of the unions hold the key to this .
Will the unions stand by the Irish workers and their interests orwill they keep sweet with the state ? Its no time to stand idly by . To submit to this renders us utterly wretched as human beings .

author by Padraig O Braonainpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 21:30Report this post to the editors

Dear Mr Mc Dowell, Are you really that stupid? (Actually I think you are)

If the IRA were involved in the Corrib dispute, there would be no dispute, for Shell would be gone the day the crooked deal was done!

author by Padraig O Braonainpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 22:41Report this post to the editors


We must keep in mind that there were some Gardai present today that appeared not to want to be there.
Men that didn’t want to beat their fellow countrymen on behalf of a greedy foreign corporation and a corrupt government. I mean the smarter ones, the ones that have read, and studied, and reasoned, why people revolt.

Look at the faces of the two Guards in the 15th pic down from the top. It is obvious they are only there because that right wing thug Michael Mc Dowell sent them there.

I call on all honest Gardai, that know in their hearts what is going down here - the theft of Ireland’s natural resources - for the rich.

Please, take no part in in it - call in sick the next time Mc Dowell orders you in to beat your fellow countrymen - for Shell.

author by Mick Stewartpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 22:48Report this post to the editors

I sincerely hope that people are going to follow Niall Hartnett's example and process whatever material (and theres a lot) through the courts. Names, numbers, unlawful actions and by Jesus there was a lot of them, assault, and battery etc,etc. Talk to Niall and REVERSE THE HEADACHE and get them cops "ON THE RECORD" Excellent point made above by Ciaron, there were no arrests made by these cops, that speaks volumes, REVERSE THE HEADACHE in the courts and become conversant with your Constitution.

Beir Bua M S

author by Padraig O Braonainpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 22:59Report this post to the editors

I have just fired off an e-mail to Unions in New York port, asking them, that if Shell Tankers dock there would they consider refusing to unload them in protest.

I ask other Indy writers to contact unions in other countries requesting them to do the same.

Do any Irish Airlines use Shell jet fuel? I'll bet they do. It’s time they stopped - or fly empty.

author by Éamonn Ó Flannagáinpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 23:07author email cupla2 at gmail dot comauthor phone 086 066 1055Report this post to the editors

Noel Dempsey TD, Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources has the name of a civil servant of whom it is alleged was wined, dined and entertained at the time of the World Cup 2006 by a person associated with the SHELL EPI consortium.

What will the Minister do about these serious allegations? Based on replies to Parlimentary Questions, the answer is nothing!

author by Law tutorpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 23:10Report this post to the editors

Hi Guys and gals
Fuel is very dangerous, Just see what happened in London last December. Ie the Bruncefield disaster. All the safety controls failed. I would not like to live near a pipe line like that. Would the current going on be allowed in Dublin 4? I doubt it.

author by studentpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 23:13Report this post to the editors

ciaron i am studying law!!! my earlier comments are not political nor are the actions of the gardai. the gardai are not allowed to perform any type of political action as set out in the constitution. therefore i believe that negative comments made here today towards the gardai are misdirected. the government are to blame for the shell fiasco as much as shell themselves.

i personally believe that the shell corp. should not be allowed to effectively raped one of our natural resources and i do feel strongly for the people of rossport. however i'm a believer in law and order and no amount arguing on this site is going to make me believe that the gardai acted wrongly. the pictures shown here are very one sided and suited to the posters agenda.

lastly a question for those who believe that the gardai are nothing but tooled up thugs, have u ever been in trouble with the law, ie. have u broken the law? my guess is that u have or at least u support violence/law breaking at some stage. the only way to have such anger towards the gardai is because u have had dealings with before. i know that there are some gardai who are wankers/corrupt (donegal proved this) but many are good people who are being stereotyped by eejits.

student

author by Barry - 32 CSMpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 23:17Report this post to the editors

It may come as a surprise to some to learn there are actually international laws and charters which concern the theft of national resources from a former colony by the business arms of a former colonial power . The 32CSM AGM is in Drogheda tomorrow and this issue will be raised along with the appropriate charters and laws . We should be making a submission to the United nations against the activities of Shell , a British owned company as well as OReillys outfit , himself being another member of the British establishment .
Ilaos believe this is not just an issue for the trade Unions but for the GAA to get involved in aswell . The GAA is not just about sport but promotion of the native character . Being robbed blind in this manner is not something to be proud of as a nation .

Ill post up the relevant UN charters in a while .

author by Joepublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 23:25Report this post to the editors

I know him well and has seen him tacking a batoning on the TV3 News before coming on indymedia. On TV3 you could see two Gardai dragging him along the ground after he had been batoned with a good bit of blood on his face. So if its a conspiracy I'm afraid TV3 are part of it too.

Today has exposed just how far the government will go for its corporate masters and how gardai will obey orders. We've seen it in Dublin on two Maydays already, now its the turn of rural Ireland it appears.

author by Katy Dalypublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 23:26Report this post to the editors

It’s a bit rich of Mr Ahern to issue what amounts to a “veiled state threat” to anyone who doesn’t obey the law. He should be reminded that in your average bog standard democracy, as a result of his own actions, he would barely get time to clear out his desk. To quote his great allies it could be time for “regime change” but I hope it’s not as extreme as what his friends did in Baghdad. Maybe they could just laser target that cheap house he was given by his friend in Drumcondra.

author by mattpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 23:36Report this post to the editors

So you with your eminent knowledge of law and order believe that the protesters were treated to due process?
You say you feel very strongly for the people of rossport and yet you believe they should just sit back and take it....What exactly would you recommend they do? The orders have come down and they should just follow is that it? I don't think I really need to take the time to point out where blindly following has gotten people, communities and even nations in the past, people who threw up their hand and said oh, I do feel very strongly for you but orders is orders....

author by Barry - 32 csmpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 23:53Report this post to the editors

This is the relevant UN charter on natural resources

http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/c2psnr.htm

I believe theres a case to be made that the gas and oil are the property of the entire Irish nation , not just the 26 co state which is most certainly not the nation . and certainly not Ray Burke . Did the state enter into this arrangement freely or did Ray Burke act in a criminal fashion ? If it can be proven he did then thers a case to be made internationally in my opinion . All avenues must be persued . The theft of resources can in no way be regarded as in the interests of our nation which the UN charter states disposal of resources must be .

author by Katopublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 00:00Report this post to the editors

I watched with horror the events of todays protest. As a teacher i know only too well the price of progress having being involved in teaching children with special needs in Mayo. This government saw fit to renege on legislation that guarenteed that children receive the help they needed in mainstream schools. IAs a result of the Machiavellian moves of Dempsey TD myself and hundreds of other resource teachers found ourselves without jobs over a year ago. those pupils lost their legal entitlement no matter which way the governement twists it. This Government finds it easy to bully the weak and the vulnerable., I want to say to all the doubters out there who accuse the supporters of Shell To Sea as being layabouts that i sold my home, left my family and friends and the place i love Erris, to take up another job down here in Kerry. As God is my witness i will contiune to make sure that the teachers and people down here know what is going on in whatever way i can. Talk works wonders as does pictorial evidence. Erris people are tough and i thank God that I hail from that part of the country. We do not give in. We did not give into the British and we sure as Hell will never give in to Shell. To the men digging their graves on that site GO AND FIND ANOTHER JOB if a woman can do it you surely can! To my union the INTO wake up you stupid friggers! Mind yourselves everyone in Rossport I miss you.

author by Padraig O Braonainpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 00:12Report this post to the editors

Shell : Via Mail/fax/e-mail

Dear Sirs:

Re: Ireland re-claims her natural resources.

The gas reserves of the Corrib Basin belong wholly to the people of Ireland.

These reserves were underhandly, corruptly and dishonestly offered to you
by Irish Government officials without the full knowledge and consent of the Irish people.

Therefore, we, the Irish people, do hereby re-claim ownership of said resources for the direct benefit of the people of this island. Effective twelve midnight November 13th 2006.

With the assistance of a highly organised network of international volunteer disruptors, we will peacefully, but effectively, enforce Ireland’s ownership of her valuable assets.

To avoid severe and sustained physical disruption to your worldwide operations, we strongly advise a strict adherence to the following five demands:

(1) Shell will publicly relinquish any perceived “rights” to our natural resources.

(2) A complete withdrawal and decommissioning of Shell operations in County Mayo..

(3) A reinstatement of damaged lands to the original natural state and to the satisfaction of local inhabitants.

(4) Shell will provide financial compensation to the people of Rosport, including those known as the Rosport five.

(5) Shell will then either vacate or enter into a re-negotiation of the terms and methods for the recovery of our natural gas stocks. And in a manner that would not exclude, or defraud, or put at risk the people of Ireland.

Padraig O Braonain

author by on the one roadpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 01:12Report this post to the editors

unions in this country won't even stand up for themselves, wont hold my breath on a national strike, i think the GAA is a brillient idea. they have the structure and the cofidance to effect an issue like this. if anyone has today on video or if its up load'd here could you show us where so i can e-mail it around.

p.s

after today think campaign can go to ways. poloriztion and become more stonger or intimidation and people start to slip away. obviously the state will try and provoke the latter we need to talk to the broad support base and try and provoke the former

author by ByrneBabypublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 01:17Report this post to the editors

The last time I saw baton charges on the news was during the Dublin riots earlier this year. Using the same techniques against the people of Rossport - to criminalize them for a peaceful protest - makes me so angry the words stick in my throat.

At the Dublin riots, several of the protestors were armed with golf balls and paving stones. The Shell to Sea protestors find strength in chanting the Rosary.

One of the contributors suggested a rally in Mayo but I disagree: let's take it Dublin.

A drawback of the protests at Bellanaboy - crucial as they are - is that they're taking place in a part of the country that is completely unfamilar to most people.
Before I went up there, I'd only heard of Belmullet on the shipping forecast.

If all this were taking place in Kildare, it'd be a very different story.

The wider Irish public needs to be confronted with the fact that if things continue to escalate in this way, this government may have a serious injury, worse, a death on its conscience.

A plea to the campaign: your tempers are being sorely tested, but don't rise to the bait - rise above.

author by guydebordisdeadpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 01:24Report this post to the editors

On the news one garda can clearly be seen (dressed in a black jumpsuit/tracksuit?) using a telescopic baton. These are not the standard issue garda baton and are made of steel. They are extremely dangerous, is it from his personal collection? Could somebody please post a picture of it if they have one?

author by guydebordisdeadpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 01:32Report this post to the editors

http://dynamic.rte.ie/av/2190906.smil

The garda whips his wrist to extend the baton just as the "draw weapons" command is given at 1minute and 30seconds roughly and you can even hear the distinctive click of the baton locking into position.

author by Witness - Dead Poets Societypublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 03:00Report this post to the editors

The 11th anniversary, yesterday, of Shell's judicially murdered Ogoni 9.

Lest we forget them in Rossport's years or travail against Shell and our government, below is an extract from Arthur Rimbaud's Illuminations and as I would have it, his empathy, if he were still alive, with Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other murdered Ogoni:

FOR YOU

I have stretched ropes from steeple to steeple; garlands from window to window; golden chains from star to star, and I dance.

For you

I stretch Shell’s noose from Bush to Ahern
From Ogoniland to Rossport

Its evil to your unquiet graves
Its chains from corpse to twisting corpse so you may arise again like lions

For you, I dance the fuck's into sewage, into silence”

author by johnny Jump Uppublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 03:19Report this post to the editors

Ok, folks, time to dispel this notion before it becomes embedded in all the fervour of yesterday.

Extendable/telescopic batons, while currently not the norm, are and have been issued to Gardaí on a pilot/phased roll-out basis within certain divisions and districts within this jurisdiction.

As they are issued from Garda supplies, there is no question about their suitability for use by rank & file. The term "non-standard" used by a previous poster is in some ways correct. The current regular-issue timber baton continues to be issued to new members of An Garda Síochána, but members being stationed in certain divisions where the pilot exists are given this second, telescopic baton, as a replacement.

A garda on temporary transfer to another division or district is entitled to use his uniform as issued to him while on that transfer. In other words, should a garda from a division where the pilot is taking place is sent to Rossport on temporary transfer, he will not be issued with a timber baton just because that is what is used in the Sligo/Mayo division.

The fact that certain gardaí were shown to use extendable batons just highlights the fact that not all the Gardaí are from the Rossport area. But then again, not all the protestors are either.

The claim that 80% of the protestors yesterday were from the area, as heard on the Last Word yesterday evening was a blatant and absurd lie, unless that crusty encampment now consider themselves as locals.

author by studentpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 03:52Report this post to the editors

Matt,at no stage in my comment did i mention that people should "blindly following" any government. All i said was Rossport people do have the right to campaign against shell ( and i support them) BUT this should be done within the parameters of the law. we all saw the banged up car that was being driven/pushed through the barrier of gardai!!! this is a violent act against the gardai and they have the right to defend themselves. it was also evident, from the news shown on tv, that people were trying to push their way through the line of gardai.this again would be considered a threat to the safety of gardai. can u imagine if people has gotten through the line then the gardai would be completely surrounded!!!!

do u think that if the tables were turned around and shell employed some thugs to attack the protesters that the gardai wouldn't step in to restore law and order?? of course they would, so why is everyone against the gardai???

author by Johnny Jump Uppublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:13Report this post to the editors

Spotter, I'm confused. Did we see the same footage? What tv3 showed of Maura Harrington was that she was pushed into the line of Gardaí, with the engine off, like a medevel battering-ram. The engine was off (she thought this would prove that she was not in charge of the vehicle, idiot). There wasn't any fear that she would accelerate through the line, but the concern was that this battering-ram tactic could cause injury to Gardaí in front of the vehicle. Obviously they didn't have an option to get out of the way as that would defeat the whole purpose of a cordon. She seems to have manouvered herself to the passenger-seat away from the now-open drivers door and was being pulled out, rightfully, by Gardaí, yet protestors began a tug-of-war with her in an effort to prevent her arrest. This is a serious crime in itself. I would not be surprised if statements are being written up right now, the file and footage going to the DPP and a number of identified protestors being picked-up at a later date for the purpose of being charged, when they are away from the safety of the mob.

The advance of Gardaí to the line was pretty-much "textbook". The order was given to the protestors to disperse or face the use of force. It is not up to the Gardaí to explain in such situations how they intend to apply this force. The Inspector ordered batons to be drawn. At that point the protestors should have taken the hint.

The Garda line advanced in correct formation. The right-hand holding the baton away from the protestor (protects against the baton being pulled away), and the left-arm extended, to ensure a safe distance is maintained from the protestor-line. The option is at all times with the protestors to withdraw, but the Gardaí will continue to move forward as per instruction to effect this withdrawl. Should the protestor-line fail to retreat, that is not the concern of the Gardaí. It was all textbook, and the news footage accurately portrayed it as such.

The shot of the protestor being thrown over the barrier was hilarious. In such situations it is inappropriate to effect an arrest of each and every protestor, use of force to remove them from the scene is enough. The protestor in question was clearly not complying with the Gardaí and therefore reckless as to his own safety. The garda cannot be expected to carefully place that man on the other side of the barrier. If the protestor was going to act like a sack of spuds they can treat him like a sack of spuds, really.

Personally, I think the Gardaí acted appropriately, given the level of resistance and also the previous act of aggression by means of the "battering-ram".

Just a brief comment about Ms. Harrington.... one must question the wisdom/intellegence/faculties of anybody who gets into a car to drive into a line of gardaí. Would it be wise to have such a person have children placed in her care in the classroom? Is she a bit too mad?

author by Isaac - SYpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:47Report this post to the editors

In answer to Guydebordisdead, I'm fairly sure it was our friend the Dark Lord, aka DJ O'Reilly, aka Conor O'Reilly who had his telescopic batton out! You can be sure he has is first to get any new sadistsic weapons they develop.

In reply to the last author's comments: "But in the end it has all worked in their favour. Shell to Sea is know a bunch of violent republicans who wont allow Joe Soap get to work on the gasline." - That's just wrong.

