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Eight Arrested as S2S Flotilla Acts Against Winching Preparations – Thurs. 4th September.

category mayo | environment | feature author Saturday September 06, 2008 11:08author by FSB! - RSC Report this post to the editors

Rammed, Dunked, Arrested – Shell to Sea Flotilla take on Shell’s Thug Fleet in Sunset Action

featured image
The People on the Left are Serving and Protecting

The Shell to Sea Flotilla took to the waves in Broadhaven Bay this evening towards sunset in an attempt to foil winching preparations in advance of the pipe-laying ship the Solitaire’s arrival possibly sometime soon. The intrepid S2S Flotilla were opposed in their mission by Shell’s fleet of security mercenaries, Gardaí, and the Irish Naval service, which were deployed in overwhelming numbers and in an aggressive, deliberately un-safety-conscious manner. Seven S2S marine protestors were arrested and taken to Belmullet Garda station. In a simultaneous action at the gates of the Shell Glengad compound a local man was arrested and taken to Belmullet Garda station. An earlier marine S2S sortie successfully held up shore-based dredging operations in the Glengad compound this afternoon for about two hours; there were no arrests that time.

This evening’s S2S marine action was launched in response to the arrival of the winching platform being towed into position and being made ready. As a prelude to operations, a delegation of five people in four kayaks went forth to the Shell Fleet to attempt a parley. The Shell side were insincere in their parley for they immediately commenced offensive operations against the S2S Flotilla delegation. After being harassed by nearly all of Shell’s vessels, the delegation made it back to shore and the Solidarity Camp, where it was decided to go out and attempt action against winching preparations.

The following timeline of events is taken from the Shell to Sea Flotilla log (with some additions from photo timestamps):

19:52 S2S delegation in kayaks set out to attempt parley with Shell’s fleet.
19:58 All Shell Thug Fleet vessels bar four heading to kayak delegation
20:04 After being chased by opposition kayak delegation make for beach and Camp.
20:08 Kayak delegation returns to shore and Camp. Decision made then to launch action.
20:20 Launch
20:24 Group head over land toward compound
20:28 Garda boat has kayak.
20:31 Garda capsize S2S boat. Occupant pushed into water. Garda take kayak.
20:33 Garda jumps into water. Lasso – S2S person picked up.
20:39 3 boats surround dinghy; it evades. Occupant then dumped in water – attempts to swim away; Gardaí go in after him (this person was taken by Gardai some minutes later).
20:44 3 other S2S marine activists arrested in 5-minute period. Observations confirmed at this point that all Shell ‘safety’ boats have Garda personnel on board – Shell effectively have no safety boats – all Shell vessels are hostile. S2S safety boat the Florence Nightingale withdraws under threat of ramming by Gardaí. 2 S2S vessels withdraw from action.
20:48 4 ribs go for S2S dinghy – 2 Gardaí jump in and take person.
20:50 Another dinghy assaulted by Shell Fleet. Occupant rammed and tossed into water – 2 Gardaí jump in after him.
20:55 Remaining S2S Flotilla boats move inshore.
21:07 Last S2S boat makes shore.
21:10 Last of shore-based group return from compound over land to Solidarity Camp.


The following list is of the S2S Flotilla vessels deployed (list includes vessel type, squadron and name). Vessels are grouped by condition at end of action. List of losses may not be complete at time of posting.

S2S Fleet vessels committed

Losses:
Irish Flotilla
Kayak the Niamh Cinn Óir from the Fianna Squadron
Kayak the Maedbh from the Emerald Squadron
Dinghy the Michael Davitt from the Mayo Squadron
International Flotilla
Kayak the Robin Hood from the Sherwood Squadron
Dinghy the Hypatia from the Freedom Squadron
Dinghy/Kayak as yet unidentified

Retrieved Damaged:
International Flotilla
Dinghy the Twn-Sion Cati from the Freedom Squadron

Returned Unharmed:
Irish Flotilla
Dinghies the Ronnie Drew and Luke Kelly
International Flotilla
Dinghy the William Wallace

Safety Boats
Dinghy the Florence Nightingale.

Overall number of S2S activists in action – 11 in 10 boats total (kayaks and dinghies)

Opposed to the S2S fleet were the following:
2 Irish Navy ribs with 1 Garda on board each
3 Garda 21-foot ribs
3 Garda inflatable vessels
5 Shell Security boats with 1 Garda on board each
1 Shell War-Boat the Aoife
All above vessels with exception of Shell War-Boat were equipped with powerful outboard engines.

