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Shell to Sea Kayaker Arrested and Detained by Shell Security.
Tuesday June 16, 2009 21:09 by Niall Harnett - Shell to Sea / Rossport Solidarity Camp
“I was jumped upon by 2 security, they caught a hold of me and detained me, and wouldn't say why … that seems to be the law around here.”
A Shell to Sea kayaker who paddled out from the shore near the Rossport Solidarity Camp was arrested and detained by Shell Security personnel at about 5pm today, Tue 16th June.
Two security guards waded into the water, captured the man in his canoe and dragged him to shore and onto the Shell site, where he was forcibly held until Gardaí handcuffed him and detained him in a Garda van.
Despite the fact that the captured man was given no reason for his arrest and detention by either Shell or the Gardai; Garda Sgt. Kieran Lavelle MY2 denied later that the man was arrested at all, but that he was being held 'for his own safety'.
The Shell Causeway at Glengad near the Rossport Solidarity Camp.
Shell to Sea kayakers have been taking to the waters at Glengad for the last number of weeks, in opposition to Shell pipe-laying works. Numerous attempts to board Shell dredgers have achieved some success, which included some digger occupations, suspension of works and numerous arrests and court appearances.
Significant recent developments also include the stealing and slashing of boats and equipment by both Shell security and Gardaí. And … the fact that Shell security personnel appear to have licence to do what they want in Erris, and are being facilitated by the Gardai to use force, criminal damage and violence to protect Shell's interests in Corrib.
When bad weather forced Shell boats and dredgers away from Glengad today, a number of Shell to Sea kayakers took to the water and headed for the Shell stone rubble causeway which provides a platform for diggers to work on channel excavation into the bay. One of the kayakers paddled to a spot where a digger was bucketing sand from the seabed onto the causeway. The digger stopped working as the kayaker treaded water in his vicinity. Then the digger driver began to work again, swinging the bucket dangerously close to the kayaker, and dislodging a huge boulder which almost fell from the causeway on to the kayak. Shell security were heard to shout “Stop, Stop” to the digger driver, who carried on regardless.
Two security men then entered the water and grabbed the kayaker's paddle, caught a hold of him and dragged him in his canoe up on to the causeway. They held him and forced him onto the Shell site where he was later passed into the custody of Gardaí who handcuffed him and detained him in a Garda van.
Neither the Shell security nor the Gardai offered any explanation or reasons for the capture of the man, despite repeated questioning from the Shell to Sea detainee.
Meanwhile, supporters were gathering at the gate of the Shell compound up at the public road and questioning Gardai about the illegal arrest and detention of their friend. Garda Sgt. Kieran Lavelle, MY2, said that he was not being arrested at all but that he was being held for his own safety. The man was released from the Shell compound later with a damaged canoe and half a paddle.
Gardai have been 'instructing' kayakers to leave the waters at Glengad for a number of weeks now, 'for their own safety'. At the same time as they have been giving these 'orders', the Gardaí have joined forces with the Shell security and have been stealing and breaking their paddles, capsizing and slashing their boats and threatening and using violence, as usual, to arrest any individual with a will to lay their bodies on the line for this community, its environment and the protection of Ireland's natural resources.
Meanwhile, in England, Shell to Sea supporters gathered at the Van Oord offices at Lockside Place, Mill Lane, Newbury RG14 5QS Berks to demanding that Van Oord immediately stop all work on the controversial, Shell led, Corrib Gas project in County Mayo.
Protester, Sarah Jones said, “Van Oord’s continued participation in Shell’s project shows a complete disregard for the principle of corporate responsibility. They have allowed Shell security to attack protesters on their vessels; they are condoning the use of extreme violence against ordinary people opposed to a dangerous development. We are here to demand that they stop work immediately.”
Caption: Shell to Sea Kayaker Arrested and Detained by Shell Security.