The pictures that went out on TV yesterday showed us getting batterred repeatedly by the cops. The folks at home are not stupid, and won't be fooled by Jim Fahy asking a local getting beaten "Why are you having a violent protest?!!!". The majority of people will be further outraged by what happened yesterday.

So public opinion is probably more outraged and on our side than before. But Bertie's comments and McDowell together with the predictable Shell response demonstrate very clearly that public opinion will not be enough to win this campaign. The interests involved are simply too important for them to allow public opposition to police brutality to stop them. That public opinion has to be mobilized to be active – shut Shell down locally when possible and actions elsewhere to highlight issue and increase pressure.

We now need to use the boost that has been given to the campaign by the publicity to increase momentum further. Everyone who is reading this and appalled by what happened yesterday can't just stay at home and be appalled - you are all needed in Bellenaboy the next time there is a national mobilisation! Another 100 yesterday and we would have caused them significantly more difficulty.

The other thing is that we need to use the publicity to try to gather new activists - let's try a round of public meetings to see if we can mobilise some new activists for the campaign.

We have to go again in the unions on the basis of the scenes yesterday - they should come out in opposition to the brutality etc. With some work we could get motions passed allowing some banners and members at mobilisations in North Mayo which would be an extra weight.

And... do stuff! Radical actions in the areas outside of North Mayo in between mobilisations to put pressure on government, get media attention etc.

author by Adam's Ribpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:51Report this post to the editors

JJU - you are a liar. The protest in Mayo has ALWAYS been peaceful. The only violence there has been Shell & government instigated violence. The only law breakers are the government and Shell - that is a plain fact and the people of Mayo are upholding the rule of law and democracy in Ireland on behalf of us all. Shell and their repulsive Fianna Fail lackeys can try to spin this story anyway they want - everybody knows what is going on. A lot of Irish people have wised up to the way our government does business and see full well the mutual masturbation that goes on between them and the likes of Pat Kenny, Joe Duffy and Independent newspapers. Fianna Fail and the PDs have upset too many communities all over the country.

We should initiate a nationwide boycott of any media that misrepresent the protest. The people of Liverpool did that when their football supporters were crushed to death because of massive police incompetence at Hillsborough. The Sun newspaper rallied to the side of the police and did to those people exactly what RTE and Independent newspapers are doing to people in Mayo. They lost so many sales that they eventually had to back off but even to this day, the paper does not sell as well as it did before that episode. We have that sort of power if we can only harness it effectively. What is needed is a national Shell to Sea strategy meeting.

Mayo's resistance is Ireland's resistance to everything that is corrupt about our country.

author by Statin the Obviouspublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:36Report this post to the editors

"wondering aloud"...
the jury is still out on whether you have an unpublished thought mate!
Put your self critical facalties into gear before opening your mouth, spamming your shite.

Thanks for your concern but obviously these people have lost your faith in representative democracy in this plutocracy run by the hereditary peerage of FF candidacy
.
You repeat the cliches of the state about ordinary people with a spark of humanity who bother to practise active citizenship.
You somehow think this is tough talking clever, you're just parrot mate -
bending over for the state, there's nothing jump up about you.
Go back to the mall and shop.

author by Johnny Jump Uppublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:45Report this post to the editors

Hang on.... did the military aircraft refueling stop? No. Is the war in Iraq an election issue in Ireland? No. Whatever the outcome of the war in Iraq, planned or unplanned, the anti-war movement has never regained the numbers that it had in those heady days of February 2003. Now, it seems, desparate for notariety, they are courting the Hezbollah. Good move. Clever. *sarcasm*

How are the government breaking the law? How are the protestors NOT breaking the law? You think you have a mandate to ignore the laws of the land against the State on one hand, and uphold other laws of the land against the State on the other? Hypocrites.

And what are "the facts of the matter", Adams rib? In relation to yesterday, the protestors used a car, in the charge of Ms. Harrington, to attempt to force a breach of a Garda line. Upholding their duty to maintain the cordon, at considerable risk to their own personal safety, the Gardaí had no option but to bring the vehicle to a halt. It appears from the TV3 footage that gardaí attempted to effect an arrest but were frustrated by several persons (whose identities must be known to the Gardaí).

Further protest and road-blocks were made by the protestors contrary to a whole raft of legislation, particularily under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994. The Gardaí gave notice to the protestors that force would be used. The protestors stayed. Force was used. Protestors began to whinge about police brutality (again).

Media captured it all. Throughout the day it became "the word of the protestor" against "the word of the media" and video footage. The camera doesn't lie, I'm afraid. You used it to great effect at the MayDay protests back in 2001(?) when there was no other video footage available to the media other than your own. Now the Gardaí are using your tactics against you and it's not fair at all. And the established media are around with video cameras too. Oh, you don't like that either, do you?

You've been out-manouvered by the Gardaí and it smarts, I bet.

Folks, it's nothing personal. The Gardaí are there to uphold the law and you are breaking it. Is it any wonder that you are getting so much attention from the Gardaí? Believe me, if ye were being attacked by pro-pipeline protestors, hypothetically (obviously), the Gardaí would step in to protect you. It's hard for you to grasp, I know, but that is the case. Now, I've to go to work, so I won't be posting for a few more hours, so feel free to try to discredit me, slur me, etc. Ye are good at it, or at least, you seem to prefer to do that then to deal with the points I make objectively.

author by Seamuseenpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:01Report this post to the editors

The people of Mayo who are standing up to the Illuminati bullies, and their "kept whores" in Dail Eireann, are the Republic of Ireland's VERY best hope at the present time - in my view.

Let the trolls troll, that's what trolls do - because it's possibly the only thing they know how to do? But, there is no amount of trolls and no amount of trolling which will change my view regarding the highly inspirational way the people of North West Mayo (and all their growing numbers of supporters around the world) are standing up for their natural god-given rights to look after their own best interests, and to prevent greedy bullies and thugs from depriving them of them - through the cunning abuse of the law and the legal system.

They Rossport 5 and their local supporters are a brilliant example of how local communities everywhere may yet one day stand up to the "Illuminati Tin Gods", for the purpose of holding on to their basic rights as normal, healthy human beings.

Related Link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=Illuminati%2C+...earch
author by sanepublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:08Report this post to the editors

No ifs buts or maybe's

The video footage doesn't lie.

You can cut it any way you like but the footage shows a violent minority, obviously acting with intent, initiating the violence.

They first used a car as a battering ram to attack the Gardai.

They threatened and intimidated ordinary workers going about their business.

They threw missiles.

Now they complain when the Gardai dfefended themselves, opened the road to the lawful users, and dispersed the cynical troublemakers.

The real question is whether the local peaceful protestors will have the guts and integrety to disassociate themselves from the dublin trots and shinners who have brought public shame on their campaign.

author by Johnny Stand Uppublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:11Report this post to the editors

"I'm just a civilian. I'm not a Garda, if that's what you think!"

It's perfectly obvious from your violent, bloodthirsty posts that you're a sadistic cop who likes seeing peaceful protesters beaten up. Save us the shrieking "oh just cos I diagree with you I must be a cop right?" You're a cop because you're a cop. You're furious because your buddies have been exposed for what they are in the sight of the country. Your shrieking about the last time they were exposed, May Day 2002, further exposes you as a cop. It's not so much fun, is it, when you can't beat defenceless people up down dark alleyways? Not so much fun when your violence is beamed into people's living rooms?

You're on the run, that's why you're shrieking so loudly.

author by mad mikepublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:12Report this post to the editors

Just a thought does anyone think the original reasons for the concern of Rossport locals has been completely forgotten as outsiders with an anti-state/buisness agenda have taken over?

author by Joe - WSM - personal capacitypublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:18Report this post to the editors

I'd like to make a general political point.

Various posters including 'student' and what appear to be a couple of Gardai have made the point that the gardai followed procedure and that the protesters actons were illegal. Bertie and McDowell are coming out with the same sort of thing.

To an extent they are correct. Although there may have been corruption at the heart of the original deal (where Shell were given a resource that should have been used to fund healthcare and education for next to nothing) even this is not illegal for Shell.

What we have seen in Rossport is simply an extreme example of the fact that the state and the law do not exist to protect 'the people' but rather to protect those with wealth from those without it. Shell can get men jailed who peacefully protest and then get people battered who take non-violent direct action to disrupt construction because Shell are a corporation worth billions while the community they are attacking are ordinary people, the wealthest of whom own a few acres of marginal land on an isolated part of the Atlantic sea board. That is the purpose of the law.

Likewise very significant Gardai resources including over a hundred Gardai can be deployed to facilitate a mega blllion corporation while at the same time no extra Gardai can be found to protect Limerick workers facing the horror of a gang feud that has seen the setting alight of small children. In that choice McDowell has made as to what matters the most, a delay in putting a pipe into the ground or the immolation of kids you learn a lot about what the role of the state is. None of this is accidental or down to stupidity or corruption, it is how the system is meant to function.

Alongside this we see a media that is either state owned or controlled by multi millonaires like Tony O'Reilly which spews out crude propaganda that we know even the journalists prostituting themselves for their masters cannot fully believe. Joe Duffy and Pat Kenny are millonaires themselves, we can understand their lies as being no more then them protecting their class and their own interests. Quite what all the two bit hacks joining in hope for is harder to know, to keep their job perhaps and to put themselves in line for promotion.

Shell must go to Sea (and the profits from the Corrib field must go to healthcare) but the struggle at Rossport also demonstrates the need for a much deeper change in how we organise society, there will always be another McDowell or another Bertie. They might be in a softer or a harder form but as long as there are those above and those below there will be Rossports.

Related Link: http://strugggle.ws/wsm
author by Joepublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:25Report this post to the editors

does anyone think the original reasons for the concern of Rossport locals has been completely forgotten as outsiders with an anti-state/buisness agenda have taken over?

As one of the outsiders I'd say no - we stand in soldiarity with the people of Rossport but it is they and they along who make the decisions about how to wage their struggle. With the step up in attacks from the shell and the gardai I understand the local community meet in a hall down there two or three nights a week to decide what to do in the following days. Those who travel to stand beside them does so on the basis of respecting these decisions.

author by ('',)publication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:30Report this post to the editors

Every paper is full of pictures and stories of yesterday. Especially the Irish Mail.

TV3 news went with the story as its headline piece yesterday.

Solidarity.

author by Johnny Jump Up - I'm me own bleedin' person, righ'! No org.publication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:47Report this post to the editors

"Violent"? "Bloodthirsty"? You're talking about me? Your crowd drive a car into a group of Gardaí and you think I'm violent and bloodthirsty? ARE YOU MAD?

I'm no policeman. I work in the wonderful IT industry n Dublin, if the truth be known. Do you think I'd have time to be contributing to this discussion if I was a garda? I'd be too busy working all the overtime that you and your anarchist friends are creating in Shannon and Rossport. I'm sure the Gardaí in connaught are delighted!

And recalling the MayDay protest makes me a garda? Would the general public not have any recollection of that day, no? The fact that it was on the news and in the courts for years after wouldn't be how I can remember it? Get real. You can brand anybody who disagrees with you as a Garda or a "troll" (whatever that is) but that is hardly the path to reasoned debate, is it?

If you knew me you would never regard me as violent or bloodthirsty, but I did smile when I saw some thugs in Rossport get their comeupence at the hands of the Gardaí yesterday.

author by Hilarypublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:56Report this post to the editors

I'm so upset at what happened to the protestors, particularly Maura Harrington, who is on the front page of the Daily Mail looking terrified as a Garda beats her windsceen in as she sits in her car.
Where the hell are the Gardai coming from? They are acting like thugs, and worse than most criminals.
Please stage protests soon in Cork, Dublin, I think if you strike with a national protest now, you will find a lot of people coming out of the cracks, directly because of how the Gardai abused the community.
I have a feeling the whole country is behind you now, and if we weren't watching before, we sure are now, and our sympathies are with the community in Mayo.
Shame on Bertie, and shame on McDowell to say the Gardai are correct to send peaceful protestors to hospital.. and where does that action end? Would they rather just shoot all the protestors and be done with it? After seeing what just happened, I have no doubt that the Gardai would be quite happy to take a gun to the lot of them. They could easily have killed someone with a weak heart yesterday.. I dont think they would even waste a thought on them.
Use this to make you stronger, you can't give in now. If they are resorting to violence, then they are threatened, and you have already backed them into a corner. If the violence against you doesn't work, then what do they have? Nothing!
Keep going with it, and you have plenty of extra support to call on if you need it! See you at the Cork fundraiser..

author by Johnny Jump Up - no orgpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:57Report this post to the editors

Folks, surely that's a vindication of my points. You think that any publicity is good publicity. Well, you're getting plenty of publicity alright, but it's none that you can conrol like you could back at that MayDay protest in 2002.

This is out of your control and the media can choose their own photos to print. This doesn't bode well for S2S. I haven't seen the Daily Mail yet (it wouldn't be a paper I've ever read, to be honest), but I know its reputation. Surely if all the papers are carrying photos, especially the Daily Mail, it is not going to portray you in a very posiivive light now, will it?

Yesterday backfired on you, and there's no turning away from it now. You are entrenched, the State is entrenched, we have reached an empasse. And you have a tough job of winning over public opinion with you bearing a reputation of being a violent mob now. But, hey, don't worry. Just boycott the papers. Don't read them, don't buy them. Maybe the papers are going to fold under that pressure. Sure. *sarcasm*

author by Joepublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 13:06Report this post to the editors

One thing to be said for 'Johnny jump up' is that he certainly knows what side he is on and is not afraid to admit the connections between the Gardai beating 'anarchists' off the streets in Mayday 2002 and Gardai beating the people of Rossport and their supporters off the streets yesterday. Like McDowell 'Johnny' hopes that the rest of the population will either take the side of the corporations or will be terrorised into silent spectators watching events unfold on TV while feeling sick to their guts.

But you know Johnny as someone else once said the great only appear great because we are on our knees. Let us arise.

If enough of the people of Ireland arise nothing can stop us, johnny. Maybe you side miscalculated with its brutality yesterday?

author by Rose of Traleepublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 13:10Report this post to the editors

While I can agree with much of what you say, I have doubts regarding the view you have expressed on the "purpose of the law".

Among other things, I find myself wondering if you are aware of the Republic of Ireland's "European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003" - for example?

A copy of it can be viewed at the following address:
http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/gen222003.html

In connection with the Rossport 5 situation, you may find Article 13 ("Right to an effective remedy") at the above address particularly interesting.

Another small piece from the above page, which I personally find interesting, reads as follows:

"Reaffirming their profound belief in those fundamental freedoms which are the foundation of justice and peace in the world and are best maintained on the one hand by an effective political democracy and on the other by a common understanding and observance of the human rights upon which they depend ..."

Where is there any "effective political democracy" in the Republic of Ireland at the present time though?

To answer my own question, as I see things: Where Article 13 ("Right to an effective remedy") is - buried deep (where the sun don't shine) beneath a huge mountain of political, legal, and corporate corruption and bullying.

Related Link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=Right+to+effec...earch
author by Padraig O Braonainpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 13:48Report this post to the editors

Take the protests to Shell’s operations around the world.

Make it difficult for them to do business.

There are many (peaceful) but very effective tactics that
can be used to bring their sleazy empire to a virtual standstill.

Do you realize how much it costs, if a tanker is held out at sea, unable to dock?

author by Hilarypublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 14:18Report this post to the editors

It isn't the protestors that look like an angry mob, it's the Gardai. And it doesn't matter what text you put with a photo, a picture speaks one thousand words.
Whichever side you are for, why would you defend Shell? What have they ever done for you? I can't understand why a company like Shell, full of anonymous ties and suits, would have your support before the Irish people, and in particular, the rural Irish, who we all know well.
And what about the Rossport 5, these are ordinary people trying to protect our beautiful natural resources and the health of the Irish people. Shell, well, shell are, trying to make a profit.. so who has the better motivation to serve our country and community well?

author by gníomhaípublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 14:38Report this post to the editors

If Shell and the Gardaí think that these latest tactics are going to turn people off, they are very much mistaken.

Like a lot of people, I have up to now always been meaning to go up to Rossport, but at the back of my mind I thought I can leave this cause for others and take on other struggles, but now I am determined to go to Rossport and support the locals.