Estimated number of Shell personnel (Shell’s own, Garda, Irish Navy) deployed against S2S Fleet – min. 60, of all types. Number of land-based Gardaí - min. 30.

During this action all of the S2S Fleet were rammed by Garda or Shell boats, with the exception of the S2S safety boat which was threatened with ramming by the Gardaí boats before she withdrew. All of Shell’s ‘safety’ boats had Garda personnel on board, thereby invalidating their ‘safety boat’ status and declaring themselves as hostile. S2S attempts at parley were met with insincerity, since offensive operation against the S2S parley team almost immediately. Gardaí operated during this action with flagrant disregard for their own safety as well as that of protestors. Land-based participants in this action experienced rough treatment from Gardaí near the Shell compound.

It appears that Irish Navy personnel deployed on Irish Navy ribs were under orders not to communicate whatsoever with S2S activists. All attempts by S2S marine activists to speak with Navy personnel were met with silence.

Meanwhile, at the Shell Glengad compound gates the indomitable Shell to Sea local campaigner Maura Harrington and her brother Martin maintained a vehicular blockade for nearly two hours. Near the end of the action Martin was arrested and taken to Belmullet Garda station. A request from Maura to have a doctor called to attend to Martin in the station was denied by the Gardaí.

All arrestees bar one S2S marine activist have been released from Garda custody at time of posting

Report and photos of the afternoon action will be posted later today, due to time constraints.

Related Link: http://www.corribsos.com

The seizure of the S2S Michael Davitt - 2
The seizure of the S2S Michael Davitt - 2

The seizure of the S2S Michael Davitt - 3
The seizure of the S2S Michael Davitt - 3

The seizure of the S2S Michael Davitt - 4. Crew swims away!
The seizure of the S2S Michael Davitt - 4. Crew swims away!

author by FSB! & TD - RSCpublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 03:16Report this post to the editors

Photos by FSB! & TD. Captions by FSB!

The seizure of the S2S Hypatia - 1
The seizure of the S2S Hypatia - 1

The seizure of the S2S Hypatia - 2. Crew tipped overboard by Garda boat.
The seizure of the S2S Hypatia - 2. Crew tipped overboard by Garda boat.

The seizure of the S2S Hypatia - 3. Garda boat chasing down crew.
The seizure of the S2S Hypatia - 3. Garda boat chasing down crew.

The seizure of the S2S Hypatia - 4. Crew still evading Garda boat.
The seizure of the S2S Hypatia - 4. Crew still evading Garda boat.

Related Link: http://www.corribsos.com
author by FSB! & TD - RSCpublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 03:24Report this post to the editors

Photos by TD & FSB! Captions by FSB!

Gardaí sandwich S2S activists between ribs - 1
Gardaí sandwich S2S activists between ribs - 1

Gardaí sandwich S2S activists between ribs - 2. A Garda sandwich has the bacon on the outside!
Gardaí sandwich S2S activists between ribs - 2. A Garda sandwich has the bacon on the outside!

Gardaí sandwich S2S activists between ribs - 3. S2S boat crew in water and cops in after them.
Gardaí sandwich S2S activists between ribs - 3. S2S boat crew in water and cops in after them.

Gardaí sandwich S2S activists between ribs - 4. Gardaí have seized S2S boat crew.
Gardaí sandwich S2S activists between ribs - 4. Gardaí have seized S2S boat crew.

Related Link: http://www.corribsos.com
author by FSB! & TD - RSCpublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 03:34Report this post to the editors

..from this evening's action. Image quality compromised by low light levels. Photo and caption credits as before. Gardaí, Navy and Shell security operated all through without regard to safety - even their own it seems. That person in the water could've been mangled by the outboard motor on that Garda rib!

Having rammed and un-crewed a S2S Fleet boat, Gardaí go after the cew member - 1
Having rammed and un-crewed a S2S Fleet boat, Gardaí go after the cew member - 1

Having rammed and un-crewed a S2S Fleet boat, Gardaí go after the cew member - 2
Having rammed and un-crewed a S2S Fleet boat, Gardaí go after the cew member - 2

Proof positive of the Garda/Shell disregard for everybody's safety.
Proof positive of the Garda/Shell disregard for everybody's safety.

