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News from protest at Rossport
national | environment | news report Friday September 14, 2007 07:38 by sovietpop sovietpop at hotmail dot com
Text message from the site of proposed refinery reports at 7.30 " good turn out, over 200 so far, no trucks through the main gates and low police presence".
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Not much activity at the moment. Everyone's sitting down and the cops are keeping a low profile - photographing the crowd.
Between 50-120 have just stormed the main gate of the refinery and are heading up the central road to where the machinery is working.
Protesters have gone through the second gate and are on the main site.
Text received from the protest:
"They kept the machines going until the last minute, people are standing on a drilling machine, most work stopped, protesters and cops wandering around enormous site".
8,59: " Two arrests, one badly beaten, getting pushed out pretty aggressively'
The are now over 150 people occupying refinery site. There have been 7 detenions with peaceful protestors being assaulted by several Gardaí who were not in the usual uniform...
At least two protestors were seriously assaulted and taken away.
Text from the site at 9.37; "Huge Garda presence. Protest cordoned off. Riot police here in force."
Text from the site at 9.37; "Huge Garda presence. Protest cordoned off. Riot police here in force."
9.47: "Riot police out in force. Protest cordoned off. batons out and lots injured. Three arrested so far".
Line of police
Post presence on site sitdown
Site has been cleared by Public Order Unit with some brutality. Arrestees appear to have been released in Belmullet or along the road.
There's a sit down protest outside the gate with approximately 170 protestors being ringed by a large force of the country's finest.
Reports coming in of cops screaming to each other to'break their fucking arms' with a lot of kicking and punching going on (obviously directed at the peaceful protestors). several cops really went for it but we've recorded good video evidence. Cameras and tape are being hidden to avoid a repeat of the incident last year at Lennon's quarry where a video camera was taken and smashed by the cops.
One fairly serious assault to report and possibly 2 or 3 protestors unaccounted for...
Irish Times :- Breaking News:
'Protestors Storm Refinery in Mayo'
- ok, that is propaganda and should be disputed.
its on the eircomnet -Breaking News- section, it contains reports of yesterdays court hearing in
Letters to the Editor please.
Caoimhe, Dublin Shell to Sea, is on Pat Kenny right now, doing very well
Now it's John Monaghan that is on. Tune into RTE 1
Did you ever stop to consider that it's more than your money that's being wasted? The country's natural resourses have been given away for free to a multinational, one indeed with a fairly dodgy global reputation...
I mean there would hardly be protests in Erris if the gas was extracted in a safe and sustainable fashion for the benefit of the people of Ireland.
It's really not that complicated. you should really try and inform yourself about what's really going on...
Following the hour long occupation of the site all construction work has resumed, allowing for breakfast, the stoppage only held up work on the site for a 30 minuets.
A real victory for the workers and there families and the majoritve support in Erris.
Taken from a quick cat with Krossie by phone. All errors by me. Earlier photos attributed to krossie taken by someone else.
The morning began with a good turnout – aprox 200 people were outside the gates and blocking trucks by 7.30.
Shell fairly quickly stopped trying to get trucks into the main gate and the protesters remained on a sit down protest. At this point the gardai took a fairly hands off approach and were mainly photographing the crowd.
Shortly before 8.30 somewhere between 70 and 120 people started to go over the fences and were soon on the site. They were accompanied by ‘tactical’ gardai (dressed all in blue, and with the long riot style batons).
Despite the obvious health and safety implications work continued on some parts of the site. A drill was occupied until it ceased work.
At this stage the police started to arrest protesters, they picked individuals off one by one at first, bundling people into vans or otherise removing them from the site. They also started to get quite rough with the protesters. There were approximately 200 cops on the scene at this stage.
Once protester numbers were reduced to 40 or so the cops basically started dragging and pulling people off the site with some brutality.
A number of those arrested were released either outside the gates of the main site or once they reached Belmullet. It is unclear as to whether people have been charged or not.
There is a sit down protest outside the gate once more with 170 - 200 protestors being ringed by a large force of the country's finest.
What will you do with your overtime? Wouldn't you rather do something useful?
Just been reported that a garda sgt has been taken to hospital with a broken nose, one arrested. that sounds peacefull...... you are loosing the support of ordinary irish people very quickly with the likes of that....
Im proud to know those who continue to risk their liberty and well being by standing up to a major wrong being inflicted upon the country. In many ways they are the last of the people who have any backbone and spirit left.
For those on this page and elsewhere who mock their efforts, go choke on your shell sponsored Euro burgers, your a disgrace.
