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"Don't say you weren't told!" Shell to Sea protesters tell Fianna Fáil

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Saturday March 24, 2007 14:45author by Shell to Sea, Dublin - Shell to Seaauthor email dublinshelltosea at gmail dot comauthor address c/o 134 Phibsborough Road Dublin 7author phone 0876181620 Report this post to the editors

Activist evade heavy security to protest at ard fheis

Protesters from Dublin Shell to Sea managed to evade the heavy security at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis this morning. A number of activists held a protest at the main door of the Ard Fheis venue inside the City West complex.

A banner was unfurled and one protester spoke to conference delegates through a megaphone, pointing out that the people of Ireland were being forced by the government to watch as their natural resources were handed over to Shell and Statoil, with nothing coming back, while the people of Erris have to put up with the severe degradation of their environment and unacceptable risks to their lives.

The protesters, some of whom were wearing masks of Bertie Ahern and Noel Dempsey, were soon surrounded by Gardaí and security guards.
protest inside CityWest complex
protest inside CityWest complex

The group's megaphone was confiscated as were their cardboard masks, and they were very roughly manhandled into a Special Branch car and removed from the scene.

One of the protesters was kicked by a Garda Sergeant, and when the Special Branch realised he had a bandaged arm from a previous injury they deliberately grabbed and twisted it.

Despite being told that the activists were prepared to be arrested, they were instead subject to physical abuse and thrown into a Garda Branch car to be taken away from the scene. This is a worrying develpment as the Gardaí are now using tactics imported from the protests in Mayo- beating instead of arresting protesters.

Some of their bad behavior might have been caused by their discomfort at finding that Shell to Sea could get into the heavily guarded hotel complex. The activists had been under Garda surveillance from early morning in the city centre.

One of the protesters said:

"Members of the Fianna Fáil party are compliciit in this huge giveaway of the country's resources to big business. Money that should be collected in royalties is going instead to Shell's shareholders, and no one in this country will benefit from the exploitation of our oil and gas. This morning's protest was an opportunity to make sure that the delegates at the ard fheis were aware of the situation. Fianna Fáil members can't say no one told them. Now they have can't plead ignorance and they have decide whether to speak up against this policy or go along with it."

Related Link:

Security by Fainna Fail
Security by Fainna Fail

Masks are in this season
Masks are in this season

rough treatment from the cops
rough treatment from the cops

indymedia photographer spotted
indymedia photographer spotted

author by Shell to Sea , Dublinpublication date Sat Mar 24, 2007 15:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some more photos, including one of the Special Branch surveillance team who didn't manage to prevent this morning's action.

Special Branch keep an eye from across the street from the LUAS
Special Branch keep an eye from across the street from the LUAS

Shell to Sea at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis 2007
Shell to Sea at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis 2007

maybe the branch were looking for this guy?
maybe the branch were looking for this guy?

Security at the front gate
Security at the front gate

author by Niall Harnett.publication date Sat Mar 24, 2007 15:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think you mean STOLEN after ASSAULTS by members of An Garda Síochána.

This is a sinister growing problem where the Gardaí, like you say, are adopting illegal policy and criminal actics from Mayo to stop legitimate dissent.

Keep it clear, this is ILLEGAL and CRIMINAL.

An Garda Síochána is a gangster mob, out of control. Just like Fianna Fáil.

author by D le Dpublication date Sun Mar 25, 2007 13:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just wondering why Noel is hanging his head in shame.Also how did you manage to lose the branch have you any tips for the rest of us?

author by branchmanpublication date Sun Mar 25, 2007 18:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Masterclasses in getting into heavily policed fianna fail environments are available to those who come along to Shell to Sea demonstrations.

What is completely crazy is that the cops bother to expend all that energy on following us around and tryng to stop us getting near the govt. ministers responsibe for this mess, even though we are completely non-violent and pose no threat top anyone. The most they can expect if we get close to Dempsey is that we would give him a leaflet.

But then, even though we had four different branch men (that we spotted) monitoring us, they don't actually stop us. They may as well have stayed at home in bed.

Then they refuse to arrest us, instead taking out their frustration by kicking and beating us. If we are truly such a threat to the government ministers, we should have been arrested.

author by Tpublication date Sun Mar 25, 2007 19:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The previous commentator says:

>What is completely crazy is that the cops bother to expend all that energy on following us ... even though we are completely non-violent and pose no threat top anyone.

They very likely know that, but there are several reasons why there are heavy handed.

1) is to deter and intimidate others from partaking in this sort of protest and thereby preventing it from growing, because most people do not fancy the idea being dealth with roughly, let alone getting their wrist or arm broken.

