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Shell to Sea still fighting for Irish Gas as Special Branch put on the pressure.

category dublin | crime and justice | news report author Thursday March 27, 2008 22:25author by SJ Report this post to the editors

Garda Special Branch pressure on Shell to Sea in Dublin, and attempts to harass supporters of the campaign , are seen as part of a pattern of the police protecting the interests of big business before the rights of people to protest.
Special Branch caught photographing Shell to Sea at a recent garage protest
Special Branch caught photographing Shell to Sea at a recent garage protest

Dublin March 2008

Shell to Sea campaigners in Dublin say they intend to continue their stance against the multinational's activities in Mayo, despite recent measures taken by Garda Special Branch to monitor their activities and deter them from protesting against the corporate giant.

While instances of Garda harassment and intimidation in the Kilcommon area of Erris, north west Mayo are well known, recent months have seen an increase in Special Branch activity in Dublin.

Activists from around the city come together on a regular basis to picket outside Shell and Statoil service stations, to leaflet, and do other activities to raise public awareness concerning the Corrib gas issue. Just before Christmas a number of Shell to Sea protesters managed to get on to the roof of the Department of Natural Resources,where they revealed a banner saying "Protest Ireland's Natural Resources".

Special Branch presence has been seen on many of these small-scale peaceful protests, with particular focus on a Shell station in the north of the city, near the Glasnevin cemetery, a place of notable significance to the history of the country's political and revolutionary movements through time.

Although minimal intimidation has occurred at these pickets, with protesters sometimes being photographed, and occasionally threatened with arrest, many supporters of Shell to Sea maintain that they are being personally targeted in their daily lives, away from the eyes of the public.

One Shell to Sea activist told of officers in plainclothes arriving at his parent's house and questioning them about his activities within the campaign. The same officers who identified themselves at that time, were later seen monitoring him from a distance outside his own home.

Two other people were forcibly detained by Special Branch officers recently. The two supporters of Shell to Sea were walking down a busy laneway in the south inner city two weeks ago when an unmarked vehicle accelerated in front of them, and two individuals in civilian clothes (who said they were gardaí, but did not show warrant cards or ID) forced them into the car and brought them to the local station, where they were subjected to physical abuse and harassment in an attempt by the officers to uncover information.

One young man was grabbed by his hair for photographic identification. Later his solicitor was told that he had been released, when that was not the case. This occured not long after they taken part in a picket of a Shell station.

Royal Dutch Shell and Statoil have decided to change the names of their service stations to Topaz in the 26 counties in the upcoming months in what they deem to be a more localised and consumer-based approach to Irish market. Industry insiders say that this is merely an attempt at diverting the Irish public away from the reality of Shell and Statoil's activities in the west coast of Ireland, since all the fuel in the petrol stations will be still be sourced from those companies.

Shell to Sea wants to get Shell to process the Corrib gas safely, and get the government to secure a stake in their own resources for the people of Ireland. Why these aims are deemed worthy of such heavy Garda attention is a mystery.

When contacted, no members of An Garda Siochana would give a statement on this issue.

Shell to Sea say intend to picket the newly named Topaz stations in the same way as Shell and Statoil stations before. There is to be another picket of the Glasnevin Shell station on Saturday the 29th of March at midday.

author by Chrissiepublication date Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair play to the Shell to Sea supporters in the face of this disgraceful Garda/Branch harrassment. Shell don't even have enough respect to speak to the people in the region of the proposed refinery; rather than show so much deference to those expected to live with environmental devastation, the screws go on anyone who dares to question the wider outcomes (beyond a few jobs) of a refinery onshore, & an experimental-pressure pipeline. Take a look at Shell's poisoned legacy so far in its oil provinces.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Fri Mar 28, 2008 15:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A person should not be forced to go to a Garda station or anywhere else against his or her will.

You do not have to go to a Garda station against your will unless you are arrested. The Gardaí can of course ask you to accompany them; you are well within your rights to refuse to do so.

Anyone forced to go to a Garda station without having been arrested has been falsely imprisoned.


Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997

False imprisonment.

15.—(1) A person shall be guilty of the offence of false imprisonment who intentionally or recklessly—

( a ) takes or detains, or

( b ) causes to be taken or detained, or

( c ) otherwise restricts the personal liberty of,

another without that other's consent.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a person acts without the consent of another if the person obtains the other's consent by force or threat of force, or by deception causing the other to believe that he or she is under legal compulsion to consent.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

( a ) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both, or

( b ) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.


author by He was a nice branch manpublication date Sat Mar 29, 2008 13:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

All he wanted was hugs and kiss,did not want his photo taken,very shy.

author by Seanpublication date Sat Mar 29, 2008 23:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If your taken to a Garda station against your will you HAVE BEEN ARRESTED. Gardai on duty cannot be guilty of false imprisonment within a Garda station, its called unlawful arrest / detention and is dealt with buy way of a Habeas Corpus application. Seriously, you need more than Google to understand the law!