Related Link: http://www.corribsos.com
author by JJpublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 08:22Report this post to the editors

Well done S2S folks!

Unfortunately I can't be with you so I've written you a song - no doubt you can improve on this yourselves!

Songs are great for the morale - and breaking the oppressor's morale. Sorry these words written in a hurry for a well known tune:-

The Snoop John B
===============

We’re rowing for Shell to Sea
My grandfather and me
Around Glengad Bay we did roam
Defending our rights
Got into their sights
We’ll never be broke up
We’ll send them all home

So here’s up the Shell to Sea
We don’t mind us getting wet
Stop it a comin’ ashore
Let them go home, let them go home
We’re sending them home, yeah yeah
Well we won’t be broken
We’re sending them home

The gardaí came in their ribs
They’s swallowed all of Shell’s fibs
The Sergeant then came and took us away
Sergent john stone (substitute suitable name)
Why dont you leave me alone, yeah yeah
Well we won’t be broke up, we’re sending ‘em home

So here’s up the Shell to Sea
We don’t mind getting us wet
Stop it a comin’ ashore
Let them go home, let them go home
We’re sending them home, yeah yeah
Well we won’t be broken
We’re sending them home

The Navy came with their ships
To fix all the pipeline’s drips
and hassle the fishermen nighttime and morn
Let them go home
Why don't you let me them home
This is the worst trip they’ve ever been on

So here’s up the Shell to Sea
We don’t mind getting wet
Stop it a comin’ ashore
Let them go home, let them go home
We’re sending them home, yeah yeah
Well we won’t be broken
We’re sending them home

author by s2s - dublins2spublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:25Report this post to the editors

Shell to Sea Solidarity Demo

Dublin GPO Sat 6th Sep 1pm

Can’t make it to Mayo?

Come along and show solidarity with the Erris community’s & Rossport Solidarity Camp’s ongoing resistance against Shell and State repression.

Bring placards/banners friends (& maybe an umbrella)

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/88959
author by Grainnepublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:43Report this post to the editors

well done! you guys rock... I can't believe I left and you had all the fun without me... Hope you're all safe and dry now, Grainne, xxxx

author by cablepublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:58Report this post to the editors

And solidarity and much love from Cambridge, England. See you again soon.

author by maggiepublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 15:13Report this post to the editors

Shell and Statoil/topaz warboats in an Irish bay,Irish Navy demanding more funding,Pat the fisherman,the shambles of our health service and more,go on Brian Cowan renegotiate the Great gas and OIL giveaway .Get us off the trolleys in your early Budget!!!!!.

author by FSB! - RSCpublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 16:50Report this post to the editors

The single person that was in Garda detention overnight was released about 10am today and returned to us in the Solidarity Camp in good heart. It'll take more than a night in Garda custody to deter people from protesting and acting against this iniquitous and corrupt project.

Reports from arrestees released early this morning told of very rough treatment and deliberate endangerment of protestors by Gardaí while on/in the water and immediately after arrest in many cases. Some arrestees were held using headlocks in the water by Gardaí, which meant that arrestees' heads were held under the water. The raw aggression of the Garda operation on the water is directly comparable to what protestors have experienced here when the scene of protest action was the Bellanaboy refinery site. However, dangerous and all as the Garda thuggery was back then, this behaviour on their part is doubly dangerous on the water, and they know it! It is a tactic of desperation on their part; they know that the Shell to Sea campaign has not been deterred by thuggery (we're still here!), so the Gardaí are pushing their use of 'force' on the water to the borders of lethality. Lethal violence - the trump card of tyranny!

There is also the matter of property damage - the slashing of Shell to Sea's protest boats once they are seized, as if that'll stop us getting in to the water to stop their Shell masters. It's a deliberate tactic on their part, for they believe we'll eventually run out of vessels to confront the Shell/Garda menace on Erris' shores. One of our 'dragon boats' was returned to us slashed across its 'throat' after the action on the 21st of August last , presumably by some unknown Garda or Shell insecurity goon. Shell to Sea is facing some very dark forces on the way to ultimate victory, a victory that will in the fullness of time restore peace and safety to Erris, Co. Mayo and the natural wealth of energy off Ireland's shores to her people!

Get focussed, get active, get a plan - and get to Mayo as soon as you can!