I hope this will be a kind of turnaround and prompt people to go up- perhaps even people who have never protested in their lives.

author by sanity - me feinpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 14:40Report this post to the editors

The "soft " batoning of protesters by the gardai including the kicking in the face of one of them on national TV is an absolute outrage. The officer in charge totally mishandled the situation. He ought have left the crowd have their day despite the orders of his superiors. He put his members at risk and no doubt lots of gardai on the day feel that their own actions were wrong thereby raising doubts about the bone fides of being a police officer as a whole. If it were a group of drunken football thugs on a rampage even then using force like this ought be an absolute last resort and as a defence against bodily harm only.
It was an uncalled for aggressive act by a Garda chief who thinks that it is alright to treat people in such a manner. It seriously damages the image of the gardai and no doubt has a desensitising effect on ordinary members of the force. I can only imagine what it is like to be in garda custody with no impartial witnesses and away from the view of the cameras.

author by Johnny Jump Up - No orgpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 14:52Report this post to the editors

Hilary, I'm not pro-Shell, but I am pro-democracy, and pro-State. Just as there are those such as anarchists who will jump on any bandwagon to take a swipe at the State (many of them have found themselves in Bellanaboy yesterday) there are others who are quite happy with the high-standard of living enjoyed by the vast majority, happy with the limitless employment opportunities, happy with the reversal of the 1980's emmigration trends.

I view the laws of the land as being a protection for everybody. I am not pro-Fianna Fail or PD, indeed I think McDowell is a muppet too, by the way he is systematically castrating the Gardaí. I am not a Garda either. If I was I am sure that I'd be breaching some disciplinary reguation. I do know Gardaí however, and I do think that they have a very tough job, and it's getting tougher day by day. That's why I would have no interest in being one, and certainly not to do their job for free as within a Reserve.

I might vote Fianna Fail, Fine Gael or the Greens, I haven't decided yet, but I value democracy and the democratic process. Majority rules.

Shell have done nothing for me. They charge as much if not more as the next guy for the petrol I put in my very green scooter. My allegiance is not with them. It is with those who stand up against polical disaffected aggitators or those who hold nothing but contempt for the State. The economy is going well, the social welfare is reasonably generous. I am willing to pay over half my salary in PRSI, VAT, VRT, Road Tax, TV Licence and so on for this to be the case. I don't mind contributing to help those among us who cannot work. It galls me, however, to find that I'm contributing towards supporting people who refuse to work when capable, and who would rather head up on a bus to Bellanaboy and effectively give a two-fingured salute to the State and its electorate.

If there was a pro-State protesting block I'd probably join it, but I wouldn't want to get into an altercation with the Gardaí considering I'm pro-them too.

author by Ciaron - Dublin Cathol;ic Workerpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 14:54Report this post to the editors

You don't need to have a revolutionary analysis to oppose what Shell is doing and haow the Garda behaved yesterday. Where are the civil libertarians in this society???

In a liberal democracy.....
Garda would be educated at the academy in the role of civil disobedience in Irish history, how its practise has improved the pracise of law and Irish democracy.
Educated in how campaigns like Shell-to-Sea in the past have lead to the development of our democracy and the practise of law in the present.
How good law breaking has lead to good law making.

Citizens practising nonviolent civil disobedience would be seen as contributing to the development of Irish society ...by Garda whose leadership give lip service to Ghandi, King, Christ etc
It would be a priority of Garda to protect the human rights of Irish citizens undertaking civil disobedience.
All we get at the academy is fresher course on pain holds to apply during an arrest (or in this case a battering).

Yesterday, differed dramatically from May Day 2002 which was largely a grassroots Garda riot where rank and file robocops loss the head and possibly disobeyed instructions from their superiors.

Yesterday's Garda intention to hurt people was considered and came from the top.

The stage had been set by McDowell's accusation that the protestors intention to use nonviolent civil disobedience amounted to "Provo tactics". Mr. McDowel (whose party is apparently one of the few in Irish political life never to have had an armed wing...be grateful for small mercies....) played the role of nazi propogandist Goebells who advised "do not accuse your opponent of just anything, accuse them of what you are going to do". In this case that amounts to violence (batoning around the body, being thrown to the ground and down ditches etc) without due process.

In a democracy people arrested undertaking nonviolent civil disobedience would be
-arrested
-charged
-led away
-bailed
-tried
- and if convicted, punished (with a fine or loss of liberty, not corporally)

FF/PD government (in service of Shell), being from the "bring back the lash" school of thinking short circuits this due process by instructing Garda in a no arrest/ plenty of assaults. The very tactic McDowell uses as a slur in his intial press release.

We are asked to assume that all the Garda vioelence broadcasted is somehow defensive action to incidents we have not seen or heard about....and that the demonstration has been a violent one. We are asked to believe the ciolence has come from the protestors rather than the State.

It just depends on how stupid, housebroken, resigned to the rule of transnationsals such as Shell ....if this is going to work.

author by Johnny Jump Up - nonepublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 15:06Report this post to the editors

The Guards stood in a solid line across the road. The protestors came walking down the road. There was a stand-off. Maura Harrington drives her car (or it's pushed) into the line of Gardaí as though it was a medevil battering-ram trying to reach a gate. The Gardaí found their lives in danger by this womans action. They intervened.

Other protestors are sitting or standing blocking trucks from a local building-suppler from passing down the road. Those protestors are pushed back

They then make their way to the yard of that same building-supplier, there are further scuffles when the Gardaí are trying to prevent damage to that location.

At each turn, it was the protestors who acted, and the Gardaí who reacted. The ante was upped when the car was driven at the gardaí, it was the protestors who provoked the reasonably-measured response of a baton-charge.

As for being in Garda custody, there are procedures to protect the prisoner. Do you think the Gardaí would mistreat you and not mistreat a thief, a murderer, a rapist? The Gardaí are very careful in terms of Custody Regulations, you will not trip them up there. They know that short-term vengence (by a couple of slaps/punches or whatever in the station is not as sweet a vengence as the penalty imposed by a judge.

author by Hilarypublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 15:08Report this post to the editors

Johnny, you are bringing a number of things that complicate the matter into your statement on where your loyalties lie..
1. This dispute is between the people of Rossport and Shell
2. Whether you are pro-Gardai or not, that doesn't mean that you have to be on their side 100% of the time. I think the Gardai can be useful in certain situations, but I also have no doubt that they were entirely wrong in the amount, and severity, of force they used yesterday.
3. The fact that there may be anarchists present at protests, does not automatically make the presence of locals not exist. Whoever else is joining the protest, there are still locals there, the same locals that have been there from the beginning.
4. This notion that nobody who protests works is a myth. Most of the locals are working for themselves, and so can take time off in the morning, and make it up in the evening. I honestly don't care if every single one of them is on the dole. What bearing does it have on the matter at hand? None!

The thing is, if you agree that the Gardai should beat peaceful protestors in order to let the work by Shell commence, then you are in fact pro-Shell.

author by Pól Macpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 15:15Report this post to the editors

Why is it us, the victim, that suffers further injury brutality through state oppression. Direct action is needed. Why is it our blood that is spilled, when it our natural resources that is taken. We need more then a protest. Workers and unions need to come out. Look to Mexico recently for an example.

author by Johnny Jump Up - not alignedpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 15:32Report this post to the editors

The famous scene depicted so well in the Ben Kingsley portrayal of Gandhi's life whereby lines of protestors line up to be clubbed off a drawbridge outside an army barracks is not faithfully replayed in yesterdays action at Bellanaboy. I cannot imagine Gandhi plowing into a line of troops in a Model T. He was big on symbolism. That wouldn't have furthered his NVDA aspirations much.

As a seasoned campainer, Ciaron, do you think it would be easy for the Gardaí to have much concern for protestors who are pushing themselves at you, through you and passed you with little regard for your safety? Or do you think they should turn the other cheek to those who attempt to barge a car into you? The protestor must accept responsibility too, and so far I don't see any of that happening. I do not see any protestor suggesting that it got out of hand, that they could have done anything differently. It's all about the brutality of the Gardaí.

One hundred Gardaí, two hundred protestors. Do you think it is feasable for the gardaí to arrest each person breaking the law? There just are not enough handcuffs. It might be different if the protestors were compliant and wanting to be arrested, peacefully, like you did in Shannon (we'll say nothing of how you overpowered the garda in the SRS hanger). It is much better to try to control the violent protest and corral the protestors away from the road. The protestors won't get the martyrs and the shambollic parade through the courts every month or so, or the monthly media coverage. The Gardaí have learned much from the Ploughshares/CWM debacle. They made mistakes by arresting you that they're not inclined to do again. They've you to thank for that, I guess.

I am certain that the intention of the Gardaí was not to hurt, and was not "from the top". It was a situation whereby the Gardaí lined up to prevent this Day of Action as they had on numerous Days of Action but that the protestors introduced something new to the table, by way of the Harrington Battering-Ram. This action changed the rules of engagement. The blame for yeterday lies squarely at the feet of the protestors, I'd say.

author by Jan Vennegoor of Hesselinkpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 16:52Report this post to the editors

I note the Shell Workers are being labelled "scabs". I had heard that the protestors were hurling abuse at them.

I'd just like to point out the precise definition of a "scab"

scab  /skæb/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[skab] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation noun, verb, scabbed, scab‧bing.
–noun

4. a worker who refuses to join a labor union or to participate in a union strike, who takes a striking worker's place on the job, or the like.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but that definition does not apply? Or rather it would apply more appropriately to the Latvians that replaced Irish maritime workers in the Irish Ferries dispute? Where was the blocade of Dublin Port? You hypocrital, middle-class dillettantes playing at revolutionary politics.

author by Gangsterpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 17:23Report this post to the editors

What the hell are you on about shell are a company with a legal right to use these resources and honestly if we kept them solely for the state I think we'd be heading towards a communist state.
The protestors seem to have nothing better to do as they are protesting against unsafe pipelines etc but these have passed several safety inspections.
Some people have already said they will now travel to the protests to help put "shell to sea" if I had a car I'd be travelling to put these protestors int he sea.
These protestors refused to disperse after several warnings and fought the gardai who attempted to remove them.
I'm sorry the gardai only managed to send two of them to hospital.
None were charged is also a load of crap-why should these people be allowed break the law-they should be sent to prison till shell have finished construction.

author by Ciaron - Dublin Cathol;ic Workerpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 17:34Report this post to the editors

" I cannot imagine Gandhi plowing into a line of troops in a Model T."

My understanding was that the car was not turned on, not sure how you conjure up the image of plowing (U.S. spelling now share with the group where are you coming from?). The images on RTE have the car stationery as the windshield is taken out by Gardai batons.

"It's all about the brutality of the Gardaí."

I don' think it has much to do with spontaneous brutality of the Garda, i think it has a lot to do with a strategy handed down from the top...McDowell's press release being a central part of that strategy, the bias media coverage follow up being central. Your trolling here looks like all part of a piece. The Gardai are being used politically, they should take it up with their union. This is not what they signed up for

"(we'll say nothing of how you overpowered the garda in the SRS hanger).

You folks at the embassy are singing from an old hymnsheet. They're have been three trials since this "overpowering a garda" slander by 2 Ministers, never retracted, where said Gardai testified under oath (3 x) that I comforted him in the SRS hangar while he was having a stress attack. Get with the program Johnny.

"It is much better to try to control the violent protest and corral the protestors away from the road. The protestors won't get the martyrs and the shambollic parade through the courts every month or so, or the monthly media coverage. The Gardaí have learned much from the Ploughshares/CWM debacle. They made mistakes by arresting you that they're not inclined to do again. They've you to thank for that, I guess."

Well it was $U.S. 2 1/2 million disarmament, if they didn't arrest us (or don't arrest us next time), they will have to start doing their job and enforce international and constituitonal law at the airport. because the Gardai are being used politically to defend a transnational capital at Rossport and the U.S. war machine at Shannon.....enforcing the law doesn't seem to be a big priority presently.

I was raised in an environment where the Queensland (Australia) police force were used extensively to squash political dissent (initially opposition to uranium mining and export and aboriginal human rights). The pay off was the state turned a blind eye to the Queensland cops running the brothels, the illegal casinoes & smack and killing aborgines in custody. It all became a too much when they were discovered, in the mid-80's, running child pornography out of Juvenille Aid. The Fitzgerald inquiry exposed them, 5 ministers went to jail the Police Commisioner sentenced to 14 years. The evolution of a police force used to crush dissent (in these cases service the illegal activities of transnational corporations and imperial war machines) and the state payoff of turnig a blind eye to police corruption is a common one.

In Queensland they now teach police about the history of civil disobedience at the academy. When I was in Philly they had a special squad that would turn up when we vigilled to make sure our constituional rights were being protected. Batons can kill people. We are presently taking legal action against the Victorian police for similar activity (in their defense of Shell and other corporations and illegal attacks on us) at the World Economic Forum 2000.

author by Brianpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 17:50Report this post to the editors

A few snaps from lennons quarry. Unfortunately haven't got any of the Gardai removing protesters from the bridge or the subsequent temporary prison (field) that we were thrown into.

Lennons Quarry 1
Lennons Quarry 1

Lennons Quarry 2
Lennons Quarry 2

Lennons Quarry 3
Lennons Quarry 3

Cold or ashamed?
Cold or ashamed?

author by sanity - me feinpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 17:56Report this post to the editors

Reply to john whose comments I respect.

When a member of an garda siochana has reason to suspect on balance that an activity of a potential criminal nature is or has been commissioned and that there is a reasonable possibility that a conviction can be secured he or she may investigate and if nessesary perform an arrest.

Im not quoting from anything but I believe that this would be an appropriate way in whicha police officer would deal with any potential crime.

If an individual drives a vehicle at a line of gardai performing their lawful duty, (up to that point) I suggest that the above is the way to deal with it. I think most garda readers would broadly agree with this.
Of course a baton charge on the protesters using clubs to hit unarmed citizens of the state smacks of colonial oppression and not the way I would expect our police force to act in the 21st. century.
My point really is :

a) if the gardai are allowed this it must have a negative effect on the morale of most gardai who I believe to be norman decent people (normal decent people do not brutalise other people)

b)this brutality can be translated to behind closed doors in garda station cells. With respect to Johns comments the safeguards of persons in custody are not absolute and rely on the particular police officer to use them correctly.

author by Arachnepublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 18:35Report this post to the editors

Russian threat to sue Shell for billions over Sakhalin

Tom Parfitt in Moscow
Saturday November 11, 2006
The Guardian

Russia has threatened to sue Shell for billions of dollars over alleged environmental violations at its vast Sakhalin-2 oil and gas development. Ratcheting up pressure on the Anglo-Dutch company, Oleg Mitvol, deputy head of environmental watchdog Rosprirodnadzor said it might even call for the project to be scrapped.
Moscow has been leaning hard on Sakhalin Energy, the Shell-led consortium building the $22bn (£11.5bn) development, in a move some analysts think is designed to force it to give up a chunk of the project to state energy company Gazprom.
Mr Mitvol told news agencies that Sakhalin Energy had produced a plan detailing how it would tackle environmental problems caused by construction work, but the proposed solutions were "not serious". "It is a joke collection," he said. "We had expected to see technical solutions and they are dealing with small local problems."
An environmental permit granted to Shell for the project by the natural resources ministry in 2003 was revoked at the end of September. Mr Mitvol has estimated that putting right damage allegedly caused by Shell on Sakhalin Island in the Russian far east could cost up to $50bn.

"We are talking to lawyers and determining our position to file for damages according to international law," he said. The lawsuit would be filed at the international arbitration court in Stockholm.

A Rosprirodnadzor source told Interfax the lawsuit would concern environmental destruction during the project's implementation, compensation for lost benefits to Russia and the concealment of important information by contractors.

Shell has consistently denied causing large-scale damage to nature, insisting that "successful delivery of this strategic project for Russia goes hand in hand with preservation of the environment".

Moscow is angry that Shell almost doubled the projected cost of Sakhalin-2 last year. Under a production sharing agreement Shell can recover its costs before sharing profits with the government.