2) By having numerous Gardai and Branch about it is made to look 'bad' because in the media their presence is always associated with trouble of some kind. Thus they help project that idea to the wider public whenever the mainstream media cover anything like this. The effect is more emotional than logical because what gets remembered is not neccessarily the specifics but just the imagery. Lots of cops and some small group and reinforcement of radicalism. And this is to goal to drive a ideological wedge between them and the rest of the population; to associate them with some kind of extreme and reinforce the idea that you the average joe do not want to be part of it. The objective then is to make the association in the public mind that there is some kind of link with criminal behaviour and if they can do this and they do very successfully, most people simply do not want to be associated in any way with people with criminal intent. In fact this is the aim of all reactions whether by the State or Corporations to campaings against them, which is to split the support potential base into many groupings and completely isolate those who are most committed.

So while the previous commentator is basically saying, there is nothing to worry about because it is largely a PR exercise, the same is actually true of the reaction of the State.

author by Guns n Ammopublication date Mon Mar 26, 2007 02:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In England the cops attending Shell to Sea protests are carrying guns. Of course all those Branch men following the Shell too Sea folks around Dublin yesterday were armed as well weren't they? It's easy to forget that these clowns have firearms on them.

Story about London protest here:

Prootest at London Norwegian Embassy
Prootest at London Norwegian Embassy

author by derrypublication date Tue Mar 27, 2007 23:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's well worth clicking on the pictures at the very top to see them larger. There are some great facial expressions among the people there, especially the Fianna Fáil crowd in the background.

author by cool jpublication date Wed Mar 28, 2007 04:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

While serious crime directed against ordinary people continues to spiral out of control up and down the country, we have the gardai once again showing were their priorities lie - doing the dirty work for Shell and their crooked FF fellow travellers!!

You certainly wouldn't see these Rambo elements strutting their stuff somewhere like Moyross etc. - Oh no, much easier to act the hardman with unarmed protestors rather than dealing with criminal gangs!!!

author by Cop Watchpublication date Wed Mar 28, 2007 14:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

TD requests phone tap investigation
RTÉ Wednesday, 28 March 2007 10:31

The independent Mayo TD Jerry Cowley has called for an investigation to establish if his phone is being tapped by gardaí.

He said he had raised the matter with the Justice Minister Michael McDowell and got what he described as a 'less than satisfactory reply'.

He said his suspicions that his phone might be being tapped had been raised by 'a series of unusual coincidences'.

But he declined to give any further details of these. He said: 'I want to know for certain if my phone is being tapped'.

Deputy Cowley has been closely associated with the Shell to Sea campaign, which is opposing the current Corrib gas campaign in Co Mayo.

Concern over phone tapping legislation
RTÉ Sunday, 5 March 2006 22:57

Opposition deputies have expressed concern about proposed new legislation that would allow police in EU member states to tap phones and access internet records and text messages in their efforts to combat international terrorism and crime.

It is feared the measures could lead to an erosion of civil liberties.

The Minister for Justice Michael McDowell introduced the bill into the Seanad last week where he spoke in Irish.

Labour TD Michael D Higgins criticised the Minister for using Irish in what he said was an abusive way.

He said the translation was poor and he could not understand some of the words used.

Plain clothes cops working for Shell/Fiann Fåil
Plain clothes cops working for Shell/Fiann Fåil

author by Phone tapperpublication date Thu Mar 29, 2007 01:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Westport calling Castlebar/Castllebar calling Westport/ Earth calling Mayo Gardaí Inbox

Maybe the whole phone tapping thing makes sense of this (your computer needs sound for it to work):

author by Syruppublication date Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Think about it, Five more years....

Donie Cassidy's wig alone should be enough to get  your vote
Donie Cassidy's wig alone should be enough to get your vote

Related Link:
author by Jaypublication date Mon Apr 02, 2007 19:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In fairness, the security at the Ard Fheis was extrememly strict. I know cause Iwas there (not as a protestor mind, I have better things to do). They had bomb sniffer dogs searching the entire complex and Garda scuab divers searching the golf ponds for anything suspicious. It's no suprise really, given that every minister and the Taoiseach himself were present. When the Gardai have that kind of security operation they have to deal with dissident republicans and other random lunatics, I wouldn't expect them to give ye two seconds to explain yourselves across the megaphones before getting ye the hell out of there. They were heavy handed, but ye did manage to break into a secure zone and were only a few metres from ministers and TDs.

author by Zeepublication date Mon Apr 02, 2007 21:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So why didn't they arrest the protesters? Is that the way things work in Ireland now- protest in a "secure zone" and they get "heavy handed" on your ass?

If Shell to Sea protesters are breaking the law they should be arrested, if not they should be left alone.

Kicking protesters doesn't amount to justice in any normal society, and should be inexcuseable in this one too.

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