Picket tonight Anderstonstown Shell garage Belfast 5.30.
Our nation's resources are given away to a corrupt multinational while our great leader is called to answer questions about suitcases full of cash. This country has strayed so far from the ideals of Connolly and Pearse that we now fit comfortably into the banana republic club usually associated with South America.
Well done to those in Mayo with the courage to stand up and protest against the theft of OUR resources. I salute your commitment and idealism.
To those who talk about a "waste of money" and criticise the participants: shame on you and your short-sighted, small, sheep-minded mentality. The soldiers of crookery (aka FF) have sold our nation's birthright to their corrupt paymasters. What's happening in Mayo is directly linked to the reason why our health service is a shambles, why water supplies are polluted, why poverty and homelessness in this country is endemic.
Clare Shell to Sea is holding a picket out side the Shell petrol Station on the Limerick Road at 6pm. (opp. St. Flannans)
'Just been reported that a garda sgt has been taken to hospital with a broken nose, one arrested. that sounds peacefull. . .'
Reported by whom?
Considering the brutality that has been meted out on protesters and organizers from the police (and a well greased dis-information campaign), it is a testament to the integrity - intellectually, morally and politically - of these campaigners that the vast majority of their actions have been peaceful (that's one 'l', consult a dictionary) and continue to be. It *begs* considering by what criteria you're using to define violence?
To re-iterate what a previous post said, if the off shore extraction and refinery in Erris was to be on terms that would benefit local and other communities, there would be probably little opposition (not considering the serious health and safety issues which have been repeatedly undermined by shell)
well done everyone, i'd be there if i could
"Gardaí have arrested a 35-year-old from Co Cork at the Shell to Sea protest for assaulting a sergeant who has been taken to hospital with a suspected broken nose."
Idiots, it ought at least read...
"Gardaí have arrested a 35-year-old from Co Cork at the Shell to Sea protest for allegedly assaulting a sergeant who has been taken to hospital with a suspected broken nose."
The number for the main switch board is 01 208 3434, the ask to be put throught to the news desk.
Give them an earful and you can be sure that the journo will here about it.
Greetings from a few Shell to Sea supporters currently on hols in Poland. Got a text about the demo and rushed down to the internet cafe to find out more. No Pasaran!
Ring the Station and express your concern for the 35 year old that was arrested. The number is 097-81038 and Garda Daly will answer.
Gardaí at Belmullet station are refusing to release someone on the basis that they have not verified his name and address... They have threatened the man with "bringing him to court" as a bluffing tactic to get him to change the details he had given them (they were his real details so of course he did not). If Gardaí continue to abuse their powers of arrest and detention in this way, bombard the station with calls to query why a simple procedure is being delayed for nothing more than incompetence on the part of the Gardaí.
Reports must focus equally in the issue of the protest and not on the gardai to the exclusion of all else. If one protests then one has to take the consequences and not forever moan about it. The publicity stated a sit-down protest so one needs to keep faith with those of us who support the issue. It comes across as a divided and dishonest action.
Solidarity to the Shellto Sea crew at Rossport from our crew maintaing a weekly anti-war vigil at Enoggera Army Base in Brisbane Australia
As the late Phil Berrigan use to say, your spirit is where your ass is. Many thanx to those who planted there's across the line at Shell's site and at the gates at Rossport.
Belfast Shell to Sea will be a holding solidarity picket at Andersonstown Shell garage at 5pm today.
winding things up
I was at the first baton charge in Mayo. The pro-garda media slant does not do justice to the intensity of the hatred held by some members of the gardai for the protestors. This seems to be personal for Joe Gannon. He should really be removed from this before a protestor gets really hurt. The argument that protestors 'ask for it' seems to accept that use of disproportionate force by Gardai is a mere fact of life. Can we not hope for better than that.
Just head to one of the protests and you'll see who's being used as punchbags. There was total restraint shown by the protestors in November, in the face of intense verbal and physical intimidation. Look, the worst thing you've seen on the News was a girl throwing a fairly pathetic kick. The news reported a garda being assaulted, but not any of the injuries reported here, implying RTE is just taking its reports verbatim from the cops, or the posters here are completely making it up. If I hadn't seen it for myself I'd have believed the RTE line, if not the Garda line.
well done guys. hang in there.
That's a fair point - people will have a tendency to believe what they are shown. There's good pictures above of the Garda line, but did anyone get snaps of the actual violence? That's about the only thing that will counterbalance any possible bias in RTE reports.