Yesterday TNK-BP, the oil company 50% owned by BP, coughed up a $1.4bn back tax bill shortly after its Rospan division came under threat of prosecution for alleged environmental violations.

author by sanitypublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 18:39Report this post to the editors

Dear Ciaron,

The car was being used as a battering-ram. Whether or not the engine was turned on or in gear, it was being propelled at the Guards by a group of people who were seen on camera to be intent on initiating a violent confrontation.

None of the wonderful totally peaceful protestors who were at the scene, and who seem to have entirely missed the car incident, the missile throwing, and the obstruction and intimidation of the workers (all of which appears on the video coverage) seem to have considered what might have happened to the shell workers at the hands of such people if the Gardai had not been present or had they not intervened.

Because of the unerring eye of the camera we have now had an opportunity to witness what the apologists for the disgraceful actions of the 'rent-a-crowd' Trots and Shinners seem unable to admit: There is a vicious violent minority who have an agenda which has little to do with the gas terminal. These people have publicly proved themselves violent and dangerous. The Shell workers would have good reason to fear for their safety. They manifestly require the presence and protection of the Gardai.

The question for the genuine majority in the Shell to Sea campaign is whether they have the independance and integrety to repudiate the intruders who have so misused them. Given the PR disaster they have suffered in the eyes of ordinary folk - even a rapid repudiation may not be enough to save the S2S platform.

author by Aladdin Sanepublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 19:39Report this post to the editors

God, you really are delusional aren't you? You think you can just take a page from the Shell PR script and impose it on reality, in defiance of all the evidence. S2S supporters will easily dispose of your bleating by asking - how many of these horrible, violent, thuggish protesters have been charged? And you'll have nothing to say in return. Take your "sanity" to Grangegorman where it belongs. The campaign will go on, united in its contempt for hypocrites like you. Carry on living in your O'Reilly fantasy land, it's all the same to us.

author by Spudpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 20:13Report this post to the editors

While those against the Shell terminal have every right to protest, they have absolutely no right to prevent others from entering the site to earn a living. The hypocrisy of some on this site is nauseating, as they (rightly) crusade on behalf of oppressed workers worldwide, and yet term Irish workers who wish to work without fear of intimidation and harassment, as scabs! It's time for people to grow up, and realise that when people break the law and obstruct the rights of others on a continual basis, they will eventually come into the conflict with the Gardai. And rightly so! Just because the Shell to Sea campaigners feel aggrieved, doesn't mean that they are free to ignore the laws and processes of this country!

author by nude boscopublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 20:44Report this post to the editors

Enda Kenny went 'on air' tonight to voice the words of the Pee Dees, in case anyone missed
them;

"outside elements are causing this problem, people should be allowed to go to work"

This is what the bold Tanaiste said yesterday evening, in fact Enda finds himself in
agreement with the self-proclaimed watchdog of the FF (ers) corruption a lot.

Enda will presently go into power with Rabbitte (traditional union party) who
is so far in the centre his circumference is showing. this, then is why there
is no opposition in this country. The opposition do not know how to oppose
the catalogue of corruption and abuse of the FF/PD government on principle.

and I was once an idealist.

There really isn't any room in the centre for everyone, what a bunch of twats.
I expect this will be deleted as I had wine with me dinner....

author by Barry - 32 csmpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 22:51Report this post to the editors

It seems McDowell might have been right to an extent about the shinners being involved in dastardly goings in Rossport . Turns out long standing Sinn Fein activist Paddy Ruddy has been working on constructing the refinery for the last 3 months . According to a party spokesman although his position is apparently in direct contravention of party policy " its a job and he took it " .

Fair enough then .

author by ?publication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 23:01Report this post to the editors

What part of Ireland is this 'Paddy Ruddy' even from?

author by Barrypublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 23:04Report this post to the editors

Paddy Ruddy is a Mayo based Sinn Fein activist working for a subcontractor from Castlebar

author by dissenterpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 23:06Report this post to the editors

Shell are being abetted by the state police - duh!

of course they are. shell have a legal contract to extract gas from the corrib field. it's up to the guards to ensure that they can do that in peace.

this bizarre alternative reality that the S2S group have managed to construct around this case is disturbing.

1 this is not nigeria. there is no comparison between a despotic state to a genuine democracy which genuinely works to ensure that the majority of its citizens have opportunity to live and prosper.

2. shell is not doing anything overly wrong here. Shell may have associated with awful regimes in the past but that has nothing to do with the situation here. they signed a contract with a democratically led government and have gone through years of discussion with democratically elected and the self-appointed alike.

3. north-west mayo is not a state. this means that the people there do not have the exclusive right to dictate what happens there. they are a part of the republic and the resources there must be shared with that republic as the democratic process decides. the fact is that the entire area west of the shannon (where i'm from myself) has it's schools and everything else subsidised by the rest of the country. time for some payback

4. this IS a democracy. just because it produces results that you don't like doesn not mean that the system is not working. it's majority rules and that means that at some point everyone has to be in a minority. that's the price we pay - the alternative is anarchism where everyone is always in a minority and the mob rules. why don't you head to somalia and see how that works?

5. shell are not constructing a bomb. the fact is that shell have as muuch interest in ensuring that the pipeline and terminal is as safe as possible. not only would the company suffer in the event of an accident but individuals would be open to charges of corporate manslaughter.

6. we need this oil - at any price. the idiot in the white house has ensured that energy supplies are as unsecure as always. we are at the end of a pipeline from russia that every other country in europe gets to have their share from before we do. this gas is vital to our economy

7. those who are against the protestors (like my good self) are not part of some conspiracy. i'm not a shell employee or a garda or a state employee or anything. i'm a private citizen - just like you!

aaahhh that felt good *duck*!

author by ?publication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 23:24Report this post to the editors

Sorry, I thought you were referring to a different 'Paddy Ruddy' who rents portable toilets to the Shell Workers in the Mayo Area. Apologies!

author by Jet Tecpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 23:32Report this post to the editors

"shell are not constructing a bomb. the fact is that shell have as muuch interest in ensuring that the pipeline and terminal is as safe as possible."

Any proof of this? I'd bet your names sake that it's quite the contrary...

But feel free to expand on this one.

author by Jet Tecpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 23:47Report this post to the editors

Nobody within the Rossport area or within any wider area in Mayo has given Shell this mandate to carry out this work.

author by PaddyKpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 23:49Report this post to the editors


Echoes of the third world now reach one of the richest countries in the world. Personally, I am apalled at the sight of our respected citizens being battonned to the ground by pimple faced Irish kids in Garda Jackets. Local, lawful-minded people being chucked into ditches for convenience.

In Nigeria the locals were murdered and tortured, but that's the third world so the first world cares not. See now, how these chickens are startlingly fast in coming home to roost. Police batton respected local civilians in Mayo out of respect for Money . WOW! they got here fast, Baby.

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=9975

Nigeria beckons:

"In a statement made to the court before his verdict, Saro-Wiwa predicted that the end of the struggle was near, but warned, "Whether the peaceful ways I have favoured will prevail depends on what the oppressor decides, what signals it sends out to the waiting public."

Our absent Prime Minister sanctions the beatings with a shrug and a remark and he's gone leaving way for the oppressor to clear the ground.

Oh, its different in Nigeria I suppose. Those people are black or stupid , primitive or something.

---Annie Brisibe, founding Director of Niger Delta Women for Justice, notes that the Nigerian military provides Shell with security. "The government has a better relationship with the multinational corporations than it has with its own citizens," she says. "Shell provides the guns and the helicopters and the pay and the government provides the military." ---

Who's Black? Who's white? Who's Stupid?

http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=73450

Resistance Works.
This ESB barbarian project still has not gone ahead years after planning was granted , despite all the usual robots swarming about claiming - "THE LAW IS THE LAW" , Well folks, Always remember THE LAW IS AN ASS and AN ASS IS AN ASS.

Despite millions on millions having being spent buying, bribing, bullying in Sligo/ Roscommon. All the ESB has is some Pylon Sites confirmed and concrete bases poured. Oh Yeah, and a Football Field of a Substation behind one of the smallest, quietest villages in rural Sligo.

But Roscommon remains steadfast against the vandalism and the lines remain a joke. Local farmers , depite being offered big moolah continue to say NO WAY to the Big man. The definat brothers and sisters know who they are. Will they bring the batton wielding kids in uniforms to their farms? Crimes in Rural Roscommon, Where were the Gardai? At the Scene.

author by .publication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 00:25Report this post to the editors

Nigerian immigration to Ireland is a painful problem

Yes, it has its downs associated with it too. Surprisingly, among some of the protesters at the site some time ago, were Nigerian asylum seekers. Who would have ever thought?! I never imagined they even cared about what even goes on in this country so long as it didn't affect their claims for asylum. McDowell is putting on a soft image for them now, in the run up to the election, but he's putting on a hard image towards the locals at Rossport who protest against Shell. Shouldn't it be the other way round?

author by TJ - Shell to Seapublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 00:44Report this post to the editors

Following the September revoking of the 2003 environmental permit granted to Shell for the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas development project, the Guardian newspaper yesterday reported that Russia's environmental watchdog Rosprirodnadzor "has estimated that putting right damage allegedly caused by Shell on Sakhalin Island in the Russian far east could cost up to $50bn" and that "it might even call for the project to be scrapped".

"A Rosprirodnadzor source told Interfax the (envisaged) lawsuit would concern environmental destruction during the project's implementation, compensation for lost benefits to Russia and the concealment of important information by contractors" (full report on link)

The Russian government is getting tough whilst ours, true to form, continues to poodle-up to Shell and unleash its Rottweilers on protesters.

Related Link: http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,1945367,00.html
author by dissenterpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 01:57Report this post to the editors

the attempts to link unrelated cases continues

TJ you are sadly deluding yourself if you think that the Russian government is interested in protecting the environment. Their action against shell is part of a wider campaign to bring all oil and gas production under state control using fair means or foul. the russian government has already switched off the gas to two of their neghbours (ukraine and georgia) - even the despotic soviets never stopped pumping the gas- and in years to come they might well do the same to europe.

the increasingly dictatorial actions of KGB old boy Putin is another reason why we need this gas.

author by Sighlepublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 01:58Report this post to the editors

good luck to rossport people in their campaign - i haven't bought shell products since the rossport 5 were jailed.

author by paddy ly backpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:58Report this post to the editors

Im old enough to remember the kinsale gas pipe in Cork. The rebel county .

There was no protest.

But of course that was the late seventies and the mood in the area was that local industry and the economy would need natural gas. At the time there was no gas infrastructure also and there was a pipeline initially put underground from Inch strand in Cork to Dublin.

The land was CPO'd and the occasional usual grumble from an effected landowner about the compensation was the only protest of note I can remember.

The pipe network has been in place for 30 years. Nobody has died that we know of. So whats all the fuss now?

A bit of a storm over nothing I think and "not in my back yard" syndrome.

Perhaps people in Ireland expect too much from democracy and the accoutability and transparency syndrome that prevails in Ireland today.

author by Padraig O Braonainpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 13:02Report this post to the editors

To the right-wing and ill-informed posters that say, “Shell has a legal right” to take our gas.

This so-called “legal right” originated from a deal that was negotiated with dishonest members of our government, ministers that were only interested in personal gain and life-style advancement.

Some ministers built a vast array of investment property out of it, others preferred to receive the traditional brown envelope for saying a few words, other - and even more dangerous characters, yet to be caught receiving goodies, are currently building their egos on our national airwaves.

These criminals have no right to make deals, with anybody, on-behalf of the Irish people.

In a nut-Shell, (sorry) it was criminality at the highest level and in the eyes of the people that truly own this resource - is totally illegal…

author by Boredpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 14:42Report this post to the editors

"we need this oil - at any price"

How well informed you are, non-dissenter. It wouldn't be a gasfield at all now, would it?

author by mattpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 16:12Report this post to the editors

"1. this is not nigeria. there is no comparison between a despotic state to a genuine democracy which genuinely works to ensure that the majority of its citizens have opportunity to live and prosper. "
Well at least you know what country you are in. The unfortunate truth is that the comparisons are clear between what has happened in nigeria and what is now happening here.
In nigeria the state took it upon itself to give away gas to Shell and others against the wishes of the local community and with no guarantee any of the profits from the sale of the oil would be put back into that community. In nigeria the government used its own armed forces to repress the local outrage and protests about the exploitation and robbery of their oil and the destruction of their communities by Shells attitude to "safety". In Nigeria the situation came about because of government corruption and a lack of genuine democracy.
In rossport the state has taken upon itself to give away our supply of gas against the wishes of the local community, with no consultation, and with no guarantee of any of the profits from its sale going back into that community or even ireland itself. In rossport the government has used it's armed forces to repress the local outrage and protests about the unsafe conditions, lack of a comitment to safety by shell and the fact that no part of what's going on in rossport at the moment guarantees ANY benefits for the irish people except for the few people Shell etc. decide to employ. In rossport the go ahead was given to shell by frank fahy and others who are known to have been corrupt and one can only assume continues because others have something to hide.
One can get away with an awful lot as long as you convince peopler Ireland is democratic it seems...

"2. shell is not doing anything overly wrong here. Shell may have associated with awful regimes in the past but that has nothing to do with the situation here. they signed a contract with a democratically led government and have gone through years of discussion with democratically elected and the self-appointed alike. "
Is there any doubt that shell have associated with 'awful regimes' so say it like it is....but the one clear message to take from nigeria is not shell's ability to work with awful regimes but just how how little regard for safety and the environment that shell actually have when they know they can get away with it. It has everything to do with the situation here because unless the irish government imposes strict controls shell will do exactly whatever the hell they want and cross their fingers that the profits will outdo the lawsuits. And what exactly do you mean by 'overly wrong' anyway ...does this mean it's only kind of wrong, a bit wrong, very wrong?????

"3. north-west mayo is not a state. this means that the people there do not have the exclusive right to dictate what happens there. they are a part of the republic and the resources there must be shared with that republic as the democratic process decides. the fact is that the entire area west of the shannon (where i'm from myself) has it's schools and everything else subsidised by the rest of the country. time for some payback"
Shell will not share the resources with the rest of the public....let me say this again....SHELL WILL NOT SHARE THE RESOURCES TO THE REST OF THE REPUBLIC. They will sell the resources to the highest bidder at whatever price the market will bare...and as ireland gets more deperate for gas Shell will make more money from gas. The protesters are not opposed to the extraction of gas from the gasfield. Hence the demand that shell refine the gas offshore. Nor are they trying to keep the resources for themselves. If you were anyway consistent in your demands that the resources be shared among the irish people you would be supporting demands for the gas to be produced with a guaranteed percentage of the profits going to the irish state or it being extracted by a state owned company.
Oh and when did the people of Ireland vote on this issue????? When exactly did they say that the gas should be extracted by a mutinational corporation or three with no profits going to ireland and it being done in a highly experimental manner and as cheaply as is possible????

"4. this IS a democracy. just because it produces results that you don't like doesn not mean that the system is not working. it's majority rules and that means that at some point everyone has to be in a minority. that's the price we pay - the alternative is anarchism where everyone is always in a minority and the mob rules. why don't you head to somalia and see how that works?"
Try reading up on anarchy sometime and you will find that anarchy consists of a far higher level of democracy than our current representational democracy..... and surely even you can see that just because someone was elected to government doesn't mean their decisions are always right or even that they are honest....

"shell are not constructing a bomb. the fact is that shell have as muuch interest in ensuring that the pipeline and terminal is as safe as possible. not only would the company suffer in the event of an accident but individuals would be open to charges of corporate manslaughter."
Anyone who knows anything about corporations would know that one of their most dangerous traits is to let everyone involved avoid the blame. When exactly does corporate mansluaghter apply and does it even exist?...I don't think so but I could be wrong.
They have an interest in refining the gas as cheapy as possible and maximising their profits. If costs of installing ,and the lawsuits resulting from, an unsafe pipeline would be cheaper than say refining the gas offshore or installing as safe a pipeline as possible in as safe a ;location as possible then the pipeline will go ahead. Corporations exist to make profit. That is their basic function and it dictates ALL of their actions. Shell are no different and are the rule and definitely not the exception to it.