Related Link: http://www.corribsos.com
author by Fionnpublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 17:03Report this post to the editors

where are people? and why are they not turning out in large numbers to support the cause? the local people seem to have accepted this development or am I mistaken. How many protestors were there?

author by FSB! - RSCpublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 17:17Report this post to the editors

From chatting to local fishermen, the silence of navy personnel is also standard when they are deployed against them, except to give radio warnings of imminent boarding/firing shots across the bow/firing upon fishing vessels (according to my interlocutor the last listed has happened once in recent history, off the coast of Donegal). Is this standing order of Navy silence there to prevent expressions of sympathy for the unfortunates they're helping the State to screw over, or is it to add extra menace to their 40mm-calibre deck guns? Your guess is as good as mine.

Related Link: http://www.corribsos.com
author by CCpublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 20:25Report this post to the editors

Only officers above the rank of Ensign have powers of arrest on Fishery Protection Patrols. Ratings have only a supporting role when boarding fishing boats.

This is the same for the protest in Erris where they have a supporting role to An Gardai Siochana. If there was a bona fide threat to public order all memeber of the naval compliment, the Shell safety crew and
An Gardai Siochana would have a common law power to arrest protesters.

However we all know that the use of the 1994 Pubic Order Act is bogus and therefore unlawful. Protesters have the consitutional right to peaceful assembly in the bay.

I would say the sailors avoid conversation so they will not be obliged to give evidence in court if prosecutions arises.

author by FSB! et al. - RSCpublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 20:37Report this post to the editors

The S2S Fleet swung into action at about 1pm Thursday afternoon and made for the Shell Glengad compound (the proposed landfall site). The sortie's purpose was to stop shore-based dredging operations that had commenced earlier that day. S2S kayaks, dinghies (and a most intrepid swimmer!) entered the Shell compound from the seaward side and held position there for roughly an hour and a half. During this time all dredging stopped, and it did not resume again until after 3:15 or so. Nobody was arrested during that action, which was a significant delay and irritant to the Great Gas Robbers and their Garda hirelings.

Action starts with solitary kayaker entering dredging area
Action starts with solitary kayaker entering dredging area

Kayaker and intrepid swimmer joined in the water by two Shell insecurity men
Kayaker and intrepid swimmer joined in the water by two Shell insecurity men

Wide shot - more boats in now
Wide shot - more boats in now

S2S Fleet stopping work. Shell insecurity can only look on.
S2S Fleet stopping work. Shell insecurity can only look on.

Confidence in the face of Shell Insecurity
Confidence in the face of Shell Insecurity

Related Link: http://www.corribsos.com
author by FSB! et al. - RSCpublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 20:52Report this post to the editors

Photo credits to Niall H, TD & FSB!

Intrepid S2S swimmer on dry land to confront shell wrongdoing
Intrepid S2S swimmer on dry land to confront shell wrongdoing

S2S boats and swimmer give Shell insecurity man the run-around!
S2S boats and swimmer give Shell insecurity man the run-around!

Shell insecurity man tries to grab S2S swimmer
Shell insecurity man tries to grab S2S swimmer

Exchange of choice words between Shell insecurity men and S2S swimmer.
Exchange of choice words between Shell insecurity men and S2S swimmer.

S2S swimmer back in water with S2S Fleet detachment. Insecurity foiled!
S2S swimmer back in water with S2S Fleet detachment. Insecurity foiled!

Related Link: http://www.corribsos.com
author by FSB! et al. - RSCpublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 21:03Report this post to the editors

Photo credits as before. Captions both good and bad by FSB!

S2S Fleet flotilla get right inside the Shell compound.
S2S Fleet flotilla get right inside the Shell compound.

Buzzing the so-called 'safety boat' of Shell's
Buzzing the so-called 'safety boat' of Shell's

All the time the Shell War-Boat Aoife was at anchor down the bay. Didn't stop Shell to Sea Fleet though!
All the time the Shell War-Boat Aoife was at anchor down the bay. Didn't stop Shell to Sea Fleet though!

Out to investigate Irish navy rib. It had a cargo of bacon, unfortunately.
Out to investigate Irish navy rib. It had a cargo of bacon, unfortunately.