...report above confirms gate was "stormed" and uses same words!
fair play to all who made the trek down to Rossport, this issue is far from going away.
It is a disgrace what is happening down there, and the coverage of the Garda and his poor nose speaks volumes.
Maybe he just fell into a ditch, as so many others seem to in Rossport.
well done to all involved
Actualy, the guard who had his nose broken was kicked in the face by accident by the guy he had turned upside down in order to throw into the van. Now if there are legs flying around after being turned upside down and somebody gets it in the face its hardly assault. The other guard with an injury to his hand was being called by a Shell employee. He then ran towords the person who was calling him and triped, damaging his wrist. That is the truth.
The violence that was used today was from the Guardi. How does a peacful occupation qualify as violence?
"Violence is a general term to describe actions, usually deliberate, that cause or intend to cause injury to people or animals" (Wikipedia)
These protesters were peaceful. Those who do not believe theres only one way to find out. Show up, even stand on the far side of the road and see for yourself. Just remember the definition of the word violent before you come and dont mix it up with civil disobediance and non-violent direct action.
The Gardai and some people in Erris are so worried that the Shell Construction Site is closed for a couple of hours. The Gardai would be doing more service for the community of Ireland if they inquired as to why every other construction site in the country is closing down. They should inquire as to where the billions of Celtic Tiger money is gone and why so many citizens jobs are at stake owing to the actions of the self same government who orders them to uphold the rights of Shell.
What about falling house prices: people rapidly going into negative equity; people’s savings being threatened; people’s jobs at stake all round the country. This country is being robbed left, right and centre and the Gardai have not a clue who the white collared culprits are or appear not to give them a thought. The Gardai concentrate their fire and energy on making sure that a very tangible massive STEAL of our resources goes ahead on the orders of a government that is making a mess of all our lives.
Gardai! Please join the 21st century. The real culprits are not down in Erris, but very cleverly manipulating everything in their own favour. Most of you are young and probably own your home and/or a couple or more houses with mortgages. Many of you will lose your savings as a result of current financial scandals unwinding. Go home to your negative equity homes; think about how safe is your savings and have a good think about, who is protecting what!
It is a sad fact that those in uniform are not doing this country any favours in Ballinaboy. The protestors are the ones who are protecting our resources. These Gardai and our Taoiseacht are in a similar vein at the moment; both defending very questionable practices.
Today’s protest at the proposed Corrib gas refinery site in Mayo is just the latest episode in the ongoing dispute, which has still not been addressed in any meaningful way by either the Government or Shell and its partners.
Our campaign has always been concerned with health, safety and the environment, and the sit-down protests, both inside and outside the site, were undertaken in the spirit of non-violent direct action that is universally recognised as a legitimate form of demonstration.
Until those in authority are willing to acknowledge this, and the fact that there has never been community consent for the proposed development, there can never be a solution to the problem of Corrib. Government silence, Shell spin and over-zealous Gardaí will only prolong the dispute.
We look forward to a speedy response from the Ministers for Justice, Natural Resources and the Environment, with whom we have sought dialogue and without whom no solution will be found.
Well done to all involved in todays protest. As Lemmy would say, dont let the b*stards grind ya down
For the record four of the five arrests were for alleged public order offences, refusing to comply with garda instructions.Even if the charge was true this is not violence or anything like it.
If you are a 'genuine local' you should be worried about the pollution from burnoff at the Gas Refinery. Mercury, Lead, Sulphur Dioxide, Arsenic, Benzene... not a nice breakfast coctail to wake up to. When I see all the new houses in Bangor Erris, I just see ghosts. Cancer, Birth Defects, Brain Damage, Lung Damage will be the only legacy for our children if this refinery is ever built. The air we breathe, well water, reservoirs will all be polluted and the poisons will enter the food-chain through livestock. I live 25 miles away from Ballinaboy and I am very worried about the Health and safety issues.
When Shell's short term construction industry cash is spent, what will you tell your children?
Thank God! There are brave people willing to give up their time , risk injury and imprisonment to protect our civil rights. Its time for the people of Mayo to Wake Up and realise that its probably more important to be Genuine than it is to be Local.