Also, only photographing I see going on is by the protestors not these people, if they even were Gardai to begin with. What proof to support either allegation or comment?

author by guilelesspublication date Sun Mar 30, 2008 00:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You're absolutely right, there's no evidence that these people are police officers, and they certainly never identify themselves as such.

If you watch the video from which the pictures above come, you'll see they have a big camera with a long lens, but there are probably many reasons why two men would sit in a car at an empty petrol station taking pictures of a protest from a distance, and then threaten to confiscate the camera of someone who approaches and photographs them.

The video is here: http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=48b1WNCbrRU

There is also probably a good reason why the two men in the picture below stood on a corner opposite where some Shell to Sea protesters were meeting, taking pictures and trying their best to blend into the brickwork. Maybe they were just tourists on holiday...


author by Seán Ryanpublication date Sun Mar 30, 2008 01:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you have been taken to a Garda station against your will, you have not necessarily been arrested. There's lots of case law in existence that shows this. The most common example is where someone is taken to the station to 'help the Gardaí with their enquiries.' Sometimes when such a person asks if they can leave they are told that they cannot. A good rule of thumb regarding arrest would be: you should be told that you are being arrested and you should be told why. To be arrested under false pretences or without a lawful reason is false arrest. However if you are dragged into a car by some unidentified assailants, this is not false arrest. Secondly, someone pulled from the street, who has not been arrested, has at the very least, been falsely imprisoned. Moreover, to be directed to perform some action under the colour of law (like being told to leave an area) when one is not violating the law is another example of false imprisonment. Neither false arrest nor false imprisonment require that a Garda station be a part of the picture.

A quick scan of my pal Google turned up the following: "The Sunday Tribune recently reported that in the year 2002 one million euro will be paid by the state in out-of-court settlements to dozens of people who are suing the Gardai for false arrest or imprisonment, assault and malicious prosecution. Six million euro has been paid out in compensation over the past five years for breach of citizens' rights by Gardai. Cases settled out of court are not reported and plaintiffs sign confidentiality agreements, so such matters conveniently do not reach the papers. In addition to the 6 million euro paid out to citizens abused by Gardai, the taxpayer also the pays the costs of compensation for Gardai injured while on duty. Currently 1,500 Gardai (14% of the force) are suing the State for such compensation and the final cost is expected to top 80 million euro, which works out as an average payout of 40,000 euro per individual guard." http://www.fourthwrite.ie/mags1.html It's a bit old, but my point is made. Fair enough, this example cites the civil action of 'false imprisonment,' it stands to reason, that if a Garda can be sued for 'false imprisonment' that this Garda is capable of committing the crime of 'false imprisonment.' Three cheers for Google! The rest of the piece is well worth a read to get an idea of the scope of charges that can be brought against Gardaí who act in a criminal fashion. Strangely enough, despite the fact that many have successfully sued the State and the Gardaí for the criminal actions of the Gardaí, it's rare indeed that a Garda be prosecuted for the crime that the State has already compensated someone for. Wanna bet this'll change in the near future? Google 'private prosecution.' And note that for serious charges, it's the duty of the DPP to do the prosecuting.

Anyone can be guilty of false imprisonment, including on duty Gardaí. Say for example, a Garda abducts a young child, is this false arrest? I don't think so, not by a long shot. Of course false imprisonment charges would be the least of this Garda's legal worries.

Habeas Corpus is only useful to obtain one's release, it does not deal with those who've acted unlawfully. Also it would be a tad unusual to say the least, for someone in Garda custody, who had not been arrested, to apply for Habeas Corpus.

I think some Gardaí et al would have a better knowledge of their duty if they checked out Google every now and then, rather than making it up as they go along.

author by . leakerpublication date Sat Apr 12, 2008 02:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The video has been removed from YouTube.com for some reason. It's still available here-

author by jyapublication date Sat Nov 22, 2008 17:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

He's called detective Alcock and he's in the Special Detective Unit. He is in with those that appear on this website:

Why they think its worth their while harassing S2S is a question above my pay grade.


Related Link: http://www.trust-us.ch/cryptome/01-Cryptome-061213/special-branch.htm
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