"6. we need this oil - at any price. the idiot in the white house has ensured that energy supplies are as unsecure as always. we are at the end of a pipeline from russia that every other country in europe gets to have their share from before we do. this gas is vital to our economy"
First off as noted above it's gas not oil. Secondly....this statement consists of just one farce after another. The idiot in the white house is there with the support of several huge energy suppliers and oil companies. Don't you think that maybe just maybe these companies are profitiing from the fact that energy supplies are insecure....inflated gas and oil prices that kind of thing....and that maybe just maybe Shell might be an oil company.
If the gas is that vital to our economy why have the government given it away?

"7. those who are against the protestors (like my good self) are not part of some conspiracy. i'm not a shell employee or a garda or a state employee or anything. i'm a private citizen - just like you!"
Who has alleged you were part of a conspiracy....probably if you were you would have better arguments.
Since the price of gas has gone up by a 33.8% increase there have been no end of complaints from private citizens such as yourself who feel this is unwarranted. Is it too much of a leap for you to see the connection here. The price of gas is going up and now any chance of some sort of security of supply has been given to shell who are not as far as I am aware even obliged to sell the gas to irish gas suppliers if they are offered a higher price for it overseas. Ireland does not benefit, the private citizens do not benefit, the peopel of rossport do not benefit. The only people who do as far as we know are shell. So why the confusion on the governments behalf? Whose side are they on?

author by Ciaránpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 16:17Report this post to the editors

Having read the comments so far, I'd just like to add some observations:

1) The gas concession was granted by an individual who has since been convicted of a criminal offence. An individual engaged in criminality while in office. Criminality that could have been investigated at the time, but wasn't. That is, the "rule of law" (something we're hearing a lot about) wasn't applied to that individual when it should have been.

2) An interesting comparison can be made between the Rossport situation and the behaviour of the editor of the Irish Times at the Mahon Tribunal. This individual was adamant that she was will not be co-operating with an explicit instruction from a lawfully established Tribunal of Inquiry. Citing a journalist's obligation to protect sources - even when that conflicts with the demands of the law. From what I've read of this situation and heard on the broadcast media, there has been no outrage about this outright defiance. No calls for the "rule of law" to be upheld etc, etc,. The reason being, of course, that the "rule of law" in this state applies only to the powerless, the vulnerable and those who don't possess the resources to work the legal system to their benefit. Ah, the objection runs, the case of the Irish Times editor concerns a fundamental principle of democracy. Enroachments on that principle will hinder the ability of the media to hold the executive to account. But the right to live in a safe living environment (the crux of the Rossport situation, as far as I can see) is at least as important as the right of a journalist to protect his or her sources. In the case of the Irish Times editor there is palpable sense of paralysis among the "establishment", and an obvious unwillingness to push matters towards the obvious legal conclusion.

3) Final point: the issue of resources for legal action has not been addressed by the several advocates of the "rule of law" on this thread. It's my understanding that the Rossport community lacked the resources to subject this proposal to the fullest possible legal scrutiny. If people are so concerned about the "rule of law" they should be prepared to advocate the extention of legal aid to communities, such as Rossport, who are trying to resist these kinds of projects. When the likes of Shell are on an equal legal footing with local communities, they may be more prepared to compromise or, at the very least, treat such communities with more respect than they have hitherto.

author by sanepublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 16:40Report this post to the editors

Well Padraic O B,

If you have any evidence whatsoever for your overwrought accusations you should bring it to the attention of the Gardai or the Press (I'm sure the 'Socialist Worker' or some other pillar of the fourth estate would have no difficulty in publishing same - if you can substantiate what you so freely assert..........

You would hardly think it fair if I were to accuse you of being, lets say, an pubescent juvenile fascist of the extreme-left variety whose only interest in the S2S campaign is to provide an opportunity to 'have a go' at the Gardai. So, fairs fair, you shouldn't make unsubstantiated accusations against people you obviously dislike either.

Obviously you have arrived rather late at the scene of the S2S protest. Those who have been involved rather longer will know that the S2S campaign has nothing to do with 'giving away our natuiral resources'. It is solely about the siting of a facility to dry and pump natural gas from an offshore gas-field.

However, I will indulge your apparant agenda with a question. Offshore gas exploration is a risky and enormously expensive business. Is the SWP or one of its many three-member offshoots prepared to put up the 50 million or so needed to drill each deep-water well in the North-Atlantic? (with a one in twelve chance of making an economic find, and excluding the cost of the preparatory geological investigations and the capital cost of the drill-ship)

author by Johnpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 17:44Report this post to the editors

What's become of the gentleman whose picture is at the top of this thread, the one with 'blood' all over his face? I'm rather surprised that Shell-to-Sea didn't take my advice on Friday night and produce him at a press conference on Saturday so that the media could examine his 'injuries'. Just think of the propaganda coup it would have been. Looks like it was tomato ketchup after all then.

author by John's motherpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 17:50Report this post to the editors

Come on now son, have you nothing better to do than spend all your time on this website, slagging off people? I wouldn't mind if you came out with some proper arguments, I could be proud of you then. But you only ever post glib, asinine comments that make you sound like an eight year old. Your father and I didn't spend so much on your education so you could waste your intelligence this way. Come on now - get a job or something, maybe a nice girl to keep your time occupied

author by Johnpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 18:09Report this post to the editors

You needn't concern yourself. Actually haven't even looked at this site since Friday night. Just spent a most enjoyable weekend in London, thanks to Ryanair, managed to watch Chelsea and fit in Guys and Dolls in the West End. Very surprised to find on my return that my advice concerning the guy with the red all over his face wasn't taken. I wonder why? Perhaps you can tell us. Either his injuries were fake or the protestors have missed a golden opportunity to embarass the government and the gardai.

author by Padraig O Braonainpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 18:54Report this post to the editors

Hello sane, I have been voicing my opinion and exercising my right to protest against all aspects of the Great Corrib Gas rip-off - right from the start..

(1) The risk to the residents.
(2) The shady financial deal.
(3) The blatant destruction of the environment.

My “Late arrival”
I have not ”arrived rather late” as you say. You are jumping to this conclusion because this is my first time on this discussion board.

My “Agenda”
I have no agenda except the desire to expose corruption and dishonesty which is endemic in Irish political institutions. This Government and this includes the fat cats in the right-wing opposition, should all hang their heads in shame. They made, or allowed to be made, a corrupt deal with a greedy multi-national that does not give a feck about the people of Mayo or the people of Ireland. And indeed this government also does not give a feck about our people. At least the ones that are not multi-millionaires.

How dare they defraud us of benefits from this 50 billion plus resource! How dare Mr Ahern, Mr Fahy, and Michael Mc Dowell, Enda Kenny and Pat Rabbit and the whole discredited bunch allow this to happen.

I can only conclude that if it was not absolute stupidity, then it was criminal theft, with the intention of lining their own greasy pockets.

The people have now risen against them - all of them - and I strongly advise Ahern and his jumped-up bouncer, Mc Dowell, to sit up and listen.

This is going international.

Pádraig Ó Braonáin
Oran Mor
Galway

author by PaddyKpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 18:56Report this post to the editors

So what if it was Tomato ketchup?

The government continually uses smoke mirrors and a dollop of sauce to fight its battles. I mean look at Berties recent escape from Jail for taking bribes. He cooked up a little Saucey snack of Smoked Codology and we are all licking our lips and MMMMMMMM! Berties back on top.

Truth is Shell is serving up a pile of tripe , " we need the Gas NOW or we're all gonna die screaming " . Quick we havent got time to do it right. We only have time to do it on the cheap.

Exact same pigswill as the ESB served up about 5 years ago when they were pushing through their Pylons on Sligo/Roscommon. They, Like Shell had half the country in tears for fear thet the lights were about to go out. We had local schmuk politicians telling us that Sligo General Hospital was only a heartbeat away from a catastrophe as the lights were flickering. We had other fellas pulling their hair out saying the region will be bypassed by big industry in the coming years. "Its now ar never " thay wailed and anybody who opposed it was a NIMBY or a Luddite.
Well it was opposed, on the simple basis that worst planning standards were being applied. Best planning practice was being ignored, litterally. in fact the ESB had no qualms about specifying that. Their hencmen said "we are not looking at the options. Its this or nothing" WOW thats real intellegent. The opposition had to object to the application only the merits of what they were proposing and had not the option to highligth the far superior alternatives. I.e A Services Corridor , carrying all major services up the country. beside the Railway lines of the Main Roads. Sure thatsounded like a great idea , nobody denied that. They just refused to talk about it. Theres your feckin legal recourse.

If Paddy Joe Macnabola says he wants to build a house., in them middle of an ancient monument , the planning authority will establish the need for his house then grant it, but by looking at the best possible option. Not so for the ESB. The little man had to fight the case but were not allowed to force the best possible option. The ESB played its trump card the Prehistoric Rural Electrification Scheme legislation. "Folks this is an emergency " Well, its years after the fact and acres of Warehouses LIDLs Tescos, Hotels Apartments and houses in the tens of thousands have gone up. But no Pylons..and guess what . The fucking lights still work !

So I'm all for a bit nof Bullshittery to get whats right , They Use it so - You should use it too. I hope the protestors are there tomorrow in their thousands and I hope they bring a van load of tomato ketchup with them. Bring brown sauce too and claim the Batton wielding thugs are frightening the shit out of the old folks.

Just dont be pushing that ould dear around in the van again..Thats mad.

author by Member of the Forcepublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 19:45Report this post to the editors

I am ashamed to see my colligues acting in this manor. I should have alot to say but the T.V. footage and photographs says it all.

I'm ashamed to be a colligue
I'm ashamed to be a colligue

author by corkiepublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 19:47Report this post to the editors

Just an observation of RTE's broadcast on 10th of November.

Did anyone else notice that there was a viewer discression advisary for the clip of Police Brutality segment from California. When only a few miniutes earlier the RTE showed a school teacher being dragged from her car, a person being heaved over a guard rail down and embankment, a man being put in a head lock and guards whacking their battons at random. For some reason RTE feels that Police brutality of Irish citizens is somehow LESS disturbing to the viewer?

Viewer discression should be advised to viewers of RTE ... USE YOUR OWN

After watching the events of that day I am getting off the armchair and on a bus to MAYO ASAP.

Chins up everyone!!

author by Joepublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 19:47Report this post to the editors

As pointed out to you yesterday on another thread John the guy in the photo was claerly visible being batoned to the ground by the Gardai and then dragged away with blood on his face. And unless you are suggesting TV3 faked their footage this confirms the photo.

As you are choosing to simply repeat the smear despite now knowing this we can only conclude that you are a lying propagandist. I point this out so that others reading the thread can be aware that those posting to it include peoplestupid enough to repeat such lies in the hope that other will be to stupid to notice!

author by Concerned Citzen - Nonepublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 19:49author address n/aauthor phone n/aReport this post to the editors

"We need personal info of Gardaí

It would be an advantage for people if they have any info on Gardaí to post it up here. Names, station, mobile phone numbers, addresses etc. Everyone knows some Gardaí .That way they might be a bit more carefull of what they get up to."

Holy Shit!!What are u trying to advocate with this?Attacks or indimation of Gardai.This is dangerous langauge to be using and could be viewed as an incitement to violence.
The Nazi's had similar tactics in the 1930's.

author by Fiona - Clare Shell to Seapublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 19:54Report this post to the editors

Why did the gardaí have to smash in Maura Harrington's windscreen? Was their objective to haul her out through the shattered windscreen when they said before they did this deed, 'we are going to batter in your windscreen'? They smashed in the windows of the car after they had shatteded the windscreen. They can argue that they needed to break a window to gain access to the car. But to first shatter the windscreen and then to break both windows were acts of unmitiagated, gratuitous violence. Lorna Siggins in Saturday's Irish Times reported that the 'the gardai used truncheons to smash the side windows and pull her out'. No mention of the prior battering and smashing of the windscreen.

Why did Garda LW95 use such violence against protestors? He went into battle with fists flying, a grin of pure pleasure on his face. Many protestors commented on his actions, calling out his number. He was the young red-haired garda in the front of the line. The young garda from Sligo beside him ( who lost his number in the crush) admitted he was simply there for the money. Both of these gardai plus a third very young garda behaved like a group of drunken yobbos coming out of a late night disco, spoiling for a fight.
Have I heard references to the gardai being a well-disciplined force?

Why did the gardai allow some local vehicles go through their blockade while refusing passage to others? It should be borne in mind that it was the gardai who prevented local traffic from passing, not the protestors.
Were the gardai running a book that day on who could fling a protestor the furthest or the deepest?
Can anyone identify the red-haired plain clothes garda, wearing the superior green raingear (seen in some of the photos above), who refused to identify himself when requested?
And a final question; is Mary Poppins' umbrella a clever ploy to give him an air of innocence?

author by Joepublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 19:54Report this post to the editors

Err yes that was the problem with the nazis, they wanted to make the police accountable.

Try harder troll.

In any case the gardai have been collecting names, addresses and photographs of people down in Rossport for months. Given that we have now seen a gardai liking for violence it would seem fair enough that there details also be known in case they need to be prosecuted for such acts. Remember after Mayday 2002 a lot of the gardai got off because fellow gardai claimed not to be able to indentify them. It would be terrible to see such a travesty of justice repeated.

author by Hakluyt & Co Ltdpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 20:03Report this post to the editors

To ' Concerned Citzien'

Nazi!!!! You should know that Shell advocated,funded and collaberated with the third Reich. Brought their party into power along with other corporations. Shell also co-controlled a company that produced Zyklon B, the very Gas used in the extermination camps. So be informed before you spout out with the word Nazi.

author by Concerned Citzens - Nonepublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 20:31Report this post to the editors

Why when most here have an absolutle mistrust of the "Mainstream media" and a belief that they are misrepresenting and misreporting what they believe to see as the reality /truth do yee all suddenly start using the same mainstream media sources ie RTE tv3 to back up your claims and arguements eg man on ground covered in blood as seen on tv3!
Is n't the very reason why this site is set up ie to give an impartial unbiased view.!!???!!Is it that yee believe its alright to trust mainstream media sources sometimes so long as you can use it to back your claims and when you cant you berate it for being biased and corrupt and in the pocket of big business and the government.
Perception is not reality.

Also i am sure that i will be called a troll/garda in disguse but i assure i am not.I am a citizen of this republic born and bred here (unlike Ciarion who hails from OZ ) who has the right to peacefully protest what yeee are doing here ie protest absolutle everything for the sake of protesting while not presenting positive solutions to anything.If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem in my book.
I wonder how long before this is deleted as i have experienced censorshi on this website before."you can say what you like here but if we dont like it and can defeat your reasoned arguement we shall delete it" appears to be the policy here.Just like the lads from Munich 1920-1945

author by Concerned supporterpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 20:38Report this post to the editors

I am defintiely a supporter of the Shell to Sea protestors and all those involved with the Rossport Solidarity Camp. It is very refreshing to see today, such brave Irish people unafraid to take direct action when they know it is necessary and timely. I am disgusted that Bertie Ahern has allowed his international foreign business relations to come before the best interest of Irish citizens. Congratulations to all the protestors on the attention you have so far drawn to the case and may you be fortified in your ongoing efforts. However, I am a little concerned, having read most of the comments posted here that the focus is drifting away from the real issues. I am delighted to read insightful posts on FF's failure to support the citizens of this country, the devastating effect on the environment and the trauma caused to local families and future generations. Unfortunately, most of the comments herein seem preoccupied with bashing the Gardai more than anything else. Practically all the comments focus on deriding the actions of the Gardai (which do appear to be deplorable). I believe one person referred to the Gardai and their 'RIC forebearers' and another called for inappropriate personal information including addresses, telephone numbers etc. of Gardai. Surely this is not the forum for this sort of thing!?

The focus is getting bogged down in the negative, not enough positive. I would have thought that the manifesto of the Campaign would be to be FOR somtheing (i.e. peace, safe environment, democracy) and not AGAINST something (i.e. anti-authority appears to be the gist of everything posted here at the moment).