Related Link: http://www.corribsos.com
author by dunkpublication date Sat Sep 06, 2008 13:52Report this post to the editors

heres vid from action a few weeks back, when 8 people were arrested. Revolt video were there and Paul made this vid which captured when the construction works came close to causing serious injury, even close to death, for 2 brave activists. Apart from close to hitting the activist, with such a load of rock, water and sand being dumped, a tonne?, the swell that followed might have sucked the activist into its swirling murky water, and if pulled in, the activist would surely have been pulled into the fluid sub surface cloud of sand and water.

I wonder has any official complaint been made against the parties responsible for this action, shell, the construction company...

Perhaps IMC-IE might add this critical video onto the feature links?

great to see things heating up again in Mayo, great to be there for the short time we were there.

Respect to all taking any action, Bear Bua, Muigh Eo abú

Dunk in BCN (barcelona)

p://www.politube.org/show/883


Caption: Embedded video Politube

author by FSB! - RSC Coastwatchpublication date Sat Sep 06, 2008 14:42Report this post to the editors

Slowly, all the accomplices in the pipe-laying stage of the Great Gas Robbery/destruction of Erris are turning up in the bay. This was the latest arrival on Friday morning. A little bit of research identified it as the Far Fosna, an 'anchorhandling tug supply vessel' belonging to Farstad Shipping ASA on charter to Shell UK Ltd. An interesting point to note on its charter contract according to the press release at the link below is that the extension to its charter ends October 2008. It'll probably be extended again anyway, but this ship's presence in the bay, along with all the other unwanted visitors in Broadhaven Bay, is a fairly sure sign that the Solitaire's arrival cannot be too far away now.

Farstad Shell charter for Far Fosna announced in press release - http://www.farstad.no/default.asp?menu=90&ext_id=/F/45/...8.xml

Farstad Fleet listing for Far Fosna - http://www.farstad.no/default.asp?menu=97&id=32

Another one of Shell's vessels in the bay - the Far Fosna, chartered by Shell UK from Farstad ASA
Another one of Shell's vessels in the bay - the Far Fosna, chartered by Shell UK from Farstad ASA

Related Link: http://www.corribsos.com
author by FSB! (pers cap) - Shell to Seapublication date Sat Sep 06, 2008 15:34Report this post to the editors

If you follow the link below to the IT other news in brief, there are two lies in the article that I can only surmise originated from the Garda Press Office. This is nothing new from that shower or from their press lackeys - the mainstream media is the conduit via which the state as its various agencies libel campaigns, movements and persons who threaten its continued untroubled enjoyment (and monopoly) of power, privilege and violence. What the IT has permitted today, it has let happen repeatedly in the past to both us in Shell to Sea and to others, and this lazy reliance on 'official sources' brings shame on the craft of journalism. The IT couldn't be bothered to contact the Rossport Solidarity Camp to get eyewitness accounts of what happened from the S2S POV, but they have Garda Sources on speed-dial (does he work from the same station as Garda Confidential? Or Garda Brutality?).

Lie 1 - 'None of the seven was from the Co Mayo area'. Has Achill Island been towed away to Co. Cork overnight? One of the seven arrested was from Achill, Co. Mayo.

Lie 2 - 'Later on Thursday night, a local man was arrested following an incident when a car was rammed into the gate of the Shell compound at Glengad'. There are two lies conflated into the one sentence here. Firstly, the action referred to in that sentence occurred at the same time as the S2S Flotilla action in the bay. Secondly, no car was rammed into the gate of Shell's Glengad compound. Maura Harrington's car merely blocked the entrance to the compound. Hyping up what actually happened gives the Gardaí 'justification' for their use of 'force' on a resisting community and those standing with them in solidarity.

Never believe a single word from the Garda Press Office!

Related Link: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/0906/1....html
author by IT has its momentspublication date Sat Sep 06, 2008 19:35Report this post to the editors

The Irish Times has a readers' editor who is supposed to correct errors of fact. Email them. It might be a good idea to write to the letters page as well.

The claim that the car was "rammed" into the gate might be worth getting a solicitor to look at, as it may be actionable.

author by Pete Burnspublication date Sun Sep 14, 2008 15:04Report this post to the editors

I just want to offer my support to those people who are standing up to big business' raping of my country. As there seems no place to register such support I choose to do it here.

author by vbpublication date Sun Sep 14, 2008 23:57Report this post to the editors

Pete - have look at the events page- there are protests happening all over-even one in London tomorrow- and if you can't make one you can always write to your local paper

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