Friday, November 09, 2007
ARRESTS MADE AT "SHELL TO SEA" PROTEST IN IRELAND TODAY
Several hundred police overpowered about 300 protesters Friday as they tried to block construction with a sit-down blockade of a Shell natural-gas processing plant in remote western Ireland. The protest was organized by the Shell to Sea campaign to mark the first anniversary of what they say was a violent attack on them by the Garda.
Last year when protesters gathered for a commemoration march on the 11th anniversary of the state execution of Nigerian writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and his eight comrades, who were high-profile opponents of Shell's environmental destruction of their homeland, clashes with gardaí occurred.
Speaking about the commemoration Sister Majella McCarron, who worked closely with Ken Saro-Wiwa in the Niger Delta, told the Mayo Advertiser: “It is appropriate that we commemorate Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni Eight in Ireland, because we are presently witnessing Shell's campaign in County Mayo, and the tactics being used are markedly similar to what we have seen the company do in other countries, including Nigeria.”
In a statement issued this week Shell to Sea campaigners have said they always accepted and employed the legitimate use of non-violent direct action as a tool of opposition to the proposed project, and acknowledges the right and duty of every individual to seek justice and show opposition to the project in a responsible way.
The people of Ireland have not only a right but a duty as Irish citizens and human beings to come out and voice their opinions in a peaceful protest and they shouldn’t be stopped, Mary Corduff of Shell to Sea told the Advertiser.
“If Shell would only accept that they don’t have community consent,” Mary said. “We are only saying no to the project as it is. We are saying yes to all things a normal community would say yes to but no to the way it’s being done. This is an abuse of power. A decision made against us in the west of Ireland. They want us to disappear in the west altogether. It’s not about the one pipe line or one gas line any more. No agreement has been written in stone that Shell will have to supply gas to Ireland,” explained Mary.
“If we have to keep protesting day after day, month after month, we will do so. There is no community consent,” she reiterated.
For further information see the OD article "SHELL TO SEA" from September 14 by clicking here.
The following is from the Irish Times.
Three arrested at Corrib gas protest
Three protesters were arrested today as scuffles broke out at a demo at the controversial Corrib gas project refinery site in Co Mayo.
A large number of gardaí removed campaigners who were sitting on the roadway in an attempt to block trucks travelling to the construction site at Bellanaboy.
About 200 supporters of the Shell to Sea campaign briefly delayed workers entering the site shortly before 7am. Gardai later removed a number of demonstrators who had been standing in front of vehicles.
Opponents of the project were staging a demonstration to mark the 12th anniversary of the death of Nigerian writer Ken Saro Wiwa, who protested against Shell operations in his home country.
It is also almost a year since clashes broke out between protesters and gardaí at the site on November 10th last year.
A protest is also being held at Shell's Dublin headquarters on Lower Leeson Street at noon today.