Rather than spend all our time discussing what the Gardai are doing perhaps we could focus on the good work of the PROTESTORS??

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 20:49Report this post to the editors

I'm getting sick of 'concerned citizens' and the like spouting on and on about their views which focus exclusively on telling folks that they do things wrong. I'd like to see one of them just for once outline a way to protest, that would at the same time be effective and 'proper.'

As for using quotes and clips from mainstream media: Use whatever works. Mostly the camera doesn't lie, that's the MSM's job. There's no harm in pointing at footage they use and putting the correct story with it. Ignoring those who cause harm will not cause them to go away - this seems to be the message that some would have us believe. Shine a big light on all shady dealings, whether they be in our courts, the Dáil, the media or indeed in places like Rossport. I'm not a fan of the bible, but I do believe in the motto: 'The truth shall set you free.'

In closing this comment, I'd like to ask all those who've posted negative comments about the peoples who were peacefully protesting at Friday's happenings in Rossport, what it is that they are trying to promote? For them what does the 'rule of law' mean, and from where is it derrived. No smug answers please - like the 'majority rule' crap often postulated here as an answer. The rule of law at no point advocates either injury or corporal punishment. There is no office within government that can be said to be functional, so why must the little guys always have to conform, but the powers that be can do as they will? Where's the equality within the system? Where's the logic within the methodology? Where's the example to be followed?

author by Ciaron - Dublin Cathol;ic Workerpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 20:51Report this post to the editors

"do yee all suddenly start using the same mainstream media sources ie RTE tv3 to back up your claims and arguements"

If you ever get to make a case in a court of law it is always best to get evidence from a "hotile witness" ( in this case mainstream media) than your own

"Also i am sure that i will be called a troll/garda in disguse but i assure i am not.I am a citizen of this republic born and bred here (unlike Ciarion who hails from OZ ) who has the right to peacefully protest what yeee are doing here ie protest absolutle everything for the sake of protesting while not presenting positive solutions to anything...."

and your point being?
This is a thread discussing police violence on Friday. there are other threads discussing "positive soltuions". (although I have above suggested some immediate reforms for police training!) Human rights (eg. free expression) are innherent and international, it is not relevant to your accident of birth (geographic or timing)

The jury is still out on whether this place can presently rate as an independent republic with an independent foreign policy and a state that serves its citizens or a glorified colony for transnational capital and an aircraft carrier for the US of A! I guess that is the discussion that is happening on the roads of Mayo!

author by Concerned Citzen - Nonepublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 20:53Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the history lesson.Not what i asked though
"We need personal info of Gardaí".Why??
You want to make them accountable for their actions but dont want to be held accountable for yours ie blocking a public road,stopping people getting to work.
"Names, station, mobile phone numbers, addresses etc"
Address??Mobile phone numbers.So you can ring them up and say hey gardai we are holding you accountable or send them a letter to that effect.
I dont think so.Maybe as i argued such info could be used to intimidate indvidual gardai or god frobid some one might want to seek retribution for percieved violence.

So not only do you not trust the Gardai, the government, the press you do trust the judicial system as it was a travesty of juictice ie gardai in may2002?And you put such great faith in to when the Ploughshare Pitstop boys and gals were found not gulity.

author by mairepublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 21:12Report this post to the editors

Please consider this...

Why did the police not arrest individuals if they were indeed breaking the law?

Why did individual members of the force refuse to identify themselves?

Why was it that the individuals shown of TV footage were assumed by all to be activists "infiltrating" the campaign when in fact the majority of the footage iv seen shows locals on the front line as has been the case for months ... No years at this point?

Why was it that though rte and tv3 effectively showed the same footage their commentary differed to the extent that one would be forgiven in thinking it was representations of two entirely different events?

To those whom claimed that protesting is a waste of time and a hindrance to society think first for were it not for protesting then we still would exist only as subjects, without the right to hold title, posses land and cast our votes.

To the minister of just(us) who claims once more that this so called "criminality' is the work of Sinn Fein could you please refrain!
If anything the majority of locals would be finna fail voters, perhaps you should consider this.
For surly a man of such strong convictions in regards to criminality should be aware that the party you share power with is indeed strongly associated with these people of Mayo.

While those of you who rely on TV footage to tell the tale must accept that the story will never be complete to you, regardless of the expertise of the film crew there no way to portray all that occurs. Prior to Maura Harrington’s car being declared a dangerous weapon and violently attacked officer **** stood 2 feet in front of her vehicle inciting her to commit a crime by actually daring her to knock him down.

The camera dose not lie but neither can it tell the tale.

author by supporterpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 21:28Report this post to the editors

I am a strong supporter of the Shell to Sea campgain.I am a non violent peaceful person. I had attended peaceful protests at this site before. I would like to state contrary to the medias coverage I am not involved with sinn fein and the idea of so many numbers of people being bussed in from outside is another myth. The larger part of the crowd I saw were locals and only a very small percentage were from outside.
Standing behind the Garda line we could hear screams echoing across the bog myself and my boyfriend decided to grab the video camera and head in that direction hoping to film the attack. We found ourselves on the other side of the first Garda line along with many other protestors. I witnessed Guards throwing people into ditches and stamping on their hands when they tried to climb out .Police were brutalizing pushing and elbowing, kneeing people in the legs and other parts of their bodies. I was shocked at the violence I saw from the gardai . The violence I witnessed was from gardai and not from the protestors.
Then there was silence, a Garda took out a camera and told us to all gather together for a photograph. After the picture was taken all I saw was a Garda coming towards me with a baton. I put my hands up in the air to show I was of no threat and peaceful. I was beaten to the ground by the garda.
I was in terrible shock and panicked as I suffer from a bad heart the garda then dragged me for 50 meters .I was screaming to put me down .They flung me into the side of the road while being called a filthy little animal.
Coming home black and blue I turned on the news and I heard a reporter say that the gardai gave the protestors warnings to move .I never heard any warning.
I went to mayo as a peaceful protestor concerned about many things
1. The safety of people in their own homes being put at risk
2. Mayo’s environment
3. The give away by of our gas (which we will have to pay top pries to use)

I had 3 issues of protest when I went to Rosspot but I came away with 4 .
4.The beating of peaceful protestors.
I am upset at the media and ashamed of the politicians who turn a blind eye to what’s really going on in mayo .The way they justify hiding on this issue by demonizing innocent people is claiming they are Provo thugs.
I have lodged my complaint to my local garda station yesterday. I am pleased to say the bean Garda at the station didn’t beat me when I made my peaceful complaint.
She treated me with respect and she genuinely took my statement.
I went to Ross port to assume my right as an Irish citizen and other to attend a peaceful protest.
I am today pleading with you to get involved with this terrible situation in Ross port and try to help this whole mess to be put right. It is not a problem that is just going away by itself we need all sides to come on board political leaders ,people of rossport and shell need to all come together and find a middle ground solution. I myself fear that someone will be seriously hurt or even killed if this keeps up. People should not wait for a tragedy to happen in rossport there has to be a way to solve this whole mess.

author by Padraig O Braonainpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 21:32Report this post to the editors

An Garda Síochána is one of the finest police services in the world. Most Gardai are fine upstanding individuals, some are even heroes in my opinion.

However, there is always a vicious criminal and Rambo wannabe element attracted to police work.

Often these violent thugs are tolerated and even chosen for their “talents” by unscrupulous commanders, who themselves are only glorified thugs.

In addition, as in Mayo, when a senior minister , with proven aggressive tendencies, issues orders from the top, then the result is a dangerous confrontation that is often lethal.

Gradually though, alienation from the general public will occur resulting in a need for radical change.

Example RUC/PSNI and the abuse of six county nationalists.

Pádraig Ó Braonáin
Oran Mor
Co Galway

author by Bemused citizenpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 21:39Report this post to the editors

“Thanks for the history lesson. Not what i asked though”

Sorry to remind you, but you were the one who brought history into this, with your nonsense about the Nazis.
“You want to make them accountable for their actions but dont want to be held accountable for yours ie blocking a public road,stopping people getting to work.”

Well, good to know what your definition of “making accountable” is – bashing people’s heads in. I don’t want to see any cops “made accountable” that way – but I would like to see them exposed and named and shamed when they assault peaceful protesters.

”So not only do you not trust the Gardai, the government, the press you do trust the judicial system as it was a travesty of juictice ie gardai in may2002?And you put such great faith in to when the Ploughshare Pitstop boys and gals were found not gulity.”

You obviously weren’t paying attention to the cases (or more likely, saw what was happening but pretended not to notice). Every single Garda who was on duty on May Day 2002 refused to identify the Guards who had assaulted people. They all pretended not to be able to identify their colleagues. This made it very difficult for criminal cases to be brought to a successful conclusion. People who were assaulted naturally had trouble identifying which individual Garda attacked them (which wasn’t helped by the fact that said Gardai took off their numbers, deliberately making it harder to identify them).

For a criminal case to be successful, it wasn’t enough for people to show that they had been assaulted by the police – they had to show which individual Garda attacked them. For civil cases, it was only necessary to show that you had been assaulted by the police – and that’s why most of the civil cases brought by people who were attacked that day have resulted in the Gardai paying out big sums in compensation.

So in conclusion, it was indeed a travesty that no Gardai were convicted on criminal charges for their behaviour that day. Not necessarily a failing of the courts (although the courts are well capable of getting things wrong). More a sign that the police close ranks and protect the criminal thugs in their midst.

As far as the Shannon trial was concerned, few of us saw it as a triumph for the legal system – the first two cases collapsed because the judges were shown to be biased (the second one was especially farcical). It was a triumph for the common sense of ordinary people serving in a jury, who made the right decision in defiance of the authorities

author by Concerned Citzen - Nonepublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 21:44Report this post to the editors

A hello Ciaron.I agree with you 100%.Everyone has the right to free speech and peaceful protest.Welcome to a democarcy.
Fortunatly we do not have the right to take the law into their on hands to to ignore the rule of law.This is what is happening in Mayo at the moment.

"The jury is still out on whether this place can presently rate as an independent republic (it has been since 1949)with an independent foreign policy ( it has had since 1949 and before eg non involvemnt in world war 2 is an obviious 1)and a state that serves its citizens or a glorified colony for transnational capital and an aircraft carrier for the US of A!"and what the heck dose this have to do with a pipeline and associated refinery being on land or out to sea which i thought this protest was about.
Well Ciaron?!?
I am sure you will say when democaray is broken as it is here then we have a duty to take direction action to correct it!!Heres an alternative for you.
Trust in your arguement being right.Present it to the people at the next election.Work from within to change policies of this "glorified colony" .Is this not a resonable alternative to the Direct Action you have advocated at Shannon.Or is it that that route is to too slow and dosent garner enough publicity for you.
If you ever get to make a case in a court of law (i am a law abiding citizen so i hope i never have to present an arguemnt in court.I opearte within the law and seek to effect change through reasoned arguement and discussion)it is always best to get evidence from a "hotile witness" ( in this case mainstream media).

author by Joepublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 22:04Report this post to the editors

Nice theory - but we know what the reality is.

To get elected you need a lot of money, there are execeptions (eg Joe Hiiggins) but they are rare. Once in power those with wealth will offer you envelopes stuffed with cash, 'no strings' you understand if you can see right to not turning up for a vote. They don't need to buy everyone, just enough to win the vote and if that fails they have the EU, the WTO and a load of other bodies to tell you 'there is no alternative'. And if you don't play the game you can be sure the O'Reilly press will devote pages to telling your electorate how you are a crypto-trot-provo-anarchist-baby-eater

How many times to be we need to see this played out before we understand that this is how the system is meant to work? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me

Democracy should be the rule of the people, not a choice every five years between two sets of liars.

author by james (workers solidarity movement pers cap)publication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 22:36Report this post to the editors

Its my bloody face. I had a cut on my cheek from being forced face down into the rocks in theback of a truck with a garda knee on my back. I was also batoned into the legs. Punched into the stomach whilst pinned down in the bog by two gardai and have several bruises on my back and arms. i gave TV 3 an interview they didn't use it. Big deal I wasn't hospitalised and most injured protestors did not go to the hospital in Castlebar. One protestor had ribs broken, another a broken nose, another suffered injuries to their back, one woman had her ankle xrayed for a possible fracture(I drove this woman to the hospital)these were the four I know of who were taken to hospital. I saw no one strike any garda during the entire protest. I certainly did not lay a hand on any garda and questioned some of those hitting me why they were using violence when I was offering them none. The garda behaviour was uneven with some restrainmed and even embarrassed gardai and a core of violent Gardai quite happy to get stuck in. I wasn't everywhere but talking to people during and after it was quite impressive the level of discipline exercised by people despite the violence they were suffering.

I went there to take part in a peaceful protest, thats the protest we had, the gardai were violent excessively and unnecessarily in my opinion. I expect no better of them or of the state, I think many people did, including many locals and the general public. The people involved in Mayo are courageous and good people, all I can do is offer them support when I can where I can. Its not much but I hope it helps. I am on line now for the first time since friday, internet access is not available to me at a whim, I am home now and will get stuck back into my local Shel(l to Sea group, I would urge everyone who can to do the same.

author by Concerned Citzen - Nonepublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 22:37Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the history lesson. Not what i asked though”

Sorry to remind you, but you were the one who brought history into this, with your nonsense about the Nazis.
Yes i did as an example of a minority who gained power through underhand tactics and look at the damage they done.But that is irellivant to the question i posed which you wont answer
Again you i ask the question why do you require gardas mobie number or home address for.If its peaceful protest then what use are they to yee.If you have a grievence take through the proper LEGAL means.
“You want to make them accountable for their actions but dont want to be held accountable for yours ie blocking a public road,stopping people getting to work.”

Well, good to know what your definition of “making accountable” is – bashing people’s heads in( actually if you look closly at any footage the gardai hit people in the kneecaps and the legs not the heads you claim are bashed in.). I don’t want to see any cops “made accountable” that way – but I would like to see them exposed and named and shamed when they assault peaceful protesters(peaceful protesters who do not obey the law or comply with the instructions issued to them.
So when you have being asked to move to the side of the road 3 times and dont are issued with warnings of force about to be used via a loudspeaker and dont.The law of the land is there for everyone and none is beyond it.If the protesters had complied with garda instructions what provication would have the gardai had to baton charge.

Nice theory - but we know what the reality is.And we are who exactly .out of the 4 million citizens of this island which are you.1 of the 200 present in Shannon at the last march or the 200 present in Mayo every morning.As the maths plainly offer you are the in the majority..And arent you very wise to "know what the reality is".

How many times to be we need to see this played out before we understand that this is how the system is meant to work? So lets go ahead and wreck the system instead of changing it????

Democracy should be the rule of the people, not a choice every five years between two sets of liars.
What is your alternative then?Give me one reasoned arguement to show me that your way of resistance is one that is right and that im the fool for obiding by the law of the land and for seeking that others do to??

author by daithai angearr - amnesty internationalpublication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 00:11author email blanchedsoldier at hotmail dot comauthor address BRAY CO WICKLOWauthor phone 01 2014903 087 2232051Report this post to the editors

I am shocked at the disregard the authorities have for their citizens. I am also shocked at the inadequate forensic services in Ireland at present. Considering the Gardai do cause most of the injuries sustained in assaults then they should take more responsibility in the proper forensic reports and forensic recording of injuries and the type and pattern of lacerations and bruising. There are no set standards in this field in Ireland and it is abused by corrupt doctors that do not have forensic medical training. There is a one year diploma course in UCD for forensic medicine which is only recently started and this is a small step in the right direction. We the Irish people need properly trained forensic medics that photograph and accurately record injury data in Ireland. The data shouldn’t be some newspaper photographs they need to be recorded properly. I doubt any medical expert has even bothered to record the injury data from these beatings. This is where the corruption lies. Where they can beat citizens stupid and then abuse other citizens in the courts with disgraceful forensic services and expect us as peers to prosecute their ridiculous cases. The Garda think they can go into a court with ridiculous investigative findings that embellish the truth and expect us to believe and accept their vile claims. Who photographed and recorded your injuries. What properly trained medical forensic was available to you to record your injuries. I ask that you help me help our citizens by contacting me at fibredetective@hotmail.com and or blanchedsoldier@hiotmail.com
and mobile 087 22 32 051 and 01 2014903 wed - sat .This way I can facilitate you with the proper medical Forensic reports that are essential in holding the garda accountable.

author by Wednesdaypublication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 00:21Report this post to the editors

Correct me if I am wrong but the pipe you speak of in Cork did not carry unrefined gas past people's homes. It is not a 'not in my backyard' argument. It may be moving in that direction now becasue of the way the sitaution has been handled by all parties. But the S2S campaign simply wants the refinery placed a safe distance from people's homes. I think it would be wise for all those people who are rapidly 'commenting' on this topic keep this in mind before they begin to type.