Many of the young gardai have only been on the job a wet week. They should remember that if they are filmed or photographed using excessive violence (like the man man being thrown in the drain) they are effectively putting a ceiling on their career. They will never be told why. It just won't happen.
i am a relatively new reader on this site but as a resident of north mayo i do enjoy reading the comments relating to the proposed gas refinery. one thing which stands out however is the extremely high level of complete disrespect for the gardai expressed in the form of public comment. the contributor who states that the young gardai should return home to their negative equity houses....... i have to ask whether you are one of the fortunate beneficiaries of a generous development site from daddy the farmer???? i know many people who are members of the POLICE force (which many of the contributors refer to them as..... you're local then are you???) and i entirely sympathise with the situation in which they find themselves. they are simply trying to do their job.
why not for once try to actually stage a peaceful protest from start to finish. negative pictures (biased or not) featuring in the national media can never be a positive thing for anyone (except possibly Shell).
"why not for once try to actually stage a peaceful protest from start to finish"
eh, where have you been? shell to sea have staged dozens, probably hundreds, of peaceful protests over the course of the last few years. there've been massive marches in dublin, galway, westport, etc. at one stage there was daily pickets outside ballinaboy and various petrol stations around the country.
and added to the list of non-violent demonstrations is today's event, unless jumping a fence is violent?
seriously d, you will have to forgive my ignorance of the situation. insensitive as it may sound, i have no more than a passing interest in the whole situation. although i do occasionally note in the local press that there are small pickets etc. taking place at various intervals and locations, the impression i get from the media (albeit possibly biased coverage) is that every time there is a larger scale demo due to take place you can guarantee that there will be trouble of some description. no one had any doubt that the protestors yesterday would attempt to break into the site.
in any event, i don't believe i used the word "violent". i would suggest that it was at least confrontational. no, climbing the fence is not per se violent, however, it is trespass and it is unlawful. how can you expect the gardai to turn a blind eye? if i was a garda, i would do my job as dictated by my superiors. i am not for one minute saying that it is an ideal situation, i merely wish to say that it is unfair to blame the gardai every time there is "trouble".
Supt Joe Gannon was kicking peaceful protesters that were being held down inside the refinery site. Can someone inform me which section of the law that falls under please?
I was at the protest yesterday. Talked to Ed Moran for the first time in months, he even gave a couple of minutes of talk as we were doing the sitdown outside the gates.
I know several locals were involved in the visit because I got inside the first gate and helped secure barriers(security were trying to remove them as people climbed over the spikes leaving people in somewhat dangerous positions).
I also know that Police managed to damage the front gate by slamming a protestor against them. Repairmen were called out and fixing the gate as we stood there.
Very glad to have been back up to Erris, I would love to have postcards showing how beautiful the locale currently is. I have photos from last year blown up on my walls and am wondering if circulating that beauty would increase public interest in the area. Certainly only going to be historic pictures if Shell get their way.
Just wanted to say Well Done to everyone fighting to save our environment in Erris!
For those Against Genuine Protesters,locally,from around the country and from abroad...i have to say i feel very sorry for you.what would the world be like,if people didnt stand up for their rights!
I dont believe in violence,and i hate to see it! But i am angry about the whole situation thats developed here over the past few years! And im disgusted at the gardai.
The only right thing to do now,is to Stop this unsafe project going ahead in its current form.
thank you to everyone who supports the locals in this struggle and for those who dont ... i pity you for you small brains and cold hearts.
I found this clip on YouTube from an older protest at Bellanaboy:
"Gardaí have arrested a 35-year-old from Co Cork at the Shell to Sea protest for allegedly assaulting a sergeant who has been taken to hospital with a suspected broken nose."
Actually for now at least none of the five arestees charged with anything (though could be over the next 6 months) The gardai were their usual inept, bungling, spiteful selves - trying at every turn to heighten tensons displaying not even teh vaguest knowledge of crowd control or de-escalation - mind you their pure incompetence is surely to our advantage!
Protestors were well organised, calm (for the most part) and used tactical oportunities well as the came to hand.
I found Gannon's "anarchy" comment entertaining for a man who spent several minutes kicking a young male protestor on the ground - hopefully some of this caught on camera:
Supt Joe Gannon said: "The protesters seem to regard themselves as having some role in the policing function and I'm not going to tolerate anarchy on the roads of north Mayo or anywhere else." (ireland.com)
The "draggings out" were extremely rough and, I would estimate, over 30 protestors suffered bruises, sprain, lacerations etc - one protestor had stitches put in by a doctor - I mentioned this to RTE's Maeve whats her name to be told she was "busy" (cooking up "the line")
There was quite a bit of local involvement - I'd say 40-50 heads right in the thick of it.
Protest put campaign back at the top of news reporting - a successful day I would say.
