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Showdown with Shell
mayo | environment | feature Tuesday September 26, 2006 17:12 by Ruth - Rossport Solidarity Camp rossportsolidaritycamp at gmail dot com
People power and peaceful resistance effectively completely defeated Shell’s first concerted effort to break the picket at the refinery site at Bellanaboy this morning. Early signs that a confrontation was imminent were apparent by the dawn arrival of seven carloads of extra security guards who sped into the compound. People on alert began to determinedly gather in front of the gates and banners and placards were distributed in readiness for the long prepared for initial showdown.
At 7.40 a.m., 8 local Gardai and 2 special branch arrived, videoing and viewing the crowd of up to 150 protestors from across the road. Superintendent Joe Gannon approached and addressed the now shoulder-to-shoulder protestors comprising of women, children, men, old and young, who were effectively blocking the gate entrance. He announced the Gardai responsibilities to protecting the protestors from harm and enabling the legal right of people to access their place of work. He informed us that the workers would arrive at 8 a.m. at which time the Gardai intended to facilitate their entrance onto the site. He then gave us 10 minutes to discuss our course of action, in light of the information he had just imparted, and retreated to the line of waiting Gardai. He did not return to collect a verdict on this statement. Nobody moved as people stood resolute. His speech served only to reinforce the word amongst the picket that we were maintaining our right to peaceful protest. It strengthened our resolve and emphasised that peaceful resistance was our objective.
More: Past Indymedia Coverage | Rossport Solidarity Camp website | Shell to sea campaign