In regards to the violence on Friday. The cops were idiots. I really thought they were smarter than that. Their actions have only served to radicalise people who before never gave this topic a thought. Since Friday I have heard a number of people who have never being politicallly active in their lives say they will travel to protest and support the Rossport people.

author by tipobarrapublication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 03:41Report this post to the editors

If the Garda are having to use that level of violence to defended what shell wants to steal from you, then you are doing something right!

Victory will be yours, not Shells!

author by Seamuseenpublication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:00Report this post to the editors

I recently saw an article which supporters of the "Rossport 5" might wish to consider.

The "Backfire" model attempts to provide a framework for understanding the tactics used by the perpetrators of injustice, and how to oppose them.

For those who have the software to view PDF files there is a 3 page outline of "how it works" at:
http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/bf/bfbasics.pdf

Dr Brian Martin is one of the people involved in this research work, and he is associate professor in the School of Social Sciences, Media and Communication at the University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia.

Related Link: http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/
author by rosa luxpublication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:08Report this post to the editors

Dear Sane,

You are undoubtedly a very clever person. Amusing even. But its a pity that you waste your wit in cynical point-scoring on behalf of the rich and powerful.

It's easy to demolish arguments by witless contributors such as O' Braonain. It must make you feel so clever to put him down and make him squirm.

Why not use your wit to challenge the big guys instead of the easy option of trying to make what are probably young and enthusiastic (if naive) activists small?

Why not come over to the side of the angels rather than indulging yourself in cheap shots.

RL

author by Karl Liebnechtpublication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:45Report this post to the editors

I must disagree with my dear comrade Rosa. "Sane" is not by any stretch of the imagination a very clever person. In fact, "witless" would be as good a word as any to describe his/her daft contributions

author by W. Finnerty.publication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 13:17Report this post to the editors

It seems very interesting to me that Minister for Justice Michael McDowell TD, and Queen Beatrix of Holland (Royal Dutch Shell´s principal shareholder), are both known associates of the highly secretive, elitist, exclusive, and some would claim fascist, Bilderberg Group.

Perhaps this might go some way to explain why Minister for Justice McDowell TD appears to be completely abandoning such things as (for example) human rights law, Bunreacht na hEireann (the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland), and the Aarhus Convention Agreement?

Clearing the way for the "New World Order" of the Illuminati maybe? - please see http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=Illuminati%2C+...earch

Related link:

http://www.europeancourtofhumanrightswilliamfinnerty.co...l.htm

author by David Ickepublication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 13:27Report this post to the editors

Nah, I don't think we need blame the lizards to explain this one. McDowell is a right-wing politician who thinks the job of the State is to defend big business through thick and thin. So is Ahern, so is Dempsey. Shell is a powerful mulitnational, it doesn't need any fecking Bildeburg connections to get the State doing its bidding. Save the daft theories for another time

author by Emmapublication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 17:06Report this post to the editors

Think this is just the start unfortunatley and things may get worse but solidarity to everyone involved in the campaign and the locals in Co. Mayo and fair play to the hard work that everyone involved has put in also James hope you're not feeling too bad. It's disgusting to see a community under siege

author by Paddypublication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 21:18Report this post to the editors

This thread started out asking for the general publics comments and views on the violence perpetrated by the Gardai on the protesters at Ross Point last Friday.

Reading through the comments so far, one can't help but notice that a clear majority of the 'Pro-Shell' contingent do NOT make any comment on the topic (which is the violence by Gardai), but rather seem to prefer to make personal comments regarding the protesters behavior, character, motives and even their personality.

In my opinion the protestors characters and behavior have been nothing but exemplary (and peaceful). Their motives are legitimate, at least, last time I looked, every citizen of this country has the right to peaceful demonstration WITHOUT RETRIBUTION !
And their personalities are of no ones concern other than themselves and has absolutely NO BEARING on the TOPIC, which is the VIOLENT ATTACT BY POLICE ON THEM.

Show a little respect for these people that have the backbone to stand up for their rights, and who even have the good taste to keep THEIR comments civil and non personal.

The slurs and snide remarks posted here by a number of the 'Pro Shell' group appear to be pro violence also and just goes to show what these protesters have to put up with.

Now, to the TOPIC ! The violent attack by our police force on a peaceful protest was DESPICABLE and anybody who supports it is a F#¤&%? B\+%$# I(&? . . . Oops! I will refrain from saying what I think of them out of respect for their right to have a different opinion.

author by polite dissenterpublication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 23:46Report this post to the editors

ok so paddy back to the point

The point is were the gardai right to use force. an i think they were to begin with. the initial use of batons was restrained. what happened after was different and excess use of force is not acceptable.

just as i don't think protestors breaking the law by refusing to obey garda instructions is ok i don't think that gardai going overboard is acceptable either. lawbreaking is law breaking

what is unfortunate is that the S2S types can't focus on that and keep on rolling out crap about nigeria and ray burke. how can you expect people to take you seriously when one of the basis of your position is that the irish state is an illegitimate dictatorship.

for the record i've posted a good few posts here since friday and have never used personal insults. [i've used the word pathetic but only when it was justified :) ]
on the contrary i think it's a bit rich for you to say that it's only the "pro-shell" (i prefer pro-law) people who have resorted to name-calling etc. it's sad but both sides of the debate here have been

author by Paddypublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 00:59Report this post to the editors

I agree with all of the above. But, how can passive resistence be construed as 'excessive force'.
Another point; you seem to regard the law as absolute and infallible.

author by bejaysuspublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:48Report this post to the editors


Question is rather how pushing/driving a car into the garda lines can be construed as 'passive resistance'?

author by cool jpublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 14:19Report this post to the editors

The car was being eased into the Garda lines to act as a buffer between protestors wanting to execrcise their civil rights and a number of guards who have already proven before last friday that they have get a perverse kick from assaulting old men and women among many others. The gardai have been using their own vehicles in much more agressive ways for the past couple of weeks!!!!!!!

author by Mc Call - N/Apublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 14:37Report this post to the editors

cool j
"The car was being eased into the Garda lines to act as a buffer between protestors wanting to execrcise their civil rights"
What next Stones and bottles , ah sure we only gathering up bottles for the bottle bank , ! or will it be petrol bombs , portable hand warmers for the cold mornings .

author by bejaysuspublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 14:48Report this post to the editors


That's right. "I didn't drive into that crowd of people your honour, I simply eased my car into them as a buffer between those nice people and the potentially dangerous cars behind me...."

sounds a bit off, no?

author by cool jpublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 14:50Report this post to the editors

No, there was no stones, bottles or petrol bombs - nothing that would justify a load of pychotic cops engaging in bloodsport. They had already baton charged people at the quarry 4 miles away before Maura's virtually stationary switched off car was smashed up. Compared to the way garda and roadbridge drove at the crowd both on Friday and throughout these last few weeks, Maura car wasn't moving at all as can be seen by the pictures on the news.

Then again why let the facts get in the way of your perverse agenda!!

author by anthony blairpublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 15:36Report this post to the editors

Right, so, you are saying that the car was not moving. Fair enough.

So how did it get up to the line of guards then if it was not moving? Are you guys capable of teleportation or something? Or perhaps the car had an invisibility cloak on which was pulled off at the last minute?

Also, how did RTE fake the TV footage which shows Maura driving the car into the garda line? Typical right wing media conspiracy I would say.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 16:36Report this post to the editors

Also, how did RTE fake the TV footage which shows Maura driving the car into the garda line? Typical right wing media conspiracy I would say.

I'd love to see a link to that footage. All I've seen is Maura Harrington sitting in a car saying that she wants as a taxpayer to be allowed to drive on the road. I then see gardai smashing her front window and then her side window and dragging her out on to the road.

It appears pretty obvious to me that you are lying through your teeth when you say "driving the car into the garda line". Common sense at the very least suggests that there'd be four or five dead or seriously injured gardai if she'd done that.

The onus is now on you to provide a clear piece of footage that shows Maura Harrington driving her car into the gardai. If you don't do that but rather ,like your namesake, continue to make unsupported allegations then you are breaching the editorial guidelines of this site in the clearest way possible.

Here's a link to the RTE footage that shows exactly what *I* am talking about. You'll also see a lot of footage of gardai assaulting protestors and hear the execrable Jim Fahy blethering about 'vehhhickels".

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2006/11/355703.html
author by R. Isiblepublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 16:50Report this post to the editors

Given the incompetent RTE coverage (hardly a surprise) it's important to draw attention to the comprehensive on-the-spot coverage produced by people actually present at these events. One such excellent example is this Newswire post by Annie Winters & friend which provides a clear account of what went on at Lennon's Quarry:
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/79648

I especially think these two pictures capture the spirit of An Garda Síochána
http://www.indymedia.ie/attachments/nov2006/img_8636_bl...b.jpg
http://www.indymedia.ie/cache/imagecache/local/attachme...p.jpg

To the man with the beard and the bloody nose, my apologies for publicising further what is probably you not looking your best, but hopefully you're as proud of yourself for standing up for what you believe in as am I (even thought I don't know you). Fair play to you sir and nothing but scorn, derision and disgust for the thugs that assaulted you.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/79648
author by Batonspublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 19:15Report this post to the editors

Batons are regularly used by gardai to smash car windows. Usually after high speed chases or where rammings occur. The idea of smashing all windows is a tactic to disorientate the person in the car and usually stops them from using any further violence towards gardai.

Its a worldwide tactic used by police forces.

People may not like it but police regularly and almost on a daily basis have to use "force". "Force" which most lay perople are not used to or ever experience. The people in Rossport are making the decision to put themselves in the firing line.

author by The Law Is The Lawpublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 19:22Report this post to the editors

The Nurses are planning to protest soon about pay and working conditions. Issues that have been resolved surely through social partnership. I dont imagine the State will tolerate such an affront as nurses blocking the streets and preventing people from going to work. Can we expect the guardians of peace to beat them off the streets.

author by Joepublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 19:25Report this post to the editors

Presumable 'batons' is trying to convince us that the 50 plus tooled up Gardai present were so scared of a 5 foot school teacher that they needed such tactics before she could spring from the car and toss them all over the road! Bizarre.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 19:38Report this post to the editors

Batons are regularly used by gardai to smash car windows. Usually after high speed chases or where rammings occur. The idea of smashing all windows is a tactic to disorientate the person in the car and usually stops them from using any further violence towards gardai.

Yeah. And the weird thing is that in this case Maura Harrington didn't ram anyone and wasn't taking part in a high-speed chase, so smashing the windows was a violent, inappropriate and escalating move which calls into question the motives of the Gardai. It seems very clear that the Gardai are attempting, through the inappropriate use of force on peaceful people, to provoke violent responses. The fact that major news media persistently refuse to fully report either the extent of the violent outrages committed by the police, or to analyse this tactic of escalation and provocation can only confirm that there is a deliberate attempt by the state to isolate and destroy the community of Rossport.

As is always the case with these things there are exaggerated, hyperbolic claims
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=63353
made by the Gardai, RTE, The Independent Group and others and yet there is no evidence of violent protest (let alone paramilitary involvement).

f there had been "professional" violent assistance to the locals then we might be seeing some state funerals for Gardai right now.

If Maura Harrington had driven at the Gardai then we might be seeing Garda forensic teams picking up bits of Gards from the road and out of the front of her car and trying to figure out which bit belonged to who. ("This hand? Does it belong to the big fecker with the red hair that gave the crusty a belt in head yesterday or is it from the wee fella like a vicious ferret that clocked yer one with the Gandhi t-shirt?")

As is always the case, the Gardai (like other police forces around the world) are toughest with those that they suspect can't or won't sort them out. When confronted with people who are intent on sorting them out (e.g. the Love Ulster riots which were reported more fully and accurately here on Indymedia.ie than any other news medium in Ireland )the Gardai are pretty much incapable
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74562
and the only role the media plays is to retail the spin and lies of the government and corporations and their minions.

author by batonspublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 19:55Report this post to the editors

She said herself the car was being pushed by protesters from behind.

Im sure the gardai were not trying to figure out if it was a "mechanically propelled vehicle" under the provisions of the road traffic act or whether it was being used as an offensive weapon under the "firearms and offensive weapons act" and what power if any they had to stop it.

If it was coming towards me and there was a threat to my safety I too would do everything in my power to stop it.

What did you expect the gardai to do. Did you expect Gardai to carry out a peaceful protest, maybe say a few decades of the rosary in the hope that the car would stop coming towards them?

Get Real.

Play dirty and expect to be treated like dirt.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 20:04Report this post to the editors

Im sure the gardai were not trying to figure out if it was a "mechanically propelled vehicle" under the provisions of the road traffic act or whether it was being used as an offensive weapon under the "firearms and offensive weapons act" and what power if any they had to stop it.

I'm sure they weren't trying to figure out anything either. They were under orders to assault and brutalise the peaceful protestors paying special attention to any small women that might be physically too weak to resist them. Of course this is shocking as it's the duty of a Garda to be very clear in his own mind about the legal basis under which he takes any action and I thank you for point out the inattentiveness and dereliction of duty of any Garda that follows orders such as they've apparently been given.

If it was coming towards me and there was a threat to my safety I too would do everything in my power to stop it

O! Me too! If I saw a little woman in van stopped in front of me I'd fire a bazooka at her so I would! Indeed and I would too!

author by back to sanity - me feinpublication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:22Report this post to the editors

Has anyone tried judicial review of the questions at rossport?

E.g. as to the Gardais right to batton protesters

For that matter does anyone know has anyone sought the judicial review of the decision to allow planning, with maybe an application for an injunction to halt construction pending the outcome?

Of course this remedy is limited , mainly in that you must act quickly to get your papers lodged in court, however, it does seem like the best way and cleanest.

author by Jpublication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 14:25Report this post to the editors

Advise you to read Cllr Declan Bree's letter in the Irish Times today.

Were the protesters wrong to be trying to breach Garda lines or had the Gardaí acted illegal in stopping the protest march in the first place?

author by letterpublication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 14:29Report this post to the editors



Madam, - What the media appears to have overlooked in its reporting of Friday's events in Bellanaboy, Co Mayo, is the fact that a police superintendent, apparently with the approval of the Minister for Justice, arbitrarily decided to ban a legitimate protest march organised by the Shell to Sea campaign.

On Friday morning those intending to participate in the protest gathered at the assembly point, near Bellanaboy Cross at 7am - where people gather every morning for the daily protest march to the Shell site.

However, when people prepared to march on Friday they were faced with a phalanx of gardaí who refused to let anyone pass. No explanation was offered as to why people were not being allowed march. Despite having public address equipment the senior gardaí provided no information to those who had gathered at the assembly point.

Growing more and more frustrated, and without any indication as to why they were not being allowed to march, a number of people decided to walk through the adjacent bogland and assemble further down the road towards the Shell site. Many of these people were batoned by the gardaí.

I had been standing at the assembly point for over two hours when I first learned that an order had been made banning the protest march. A Garda sergeant in the police ranks who recognised me expressed concern about the possibility of trouble escalating. I pointed out that people had been waiting hours to participate in the protest march and they were growing more and more frustrated. He then informed me that the superintendent had made an order the previous night prohibiting the march.

In my view the right to peacefully protest is a cornerstone of our democracy. The fact that a police superintendent could and would arbitrarily decide to ban a protest march surely must be condemned by all who believe in civil liberties. It smacks of Northern Ireland in its worst days.