People that stand up for human rights and the envioment are always to blame for what big oil companys do all around the world saying it is safe fossil fuel,no oil or gas company can predict what wil or will not happen. Don't hate your neighbors for what shell tell the public that this project is going ahead like John Eagan said in his PR spin , he reminds me of o'll Andy Pile stated on the Pat Kenny show a few years back, we'll jail any one that interfears with shell, First the Rosstport FIVE and now local protesters standing up to this catastrophic raw gas development, Everwhere shell has developed their refineries, there have been massive pollution and destruction, they develope and destroy, they divide the community and use the Garda against their own cittizens. That what shell is all about, they don't care about any one but shell profits.In the last year shell refineries have been shut down for all kinds of polution violations from drinking water to massive oil spills and then they stall hopeing that it will go away so they don't have to spend money cleaning it up like in California, It's pretty fucken sad that more people would take a few hours and see the destruction around the world because of shell before judging people trying to help the area, stay safe. Shell stated that the Garda are not working for shell, but anybody that was there on Friday knows that the Irish Garda do work for shell. I mean why would 200 Garda show up and block the roads around the refinery so shell could dump a few truck loads of rocks sounds like they work for shell, feels like they work for shell and when they throw you down the drain you know for sure, they work for S/HELL. ALL over the world destruction from S/HELL; BUT John Eagen says it will be built, He's from Castlebar, what does he care that shell still need a pipeline route and polution licenses, so who gave him permision to state this development will go ahead!! He should just go and get out of ERRIS like he tells people who come to visit ERRIS; Who voted for him..
That's a good question,"Who voted for him..".
We are lucky enough to live in a free democracy ,we the Irish people elect the people we want to represent us, we decide who makes decisions for us in government.
If Mr. Ed has a problem with the way our system works then why not go somewhere where he considers it is done properly?
S2S have lost the support of politicians from all the main parties, and we all know the reason politicians leave a campaign is that it doesn't have public support.
If S2S wants to stop this project on health and safety grounds then let them produce facts to support their claims!
What happens when/if the EPA grants a IPPC licence? the pipeline route doesn't need community/landowners consent, it can be laid up the middle of the estuary, it might be the more difficult option for shell but believe me it can be done, and "NO" local landowner will have the power to stop it.
So really this issue will be concluded one way or another in the next fortnight, the decision by the EPA will be made known by the 28/9/07.
And demanding that Judge Devin's should be replaced because she is bias, is just another example of s2s shooting themselves in the foot, do they really think that even if she were to be replaced it would do them any good.
Any Judge who replaces her would no doubt bear in mind the abuse she has claimed she received from S2S supporters, and they too would most likely look unfavorably on the actions of the campaign.
Maybe the proverb "be careful what you wish for,because your wish might be granted" is appropriate on this occasion
On behalf of the people of Mayo who know the score, I want to thank everyone who made the effort to travel down for Friday, and those across the country, England and the continent who demonstrated in solidarity with us. You remind us that we are not alone. For every bully that brutalises us, for every seáinín that parrots the lies of our tormentors, we know there are hundreds of you. More strength to ye.
"Supt Joe Gannon was kicking peaceful protesters that were being held down inside the refinery site."
"all senior gardai were told last week to warn subordinates that ill-treatment of prisoners would be punished."
I hope we will soon see photos and video of the protest.
"the abuse she has claimed she received from S2S supporters"
The so-called 'hate mail' may have damaged the S2S campaign and it was obvious that
it might do so. Somebody wanted to make sure that she read the comments on Indymedia.
Sent by mail they carry a personal impact not acquired by blogging.
The judge could apply some lateral thinking.
Who do think really sent it?
There is video evidence of the sergeant who allegedly had his nose broken on duty at 5 pm Friday evening. He had a plaster the size of a spot on the side of his nose. he tried to break the window of a shell to sea person who refused to move their car. I will put video of same on youtube soon and will paste url here. This ridiculous load of lies by the police has to be shown up for what it is.
BAIL Ó DHIA ORTHU.
Nice to see the shell to sea scumbags making a nuisance (and a holy show) of themselves....The Nation is laughing at you! It really is, laughing at you.........Bunch of Fools.
What stung you this evening - weeks after the last post to here?
Bad day at the office dear ... ?
Jim Fahy is behind the times when on Friday 9th November 2007 her reported what happened in Ballinaboy on Friday 10th November 2006. What side of the fence are you on Jim? The protestors only engage in violence each time you appear with your camera - I wonder why? I wish our National TV station would report matters truthfully, it is clear to see that the protestors guarentee you footage each time you visit. The only people we see are the Gardai doing their job but we never see the buildup to the actual scuffles.