The decision to ban the march, and the decision not to advise people of the ban, clearly added to the levels of frustration and tension on Friday morning. The order then given by senior gardaí to use batons against protesters cannot be justified.

The week before last Labour and socialist councillors from outside the area proudly participated in the daily protest march to the Shell site at Bellanaboy and expressed their support for the community.

Last week a delegation of senior Labour Party TDs from outside the area took part in the daily protest march and expressed their solidarity with the local community.

This week Enda Kenny blames outside agitators for causing unrest and subversion among the local community in Erris. It's interesting to note how little has really changed since General O'Duffy led the Blueshirts. - Yours, etc,

Cllr DECLAN BREE, Labour Party, High Street, Sligo.

author by superintendentpublication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 18:06Report this post to the editors

Surely the Superintendent is lawfully allowed to do so under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994.

21.—(1) If it appears to a member of the Garda Síochána not below the rank of superintendent that it is necessary in the interests of safety or for the purpose of preserving order to restrict the access of persons to a place where an event is taking or is about to take place which attracts, or is likely to attract, a large assembly of persons (in this Part referred to as the "event"), he may authorise any member of the Garda Síochána to erect or cause to be erected a barrier or a series of barriers on any road, street, lane, alley or other means of access to such a place in a position not more than one mile therefrom for the purpose of regulating the access of persons or vehicles thereto.

(2) Where a barrier has been erected in accordance with subsection (1), a member of the Garda Síochána in uniform may by oral or manual direction or by the exhibition of any notice or sign, or any combination thereof—

( a ) divert persons generally or particularly and whether in or on vehicles or on foot to another means of access to the event, including a means of access to that event on foot only, or
( b ) where possession of a ticket is required for entrance to the event, prohibit a person whether in or on vehicles or on foot from crossing or passing the barrier towards the event where the person has no such ticket, or
( c ) indicate that to proceed beyond the barrier while in possession of any intoxicating liquor, disposable drinks container or offensive article will render such liquor, container or article liable to confiscation.
(3) A member of the Garda Síochána shall not prohibit a person from crossing or passing a barrier erected under this section save for the purpose of diverting the person to another means of access to the event, if it appears to the member that the person is seeking to do so for the purpose only of—

( a ) going to his dwelling or place of business or work in the vicinity of the event, or
( b ) going for any other lawful purpose to any place in the vicinity of the event other than the place where the event is taking place or is about to take place.
(4) A person who—

( a ) fails to obey a direction given by a member of the Garda Síochána under subsection (2) for the purposes of paragraph ( a ) or (b) thereof, or
( b ) fails to comply with the terms of a notice or sign exhibited under subsection (2) for the purposes of paragraph ( a ) or (b) thereof,
shall be guilty of an offence.

(5) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £500

author by Catherine Parsonspublication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 19:02Report this post to the editors

Whatever that stuff quoted by 'Super' is supposed to be, it certainly doesn't cover closing off a public road - without barriers and without prior, or any, notice - to have Shell's cops act to get a potentially illegal building constructed.
This suspect road closing even affected an elderly lady who wanted to drive on the road to get to Ballycastle. She wasn't allowed to do this even though she had nothing to do with what was going on there. Shell's cops insisted that she turn around and detour for MILES.

author by back to sanity - me feinpublication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 19:58Report this post to the editors

Thanks for reminding us of one of the leading parties who lost control on the day, to wit ,a superintendent ....OR ONE OF HIS SUPERIORS..... and further reminding us how open to abuse legislation can be.

I,m not the first person to question the application of some of the provisions of the Public Order Act, 1994 and in the context I,m concerned that if it were in fact the Act used to justify gardai actions at the locus it has been abused.

As commented on by the writer on the 11th November last the officer in charge I submit, made an error of judgment and caused a lot of distress not just to the constitutional protesters but to his own members present on the day.

author by scepticpublication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 20:16Report this post to the editors

can a garda be guilty of a breach of the peace if he or she attends on his superiors order at a fracas?

Surely gardai would issue a summons against all parties to a dust up!

Does that mean the guards might end up having to prosecute themselves?

author by a new supporterpublication date Thu Nov 16, 2006 12:00Report this post to the editors

I have often heard theword riot as meaning a good time as a slang word.
Informal : fracas. Slang : rumble. See ATTACK. 2. Slang. Something or someone uproariously funny or absurd: absurdity. Informal : hoot, joke, laugh, scream. Slang : gas, howl, panic. Idioms: a laugh a minute. See LAUGHTER.

http://www.bartleby.com/62/41/R1294100.html
Perhaps the person dempsey ClAIMS heard this conversation heard the person saying they were going to have a good time?
just shows how out of touch some people in the dail are .

author by Janepublication date Thu Nov 16, 2006 12:16Report this post to the editors

More likely that it's just made up, to be honest.

author by Copwatchpublication date Thu Nov 16, 2006 14:02Report this post to the editors

"expect a broken nose at the very least"

Well, I guess we can take that as a direct threat from a cop to break protesters' noses when they stage a sit-down protest on the road (we will ignore, of course, the hot air about violence, since it is a pack of lies). A fine bunch of lads, the Gardai

author by Justin Morahan - Peace People (pers cap)publication date Thu Nov 16, 2006 15:00Report this post to the editors

The conduct of some Gardaí at Bellanaboy and the quarry was absolutely unacceptable and an absolute disgrace.
Throw people over a wall?
Smash car windows in a woman's face?
Leave people hospitalized?
Have a Garda sergeant in civvies going around hitting people so that TV viewers think they saw a protestor with a baton?
There are no excuses for this behaviour. Those who try to make up excuses are condoning serious wrongdoing by paid public servants.

The "Superintendent" who quoted the Act says:
"(4) A person who—
( a ) fails to obey a direction given by a member of the Garda Síochána under subsection (2) for the purposes of paragraph ( a ) or (b) thereof, or
( b ) fails to comply with the terms of a notice or sign exhibited under subsection (2) for the purposes of paragraph ( a ) or (b) thereof,
shall be guilty of an offence."

It doesn't say such a person shall be assaulted by Garda batons, shall have Gardaí smash their car windscreens in their faces or shall have Gardaí throw them over 10 foot walls or otherwise injure and hospitalize them"

No more excuses. Just stop it.

author by car jackerpublication date Thu Nov 16, 2006 15:07Report this post to the editors

She said herself the car was being pushed by protesters from behind.

ask her(Maura Harrington) yerself fs she admitted it to the nation!

a car was propelled towards the garda line, that much has been admitted and reaffirmed by the person behind the wheel

so STOP whining

author by Maura Harrington - S2S; Davitt Leaguepublication date Thu Nov 16, 2006 15:27Report this post to the editors

Unlike Shell's cops who dispensed thug 'justice' against Irish citizens on the eleventh anniversary of the judicial hanging of nine Ogoni (common denominator, Shell), I am pursuing justice through the proper court channels. In due course there will, presumably, be reports from court reporters for car jacker to peruse; until then, do not presume to prempt court decisions.

author by Allyatespublication date Thu Nov 16, 2006 15:36Report this post to the editors

The circle has come back. Our nation once more subjected. Oligarchs dont just come from Russia, nor brutality limited to Red China.
Eire is in pain again, its government growing too addicted to wealth. They even saw fit to strike sitting TD's from the electoral register.
The GOP has nothing on Fianna Fail and the neo-nazis, I mean PD's. They tell us what to eat, what to work at, what we can and cannot do with our bodies, they tell us who to marry and when we 'must'.

'Public Good' is really utilitarianism and to hell with the individiual. That itself is unconstitutional. Look it up.

And where are Irelands unions? Where are those who can stop it, who can stop the aquisition of unwarranted power by the those who purchased Bertie?
They are sitting comfortable waiting for their hand outs, forgetting all about people power, and thats exactly what Oligarchs want.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Thu Nov 16, 2006 15:58Report this post to the editors

Firstly to Maura, well done for saying that you are taking this to court. Never mind the trolls, nobody else does.

As for Superintendent: "... erect or cause to be erected a barrier or a series of barriers on any road, street, lane, alley or other means of access to such a place in a position not more than one mile therefrom for the purpose of regulating the access of persons or vehicles thereto."

This all refers to barriers being erected. It suggests that the Gardaí have the power to prevent people from crossing or passing these barriers (doesn't give the power to assault citizens mind you). What barriers?

If this is the best the Common Paid Informants have - then they are fucked.

author by i saw itpublication date Thu Nov 16, 2006 17:59Report this post to the editors

I have seen video footage of maura being snapped out of her car and I know for a fact the tv cut it and did not show the violent way she was treated.
I seems to be acceptable for RTE to show footage of police beating a man in US but not to show the truth of whats going on in their own back yard.But the truth will come out with time .

author by Jerry Corneliuspublication date Thu Nov 16, 2006 18:06Report this post to the editors

I reckon they cut it as well. But if the gardai just wanted to get her out of the car then why did they smash the front windscreen? Surely breaking the side window would have sufficed. Smashing the front windscreen was an act of vandalism by the gardai involved.

Some footage shown on RTE also shows someone being thrown over the railing by two gardai. This is assault pure and simple. It could not be argued that they needed to do this to subdue him. Hopefully they will be charged with assault.

author by kilcommon residentpublication date Thu Nov 16, 2006 23:01Report this post to the editors

First of all i was in bellanaboy on fri 10th, i was ahead of the gardai and the main group of protestors when i heard glass breaking and it wasn't until the 6 o clock news that i found out what happened, there were NO missles thrown at any time. I was heading to work at 6.30 when i met a garda barrier which diverted me around the site for 6 or 7 miles, when i came onto the main road again there was no garda barrier so i turned in the direction of bellanaboy to get to bangor and after a few miles i met a 2nd garda blockage numbering 30 refusing any person driving on the main road, there were no details of the blockade on newspaper or radio. i decided to park my car and stay for the peaceful protest. The Shell convey arrived at 7.55 by this time both the gardai and protestors were blocking the road that was suppose to be closed to all traffic including shell vehicles, are they above the law? At 8.05 Supt Gannon asked the protestors to clear the road but were ignored and they proceeded to walk slowly towards the refinery while the gardai pushed them back. At 8.15 Gannon asked a 2nd time to clear the road and 30 sec later he told uniform gardai to 'stand down',O'Reilly (if thats even his name) then called for battons and they proceeded to strike people who couldn't even move out of the way and started to throw protestors down 10ft drains. The gardai could have moved the protestors for another 10 or 15 yards down to a side road and the shell convey would have passed by. The Supt stated that negotions lasted for nearly 2hrs before the baton charge, that is untrue, it lasted 20 mins. Majority of gardai down here are down to the ground, trying to be neutral but there are 10 or 12 trouble makers within the force that try to cause riots. Buses were prevented from entering Erris on thursday night and as far as i could see there were 50 visitors present over 200 were local people born and reared in the area and thats the thruth. The whole garda plan was an ambush totry and show the protestors in a bad light and with only tv cameras present (no radio crew) and it failed yet again. This is a peaceful protest in a peaceful area before shell bribed their way in and try to kill everyone from Killala to Newport in a slow painful death. This cannot be allowed to happen, send shell to sea for everyones safety,the battleis about the refinery as well as the pipeline, lastly THERE WILL NEVER BE A REFINERY IN BELLANABOY OR A PIPELINE IN ROSSPORT.

author by Rorypublication date Wed Nov 29, 2006 12:39Report this post to the editors

The contempt towards gardai shown by the comments in this site is hilarious. I understand contempt toward McDowell and the government because after all they run the show but cant anyone realise that these guards sinply have a job to do and must fulfill their duties juts like anyone else. A few gardai swing a baton a few too many times and its blown out of proportion but we fail to see any acknowledgement of provocation from the protesters. Just like Terrence Wheelcok saga we always hear whats done to these 'victims' by gardai but never get the full story of why the gardai react. Each and every protestor that stands blocking that road is breaking the law (which isnt set by the gardai themsleves) and they have every right to enforce the clearing of this road by whatever means required

Surely the protestors can rise above the whole violence route and use their heads instead of planting bodies illegally on the road and continue their vendetta against gardai...Very clever protestors keep the anti-gardai brigade going until one of your members goes too far and then the public will lose pity for ye

author by Roadiepublication date Wed Nov 29, 2006 18:16Report this post to the editors

"Surely the protestors can rise above the whole violence route and use their heads instead of planting bodies illegally on the road and continue their vendetta against gardai"

The cops who post on this site really are beyond parody. "Rory" acknowledges that there was no violence, just people staging a sit down protest on the road. He pretends to believe that this is actually violence, but knows perfectly well that he's talking rubbish ("planting bodies illegally on the road", dear jesus, as if they were planting other people's bodies stuffed with semtex). And how do you propose they "use their heads"? How, Rory? Your colleagues have allowed them to "use their heads" as targets for their batons. Most of the people there probably had no "vendetta" against the cops before they were battered, but there's nothing like a criminal assault to turn you against people

author by penguinpublication date Wed Nov 29, 2006 19:24Report this post to the editors

'they have every right to enforce the clearing of this road by whatever means required".

Chilling words.

author by throwned down a 15 ft drain - Family manpublication date Wed Feb 21, 2007 14:15author address 000author phone 999Report this post to the editors

To Rory your full of yourself, do you mean to tell me that it was pefectly legal to kick and throw me down a 15 ft drain filled with black shite running off the shell site and blocking people trying to rescue me, by the time I finnaly got medical attention more than 2 hours latter my blood pressure was 193/120, I' ve should of had a stroke and died but I didn't. That was their first mistake, I have been on cructhes for 14 weeks due to injuries recieved that day that you say the garda were right in clearing the road,I was walking away when I was assaulted. Their is no law being broken by delaying workers to an illeagle site which has only partical planning permission, so why was I almost killed in the process of walking away home? Because the garda are told to use any force and no arrest, if I was breaking the law taking photos and walking up the road why wasn't the other news people taken photographs thrown off the road into a 15 foot drain, just me thats JUSTICE for you, left cripple not able to walk with out sticks, so stick you self rightjusness where the sun don't shine. I have a complaint sent in ? we'll sea in court if it was leagal....Their 2nd mistake was coming to my home and saying to me that I was an illeagle alien, when they perfectly knew well that I was an EC citizen, and telling me to take care of myself, WHO the fck do they think they are threating me after almost killing me..like I said is this JUSTICE.

author by David Kielypublication date Wed Feb 21, 2007 20:17Report this post to the editors

Family man there is some appalling drivel wrote up here. I recall some one dismissing what happened to you and using words like "cripple" and for you to grow up etc, something to that effect. I am wishing you all the best, it is an outrage what happened you, I hope you do not let it go keep on the legal road no harm to have a chat with Niall H, he knows some of the drill in that respect. The cops who done that to you pissed on your constitutional and human rights and pissed on their Oath of office, as well as urinating on the Constitution. Keep your records safe all that counts for stuff and see them in court.

author by roisinpublication date Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:31Report this post to the editors

I was at rossport and was beaten by the gards!i have a pernament dent in my leg ,the gards hit me so hard.
i was 23 at the time and was standing with the protesters when i was assaulted.I have footage that clearly shows what happened that morning with the car being smashed and gards being brutal.RTE edited the news and i have the tape to prove it.

author by Man thrown down the DRAIN - Republic of Irelandpublication date Wed Mar 26, 2008 20:22Report this post to the editors

HI, I was the person thrown down the drain and hurt, I was wondering if I could get a copy of the tape as the cops are trying to charge me with bullshit offenences, There were about 250- 300 peaceful protesters and I'm the only one being charged that day. It's been almost 17 months and I still have severe pain the runs down my back into my left leg down to the toes. So maybe there is somthing on it that I can use. The gardia sent my lawyer a DVD and it shows 3 gardia pulling me and pushing me into the drain, but in court the gardia stated that they did not see each other holding and pulling me. Plus the lied in their statments then changed their story once they got into court.
Thanks Roisin, & I hope you are feeling OK. ED COLLINS Polluthomas Ballina, Mayo.

IT'S BEEN 17 MONTHS SINCE I WAS THROWN DOWN THE DRAIN BY GARDIA
IT'S BEEN 17 MONTHS SINCE I WAS THROWN DOWN THE DRAIN BY GARDIA

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